How to Waive Credit Card Fees

If your bank is customer service orientated, has a favorable credit card policy and a good relationship with you, you may have a reasonable chance of getting a credit card fee waived depending on the type of fee it is and how it was incurred. Some financial institutions may simply not allow fee waivers to help ensure a more predictable cash flow or to facilitate banking aims. However, other financial institutions may not only have very few credit card fees, but may also be more flexible with how they deal with their clients. There are a number of variables that can influence how a bank deals with fees. These variables can be divided into three categories 1) banking relationship factors, 2) financial institution fees and rules, and 3) fee waiver techniques. These three categories pertaining to credit card fee waivers can be implemented via the following steps are discussed below.

Step 1: Determine your banking relationship
Step 2: Know the financial institution’s policies
Step 3: Learn fee waiver techniques
Step 4: Request fee waiver(s) from banking representatives


At the heart of any issue be it financial or otherwise are the premises of the relationship. If those premises allow for credit card fees to be waived in some circumstances then it may be possible to waive credit card fees. Who you are, how you deal with your financial institution, and how your financial institutions deals with you can all be underlying circumstances that affect credit card fees and their treatment. Sometimes it may simply be a matter of which customer service representative you get and how you approach them. Some of the factors the financial institution managing the credit card fees may consider are the following:

* How valuable you are as a client
* Your account management history
* Relationship with your bank
* Method used to request fee waiver

The reasons these factors can influence whether or not a fee gets waived is are component of the banking function which includes 1) customer service, 2) operational performance and 3) profit margin. A for profit financial institution is far more likely to have additional fees and less likely to waive them than a non-profit financial institution. A large bank may not have time to deal with customers on a personal level whereas a small bank may have managers who understand and know their clients.


On a more technical, and less personal level, a bank or credit card issuer is an organization and organizations have policies, and are often managed for efficiency. Due to these factors it may not matter who you are, how much money you have, and how well you know your banker and vice versa. In other words, banking rules exist for a reason and are often the default method by which credit card fees are either waived or not waived. A few of the organizational methods for approaching credit card fees are listed below:

* Financial institution policy
* Reasons for the fee and type of fee
* Applicable laws and type of fee
* Card specific terms

Examples of the above include The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009 which provides authoritative rule on how credit card fees can be applied. Additionally, individual banks may state fee waivers are possible if certain conditions are met such as spending a certain amount on the credit card in a given year.


The cancellation threat:

You may have already heard about the threat technique. Sometimes this technique is used to no avail because banking representatives have heard it so many times or simply don’t care because they don’t actually own the bank and just work for it. In such cases, threatening to close your account may only have an impact if 1) the bank’s employee performance reports include closed accounts and 2) the bank and its representatives value you as a client.

The appeal to reason, emotion and/or banking history:

The appeal is your reason for requesting a waiver. If your reasons are good, the credit card fee waiver is more likely. Your appeal can include reference to banking policy, legal obligations of the bank, emotional display of shock, frustration, disgust or any other cocktail of drama, or a discussion of how good a client you are and what you have done for the bank. One or more of the above techniques may prove useful in getting a credit card fee waived if the fee can indeed be waived.

* The request to waive credit card fee(s)

The request for a credit card fee waiver can be approached in a number of ways and may take more than one attempt. When the request is made can also be a factor because if you request the waiver when the credit card representative needs to go to a meeting, the bathroom, has to leave to pick up a kid from school or take a lunch break or some other reason, your fee may be less important in the representatives mind than it is to you. Fee waiver requests may be made to managers, customer representatives, by mail, notarized, formal or informal.