Updated – Is it possible to hold an annual fee credit card and still pay no annual fee?

August 23rd, 2007 Posted in Credit Cards|Rewards Cards|Debts

Is it possible to hold an annual fee credit card and still pay no annual fee? I am not talking about a no annual fee credit card. I am talking about credit cards with attached annual fees. Let me answer the question now. Yes, it is possible to have an annual fee credit card and pay no annual fee whatsoever.

I am not just saying this because I know it. I am saying this because I actually do it. I have an Aeroplan Credit Card which comes with an annual fee and so far I have managed to pay no fee year after year. How I do that? Follow these tips to start enjoying an annual fee credit card without paying any fess:

You have to have lots of transactions on your card. Your credit card company will not waive an annual fee on a card which has no or a few transactions. The more transactions you have, the better it is. Instead of using many cards, use only one. A few hundred dollars annual expenses may not be enough but a few thousand dollars will be enough for your card company to waive your annual fee.

Keep an eye on your monthly statements. Once you see an annual fee charge on your statement, call your credit card company and ask that you would like this annual fee charge to be reversed or you won’t be able to keep your account.

Do not expect the customer service associate to say yes right away. They are trained to hook people into a fee paying card. Once you tell them that you don’t want to pay any annual fee and would like to cancel your account, they will give you many reasons to keep your existing card or switch into another annual fee bearing card. Let me give you some examples to give you an idea of what you can expect to hear from your customer service associate –

If you cancel your account, you will lose all your credit records involving this credit card.

I can switch you to a different credit card with a lower fee.

Do not be intimidated by what you hear. Be firm and stick to your point, you will get what you want. One point worth mentioning here is that this article applies only to those who pay credit card balance in full every month. If you carry a balance and not able to pay your balance in full, there is no point calling your card company as you have no cards in your hand to play.



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  1. 10 Responses to “Updated – Is it possible to hold an annual fee credit card and still pay no annual fee?”

  2. By Bjorn on Apr 7, 2013

    “If you cancel your account, you will loose all your credit records involving this credit card.”

    It’s “lose”, not “loose”.

  3. By A.D. on Apr 7, 2013

    Thanks, fixed.

  4. By neocow on May 3, 2013

    Started with BoA CC in 2007 with no fees, then in 2011 I think they started with annual fees ($59). I kept forgetting about it before it hit the account, but this year talked to them. Online chat person was snooty and unhelpful, just copy-pasted walls of text, and eventually told me that I’d have to pay the fee even if I cancelled right then.

    So I called instead. First person said they couldn’t do anything, so I said to cancel the card. They transferred me to someone else who said they’d credit the amount of the fee and also suppress my annual fee for the future.

    Worth the 10-minute call.

  5. By G.B. @ In Budgets We Trust on May 5, 2013

    I used your blog post to help prep me to reverse my credit card fee. Here’s how it went:

    First I was connected to a front line rep who said he couldn’t reverse my fee and that the only options were that he could switch me to a no-fee card OR he could connect me with someone who could assist me in canceling my card. No arguing required, I asked if there were any other options he could advise beyond these two because I enjoyed the card before the fee, and he reiterated the options but said he could introduce me and my problem to someone who could cancel my card for me.

    Then he connected me with a Sr. Specialist (probably in a Customer Retention department) and introduced me as someone interested in cancelling the card because the fee was impacting the cost/benefit of the card for me. The Sr. Specialist first remarked on my high usage of the card (to your point above) and said while she couldn’t cancel the $95 fee, she could give me a $150 statement credit within the next 1 or 2 cycles. I was completely thrown off my game (enter: stammering and mumbling on my end)but ultimately said “Yes, that sounds good”. While the statement credit likely won’t show up in time to pay off the annual fee (she said I could use it that way if it showed up in time), it’s still extra money I didn’t have before.

    So while I didn’t get the fee reversed, I think this still counts as a +$55 win!

  6. By Chad on Dec 16, 2015

    I work at a bank and can definitely tell you this is not true we will not waive a fee simply based on how much you spend on your card if you asked me this and I saw that it had already been reversed before I would not do it. I would simply offer you a free card and if not just close your card, you’d lose all the credit history and be left with no card. At that point you’d obviously get either your full fee or a pro rated amount back but otther than that this will not work and if it is i wouldn’t count on it working for long

  7. By Atom on Dec 24, 2015

    My fee was 69.00 I said I wanted to close my account so they offered to split the cost. The days that they removed the fee are gone. Today if you complain they will take 1/2 the fee away but not the entire fee. So Credit Card companies realize that people are “bluffing” they only use close my account to have the fee removed so they “do the 1/2 off that applies 2-3 billing cycles. LOL..

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