What are Annual fees?
Annual fees are a charge imposed by the banks for the use of certain cards which might bring about some benefits for the cardholder.
These charges, while seemingly compulsory, are usually waived for the first few years by banks in a bid to attract more customers.
The Hidden Truth
But did you know? Seasoned credit card owners, too, have the power to request for an annual fee waiver even after the initial period!
According to Channel News Asia, about 35% of Singaporeans still do not know that they are able to own, basically, credit cards with no annual fees.
Ever felt like the credit card annual fees are too high and not worth the rewards? Well, this is good news for you!
Whether your credits cards are the best overseas credit cards, premium travel credit cards, or international credit cards, all you have to do is ask, and you’re on your way to getting “free credit cards”!
Before you start requesting
Ask yourself: Have you been a good customer to the credit card issuers?
Make sure you have little to no problems with paying your bills on time, and your card usage has not presented any other complications so far.
This is so that you will be viewed as a value customer! One that is worth their time to placate and accommodate to.
Requesting for Annual Fee Waivers
This is mostly done on the phone with the bank or issuer’s customer service representative. Though not a requirement, having good phone etiquette can greatly increase your chances of getting the waiver.
It doesn’t hurt to speak in a polite and friendly tone. At the end of the day, it’s the representative who is deciding if you get the waiver.
Try not to anger them either! Or you may be at risk of having your credit card applications unapproved in future.
Let’s get started on the process now.
The Step-By-Step Process
Give a call to your bank or credit card issuer’s hotline and direct the conversation in this way:
1. Mention that you would like to cancel your card and account immediately.
2. When prompted for the reason, indicate that you saw a card from another bank that appears to have more benefits without the extra annual fees.
At this point, the representative should be able to pick up the hint and offer to do an annual fee waiver to retain you as a customer.
3. However, if he does not question the reason for cancelling the account (very unlikely), mention that you are still keen on continuing as a customer and cardholder but would like to know if there are any incentives for you to stay on.
Request for a fee waiver at this stage.
The chances of getting a waiver by directly asking for it might not be as high as taking the indirect route. This is because many customer representatives have been trained to only offer fee waivers as a retention benefit.
However, you can definitely still go for the direct approach as some people have tried it with success.
What if you can’t get a waiver at the end of the day?
Requesting for a waiver might not work at all. However, bank will usually oblige to giving alternative rewards or points to help keep customers happy and retain them.
If you like your credit card and what it brings, but are not keen on paying a premium every year on for it, most banks are likely to give an annual fee waiver or at least an incentive!
Just pick up the phone and request for it before the next fee payment date.
Apply for credit cards and get your annual fees waived
Most credit cards have no annual fees for the first few years. After those years, try out our above advice and continue to enjoy all the benefits without paying credit card fees.
Apply for credit cards below to get access to a wealth of credit card benefits and perks!
Written by Claudia Li.
About the Writer: A 90s kid, Claudia is always on the lookout for the best credit cards to supplement her lifestyle. She isn’t afraid of credit card salesmen who approach in public for a chat, and constantly works out the best ways to save on any transaction with her arsenal of cards. Previously in the marketing industry, she now writes on various topics including personal finance, business marketing and other interests.
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