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How to Get Better Credit Card Customer Service with 5 Simple Questions

Have you ever wondered if you could wave a magic wand and get better credit card customer service? You pay your bill on time, you don’t max out your card and, all in all, you’re the kind of cardholder a credit card company should want to keep. Makes you wonder if there’s a phone call you could make to see about leveraging your ideal customer status to your financial advantage.

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The good news is that you’re in luck when it comes to your credit card. Customer service wants to hear from you, and there are five simple questions you can ask that can transform you from merely being a content cardholder into one that’s a cardholder for life.

While every credit card company’s response may vary when you pose these five questions, asking them is the first step toward better customer service from the companies you trust with your credit lines.

1. Can you lower my interest rate?

Your credit profile may have changed since you first applied for your card. As well, you may have established a solid history with your credit card company of making timely payments. If you carry a balance, no matter how small, don’t be afraid to inquire about a lower interest rate. If you also find that you’re getting offers for credit cards with lower interest rates than your current card, let customer service know that when you call. This can give them additional incentive to match a lower rate.

2. Can my late fee be waived?

Financial hiccups happen every now and again, even with the most responsible consumers. If you have a timely payment history and find yourself facing a missed payment, pick up the phone and ask if the company would consider waiving the late fee. Be prepared with an explanation that’s less “dog ate my homework” and more legitimate life event (think traveling overseas, severe family situations, natural disasters, abrupt career changes).

You can offer to sign up for automated payments if they’re willing to waive your one-time “whoops.” Discover doesn’t charge a late fee for a cardholder’s first missed payment, while the second missed payment comes with a fee.

3. Can you defer my minimum payment?

Similar to late fees, some life events can unexpectedly crunch your finances. If you’ve suffered a flood, hurricane, wildfire or other natural disaster, your credit card company may have a policy or the leeway to help you defer your monthly payment so you can deal with urgent matters at hand.

When you call, be prepared to share the reason for your request and confirm when your next payment would be due. There’s no shame in being human because, hey, life happens. Asking can open the door to a solution during life’s unforeseen challenges. Thanks, life!

4. Are there any cardholder rewards or benefits I could be receiving but am not?

There’s nothing wrong with making sure you’re getting the most out of your card. Some credit cards have rotating promotions, like Discover’s 5% Cashback Bonus with varying retailers and rotating merchant categories.

When you call, ask customer service to review your cardholder benefits and current promotions. You just might find that there’s a benefit waiting for activation, adding an instant enhancement to your credit card. Customer service may even be able to activate the reward or benefit from their end.

5. Can you raise my credit limit?

If you find yourself continuously hitting a credit limit ceiling, yet you pay your balance down on a regular basis, why not ask your issuer if they’ll raise your credit limit? Accounts typically must have been open for a minimum of six months to a year to be eligible for a credit line increase. Also, asking for an increase on a maxed-out card won’t likely turn out in your favor.

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Along this same line, you can always call your credit card company and ask for a temporary credit line increase. If you’re facing a major purchase and need a bit of credit line breathing room, a quick call could give you the extra credit you need for a pressing purchase.

Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.

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