Will Credit Card Companies Lower Your Interest Rate if You Ask?

By Jason Steele · April 15, 2024 · 7 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

Will Credit Card Companies Lower Your Interest Rate if You Ask?

Some credit card companies may lower your rate if you ask. Which can be a good thing given that the current average interest rate is currently hovering over 20%. Getting that “yes” answer could be a simple way to shave money off your bill if you don’t pay the balance in full every month.

Given that it can’t hurt to ask, read on to learn more about this topic, including tips for requesting a lower credit card interest rate.

How to Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate

First, a bit of vocabulary. Your credit card interest rate is also called an annual percentage rate, or APR. Credit card APRs vary across cards and cardholders. The APR that you currently have on your credit card is not set in stone.

It is often possible to lower your credit card interest rate. To do so, you will need to contact your credit card issuer directly. Although the credit card issuer is not required or guaranteed to agree to lower your APR, it is likely worth the time and effort to try. The worst that can happen is they say no, right?

Plus, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that they can decrease the interest rate a bit. For instance, if you let them know you are shopping for a better rate elsewhere, they might lower your rate a bit to keep your business.

Why Try to Get Your Rate Lowered

If you carry a balance on your credit card, you have to pay the interest on your balance. If you have a high interest rate, it can make it more difficult to get out of debt if you get behind on the payments.

When you make payments on a card with a high interest rate, more of the money will go toward interest, which means it will take longer to pay off the actual balance amount.

Trying to get your rate lowered is actually easier than it may seem. There is no risk to trying, so if you carry a balance on your card, you might as well try to see if you can get your rate lowered.

What Is a Good Interest Rate on a Credit Card?

You have to qualify for the interest rate on a credit card. The credit card interest rate that you wind up with can depend on your credit score, market conditions and the credit card issuer. The average credit card interest rate as of November 2023 according to the Federal Reserve was 22.75%.

Some might say that a good interest rate on a credit card is anything other than that figure. Others might have a particular lower number in mind that they saw advertised by a given financial institution.

Rates change, so it can be smart to check the prevailing percentages before you talk to your card issuer, so you can negotiate more effectively. You may find some promotional credit card interest rates being offered in some cases.

Understanding Your Credit Card Company

While it may seem counterintuitive from how consumers feel, your credit card company may prefer customers who carry a large balance, as opposed to someone who is avoiding interest on credit cards by paying their balance in full every month.

Credit card companies make the most profit from charging interest to people with unpaid balances. If you are one of those people, your card issuer probably doesn’t want to lose you or your balance. This may give you a little leverage for negotiating your APR.

It is also important to know that while credit card companies can agree to lower your APR if you ask, they can also increase your APR for certain reasons.

•   If you are often late on payments, your rate can be hiked up. The credit card company must give you 45 days of advance notice before doing this.

•   Credit card companies are usually not allowed to increase your interest rate on new transactions during the first year of your credit card account, but they can do so after the first year.

How to Negotiate a Lower APR

Learning how to lower APR on your credit card involves learning how to negotiate with your card issuer. To do this, you just need to assess your situation and ask the right person at the credit card company. Here are tips.

Assess Your Situation

Before you approach your card issuer, you should assess your own situation and decide what your goal is. If you have a decent credit score, you may be able to collect competing offers with lower interest rates to bring to your credit card issuer. This may include cards that have credit card promotional interest rates, like balance transfer credit card offers or intro 0% APR offers.

Ask the Right Person

Next, call the customer service number on the back of your credit card. Once you are speaking with a live person on the phone, explain your situation. Tell them about the other offers for lower APRs from other credit card companies, but you would prefer to stick with your current company.

If the customer service representative that you are speaking with says that a lower rate isn’t possible, ask to speak to their supervisor. If they don’t comply with that request, you might hang up and call back again.

What to Do After a Decision

If you were able to get your APR lowered, congratulations. Now, there are a few next steps to take.

•   First, get the credit card issuer’s agreement to lower your rate and the related fine print in writing. Have them mail or email you it.

•   Be sure to read the fine print to understand any conditions that come with the offer. If you have a credit card payment delay or don’t keep your balance under the credit limit, the card issue may be able to raise your APR to the previous rate or an even higher rate.

•   Knowing what can increase credit card APR is important in this instance. Do educate yourself on this topic.

•   Also, consider using the money that you save on interest toward reducing your credit card debt or other debt. By continuing to make payments in the same amount you were making before your rate was reduced, you can work to reduce debt and improve your overall financial situation.

•   If you were not able to get your APR lowered, you can ask your card issuer about their procedures for rate reduction. There may be a time period for consideration or reconsideration. Or you could look into balance transfer promotions with another company.

Recommended: What’s the Minimum Credit Score Needed for a Credit Card?

Credit Card Tips

If you have a credit card, you should have a general understanding of some of the credit card rules.

•   Honor your bill’s due date with at least the minimum payment. On-time payments are the single biggest contributor to your credit score.

•   One of the most important is to only spend what you can afford, and pay your balance in full each month if you are able to. That way, you won’t even have to worry about the APR.

•   If that’s not possible, keep an eye on your credit utilization ratio, or the percentage of your credit limit that you have accrued. If this figure gets too high, it can negatively impact your credit score.

•   Also take steps if your balance is getting too high. You could look into balance transfer cards, a personal loan to pay off your credit card, or working with a nonprofit debt counselor.

The Takeaway

It is possible (but not guaranteed) to get your credit card company to lower the interest rate on your credit card if you ask. When speaking to a representative, be courteous, come armed with information about prevailing interest rates and other offers, and ask to speak to a supervisor if necessary. A lower APR on your credit card can save you a lot of money if you carry a balance, so it can be worth the time and effort.

Whether you're looking to build credit, apply for a new credit card, or save money with the cards you have, it's important to understand the options that are best for you. Learn more about credit cards by exploring this credit card guide.


Can I ask the credit card company to lower the interest rate?

Yes, you can always ask the credit card company to lower the interest rate on your credit card. You can call the customer service number on the back of your credit card.

How can I get my credit card interest rate down?

You may be able to get your credit card interest rate lowered by contacting the credit card company directly. You should do research on competing offers to use as examples when speaking with your card issuer. Your credit card issuer may not want to lose you as a customer, so they may be able to offer you a lower interest rate.

Can a credit card company change your interest rate without telling you?

Credit card companies can increase your interest rate, but they must give you 45 days of advance notice. Credit card companies are usually not allowed to increase your interest rate on new transactions during the first year of your credit card account, but they can do so after the first year. The credit card company may want to raise your interest rate if you are often late on payments.

Photo credit: iStock/Ridofranz

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .


All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store
SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender