When signing any kind of agreement, you will often find the most important information tucked away within the fine print. When applying for a credit card, the bank or financial institution will do everything in their power to paint a pretty picture. Unfortunately, there are some points that they may “forget” to mention during the initial part of your discussion. It is up to you to prepared and gather information so that you can ask all the necessary questions before you sign on the dotted line.
Bargaining for the best interest rate
Banks and credit card companies often seek to attract new customers by offering them the incentive of low introductory interest rates. Existing customers automatically assume that these great rates are not available to them because they are directed at new customers. However, there is never any harm in giving it a try! Loyal customers can use their good credit history as a means of negotiating with the bank to offer them a lower interest rate. Bare in mind that this lower rate will be a limited-time offer and will only help you save for a certain number of months before your interest rate returns to what it initially was. This kind of agreement can only be made by a senior employee or director, and you will need to make sure that you receive original, signed copies of all the relevant documents to this effect.
Depending on your current relationship with your bank or credit card company, you might be able to convince them to waive annual fees. If, for example, you have your mortgage or other accounts with the same bank, they will value you as a customer and they will want to do everything in their power to hang on to your business. You will also need to address this with somebody in charge. Usually only senior employees will be able to give authorization to make such changes. Senior employees are also more inclined to realise the value of having you as a customer and are that much more willing to help keep their customers happy.
Credit card providers are quite understanding when it comes to making payment. In many cases, when you sign your initial contract, you can specify a date on which payments are to be made each month. Later, if you find that this date is no longer suitable, you can request the date to be changed. It should also be mentioned that the provider is obligated by law to offer the client a grace period of 21 days. This means that the client must have at least 21 days in which to pay as of the date of the statement.
Analyse All Options
Credit providers often try to “push” a certain product. This product might be great, but there could be an even better one that you won’t know about unless you ask! Don’t simply take the advice of the consultant. Ask for information that details all of your options and their terms. If necessary, take this information home with you to look over thoroughly before making a decision.
It should go without saying that penalties and late fees are applicable if the conditions of the contract are not met. However, if there is some kind of confusion or mistake that leads to late payment, you can ask to have the penalties removed. If the provider can see that you have paid your fees regularly, and there is an isolated case of late payment, they are even more likely to oblige.
In many cases, you will not be offered the highest possible credit limit available. You might be able to increase your limit upon request. By law, credit card issuers in Canada have to receive a client’s express consent before they are able to up the limit. Of course, it is always good to consider how much you really need. There is no need to up your limit if you will struggle to make the repayments or simply do not need the temptation of that much credit.
With our free tool, Wallet Savvy will help you find the best credit card to suit your personal or professional needs. Whether you are big on travelling and entertainment or your main concern is paying for gas and groceries each month, we will make it that much easier to choose between the many cards available.