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Getting a High-Limit Credit Card: How It Works

By Dan Miller · October 13, 2022 · 7 minute read

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Getting a High-Limit Credit Card: How It Works

Having a high credit limit can be a good idea for a variety of reasons. First of all, if your credit limit is too low, it may make it hard to use your card for your regular monthly expenses. Having a high credit limit can positively impact your credit score as well. You’ll just make sure that having a credit card with a high limit doesn’t influence you to spend more than your budget allows.

Before you move forward with securing a high-limit credit card, you’ll want to know your options for how to get a high-limit credit card. If you’re worried about securing the highest credit card limit possible, there are a couple factors you’ll want to take into account, too.

What Is a High-Limit Credit Card?

For reference, the average credit card limit for Americans was $30,365 in 2020, according to data from the credit bureau Experian. So if you have a credit card with a limit above that average, you may consider that to be a high-limit credit card.

In general, however, there isn’t a specific dollar amount that makes a credit card a “high-limit” credit card. What’s considered a high credit card spending limit for some people may not be a high limit for others with a different financial situation. Keep in mind that higher credit limits generally require excellent credit to qualify for, meaning a score of 800 and up.

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How Can a Higher Credit Limit Help You?

There are two ways that having a credit card with a higher credit limit can help your financial situation.

First, increasing your credit card limit can make it easier to manage your monthly finances. If your credit limit is at or below the amount of your average monthly expenses, you may find it difficult to manage your budget without having to make additional credit card payments.

Second, having a higher credit limit will decrease your credit utilization rate, which can have a positive impact on your credit score. Your credit utilization rate looks at how much of your available credit you’re using, and the less you’re using, the better it is for your credit score. If you increase your credit limit but don’t add to your current balances, you’ll end up using a lower percentage of your available limit.

Factors to Consider

There are a couple factors you’ll want to consider before attempting to get a high-limit credit card.

The Timing

First, make sure that the timing is right for you and your specific financial situation. Your credit card limit is determined by the financial information you provide on your credit card application, especially your income. If you’re in a situation where your income is about to increase (either due to an upcoming bonus, a change in job, or something else), you may want to wait until after your income increases before trying to get a high-limit credit card.

Your Credit Report

Credit card issuers also look at your credit report when choosing whether to issue you a credit card and how much of a credit line to extend. Make sure that you check your credit report before applying and ensure that there are no errors or discrepancies. If there are any errors, you can contact the credit bureaus to have them fixed.

Options for Getting a High-Limit Credit Card

If you think you’re well-positioned to ask for an increase, here are your potential options for how to get a credit card with a high limit — or at least a higher limit than what you currently have.

Contact Your Card Issuer

If you already have a credit card that you enjoy using and want to keep, you can try to contact your card issuer to request a higher limit. You may be able to do so by calling the number listed on the back of your credit card or sending a message online. Explain the credit limit you’re looking for and why you feel that it’s justified.

This approach may be a good idea if your financial situation has improved since you opened the card. This could be due to an increase in income, a new job, or paying down other debt.

Look Out for Automatic Increases

Many card issuers will regularly review the accounts of their cardholders. In some cases, they’ll automatically and proactively increase your credit limit if you’ve been using your credit card responsibly. This is especially common for cards with lower initial limits and cards designed for those with a less robust credit history.

If your issuer has not already increased your credit limit, you can contact them and ask for a higher limit.

Apply for a New Card

Another option is applying for a new card. If you’re not happy with your current credit card or if your current card issuer will not increase your credit limit, getting a new credit card can be another option.

Before applying, make sure that you have checked your credit report for any inaccuracies and paid down outstanding debt if possible. That will help improve your odds of getting a higher credit limit.

Recommended: Does Applying For a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score

How High Should Your Credit Limit Be?

There is not a set amount for how high your credit limit should be. Instead, it depends on your specific financial situation.

Aim for a credit limit that is at least twice the average amount you spend on your credit card each month. That will help keep your credit utilization percentage low. And remember that the absolute best thing you can do to help your credit score is to pay your statement off in full, each and every month.

