You can do all kinds of things with a credit card. For instance, you might consolidate credit card debts to a personal loan if you’d prefer to pay a single monthly fee rather than several different ones. You might leverage credit card points to pay for a much-needed vacation.
In this article, though, we’ll talk about something else you can do with a credit card if you’re so inclined: you can downgrade the card and reduce its annual fee. We’ll discuss why you might choose to do that and run through the steps you’ll take.
Why Do Cards Have Annual Fees?
Some credit cards have no annual fees. The ones that do usually have them so that you can enjoy exclusive perks you don’t get with the no-fee cards.
For instance, getting an American Express Platinum card will cost you $695 per year. However, the card allows you to stay at several airport lounges for free while traveling. Amex will reimburse you if you pay the monthly subscription for the Peacock streaming service, and you get up to $200 in airline incidentals per year as well.
That’s just one example of the credit cards that come with annual fees. The more high-end the perks and exclusive the card, the higher the fee you can expect to pay.
Why Downgrade Your Card?
If you are paying a yearly fee for a credit card, a time might come when you don’t think the perks are worth it anymore. Maybe you’re not using those particular benefits as much as you thought you would when you signed up for the card. It could also be that the company got rid of some of your favorite perks.
How Do You Do It?
If you decide to downgrade your card, you can either get rid of the annual fee or reduce it to a number that works better for you. The easiest way to go about downgrading the card is to call the company’s service department. You can usually find the number right on the card, but if it’s not there, you can definitely find it on the company website.
The service department representative might try to talk you out of downgrading. They want you to keep paying that yearly fee for the more exclusive card. They may offer you bonus points or some other incentive to keep you from moving forward.
If you insist you want to downgrade, though, they have no choice but to accommodate you. If you would prefer not to talk to someone over the phone, you can also downgrade by live chatting with a credit card company operator on their website. Pick the method you think will make you feel more comfortable, and reach out to the company when you’re ready.
Downgrading Sometimes Makes Sense
If you’re not on the most stable financial footing, downgrading a credit card with an annual fee might be the best move for you. Maybe you’re not enjoying the card’s features as much as you thought you might, or perhaps you’re doing some belt-tightening and cutting down on any unnecessary expenditures.
Either way, downgrading your card to one with no annual fee or a lower one is usually no more complicated than either calling the credit card company’s service department or reaching out to them through live chat. If you can type quickly and accurately, live chat might be the way to go. If you’d prefer to speak to a live operator, that will work just as well.
Be ready to fend off sales tactics the service department representative might try to use. They’ll want to keep you paying that fee if they can talk you into it. As long as you’re firm, though, there’s no reason you can’t get the card downgrade that you want.