Last Updated: Dec 12, 2019
I love shopping through credit cards because I receive deals, cashback and reward points.
I got my first credit card in 2006 when I joined my first job as a fresher. It was a lifetime free ICICI Gold Credit card with credit limit of 50,000. That was the second best credit card of that time, followed by ICICI Platinum card.
Due to my regular usage and excellent payment history, ICICI upgraded my card to platinum card within a year.
ICICI offers Platinum card to anyone who have 3L annual income or keeps a fixed deposit in ICICI bank – The card is still free for life time.
There are very few credit cards left without annual fees. Most of the cashback credit cards have 499 to 999 annual fees and all the premium credit cards have annual fees from 3000 to 5000 per year.
Also Read : Best No Annual Fees Credit Cards in India
We love credit cards with no annual fees – and banks love customers who spend regularly on credit cards.
In my experience, you can get your annual fees waived off by the bank if you spend around 50,000 per year through credit card (the amount varies with bank to bank)
Some banks mention the amount on application form that you must spend within a time frame to get waiver on annual fees.
- SBI Simply Save (& Simply Click) waive off annual fees of 499 on spending 75K to 1L amount annually
- HDFC Moneyback Card waive off annual fees if you spend 50K per year
- Citibank Rewards Domestic Credit Card waive off fees on spending 30K per year
You can find the waiver criteria of each credit card on their websites. Banks do not mention any waiver condition for the premium credit cards.
I never paid annual fees even on premium credit cards like HDFC Regalia (and my favorite credit card Standard Chartered Manhattan).
The reason is simple, I use both of my credit cards for shopping online, groceries, travel and dining.
I redeem my rewards for getting e-vouchers for Amazon and Flipkart.
SBI and Amex are known for not waiving annual fees, but you can try the following method if you have any annual fees credit card.
Waiver of Annual Fees on Credit Card
Banks charge annual fees every year but I use following procedure as I see the fees in my statement.
- Call up bank’s customer care number and verify your account information.
- Say politely, “I saw annual fees on my credit card statement and wondering if that can be reversed?”
- In most of scenarios the executive will put you on hold to check your card information (actually to see your spendings on card and payment history)
- In rare cases, if they say that as per their policy the fees can not be reversed, then you should say, “Okay, I understand that. But I have been using this card regularly and paying the due amount on time. Would it be possible for you to take waiver request or check with your seniors if they can approve the waiver?”
- When you say you have used card regularly and paying on time, you must mean it. If you are not using the card on regular basis, they will not reverse the fees.
- If the executive stays adamant for not reversing the fees, then don’t argue with him. Hang up the phone, call again, and explain the same thing to next person. Trust me, it works. If you stay calm and explain in friendly manner, they will reverse the fees.
- In case of no luck, that only happens when you have not used the card much during the year, you still have chance to get fees waiver.
- Tell them that you have another card with similar benefits and ask for the account closure.
- In few days, you will receive the call from their retention department. They will definitely waive off your annual fees to retain you.
- Frequently Asked Question: What if they close the account without reversing fees? Answer: They have to reverse the annual fees if they are closing your account. The annual fees is advance fees for upcoming year, if you are not going to use card for next year then they will reverse the fees.
Important Note: Credit card companies spend a lot of money on marketing to acquire new customers. They never want to lose their customers for little issues like annual fees or joining fees. They always make money when we use credit cards for shopping, so they are more willing to keep you as their customer.
You may also like to read – Best credit card for fuel in India
Waiver of Late Payment Fees on Credit Card
I recommend you to always pay your credit card amount before due date. Credit information bureau company CIBIL collects your loan payment information from all banks. Any miss in payment can impact your credit score and spoil your credit history. You will face difficulties in approval of loan in the future.
However, in some rare incidents late payments happen. It could be due to issues with bank when you pay by cheque or you forget the due date.
It happened with me few months back when I scheduled payment through net banking and it got canceled automatically. I came to know about it when I saw late payment changes in my credit card statement.
I immediately called customer care and requested for waiver of late payment charges. I was more concerned about my credit history than late payment charges.
The bank reversed my late payment fees after seeing my excellent payment record of past months.
If you maintain good relationships, the banks will also co-operate with you.
I incurred some interest charges as well because I have not paid my dues on time.
Waiver of Interest Charges on Credit Card
I would not have asked for waiver of interest charges but the amount was pinching me. It was my mistake of not paying on time even when there was issue at my bank’s netbanking.
I asked if my interest charges can be waived off, they denied my request. I thought it’s okay to pay interest charges because bank has already refunded my late payment fees.
But I had to call bank next week to activate international use because I was travelling to Thailand for 2 months. After card activation, I requested again for waiver of interest charges.
The customer care lady was very friendly, this time, she took my waiver request and forwarded to concerned department.
It worked! I got waiver of my interest charges.
Maintain a good relationship with bank. Use your credit cards regularly and pay your dues on time.
Read my detailed review for Standard Chartered Manhattan Card, they provide a great customer service, cashback and reward points.
You will always be saving more money. Happy smart spending!