Do you hate getting hit with bank fees, overdraft fees, and credit card interest? Here’s how I got a $287 interest charge waived and a $25 late fee refunded.
I forgot to pay my credit card bill on-time (happens to the best of us, haha). I had just charged all of my yearly insurance, Katie’s trip to Japan, plus our normal monthly charges. Capital One hit with a $287 interest charge, and a $25 late fee.
Use these scripts to get those annoying bank and credit card fees refunded if you make an honest mistake, or if you just need some financial help with paying down debt.
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How to get bank fees waived
You can get hit with an overdraft fee if you overspend in your checking account. Your bank conveniently transfers money from your savings account or credit card to cover the cost.
Banks love overdraft fees! According to a report by Pew Charitable Trusts, the largest U.S. banks charged $11.6 billion in overdraft fees and insufficient fund fees in 2015.According to the report, most of the people paying the billions of dollars in overdraft fees are younger and have lower incomes.
Call up the bank/credit card company to get bank fees waived
YOU: I was charged a late fee on my account that I would like removed because I’m an awesome customer.
Them: All of our customers are awesome. I’ll be glad to see what I can do.
Seriously, that’s what I did.
Or you might get the following:
Them: Sorry there is nothing we can do.
Wait! It’s not the time to give up. What power do you have?
- Are you a long-time customer?
- Are you a profitable customer?
- Are you a business customer?
If you answered yes to any of those questions you’ve got a little power, so try again. Leverage what you got. If you’ve got nothing, try anyway.
Banks and credit card companies can pay five to 25 times more to replace you as a customer. They want to keep you so waiving a fee can be a small price to pay.
YOU: Well, I’ve been a customer for 2-years. What can you do for me?
How to get credit card late fees refunded
You can use the same scripts to get credit card late fees waived as well.
If you’re behind on your credit card bills, you may not get this to work. It’s worth a shot, though.
YOU: I’m having some difficulties paying my credit cards. What can you do for me?
One listener to my show had a story about having $60,000 in credit card debt. He was able to get Bank of America to lower his credit card interest rates to just over 3% which allowed him to pay off his debts.
Get overdraft fees waived too
Some credit card issuers like American Express are raising credit card fees.
If your credit card or bank account has overdraft fees, you can try the same scripts out.
Check your credit cards and bank statements for fees you might be able to have waived:
- late fees
- interest charges
- monthly maintenance fees
- annual dues
I called Capital One, was transferred around (because you have to work your way up the food chain to someone with authority to waive fees) and was on the phone for 30 minutes.
The credit card interest and the late fee were dropped because I was a valuable customer.
For 30 minutes of time, I saved over $300 due to a mistake I made.
You can try the same thing with bank charges.
Get fees waived – what NOT to say
The scripts above are a good guideline, but there are a few things to avoid saying too.
- Be polite, but firm. The customer service rep is usually a small cog in a big machine. They have limits to what they can offer. Ask to speak to a supervisor if the rep can’t help you.
- Shut up. State your request and be quiet. You don’t need to explain who/what/where/when/why in ten minutes why the company should waive the fee. State your request, and wait.
- Don’t give them a chance to say no. ‘What can you do for me’ is an open-ended question that allows the customer rep some options. ‘Can you waive this fee’ has only two outcomes – yes or no. Since you’re trying to avoid no, it’s better to avoid yes/no questions.
Once you’ve got your bank and credit card fees waived it’s time to move on to saving thousands on your monthly bills.
Your turn: Check your last 3-months of bank and credit card statements for any overdraft, late fees, or interest charges. Sometimes the charges can slip by. With a quick phone call, you can have that money back in your pocket where it belongs.