The secret for getting rid of credit card fees

  • Eliminating or reducing annual fees or late fees is often just a matter of asking.
  • Many consumers fail to do so, according to a new study.
  • Credit card holders also should keep in mind that there is negotiating room when it comes to lowering their interest rates and raising their credit limits.
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Getting out of paying credit card fees is often just a matter of asking.

However, many consumers aren't doing so, according to a new survey from CreditCards.com.

In fact, 70 percent of those who asked to have their annual fee waived or reduced were successful. Yet only 18 percent of card holders made this request.

Consumers were even more successful when they asked for late fee waivers. Eighty-four percent of individuals who asked for a late fee waiver were granted their most recent request. Yet just 29 percent of consumers asked for these breaks.

"It's a crazy competitive time in the credit card space, and banks are basically bending over backwards to attract new customers and retain current ones," said Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com.

A lot of credit card holders fail to ask for these deals because they didn't know they could or didn't think they could be successful, according to Schulz.

"If we can change people's mind set about this, then we can help people save real money," Schulz said.

There are two other areas where consumers can also advocate for better offers: higher credit limits, where 85 percent of those who made requests saw them granted; and lower interest rates, which had a 56 percent success rate for those who asked.

Petitioning for a higher credit limit was most popular overall with consumers, 43 percent of whom asked for it. Yet, it is the one change on the list that could hurt consumers the most when it comes to getting rid of their debts, Schulz noted.

CreditCards.com's online survey was conducted earlier this month and included 2,194 adults.