Recommended: What is the Average Credit Card Limit

Choosing the Best High-Limit Credit Card

Many premium and luxury credit cards will offer relatively high credit limits, especially if you have a high credit score and a high income. So instead of looking for the credit card that gives you the absolute highest limit, you might instead consider the overall perks and benefits of each different card. When evaluating different cards, some things to look out for include:

•   Rewards: Take a look at whether a credit card offers rewards and if so, in what form. Perhaps you’d prefer to earn cash-back rewards for the simplicity over credit card points. From there, compare to see which card offers a more generous rewards rate and has better redemption options.

•   Annual fees: You’ll also want to look at whether a card charges an annual rate. If it does, do the math to see if the rewards you’ll earn can offset this cost.

•   Customer service: If you were ever to have an issue with your credit card, it’s important to have a reliable customer support team to turn to. When weighing which card to get, take into account the reputation of their customer support and general customer satisfaction.

•   Luxury or travel perks: Beyond rewards, many credit cards also offer an array of other benefits. This can include rental car insurance, travel insurance, discounts for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, airport lounge access, hotel stays, and more.

•   Sign-up bonuses: A generous welcome bonus can also help you decide between two otherwise comparable cards. Some credit cards offer bonus cash-back rewards or points when cardholders spend a certain amount within a specific period of time after opening the card.

Recommended: What is a Charge Card

Alternatives to High-Limit Credit Cards

If you’re not able to qualify for a high-limit credit card or simply aren’t sure it’s the right route for you, there are other options to explore instead.

Recommended: How to Avoid Interest On a Credit Card

Home Equity Loan or Home Equity Line of Credit

Depending on what you’re using your credit card for and why you want a high credit limit, you might consider a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). Both a home equity loan and a HELOC allow you to capture some of the equity in your home. You can then use that money for other expenses.

Business Line of Credit

If you have a business that’s looking for extra flexibility with accounts receivable and ongoing payments, you might consider a business line of credit. While there are business credit cards that offer high limits, you might be better off with an actual business line of credit. Business lines of credit often base their credit limits based on the monthly or annual gross or net income of the business.

Personal Loan

Another option to consider might be a personal loan, especially if you have good credit and/or a relatively high income. Qualifying for a personal loan can give you money upfront in exchange for regular monthly payments. You can then use that money for whatever projects or expenses make sense for your situation.

Recommended: When Are Credit Card Payments Due

The Takeaway

There can be advantages to having a high-limit credit card, like added flexibility in managing your monthly finances as well as the possibility of improving your credit score. Just make sure that you remain focused and diligent in paying off your statement in full, each and every month. You don’t want a higher credit limit on your credit card to encourage you to spend more.

If you do happen to be on the lookout for a new credit card, consider a cash-back rewards credit card like the SoFi credit card. If you get a credit card with SoFi, you can earn unlimited cash-back rewards, which you can use to invest in fractional shares, apply as a statement credit, or other financial goals you might have, like paying down eligible SoFi debt.

Apply for a SoFi credit card today!

FAQ

Can you get an unlimited credit limit?

Unless you are ultra-wealthy or have a very special relationship with your credit card issuer, you’re unlikely to get a credit card with no limit at all. There are, however, some credit cards (like the American Express Platinum card) that have no preset credit card spending limit. That means that instead of a standard credit limit, your limit is flexible and may go up and down as your spending habits change.

Should I get a credit card with a higher limit?

Before deciding to get a credit card with a higher limit, you should ask yourself why you want to increase your limit. Is it to better manage your monthly finances? Are you trying to lower your credit card utilization? These can both be good reasons to increase your credit limit. But if you’re just trying to increase it to use as a status symbol or “just because,” you may want to think twice before doing it.

What is the highest credit card limit?

There isn’t a definitive and published answer for the highest possible credit limit. Credit limits are issued to individuals and businesses based on their credit history and income. It’s not unreasonable to think that there are credit cards with a six- or even seven-figure limit. As a data point, the average credit card limit for Americans was $30,365 in 2020.

How can I get a higher credit limit?

The best way to see if you qualify for a higher credit limit is to contact your issuer. You can call the number on the back of your card or reach out via your online account. If you’ve been regularly using your card and paying your bill in full, your issuer may agree to increase your limit. If your income or other financial situation has changed, that’s another reason to contact your issuer and see if you can get a higher credit limit.


Photo credit: iStock/Prostock-Studio

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