This article appears in Winter Boomers magazine.
If you want something, you have to ask for it. That solid advice works in many aspects of life, including when it comes to paying your credit card bills.
When dealing with a credit card company, the quickest way to satisfaction is often picking up the phone and politely asking for what you want, whether than means asking for a fee to be waived or for a higher line of credit.
Calling customer service is a pain, but it’s usually worth it, according to a new nationally representative survey conducted by WalletHub that examined Americans’ experiences with and attitudes toward credit card customer service departments.
Simply failing to call customer service is one of the biggest mistakes credit card users make when faced with a question or account issue, said Odysseas Papadimitriou, chief executive officer of WalletHub. Mostly that’s due to mismanaged expectations.
“People often assume customer service calls will take forever or be confrontational, so they put them off,” he said.
Nearly 1 in 2 Americans would rather call their in-laws than their credit card company, but 3 in 4 consumers agree that calling customer service is worth it.
The survey also found gender and age gaps. Men are twice as likely as women to get an annual fee waived, and millennials are three times as likely as baby boomers to be denied a credit limit increase.
Among credit card users who have called customer service, 7 in 10 have gotten a fee waived before, while 3 in 10 have received a lower APR and 9 in 10 have been granted a higher credit limit.
Ready to embrace your power and save some money? Skip calling about simple questions such as account balance, which can be determined online. Instead, call about more complex issues such as addressing a suspicious charge or negotiating fees, Papadimitriou said.
When calling be polite but firm, and keep your anger in check.