4 Tactics to Help Avoid Paying Annual Credit Card Fees

26 Sep, 2016 / By

Everybody loves to earn miles, points and cash back from their credit cards, but you would be hard pressed to find someone who enjoys having to pay an annual fee. Nevertheless, these fees are often necessary in order to obtain the best cards that come with the most rewarding perks. Yet, many people don’t know that they can be the holder of some of the best credit cards with the biggest rewards without having to deal with any annual fees. You don’t need to be a special customer to gain special treatment from banks and there are no magic bullets when it comes to wiggling your way out of annual fees. Instead there are a slew of tricks and tips that you can use to save money on annual fees. Here are four ways to avoid paying annual credit card fees on the best credit cards.

Get the First Year’s Fee Waived

Many of the best reward credit cards will waive the annual fee on the first year that you are a holder. For instance, the popular Starwood Preferred Guest card offered by American Express will waive their $65 annual fee in the first year of its use.  Even if a particular card does not specifically offer such a discount, it can be worth inquiring about any first year deals to see if you can score a waiver on your first annual fee.

Negotiate Your Way Out of A Fee

When it comes time to pay your annual fee try calling the bank in order to inform them you want to cancel your card and your account. This will get you transferred to your bank’s retention department who will attempt to keep you using your card by offering a deal. Often times they will waive your annual fee and even offer you the bonus miles and points.

Downgrade Your Credit Card

If your annual fee comes up on your credit card and they refuse to budge when you call to have the fee waived then instead request that your card be downgraded to a standard version. For instance going from a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card to a standard one will allow you to waive the annual fee. However, keep in mind that you will lose the perks of having a rewards card, and you will most likely not be able to transfer any points or miles from a rewards card to a standard one. However, if you are the holder of another rewards card then you could possibly get your points or miles transferred onto that before downgrading. This will allow you to still earn double the points at stores, restaurants and other venues.

Cancel Your Card

As a last result when you are unable to get your way with waiving a fee then you can simply cancel the credit card in order to avoid having to pay the annual fee and then try re-applying at a later date. Once your card is cancelled you may simply re-apply for it again and get the first year’s annual fee waved, as well as collect a substantial sign-up bonus. This trick works best with Chase cards as well as American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou points.

Knowing that you are a highly valued customer can help you substantially in not paying your annual fee. This is especially the case in the extremely competitive marketplace that banks are in today. In this environment, customers have all of the power, which they should use to their full advantage in order to avoid annual fees.

Jennifer Hamilton

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