Waived my $47.09 credit card late fee and finance charge

Personal finance

As if more evidence were needed that my current job is taking up way too much of my time, I missed the payment due date on my Citibank Mastercard bill for January. I must have forgotten and deleted the email notice they sent me, because I ended up catching the bill that was due on February 16th on Sunday the 18th, so the soonest I could pay the bill with my bank account was on Monday, February 19th.

Take note — I paid three regular days, or one business day, late. A few days later my charges appeared. On a total balance of $802.87, I’d incurred a late fee of $39 and a finance charge of $8.09, or $47.09 total, which amounts to 5.87% of the balance! As someone who always pays credit cards balances in full and on time, I was pretty shocked to see those figures, and my immediate reaction was to realize how much money so many people out there must be paying to credit card companies in the form of fees and charges.

My second reaction was to remember a post from Ramit several months ago, in which he talked about how . What’s the worst they can say?

So, I called up Citibank, explained I’d recently started a new job and must have overlooked their billing notice email, pointed out that I’d never been late on a payment before, and asked if they could possibly consider waiving my late fee and finance charge this once. And believe it or not, they obliged. Customer service representative: “Let me see what I can do for you….[pause]….Good news. I was able to get the late fee and finance charge waived for you.”

Of course, they also took the opportunity to try upselling me on some service that would help me in case I paid late again, but I politely declined.

Now I just need to find a way to get back to being organized with the rest of my personal finance and investing life like the way I had it before….


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9 Feedbacks on "Waived my $47.09 credit card late fee and finance charge"


I just had the exact same thing happen to me, also with Citi Bank. For me, the answer was no. I have not checked my credit score lately, but it is excellent. I am quite sure the reason I was turned down was because I have a 0% interest promotion. I am usually very good about paying this on time, because I know they are probably wringing their hands if my payment comes in one day late knowing they can collect some money from me – which is eaxactly what happened here. As I told my customer service rep – this account will be paid off asap, and the card will be cut up.


I have found this is true with a ton of things… credit cards, parking tickets!!, cable TV, etc… In fact I had a negotiations class in graduate school where each student in the class had to do a negotiation and report back on it. People had cable bills lowered, received free installation, got great deals on merchandise, and they were the all the result of one thing… ASKING. Sometimes it’s as simple as it sounds.

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[…] Ricemutt with evidence that it NEVER hurts to ask. […]

Ramit Sethi (iwillteachyoutoberich.com)

Great job! Sometimes you just have to ask to get what you want.


Arghhh, you’re so good. I have been late with my credit card payment embarassingly frequently because it stresses me out to pay it, and I put it off. I need to get over this fear of dealing with my money :(


My favorite electronic way to help prevent this, as I have about fifteen different accounts to pay on monthly, is to use Yodlee. It’s the only aggregator I’ve tried but the idea is basically that it’s got all your bills listed online in one place and if you forget or delete emails, you still have a bills pending list on the site.


In my opinion, its best to shop around and find the best deals on credit cards. I’ve found that if you contact your credit card company, they will always be willing to work with you in terms of APR rates and payment schedule. So DEFINITELY give them a call! Also, be sure to see what other credit card deals are out there!

Big Saver

Way to go!


Wow! I just called Citi as well as I was one day late paying my credit card due to the Easter holiday (and had never missed a payment and paid in full every month) and they removed it just like that! It definitely never hurts to ask. It also pays to be a responsible borrower :)

Thanks for the confidence to ask!