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Interest, when applied to credit cards, is a powerful force -- for credit card debt. Especially since it compounds, and piling interest charges on top of interest charges.

In 2018, Americans paid $110 billion in credit interest and card fees, according to research completed by LendingTree's MagnifyMoney.

Don't let your card interest consume you. Here are some great ways to reduce those costs — by lowering your credit card interest rate.

1. Call your credit card provider

Young man in checked shirt and headset working in call center. He's talking and looking at his computer.
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Remember to be polite! The representative on the other line is just doing their job.

Just pick up the phone, dial the number on the back of your card, and try negotiating with your current card provider!

If you have more than one credit card, start with your oldest card first. Companies want to work with loyal customers, so you'll have better chances of securing a lower rate.

If you're turned down the first time, be persistent and try again another time. Asking to speak to a manager often helps.

2. Shop around for lower interest rates

Online payment, man's hands holding a credit card and using his mobile phone
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You might find some low interest rate credit cards with cool rewards if you shop around!

There's a whole world of plastic out there. Why limit yourself?

Do your research and compare the different credit card options. With a little digging, you should be able to find one with a lower rate.

You can use this information to your advantage by bringing it to the attention of your current card issuer. The company more than likely will be willing to match a competitive rate, to keep your business.

3. Improve your credit score

A TransUnion credit score report
TransUnion
There are a number of online agencies that will help you track your credit score. TransUnion is one of them.

The interest rate on a credit card is more precisely called the annual percentage rate, or APR. A bank credit card may come with rates in a range of 13% to 22% APR.

A simple way to get a more favorable rate? Raise your credit score. A higher credit score shows the credit card issuer that you always do your best to pay down any debts.

One way to raise your credit score is by examining your credit utilization percentage, that is, how much of your card balance you actually use. Ideally, you want your credit utilization to be less than 30% of your total balance.

Paying down balances and lowering your credit utilization can work in your favor to raise your credit score and score you a lower APR.

4. Transfer your credit card balance

Close-up picture of a credit cards as a background.
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Ensure that the balance transfer card you have chosen doesn't have hidden fees.

By using what's called a balance transfer credit card, you can reduce the interest rate on your current debts. You simply open up a new account, and consolidate your card debt onto the new, low-rate card.

How low? Balance transfer cards often come with a 0% APR to help you escape the compounding interest of your debt.

For example, ABOC's Platinum Rewards card charges 0% APR on all new accounts for a full year.

5. Always pay your debts

Happy couple at home paying bills with laptop
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Solidify your position when negotiating with an excellent debt track record.

Making timely and full payments on your credit cards puts you in a better spot for negotiating a lower interest rate.

Being timely also insures interest charges aren't even incurred on your account, and is one of the criteria considered in your credit score, so it's the gift that keeps on giving.

6. Work with a credit counselor

Young married couple sitting across from a credit counselor looking for guidance
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Credit counselors create debt management plans, and help you get back on track.

Credit counselors work with you to create payment plans and help you stick to them. Many credit counselors will attempt to negotiate card interest rates down for their clients, to lower the burden.

They can't guarantee lower interest, same as if you attempted to negotiate on your own. But because you're working with a professional to pay down your debt, there is a higher likelihood the card issuer will say yes.

Credit counselors have been known to obtain average interest rates as low as 5.2% for their clients!

When aiming for a lower rate, remember that your track record matters. Don't jump between card companies too often, build an excellent credit score, and pay your debts.

You'll reap the rewards soon enough.