89% of Credit Card Customers Are Making a Costly Mistake -- Are You?

Schultz adds that you can also ask your card to lower interest rates, waive your annual fee, or raise your credit limit. In fact, many people who ask their card company for a break, get it.

"You certainly wouldn't get a late fee waived every time you ask for it, and certainly not if it's your third or fourth time in the last couple of years", Creditcards.com's Matt Shultz told WTOP.

As it happens, nearly 9 out of 10 cardholders received a higher credit limit when they asked their credit card issuer.

The bottom line is that if you're paying annual fees, or above-average interest rates (say, above 15% or so), there's no harm in asking for a fee waiver or rate reduction, especially if you're a good customer from the credit card issuer's viewpoint. "Don't be afraid to ask for fees to be waived or higher credit limits because, quite often, you'll actually get it". You just can't do it all the time. If you can run your tax bill through your credit card and can afford to pay it off without carrying a balance, simply compare the credit card processing fees with the value of the rewards and go with the more economical approach.

"People would be stunned at how successful you could be at these requests". So that's an 82% success rate.

"Credit card debt is increasing; interest rates are rising; delinquency rates are starting to grow".

And it's not just late fees.

The exception: Paying with a 0 percent April credit card could be more cost-effective than setting up an installment agreement, if you can pay off your balance before the promotional period ends. "But the best thing that can happen is that you get to keep some of that hard earned money in your pocket instead of handing it over to the credit card company in the form of fees or interest". The Motley Fool recommends American Express.

  • Zachary Reyes