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How to get your credit card annual fee waived

You received your monthly credit card statement, scrolling down and you saw the annual fee charges. Damn, bang table time again.

Well well, if you know what criteria the bank is looking at, your annual fee waiver process will be much easier. First of all, most banks have moved this type of request to their hotline automated phone system,¬†going down to the branch to ask for it wouldn’t help at all. Navigating through the phone system trying to get to speak to a phone banking officer about it is often a big hassle as well. Threatening to cancel off your card won’t work either.

All you need to do is to navigate to the credit card fee waiver option, punch in your credit card number and wait for the bank reply, some banks give immediate response, some banks take up to 5 working days to respond, so don’t put in the request close to the due date. If you are really not in time, pay the annual fee first and they will refund it back to you in the following month if the waiver is successful. Otherwise you will incur

Now let’s look at the criteria.

  1. 1.Did you make full payment every month?

If the answer is no, it may mean you are rolling your outstanding balance every month. Banks doesn’t really like this even though they are getting some interest out of it, but at some point, the card holder may totally stop payment as it is out of their means to pay. The banks may not get their money back and may have to spend more money on legal fees to try to get it back. Banks don’t really like people who don’t make full payments.¬†Always make full exact payment for each billing.

2.Did you pay on time?

Banks are very particular on this, if you always pay on time, to the banks, you are a good pay master. Banks love good pay master. Paying late not only affect your credit rating, the bank may also think that you are financially tight. If you got a late payment once in awhile, that’s fine but not for late payment every other month or late payment most of the time for the rolling 12 months. If you are mailing your cheque for the payment, mail it out early as our dear Singpost takes their own sweet time to deliver (on the average 3-4 days) and may have crossed the due date by the time the bank received it. If you are really close to the due date, go to an AXS machine to pay. I have came across a case where the bank cancel off the guy’s card due to 3 consecutive late payments (not that he didn’t pay) and asked him to immediately clear the outstanding balance. This is an extreme measure which any banks can take to recover their money but it not common for banks to do this.

3.Did you make cash advance on your credit card?

This is the last thing that anyone should do and this is one of the most expensive way to borrow money. And again this will show that you are financially tight. Banks don’t like people who are financially tight! If you are short on cash, get a bank personal loan and plan out your repayment period, this is a better option than drawing cash on your credit card.

The bank always look at your outstanding balance on your card for any request made. If you have quite a bit of outstanding balance rolling on month to month (does not include those 0% 12 month instalment purchases), the bank is unlikely to waive off any fees for you unless it is a genuine mistake made by bank staff. You can threaten to cancel the card, but the bank knows that most probably you do not have the means to pay off the entire outstanding amount, otherwise you wouldn’t have to snowball it. If you have made that threat, the bank would most probably respond “all right, you need to go to any of our branch to fill up the card cancellation form and pay up the outstanding amount due immediately”.

If you make full payment for every billing on time and did not make any cash advance on your card, you should get your annual fee waiver. If the bank is insisting that you have not spend enough on your card to qualify for the waiver, then it’s time to tell the bank goodbye. I have cards that I seldom use and I still get the annual fee waiver.

It is best practice to keep your outstanding $0 to avoid any unnecessary charges or fees.

How to waive off late fees and finances charges?

Due to an oversight, you totally forgotten about it till days later. If you are late for not more than 10 days or so, immediately make full payment first, after that contact the bank to waive the late fees and finance charges. If you only remember it when you received the next bill, the bank is unlikely to waive any of it for you. Even if you managed to waive off every late or finance charge, it is not a good practice as it will affect your credit rating badly (the bank will still indicate it as late payment even though they waive off the fees for you). When you want to get a new credit facility such as a housing loan to buy your dream home, these late payment code will be back to haunt you.

The banks are linked up with Credit Bureau Singapore. All the banks just need to type in your NRIC number and they can see whether you have made payments in full, if it’s on time or make any cash advances and the outstanding amount owed to each bank. So don’t think that you can hide the records by going to another bank.

Happy annual fee waiving!

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