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From what I can see, the going fixed interest rate in the US and Canada with Visa, and MasterCard is about 20%. I almost never see a card with a lower interest rate than this. If I do see one it is a floating interest rate based on prime + some percent, with an annual fee.

Is it possible to negotiate with credit card companies to get a lower rate or are you just stuck with the rate they give you?

I have heard many times that the only time CC companies will lower your rate is if you are in debt with them and threaten to leave, or might default. My intuition would be that people with a high credit score should be getting a lower rate, but do they?

Why are credit card companies so reluctant to reduce the interest rates on their products?

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People with a high credit scores generally aren't paying interest to the credit card companies. If they need to borrow then they get a mortgage, car loan, home equity loan or even a signature loan; any of which are way under 20%.

If you have a credit card that does have high rates, and the company has multiple card offerings you might be able to switch to a different card they offer.

When I evaluate a credit card offer the annual fee (zero), cash back/points/miles are much more important than the interest rate because the way I use the card the interest rate never comes into play. I have no idea what my current rates are.

For some people the rate, and fees for balance transfers are the driving factor when picking a card. When you do see very low rates they are generally teaser rates that will expire in a given number of months.

They offer these low rates to entice a certain profile of customer. They offer cash back to attract another profile.

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  • That does make sense I guess. But if someone was offering me a credit card at 3%, with no annual fee, and a decent rewards plan I would be much more incentivized to use that card, in the case that I ever miss one payment. Since it is low risk to the bank, why wouldn't they make that offer if they never see a dime of interest anyway? – user75979 Aug 30 '18 at 20:49
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    The card I use the most has the best rewards. I can make more from the rewards than I will pay if I have the once a decade late payment - which they forgive. – mhoran_psprep Aug 30 '18 at 21:04
  • Never even though about that, good point. – user75979 Aug 30 '18 at 21:32

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