How To Save Money By Downgrading Your Credit Card

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According to a recent GOBankingRates survey, nearly 85% of American adults have at least one credit card. This isn’t surprising, considering how convenient credit cards are. However, credit cards can also be expensive given all their associated fees. Some of the best credit cards — those with premium rewards or other bonuses — come with an annual fee ranging from around $95 to $500 a year.

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If you’re paying an annual fee for a card you’re not using, you may be tempted to close the account to save money. However, doing so could temporarily hurt your credit score, especially if the account was in good standing. That’s why you should consider downgrading the card instead.

How To Downgrade Your Credit Card

When you downgrade a credit card, you’re essentially switching to a new card from the same issuer that has either no annual fee or a lower fee. This could save you hundreds of dollars a year. The new card may also have lower APR, which could cut down on how much you’re spending in interest charges (if you tend to carry a balance each month).

Most credit card issuers will let you downgrade your credit card over the phone. All you need to do is contact their customer service department and let them know you’d like to downgrade the card to one without as many fees. Just make sure they don’t close the account altogether.

Make Your Money Work for You

There are a few drawbacks to downgrading a credit card. For example, the new card may not have the same rewards system. You may also not qualify for any welcome bonuses, such as a low interest introductory APR offer. Along with this, the downgraded card could still have its own set of fees, such as balance transfer, foreign transaction and late fees.

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Still, if you don’t normally use the rewards that come with your current credit card, downgrading it could be a great money-saver. Plus, even a downgraded card could come with certain perks, such as cash back rewards — often between 1% and 2%.

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About the Author

Angela Mae is a personal finance writer specializing in consumer loans, debt management, investing, retirement planning, and financial literacy. She comes from a journalistic background and pulls from hands-on experience and deep-dive research to breathe life into her stories. Her goal is to help others achieve financial stability and independence. When not writing, she can be found traveling, honing her yoga skills, hiking, or exploring new means of healthy, sustainable living.
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