3 ways you can save money or get a better deal if you're willing to ask


Sometimes all it takes to get a better deal is to request one.

By negotiating — with your credit card issuer, your employer, and even your cable provider — you can lower your expenses and boost your earnings. "People can be really surprised at how often someone can pick up the phone and ask [for] something from their credit card issuer, and the issuer will say yes," Matt Schulz, a credit card industry analyst at told Grow earlier this year.

And even if the amount you get seems small, it's still a win: You can use whatever you save or earn to invest in yourself by building an emergency fund or paying down debt.

In other words, if you're not negotiating, you might be leaving money on the table in several situations. Here are three ways experts say it's possible to get a better deal by asking for one.

1. Your credit rates and fees

The average maximum late fee for a lapsed credit card bill is about $36, according to a 2019 Credit Card Fee Study from U.S. News & World Report. Usually, card providers offer a grace period, but you'll get hit with a late fee after 21 days or more without making a payment.

If you call your credit card provider and ask to speak with a customer service representative, there's a good chance you'll get the fee waived, especially if it's your first time making such a request. Nearly 90% of cardholders in the past year were able to negotiate waiving a late fee, according to an April 2019 survey.

Your annual percentage rate (APR) may also be negotiable: In the past year, more than 80% of cardholders who asked for a reduced APR were successful in lowering their interest rate by 6 percentage points, on average, according to the survey.

Because your credit score is one of the main factors in determining your interest rate, having good credit can give you leverage when negotiating that rate. With a credit score in the 700s and above, "you're in a pretty good place," Schulz told Grow earlier this year.

Read more: 4 questions to ask your credit card company to get a better deal

People can be really surprised at how often someone can pick up the phone and ask [for] something from their credit card issuer, and the issuer will say yes.
Matt Schulz
credit card industry analyst at

2. A signing bonus at work

When you're offered a new job, you may get a signing bonus, which is an incentive a company offers to entice you to accept. Last year, 23% of employers offered signing bonuses as part of nonexecutive job packages.

Though signing bonuses are frequently offered to executives, you can score one even if you don't work high up in the corporate world. The easiest way to see if you can get a bonus is by simply asking if one is offered. When negotiating, ask for a bonus equivalent to "5% to 10% of your base salary," Shannon Compton Game, a California-based certified financial planner, told Grow earlier this year.

For example, if your next job offers you $60,000 and you ask for a 10% signing bonus, you could earn an additional $6,000. Depending on your field, some employers offer signing bonuses for as much as $20,000 to new candidates, according to a Glassdoor report from earlier this year.

Read more: 23% of employers offer signing bonuses — here's how to negotiate for one

How to lower your monthly bills

3. Your monthly cable bill

The average cable bill costs $107 per month, and more than 1.5 million people have parted ways with their cable providers in 2019 so far, according to a new report by the Leichtman Research Group. At a time when so many consumers are cutting the cord, you may have more leverage to get a lower cable bill in one phone call.

The first thing you should do before picking up the phone to negotiate your cable bill is have competing rates from other companies in hand. You should also review your bill for any unexplained increases in your plan or expired introductory offers.

Then, in a friendly but firm tone, say you're interested in canceling your subscription because it is too pricey. If you're not immediately transferred to the retention department, ask to speak to them, since it's Retention's job to keep you as a customer. After presenting competitor's rates, you can negotiate a better deal — you may get up to $55 off your monthly bill on the spot, or about half of the average monthly cost, for example.

Read more: 7 easy strategies to successfully negotiate lower bills — and score hundreds in savings

More from Grow:

acorns+cnbcacorns cnbc

Join Acorns


About Us

Learn More

Follow Us

All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. The contents presented herein are provided for general investment education and informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any specific securities or engage in any particular investment strategy. Acorns is not engaged in rendering any tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult with a qualified professional for this type of advice.

Any references to past performance, regarding financial markets or otherwise, do not indicate or guarantee future results. Forward-looking statements, including without limitations investment outcomes and projections, are hypothetical and educational in nature. The results of any hypothetical projections can and may differ from actual investment results had the strategies been deployed in actual securities accounts. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

Advisory services offered by Acorns Advisers, LLC (“Acorns Advisers”), an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Brokerage and custody services are provided to clients of Acorns Advisers by Acorns Securities, LLC (“Acorns Securities”), a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”). Acorns Pay, LLC (“Acorns Pay”) manages Acorns’s demand deposit and other banking products in partnership with Lincoln Savings Bank, a bank chartered under the laws of Iowa and member FDIC. Acorns Advisers, Acorns Securities, and Acorns Pay are subsidiaries of Acorns Grow Incorporated (collectively “Acorns”). “Acorns,” the Acorns logo and “Invest the Change” are registered trademarks of Acorns Grow Incorporated. Copyright © 2019 Acorns and/or its affiliates.

NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns Grow Incorporated.