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The question to ask to score a credit card fee refund | Savings with Sarah #20

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Haggling is a time-honoured technique for saving money. But did you know you can haggle on things like credit card fees?

This tip comes with the caveat that you won't always get the discount.

It's up to the individual bank or lending institution as to what their policy is and what leeway they have with discounts.

But there's absolutely no risk in asking the question. The worst possible outcome is that they say no – that's it.

And the best possible outcome is a whack of money heading back your way.

I've done this half a dozen times in the past, most recently a few weeks ago. My credit card fee of $299 was deducted so I called them and said the following – this is the script you can follow to ask for a credit card fee rebate too:

"Hi there! I don't really need this credit card, so I'm thinking of cancelling it, especially because the annual card fee is so high. Is there anything you can do about the fee? If you can, I might as well keep the card open."

On the phone, the agent looked up my account and immediately offered me a 50% fee rebate.

That's $150, back in my account – for spending 60 seconds on the phone and asking one question.

She mentioned that she could give me the rebate to honour my business, as I've been a customer since 2022. When I've been a customer for longer, I've had the full fee waived in the past.

I've also had my home loan package fee (worth $400) waived three times from three different banks – once to make up for some bad service, and twice because I threatened to refinance.

Banks have a bit of leeway when it comes to fees so make sure you ask the question. It's 5 minutes out of your day, with the potential to claw back hundreds of dollars – the best hourly rate you'll ever make!

Have you had a credit card for a few years? You might be eligible for some perks like bonus frequent flyer points, cash back or a 0% interest rate. Check out some of the latest offers today

Savings with Sarah

Each Monday, our money expert Sarah Megginson shares another tip to help you save more than you spend.

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