Last week, I got the statement for one of my credit cards – with an $85 annual fee. Ouch!
I don’t like paying annual fees on credit cards, so I wasn’t very happy. I decided to call the credit card company and see what they could do.
Normally, I get credit cards that have no annual fee. And this card was no different. They waived the annual fee – but only for the first year. It was such a great sign-up bonus that I went against my better judgement and got the card – fully intending to cancel before the second year.
Well, I forgot.
When I got the statement, I called customer service and asked them to waive the annual fee. The customer service agent told me she was unable to do that. She told me all of the wonderful things about the card. She said that it’s a really good deal and they need the fee to provide all of the great benefits.
I told her thanks, but I’d rather cancel the card and get a refund on the annual fee.
She said she can’t process card cancellations. So, she’d have to transfer me to another department.
I was transferred.
Then, another friendly agent answered the phone. He told me he was sorry to hear that I wanted to cancel the card. I told him that I liked the card, but was unwilling to pay the annual fee.
He said that he has a special promotion running that lets him waive the annual fee for me this year. He also said that he wanted to give me an additional bonus for the next 18 months – 500 extra points every month that I spend $500 or more.
Wow! Okay. I agreed to keep the card for another year, and I’m now going to use the card more.
Smart move – credit card company!
Next time you get an annual fee, don’t just pay it. Call customer service and see what they can do.
Here’s how you can call and get a refund on your annual fee.
- Be ready to cancel the card. Otherwise, you have no room to negotiate. And, sometimes the best thing to do is cancel.
- Be nice (but firm)! If you’re nice to them, then they’ll probably be nice to you. And, it’s just friendly.
- Explain that you like the card, but don’t like the fees.
- Stop talking and let them respond. They’ll usually say no the first time.
- If they don’t offer to waive the fee, tell them (nicely) that you’d like to go ahead and cancel the card.
- Let them respond. At this point they’ll either make you an offer, or they’ll tell you no.
- Depending on their answer – take the offer, or cancel the card.