One of my biggest goals for the first half of this year is to get out from credit card debt. Over the last 10 years, 2 kids, home purchase, 2 layoffs, private school, and various other costly things have had a tendency to accumulate quickly. A few times over the last decade I’ve made good progress on getting things paid down, but then something pops up and next thing I know there goes $3000 on emergency last minute plane tickets.
There is a CitiBank card I’ve had since I started college, and carried a balance on since the mid 90′s. As you might have already guessed, this one currently has my highest interest rate. After the recent government rule changes and an unfortunate accidental late payment, this card has a whopping 29% interest rate.
This year I’m also lucky enough to get a nice tax refund that’s not earmarked for something else, enough to cover the balance on this card – Yay!
So last night I called the card company and had a very polite conversation with a lady there. I asked very politely if she could lower my rate, I was put on hold for a moment, then she came back with a very polite script about how that was impossible at the time and they review these things every quarter and automatically make the proper adjustments.
Well then, I told her, I’d like to do a couple of other things while I had her in the line. I’d like to pay my balance in full and lower my credit limit (by a lot). This took her by surprise I think. She did as I asked, and finished our conversation with a question asking me if I’d like to transfer a balance. I politely told her no thank you, you interest rated are too high.