I have had my BPI Credit Card for about 5 years and decided to terminate it today.
My latest statement of account showed a P2,050 for annual fee. For just a Delta Miles card, this amount is pretty steep and almost comparable to gold cards of other banks. As usual, I requested through their BPI hotline 89-100 for a fee waiver. After a day, I got a text from BPI saying that my request was denied.
Since I don’t use my BPI card that often, I decided to just terminate it. I made a call this morning to their hotline and I was swiftly connected to a customer service assistant (CSA) after a few button presses. Unfortunately, the CSA said I had to call another extension for my kind of transaction. So, I did. This time, however, connection took quite some time and I couldn’t help but think that that was some kind of discouragement to drop my call which would mean I will not be able to make the termination. Or maybe, my imagination was running wild. When I finally got to talk to a CSA, I told her of my wish to terminate my card and she asked me why and I told her I don’t like to pay for the fee and she told me to hold the line while she “escalate” the request. I said I already made the request and it was denied and that I didn’t want to wait for another 3 to 5 days for a decision. The CSA said she can get the answer asap so may she please put me on hold? Without any downside (but a few wasted minutes of waiting), I waited … lo and behold … my request for annual fee waiver was accepted.
Sometimes I think these banks really test how far we’d bite their fees. I guess I was pretty lucky cause there was really no outstanding or revolving charges in the card so my bargaining power was higher than BPI. And I know that with the influx of credit cards around — banks actually shoved it on you — they will try to maintain your business especially if you are a good payor.
Next time you encounter an annual fee charge, assess your bargaining power and go for a request of waiver of fees. Imagine if I paid P2,050 when in fact the bank would gladly waive it just to keep my business? Seriously, P2,050? That’s good enough for a fancy meal or a pair of really nice shoes.
Till next time.