Paying an annual fee to a Credit Card is not a great thing for most of us, right? Think about it this way, you need great perks and benefits from a Credit Card, so of course, you will have to pay for it. But today, this article will teach you how to avoid paying annual fee for your Credit Cards.
How to avoid paying annual fee for Credit Cards?
#1 Get a No Annual Fee Credit Card
Don’t say that I’m a stupid, as this is the easiest way to avoid paying annual fees for your Credit Card without too much work.
There are many Credit Cards out there which offer great values with no annual fee.
Let me show you some of the Best Canadian Credit Cards where you don’t need to pay annual fees to enjoy its benefits.
Summary of the Best Canadian Credit Cards with No Annual Fee
Cash Back Credit Card – Tangerine Money Back Credit Card.
Student Credit Card – BMO SPC Student MasterCard.
Balance Transfer Credit Card – MBNA Platinum Plus.
Low-Interest Credit Card – MBNA TrueLine Credit Card and Alterna Platinum Plus MasterCard.
For special purposes, such as;
Cash Advance – RBC Cash Back MasterCard.
Foreign Currency Transaction – Amazon.ca Rewards Visa Credit Card.
Bad Credit – Home Trust Secured Visa Credit Card.
#2 Look for Credit Cards with promotional first-year annual fee waiver
This works for you if the no-annual fee credit card doesn’t satisfy you in terms of perks and other benefits.
Many of the premium credit cards in Canada, offer a promotional first-year annual fee waiver to their new Cardmembers.
#3 Some Banking plans will help you waive the annual fee
Many of the Banks offer Annual Fee Rebates on their Premium Credit Cards if you choose an all inclusive Banking Plans.
With this, sometimes you may not be able to completely get rid of the annual fee but, still, it is a great way to save some money on premium Credit Cards.
Let me give you some examples for the Banks who offer Premium Banking Plans like this.
- TD’s All-Inclusive Banking Plan.
- BMO Premium Chequing Account.
- RBC VIP Program.
- CIBC Premium Plan.
#4 Negotiate with the company for the annual fee to be waived
None of the Credit Card companies would love to lose their valuable customers, right?
Most of the time, a negotiation would work, if you do it properly.
I have some tips here in this article, that you can use while negotiating with your Credit Card Company.
#5 You can ask for retention bonuses
Like I said, they wouldn’t like to lose you from their customers’ list.
Even if they can’t waive your Annual Fee, they can offer you other benefits or perks to keep you on the list.
In most cases, the agent would offer this, when you call in to cancel your account. I don’t think here they will offer this instead of annual fee waiver.
So here, it’s your call to ask them to see, if they have something available for you.
But this is not sure for all banks. Retention bonuses may vary from bank to bank. So, it is always a good practice to enquire the offers before you make a decision.
#6 Ask to Downgrade your Credit Card
Most of the Banks usually have a premium Credit Card which offers great perks and benefits and also, a No Annual Fee Credit Card, which offer perks that are not too far from that of the Premium Card.
If there is one, you can ask for a downgrade. Best part – you will get a no annual fee card with perks and benefits that are somewhere close to that of Premium Card – win win.
In most of the cases, you will be able to keep your current credit limits – so, you will not lose anything from that side either.
#7 Try to pitch to them with competitor’s cards
I know it Sounds a little crazy. Can we really do a “price match” even for Credit Cards?
I don’t know. But, why not just try this!
Find a competitor Credit Card which comes with No Annual Fee and pitch it to your Credit Card company.
#8 If nothing works, then cancel your Credit Card
If none of these strategies work, then better you find another Credit Card and cancel your current one.
By getting another one, you will be able to keep your utilization ratio at the same level and so that there shouldn’t be any problem with your current credit rating.
Here are some tips that can help you while negotiating with your bank.
Tips for negotiating to get your Credit Cards annual fee refunded or waived off
#Don’t be shy to negotiate.
This happens to a lot of people out there, sometimes including me.
When somebody negotiates for something, they know what they are doing and if they deserve it.
When you negotiate for something that you deserve, you don’t need to be shy or feel yourself a bad guy.
#Remember to be polite to the agent
This is a zero tolerance thing that you need to do when you call for a purpose like this.
Even if the agent didn’t give a warm welcome to your demands, try to be polite, even if you don’t feel to.
Try not to harass the agent.
I know people who call and harass the agents to get whatever they want. I would say that it is a bad idea.
Not all the agents are same. When I worked in a company where I was working as a customer service agent, I used to see many agents disconnect their call because of harassments from their customers.
Agents know that disconnecting a call is not good for their job too but, they can prove it to their quality assurance people that the customer was harassing them.
In Canada, you have rights to refuse a work if you found that harms you mentally or physically, without losing your job.
Sometimes, being polite will get the work easily done.
#State that you are a valuable customer
This is a great idea – proud yourself as a long time customer if you are one.
That can help your demands approved easily or they even suggest an alternative, if they can consider your demands.
I was going through an article which wrote by Stephen Weyman at his personal blog, I found a customer was asking some questions about the same topic. One thing I noticed was that she had been using a BMO MasterCard for almost 40 years.
She is really a valuable customer to BMO and BMO never wants to lose a customer like Sandy.
#Ask your agent to escalate your call
I know, there are some customer service agents;
- Don’t have the kind heart to resolve your problem.
- Or, they are not allowed to do it from their side, but it is possible to do it by their superiors as they have access to special tools.They may try to convince you, it is not going to happen. Because, for a customer service agent, transferring a call to another department or to their superiors is bad for their stats.
In this situation, the agent may try to convince you that your demand is not going to happen.
At that point, it is your turn to demand an escalation. They never offer you an escalation from their side as they need to keep their stats up.
So, it is your call to demand escalation. In most of the cases, the higher officers will try to resolve it in a way that satisfies you.
#Finally, don’t make lies
Last but not the least, your lies may mess the plan, so do not make lies to get your annual fee waived.
I have personally experienced it when I was working as a customer service agent.
People call in and start yelling at us, as the agent they talked to, offered $0 but when they look at the bill, they see $$.
This happens all the time, but not going to work at all. All your calls are monitored and recorded by the company.
Also, the agents create tickets for all of the calls they received, and they make notes of what they have done, in that ticket.
When you call the second time, the first thing the agent does is checking your previous tickets.
So, make sure to genuinely state your needs.
Sooner the better
If you really want to get rid of the Annual Fee form your Credit Card, it is better to call them sooner.
Don’t procrastinate and that may decrease your momentum and finally, may end up with a decision to not call the Bank.
All the best.