What You Can Do When You Get a Late Fee on Credit Card Bill

I missed my payment for my Citi Dividend Card last month.
What a stupid mistake, but I’m only human.

I only realized that last Friday, 11/9, and I immediately submitted a payment through bill pay. Yet, I did not make it in time when I noticed a late fee of $39 is assessed in my monthly statement during the weekend because the last statement due date is 10/31.

However, today I was fortunate enough to have a friend who reminded me that I can call Citi about the late payment fee. So I gave Citi a call. Here is the gist of the phone conversation…

Me: Hi, I realized I missed my payment last month after the fact. I was busy with work and was out of town for business trip. [Provide a legitimate reason] Is there anything you can do about the late fee?
Rep: Sure, let me check… Have you submitted a payment yet?
Me: Yes, I immediately submitted one through bill pay from my bank’s checking when I found out last Friday.
Rep: Hmm… I’m sorry I do not have the authority to do anything about the late fee.
Me: Can I talk to someone else? Your supervisor?
Rep: Sure, please hold on.
[Wait couple minutes, listening to the fantastic background music]
Supervisor: Hi, what can I do for you sir?
[I explained everything again]
Supervisor: I’ve reviewed your history… blah blah blah… We will go ahead and waive the late fee. You should see a credit back to your account.
Me: Great, appreciate your help!

So with just a simple phone call, I am able to get my $39 back. It probably helped to speed up the process by staying calm and speaking politely. On an important note, I must say that this is the first time I have missed a payment in years, so I don’t know how frequent credit card companies are willing to waive a late fee on credit cards. It sure doesn’t hurt to try though, right?

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