If you've been a good credit card customer for at least six months, you might deserve a better rate. While those who are having trouble paying their monthly bills may be better served going to a credit card consolidation service, many people can negotiate with their credit cards for lower interest rates and fees.
Before you call up your credit card company and ask for a better rate, start with some research. Look at your credit score and the current rates that credit cards are offering. If you have been making your payments on time and are a good customer, you will be negotiating from a position of power. The credit card industry is highly competitive so be willing to switch companies in order to get a better deal.
Find out exactly how long you have been a customer of your current credit card company and how many of your payments have been on time. You will need this information to convince your credit card company that you are a customer worth keeping.
Write down a script and practice it before you call. You will be talking to a trained representative and you will be more confident if you train yourself before you call. Start out by mentioning how long you have been a customer and how your payments are always (or almost always) on time. Tell them that you've been researching credit card offers or receiving them from a competitive company and list one or two that you've found in your research. Let them know what low rate you've been offered and that you are considering leaving them if they can not help you secure a better rate.
Do not argument about the matter. Be polite. If the customer service representative can not help you, ask if you can be transferred to a supervisor. They might have more leeway in what they can offer to you. If you are offered a slightly lower interest rate but it is still higher than you would like, decide if there is anything else that you can negotiate on. For example, you could ask if you could get a lower interest rate on transfers and then use the card as a transfer card instead of to make purchases. If you are paying an annual fee, you might want to negotiate on that.
If you are unhappy with the deals you are being offered by your current credit card company, consider switching to a new card. Be sure to read all the terms and conditions before applying. A zero percent introductory rate may sky rocket after six months and you do not want to get on the cycle of opening a new account twice a year just to save some money, as this can have an adverse affect on your credit score.
Call you current company again and tell them that you will be closing your account unless they can match a certain rate. Do not bluff. Only do this if you are prepared to follow through on that call. If they can not work with you, ask them to cancel your current account and send you notification in the mail. Negotiating with credit card companies can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars and will only take minutes of your time.