Is there something that you need from your credit card issuer, but you can’t figure out the best way to ask? Perhaps you are looking for some additional rewards or for a painful fee to be waived. Here are some techniques that you can use to sweet-talk your way into getting your credit card issuer to grant your request:
1. Talk to the Right Person
Imagine that you are trying get your credit card’s annual fee waived. You call customer service and tell them that you like your card, but you want to waive your annual fee. Just when you thought your words have landed on a sympathetic ear, the representative transfers you to someone else known as a retentions specialist. Once again, you will have to plead your case because you weren’t speaking to the right person. This can also be a problem when checking on the status of a new credit card application, as these decisions are not handled by standard customer service representatives.
2. Describe Your Problem and Let Them Offer a Solution
Perhaps you missed a payment and have been charged interest and late fees. You could try contacting your bank and requesting to have all these fees removed, but you might not even need to make such a direct request. Simply call your card issuer’s representative and explain the circumstances behind your mistake. In most cases, banks will volunteer to waive late fees and refund interest charges to customers in good standing. All you have to do then is say thank you.
3. Remind the Representative of Your Loyalty
Ideally, the representatives at your bank will be able to call up a screen that shows how many accounts you have with them, how long you have been a customer and what your payment history is. Nevertheless, sometimes they don’t. So don’t be afraid to mention the extent of your relationship with the card issuer. It also can’t hurt, if you have good credit, to remind the issuer of that as well. (You can check beforehand using a site like Credit.com, where you can get two of your credit scores for free, updated monthly.)
4. Try HUACA
HUACA stands for Hang Up And Call Again. This acronym is popular among frequent travelers who find that they receive a different answer every time they call an airline, and this technique also works well with credit card issuers. These companies can offer their employees a surprising amount of latitude when it comes to responding to customer’s concerns. Yet for some reason, representatives may not know how to grant your request, or may be unwilling to do so. If that is the case, simply thank them for their time, politely end the call, and try again with someone else. You would be surprised how often this works.
5. Put it in Writing
There are some requests that just don’t seem to roll off of the tongue, but carry more force when written. Rather than send the bank a letter in the mail, log into your card issuer’s website and use its secure messaging center, which is a more secure form of email. Not only will you receive a response within a day or two, there is a good chance that it will be different from the one you received over the phone. Another advantage is that sending a secure message can be done much more quickly than making a phone call. On the other hand, there are some times where a request is more likely to be granted by a phone call, rather than an online message.
6. Appeal to a Supervisor
When the person you are speaking with is unable to help you, ask to speak with a supervisor. When you reach one, say that you are not satisfied, and explain in simple terms why. Wait for that person to offer a solution first, but then offer one of your own if you have a specific remedy in mind — like additional reward points or a waived fee.
7. Threaten to Leave
Your last line of discussion is to suggest you might take your business elsewhere. Expressing interest in canceling your card will have your call transferred to a retentions specialist who is more empowered to grant requests in order to keep your business.
More on Credit Cards:
- The Credit.com Credit Card Learning Center
- How to Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rates
- 6 Smart Credit Card Strategies