Plays Well With Others

Just Ask …

When I got my first job at the grocery store, I also got my first credit card. I think it was a union-related credit card. It had a $500 limit. That served me well for awhile, but soon I decided to get another card and did. This one was from Citibank, had a good rate and a higher limit.

Fast forward about ten years and the union card was closed a long time ago, but I’ve still got the Citibank card. However, over the years, they’ve slowly upped the interest rate until last night I took a look at the statement and found that we were paying 11.9% on our card. Erm. That’s insane. Especially when interest rates are so low right now, so I called up their customer service line and basically told the guy that my bank was offering me a better rate on a credit card and that I’d like to know how low they’d be able to go to keep me. They guy said, well 11.9% is the lowest we’ve got right now. Uh huh. Then he asked me what the bank’s rate was. Since I was bluffing, I just sort of talked around the question rather than answering it, saying that it was low and all I was really interested in knowing is how low they’d go. This is where the guy decided to transfer me to another “account specialist”.

So this new guy comes on and immediately tells me that he’s got two offers for me. A 3.9% rate that expires after six months and goes to a 9.9% thereafter OR a 6.9%, which amounts to 2.9% over PRIME for the life of the card as long as we dont have late or missed payments. Um. Now I’m no rocket scientist, but right now we’re paying 11.9% and even though the 3.9% is good for six months, the only way it’d really be beneficial is if I planned on paying the card off and closing it … so I took him up on his 6.9% offer, he changed it and now we’re saving about 5% in interest per month. Soooooooooo … easy.

All I can say is that if you’re paying a high rate … call them up and ask for a lower rate. The worse they can say is fuck you.. and then you can say fuck you back and transfer your balance to a lower rate card.

2 Responses to 'Just Ask …'

  1. personal avatar
    Janice | 14 April 2004

    erm if you pay off your credit card every month, the interest rate really shouldnt matter… right?

  2. personal avatar
    Greg | 14 April 2004

    Nope, if you pay it off every month it doesn’t matter at all and more power to you. We pay off our American Express Blue card every month, so we don’t care about that one. But our Citibank is for bigger purchases that we might carry a balance on and therefore, having a lower rate matters quite a bit. The difference between 11.9% and 6.9% is HUGE. So… yeah.. if you pay it off it doesn’t matter, but most people carry some kind of balance.

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