How to Get My Interest Rate Lowered on My Discover Card
If you’re carrying a balance on your Discover card, the amount you’re paying in interest each month has a direct impact on how long it will take you to get debt-free. A higher rate can make the difference between months and years in terms of repayment and cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest and finance charges. Knowing how to negotiate properly can help you secure a lower rate on your Discover card.
Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Things You’ll Need
Recent copies of your Discover account statements
Copies of any recent transfer offers you may have received from competing credit card companies
Computer with printer
1)Study your current statement to determine your interest rate and your outstanding balance. Note of the age of your account, your credit limit and the amount you pay monthly versus your minimum payment. If you’ve always paid on time and your interest rate has recently been increased, make note of this as well.
2)Have a predetermined optimum interest rate in mind. This may be your old rate if your rate was recently increased or you may choose to ask for a specific rate, such as prime rate plus a certain number of points. If you have received balance transfer offers from competing banks, you may also choose to ask for the competitor’s rate.
3)Contact Discover. When the representative comes on the line, ask if he has the authority to lower your interest rate. If the answer is no, ask to speak to someone who does, such as a supervisor. discover card service representatives have different levels of responsibility and you need to speak to someone who has the authority to make the requested changes.
4)Give the representative your account information and the specific interest rate you want. If your account is in good standing, you’ve always paid on time and above the minimum, and you are generally satisfied with Discover, point this out to the representative. Advise the representative of any competing offers you’ve received and tell the representative you will take advantage of those offers if they cannot lower your rate.
If your rate was increased due to repricing, ask for specific reasons. If the representative advises you that any recent rate increases are due to an increase in operating costs and/or the current economic climate, let the representative know that you wish to dispute the increase and have your credit rechecked.
5)The representative may flat out deny you, in which case you should ask to speak to someone else. Be adamant in stating the terms you are willing to accept and reiterate your value as a customer. Discover may choose to offer you one of several compromises: a rate lower than your current rate but more than you want to pay; a lower rate on new purchases or cash advance only; or an opt-out, meaning Discover will reduce your rate but your account will be closed. If any of these options are offered, you need to decide whether to keep doing business with Discover or transfer your balance to a competitor.
6)If Discover agrees to your requested rate, ask if it can be applied retroactively or if your finance charges may be reduced. Review your future statements to make sure that the rate change has been applied.
Tips & Warnings
Be polite yet firm when speaking to account representatives. Do not take no for an answer.
Be persistent. You may have to call every day for a month before someone will lower your rate but it will save you money in the long term.
Get the rate change in writing and read the fine print. Be clear on the terms of the rate change, as Discover may include an opt-out clause that requires your account to be closed for reverting to a lower rate.
Be aware that if you have poor credit or your account history is questionable, Discover is unlikely to lower your rate.