Get a Waiver of the Annual Credit Card Fee Simply by Asking

Some credit cards come with a commission, especially if they offer a nice reward program . If your card has an annual fee, it’s worth calling your carrier to see if they are going to opt out of it.

Million Mile Secrets says that many banks will waive the annual fee for the first year you hold the card. They suggest just calling and asking – politely, of course. In some cases, the issuer may not waive the commission, but will offer a credit statement or bonus points:

If you do not receive an offer that you like, you can say that you want to think it over. Then hang up and call back to call another agent who may offer you a better deal. As with anything related to the hobby of miles and points, do the math when you receive an offer to determine if the deal is profitable.

Many commenters on the Million Mile Secrets post confirmed they were lucky, but noted that they had to threaten to cancel before they were satisfied. Of course, there are ways to do this without making threatening sounds. You might say that you are just considering this because the fees are higher than you would like. Or you can actually void the card, as some people do – they get rewarded on the credit card and then void it before commission is charged. This is one option, but it has potential implications – it will affect the use of your credit, which will affect your credit score .

Another option to lose commission without closing your account is to request a product change. Ask what the company has on its current free cards, and if you hear one that you like, just ask to replace it. You should keep your bonus points and credit limit and only lose some of the more attractive benefits that were offered with your more expensive card – benefits that you may still not be able to use, such as travel rewards for a year during which you may do not travel as it is largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whatever you decide, it doesn’t take long for you to call and ask about your options so that you can make an informed choice. Check if your annual credit card fee is charged on the anniversary of the account opening or at the beginning of each year, and set a calendar reminder to remember to call every time that date repeats again.

This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated in 2020 to include additional context and to align with Lifehacker’s style guidelines.

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