As the old adage says, ask and you shall receive. Want a higher credit limit, or a lower interest rate? Wish your credit card bill was due right after your paycheck arrived? Want to understand more about how your credit card usage affects your credit score?
If you’re a good customer, paying your bill on time and keeping a healthy buffer between your balance and your credit limit, your credit card company wants to keep you happy. It should be willing to explain to you how credit reporting works and make minor changes to your account upon request.
Here are five questions to ask that will make you love your credit card even more in 2015.
1. Do you report to all three credit bureaus?
When you apply for a loan, you never know which of the three credit bureaus the lender will check to see your borrowing history. The information reported to Experian, TransUnion and Equifax might differ slightly. If you’re a responsible credit user, you want your credit card issuer to report to all three agencies, because your stellar credit management is a feather in your cap.
2. What day of the month do you make the report?
It’s good to know when the credit card company reports because then you can be conscious of having the lowest possible balance on that day. Even if you pay off your credit card in full every month, you want your habitually low balances to be reflected on your credit report. This is especially important if you have a low credit limit. If that’s the case, ordinary monthly spending may push your balance too high temporarily, making it look like you’re almost maxed out. Paying your bill right before they report to the bureau eliminates this problem.
3. Am I eligible for any special promotions?
What if you could lower your interest rate with just a phone call? It’s not always possible, so we don’t want to get your hopes up, but it does happen. Raising your credit limit is also easy if your credit score has improved recently. Sometimes your existing credit cards, in an effort to get more of your business, will also let you do a balance transfer to move debt from another, higher-interest card. You won’t know what’s possible unless you ask.
4. Can you change my due date?
If you always get paid on the first of the month and your main credit card is always due on the 27th, things may be pretty dicey in your checking account for a few days. Most card companies are happy to change your billing cycle at your request. Just think about the ebb and flow of your monthly finances and request a change if that will help you pay your card more easily.
5. Am I getting the best possible rewards?
Some credit card companies offer higher rewards on specific types of purchases, like gas, groceries, or drug store purchases. Ask the card issuer if the rewards are the same across the board, or if certain spending categories have better perks. The best rewards credit cards may get even better if you stay current with their rewards deals.
A quick phone call to your credit card may reveal perks and options you didn’t know you had. Go ahead and give it a try.
Image via iStock.