I just saved myself 12% in interest fees in a 10 minute conversation.
I’ve been working in earnest to get myself out of credit card debt for a few years now. Back when the economy was doing a bit better, I found a great deal with CitiCard to pay 3.99% on my balance transfer per month for the life of the balance. Naturally, I put as much of my existing debt on that card as I could. Since then, I’ve paid just a little above the minimum on that card while I concentrate on the higher interest balances. So far, this has worked out pretty well, and I’ve made a significant dent on my overall debt.
This month, I screwed up.
Despite the alerts and warnings I set up for myself, I missed one due date by 12 hours. It was stupid, and my fault. Today, I got a message that my APR for that card jumped from 3.99% to 15.99%, and I received a $40 late fee.
That would put a serious crimp in my payoff plans. I called CitiCard and told them I was sorry for missing the due date by 1 day, and emphasized that I had not ever been late in paying them before. Then I asked them to reinstate the original APR – and offered to pay the late fee. After a few minutes on hold, and with no argument, they agreed.
I could probably have talked them out of the $40, but I accept that I missed the date, and that’s a valid punishment (even if I do think it’s exorbitant). I’m willing to take that hit. But the more important thing is that I avoided a 12% increase long-term. That’s going to save me some serious money.
Calling the credit card companies can work!