How to Ask Your Credit Card Company To Waive The Annual Fee

Finance1 year ago
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Whether you hold one credit card or several, it is important to assess how much value each card offers you before you renew your annual fee. If you opened a card due to a signing-on bonus or another benefit - you need to decide if you want to continue paying the fee now that this perk is no longer on offer. You may also have changed your habits so that you no longer meet the spending requirement, or budget so that rewards points bonuses are no longer applicable.

If you have credit cards that no longer work for your current spending habits and you are questioning whether you want to pay the annual fee, don't cancel right away! It may be worth it to see if your provider will give extend a credit card retention offer or waive the annual fee altogether!

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What Are Credit Card Retention Offers?

If your card provider believes that you are about to cancel your account with them, they may try to tempt you to renew. They can do this by offering a new benefit on your credit card, waive annual fees for the next year, or adding credit to your account.


Why Do Banks Offer Retention on Credit Cards?

So why would a card provider do this? Well, chances are they extended hundreds of dollars in enticing cash back, air miles bonuses, and loyalty points to get you to sign on! If you are closing your card after a couple of years, chances are that they haven't yet recouped their spending and will lose money if they can't keep your custom.

Because of this, some providers have set up departments and policies to extend credit card tension offers to persuade customers to remain with them for another year.

However, they are unlikely to make these offers widely available, and to access them you need to know what to say when you call your credit card provider to talk about your issues.


What Type of Retention Credit Card Offers Are Available?

Each card issuer will have different retention credit card policies and some may not make any offers at all. But here is an example of some of the different Credit Card Retention offers you might receive:


Credit Card Waive Annual Fees

Depending on the credit card issuer, you may find that the annual fees for cards can be waived for a year to keep your custom. Even if you don't plan on using the card very much anymore, you could use this offer to boost your credit score. And if you factor in other credit card retention offers such as statement credit or points bonuses, this may be enough to make a card profitable to keep for the year.


Statement Credits on Your Account

As well as waiving a credit card annual fee, card issuers may sometime apply a statement credit to your account. However, you may need to spend on the card to unlock these.


Earn Bonus Points or Air Miles

To ensure customer retention, credit card issuers may also give you points or air miles to keep your card open. This may be an offer of points of miles which is similar to that which enticed you to sign up in the first place.

(You should note that there is no guarantee that the issuer of your credit card will waive annual fees, and the example offers listed on this page are for illustration purposes only.)


How to Ask For a Credit Card Retention Offer?

Do You Need to Threaten to Cancel to get to the Retention Credit Card Department?

So how do you ask the provider of a credit card to waive annual fees or give you other credit card retention offers?

You don't need to threaten to cancel your card to access a credit card retention offer, in fact, you need to be careful about your wording!

Be sure to mention that you are "considering" closing your card. You should not say you want to cancel your card as a threat, the agent may take you at your word and start the process!


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When Should You Call For a Credit Card Retention Offer?

You should also consider calling for a credit card retention offer around a month before your card renewal date, it is during this period you are more likely to get a fee waiver and other beneficial offers. But you can call at any time of the year to express dissatisfaction with your card and see what is available.


How to Ask Your Card Issuer to Waive Annual Fees and Add Bonuses?

When it comes to credit card retention offers, each provider will have different processes to persuade you to keep your account open. Some card providers, such as Amex, have dedicated retention credit card departments whose sole job is to keep your card open for another year. With other providers, retention calls will take place with a front-line customer service agent.

Here is a brief template of how you can go about asking for a Credit Card retention offer when you call:

"Hello, I've noticed that my annual credit card renewal is coming up, but I have taken a look at whether the benefits justify paying for another year and I don't think I'm getting the best value."

"Before I decide whether I want to renew for next year, I thought I should ring to see if there are any credit card retention offers available which might help me make up my mind."

Hopefully, at this point, you should be put through to a retention department or start receiving offers from the customer service agent. You may have to sit through some selling spiel beforehand, but you need to stick to your guns and reiterate that you are unhappy with paying the annual fee for the current benefits on the card.

Pro Tip: Before you make your call, research what benefits and offers are available on similarly priced competitor cards and refer to these during your call.

Make sure that you are polite and reasonable at all times, and if you don't receive a credit card retention offer that makes the fee worth it, or the provider of the credit card won't waive annual fees, then remain calm. Simply state that you need to consider your options and call again later.


Summary: How to Ask Your Credit Card Company to Waive The Annual Fee

Asking for a credit card retention offer is a no-risk gambit to see whether you can get providers of credit cards to waive annual fees or make beneficial credit card retention offers.

Make sure not to actually outright say you want to cancel your account and that you are considering your options. You should hopefully receive some great retention credit card offers during your call!

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