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With people signing up for credit card offers left and right (there have been some great bonuses lately!), the number of annual fees we have to pay is also rising. I personally have four credit cards with fees ranging from $65 – $99/year. This means a lot of money being spent on cards a year.
I wanted to point out that (while no guarantee), if you are a good customer, the credit card company most likely will try to incentive you to stay with them if you show interest in possibly canceling your card. While they will not approach you, you have to call them! It takes about 5 minutes at most and could potentially save you around $100, not a bad ROI!
Typically when you call, you will speak to a regular customer service agent who will immediately tell you there is nothing they can do. Once this happens, ask to speak to the retention department (all the credit card companies have them, but the agent will not automatically put you through without you asking). Explain to the agent that you are considering cancelling your card due to the high fee (or whatever reason you may have). But notice how I emphasized considering. If you tell them you want to cancel your credit card, they might actually do it without giving you some alternative options. Typically, the agent will just give you whatever offer is linked to your account (your offer might differ from someone else). Typically they will first try to sell you on another no fee card, and then give you some options.
For example, just this week I called for both my American Airlines Visa and Starwood American Express credit cards. For American Airlines they offered me an $80 statement credit and for everyone month I spend $500+ they will give me a bonus of an additional 500 points for that month. For the Starwood American Express, they will not waive the fee, but will give you a point bonus (I received 3,000 points).
So while there is no guarantee, it is definitely worth a quick call. Let me know if you have any success!