Would you believe that it's easier to open a credit card account than to close one?

I heard stories from some of my friends complaining about the banks questioning them whenever they wanted to close a credit card account. But I didn't experience it until last weekend. I have an extra credit card that I got last year just to take advantage of 0% balance transfer offer from a bank I don't want to name. I want to close it now because it has been nearly a year and they are going charge me annual fees. Also the balance transfer was finished months ago. I hardly used that card.

So I went to the bank on weekend to close the account. I was asked why I wanted to close it. After that, the lady tried to ring a department in charge of credit cards, I suppose. Later I was told that the department was closed on weekends and I needed to come back on weekdays.

I went there this morning again. I got questioned again by another teller. After that, she rang to that department and I was told that someone wanted to talk to me. The lady on the phone asked me why I wanted to close it. I said I hardly used it and I didn't want to pay the annual fees for a card I wouldn't need. She said I could close it if I wanted to but if I wanted to stay on with them, they would waive the annual fees for another year. Well, how could I refuse it? Although I wouldn't need it, I will still keep it for one more year for free!!!

I learnt a few things from this experience.

  1. Banks want you to keep in debt especially via credit cards because they carry high interests. They wouldn't be that eager if I were closing a saving account (I don't have millions).

  2. You can and should negotiate with banks if you have loans with them. You'll be quite surprised how much you can save by negotiating.

Note: I do pay back anything I owe on time, so they are not earning interests from me either.

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