Credit cards are great. They come with rewards and privileges that you can’t always keep count of. Of course, all of this comes with an annual fee. Most of the time it is okay to pay this annual fee, especially if the rewards and benefits of using the card far outweigh the fee you pay.

But wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t have to pay an annual fee at all? After all, who doesn’t love a freebie that rewards your spending, right?

If you think that not having to pay the annual fee on your card is but a dream, think again. Here are a few ways you can get rid of the annual fee on your credit card.

1. Get a Zero Credit Card Annual Fee

The best way to get rid of an annual fee is to get a card which doesn’t have an annual fee in the first place. Most banks in India offer zero annual fee credit cards you can take advantage of. These are usually entry-level credit cards whose rewards may not be the best out there. That being said, these credit cards are the ones you should use if you don’t use credit cards often or if this is your first foray into the world of credit cards.

While banks advertise these cards as no annual fee credit cards, the truth is that there is a minimal annual fee applicable. This fee, however, is reversible when you spend a certain amount within a year. Few such cards that you can consider are:

  • ICICI Bank Platinum Chip Credit Card: First-year annual fee of Rs.99 is reversed when you spend Rs.2,000 within 60 days of card approval.
  • YES Prosperity Rewards Plus Credit Card: First-year annual fee of Rs.350 which is reversed when you spend Rs.7,500 within 90 days of card approval.

2. Look for Credit Cards Which Offer Annual Fee Waivers

Many credit cards available in the market offer credit card annual fee waiver if you meet the annual minimum spend requirement set by them.

For instance, the Standard Chartered SuperValue Titanium Credit Card’s [RVK1] annual fee of Rs.750 is reversed from the second year onwards if you spend a minimum of Rs.60,000 in a year. Banks have different minimum spend requirements for different categories of cards.

While you may think that it is difficult to spend so much in a year, it is far from the truth. If you charge all your expenses (monthly groceries, utility bill payments, and insurance payments among others) to your card, you can meet the minimum spend requirement quite easily. For instance, if you have the SuperValue Titanium Credit Card, all you need to do is charge Rs.5,000 to your card each month. A task that isn’t impossible.

This may not be the case with premium credit cards, however. Most of them do not come with annual fee waivers. But it isn’t impossible to waive the fees on these cards. Read on to find out how.

3. Request Your Card Issuer for an Annual Fee Waiver

This may not always work, but it is worth a shot. If you use your card frequently and have always made your payments on time, you can call the bank’s customer care and request for a  reversal of the annual fee.

Now, in most cases, the customer service executive will not be in a position to grant you the reversal. In that case, request to speak to someone higher up in the management. If they refuse, put down the phone, call again, and speak to the next customer service executive who picks your call. Yes, it is a tedious process, but it just may work.

Alternatively, visit your bank’ local branch and request for a waiver on the annual fee. Explain to the person you are speaking to that you use your card regularly and make payments on time. This credit behaviour makes you a valued customer in the eyes of the bank, so they may consider reversing the charge.

Remember, there is no harm in requesting the card issuer to reverse the annual fee charge on your card and always maintain a good relationship with the bank. It will definitely come in handy.

At the end of the day, whether the annual fee on your card is Rs.99 or Rs.999, always make sure that you either spend enough to enjoy an annual fee waiver or request your bank for a charge reversal. Yes, it requires effort, but think of the money that you will end up saving. That should be enough of an incentive to go ahead.

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