$95 in Ten Minutes: Negotiating with the Credit Card Companies

If you look around, there are some awesome credit card deals out there, worth hundreds of dollars or a few free plane trips for spending a set amount of money in the first 1-3 months. Assuming you never carry a balance and your credit score can take the occasional hard pull*, there's not much of a downside.

However, many of the cards charge an annual fee after the first year. You could always cancel them once your bonus miles have posted, but why not try negotiating?

CitiBank: How can I help you?

Me: I already earned the bonus miles from this card, so it's no longer worth the $95 annual fee to me. Can you waive the fee, drop more miles in my account to compensate, or cancel the card?

CitiBank: Bleep bloop, transferring you to a retention specialist.

Retention Specialist: We'll take care of that fee for you, and as a thank you for staying with us, we'll give you double miles for the next sixteen months.

Bam! Call them up, lay out the three options, and let the cards fall where they may.

  • Credit inquiries are far down on the credit-score hierarchy. Open lines, credit utilization, and credit history length are much more important. I've had dozens of pulls over the last year and I'm still holding over 750. If you're curious about your credit score, go to Credit Karma