How I fared when I asked for fee waivers on rewards cards

Points, other concessions offered when reporter asks for a better deal


Negotiate rewards cards' annual fees

It can be a little like a tug of war, but getting a deal on your annual fee may be easier than you think.

 • Negotiating rewards cards' annual fees: 5 tips
 • How I fared when I asked for fee waivers

Tony Mecia Editor's note: It's far from a scientific study, but reporter Tony Mecia tried his own hand at negotiating his own cards' annual fees -- and the results were encouraging. Below is his firsthand account of his experiment.

I called four different banks about four reward cards and told each of them that I like the cards but was not fond of paying the annual fees, and I asked if they could waive them. In response, three of the four made me offers to try to keep my business:

Chase Ink Bold (annual fee: $95). Chase offered me 10,000 Ultimate Reward points if I spend $5,000 in the next three months. 

Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve (annual fee: $95). After telling me some of the regular features of the card, Citi offered me an additional 750 Hilton HHonors points for every month that I make $750 in purchases, over the next 16 months.

Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red (annual fee: $79). Although I had paid my annual fee in February, Barclaycard offered to credit me back half of it ($39.50). The company also offered 0-percent interest on purchases through Jan. 1, 2016. 

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest (annual fee: $65). The agent said he was sorry, but the company has no retention offers for me. Of the four, I use this card least.

See related: Script to ask for a lower credit card rate

Published: May 18, 2015

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Updated: 10-23-2016

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