Learn how to raise your credit limit and access more cash with your credit card.
A credit limit is simply the maximum amount that you can spend or charge to a single credit card. Credit card providers usually determine your credit limit when they issue your credit card, based on factors in your credit card application including your income, expenditure, existing debt and credit score or credit rating. Although this generally sets the ceiling for your credit card spending, some card companies may let you exceed that limit, and some may also charge you a penalty for going over your limit.
There are several good reasons why you might want an increase in your credit limit, including avoiding penalty fees, earning frequent flyer points on a big ticket item, or consolidating balances onto the card with the lowest interest rate. Whatever your motivation is, requesting a credit card limit increase is pretty straightforward, and this page will show you how to do it.
Credit card with High Credit Limit
The unique situation with the Citibank Clear Platinum, is that it offers you a low interest rate on purchases, as well as the benefits of being a Platinum VISA credit card. You will get access to a Visa concierge to get you anything at any time.
- $99 p.a. annual fee
- 0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 14.99% p.a.) on purchases
- 0% p.a. for 9 months on balance transfers
- Cash Advance Rate of 21.74% p.a.
- Up to 55 days interest free
- Minimum Income Requirement of $35,000 p.a.
How to increase your credit limit
The first step is to ask your bank for a credit limit increase. Here’s how you can initiate an increase to your credit limit with different credit card providers:
|Bank||How to increase the credit limit|
|American Express||Log in to your American Express account and make your request. Processing is immediate and your credit limit will be increased within the hour if approved.|
|ANZ||Log on to ANZ internet banking, select your credit card account, then select ‘Apply for a credit card limit increase’. You will then be prompted to fill out an online application form. This online service is only applicable to personal credit cards, and you must be the primary credit cardholder. For business credit card requests, visit an ANZ branch, or call 13 22 73 at any time.|
|Bank of Melbourne||Log in to Bank of Melbourne internet banking, look under ‘Manage my accounts’. Under the ‘Card services’ heading, select ‘Increase credit card limit’ to make your request. You can get an instant response when applying online. Otherwise, call 13 22 66 and say “increase card limit” when prompted. Bank of Melbourne stipulates that you can only apply for a credit limit increase six months after your account opening date or last requested increase.|
|Bankwest||Log in to Bankwest online banking, select ‘Forms’ under ‘Self service’, and register for credit card limit increase invitations. Otherwise, visit a Bankwest branch or call 13 17 19 for more enquiries.|
|Citibank||Log in to Citibank Online, and go to ‘My offers’ to accept an increase, or call Citiphone on 13 24 84. Citibank stipulates that you can only request a credit limit increase nine months after your account opening date or last requested increase. Your credit limit cannot be increased by more than 50% of your current limit, or beyond the product maximum.|
|Coles MasterCard||Call 1300 306 397 to apply. You will be asked a few questions over the phone regarding your current income and expenses, and your credit limit will be increased on the same day if approved.|
|Commonwealth Bank||Log in to NetBank to register for credit limit increase invitations, or complete the physical form for submission at any branch. The bank will send you an invitation when you are conditionally approved, and you can then apply for your limit increase through a much shorter process. Otherwise, visit any CommBank branch or call 13 22 21 for assistance.|
|HSBC||You will need to download and complete the ‘Credit Limit Increase Request form’ to be submitted by fax to 02 8987 5923, or by post to ‘HSBC Card Services, Reply Paid 4263, Sydney NSW 2001’. HSBC stipulates that you can only apply for a credit limit increase six months after your account opening date or last requested increase, provided your account has been kept in good order.|
|NAB||Log in to NAB internet banking, open the ‘Apply now’ menu, select ‘Credit card credit limit’ and make your request. Otherwise you can download and complete the ‘Credit card limit increase/decrease application’ for submission at any NAB branch, by fax to 1300 363 689, or by post to ‘Consumer and Commercial Cards, Reply Paid 9992, Melbourne VIC 8060’. Alternatively, you can call 13 22 65 (8am-7pm Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm on weekends AEST/AEDT) or +61 3 8641 9083 from overseas.|
|St.George||Log in to St. George internet banking, look under ‘Manage my accounts’, select ‘Card services’, then select ‘Increase credit card limit’. You can get an instant response when applying online. Otherwise, call 1300 784 934 and say “increase credit card limit” when prompted. St. George stipulates that you can only apply for a credit limit increase six months after your account opening date or last requested increase.|
|Westpac||Log in to Westpac online banking and ‘request a credit limit increase’, visit any Westpac branch, or call 1300 130 961. You can also register for credit limit increase invitations online, or call 1300 651 089 (8am-8pm, Monday to Friday).|
Why you should or shouldn’t increase your credit limit
Why you should
- Credit score. Your credit score will improve, because more available credit generally means a lower credit utilisation ratio (the amount of credit used compared to the amount of credit available).
- Increased spending potential. You’ll enjoy greater spending power, because you can make larger purchases without worrying about maxing out your card.
- New credit. More credit begets more credit, so your chances for getting new credit will increase too.
- Emergency funds. You’ll have a bigger safety net in case of an emergency.
Why you shouldn’t
- Credit history. When assessing your application, the bank will make an inquiry into your credit history. This credit inquiry is then recorded on your credit report and can negatively affect your credit score.
- Potential rejected application. If your request is denied, it will impact your credit score and you’ll have to wait longer before your next application. Lenders tend to get suspicious when they see many credit inquiries made within a short period of time listed on your credit report.
- Monthly repayments. A higher credit limit also means higher minimum monthly repayments.
- Debt risks. Having more credit could increase your spending and lead to more debt if you’re not disciplined.
How to increase your chances of being approved for a credit limit
- Don’t exceed your limit. Clearly, exceeding your limit is a big no-no when it comes to getting into the bank’s good books. Always keep your credit utilisation ratio below 30% to be safe.
- Use your card regularly. A lack of activity on your card isn’t necessarily a good thing. Card providers generally favour cardholders who use their cards frequently and pay off their balances on time. This shows them two things: firstly, that you have need for a higher credit limit, and secondly, that you can to handle credit responsibly.
- Make payments on time. Timely payments greatly improve your chances for approval because they show the bank that you are a responsible and low risk borrower.
- Repay your balance in full. Paying off the full balance shows the bank that you’re capable of managing a higher credit card limit.
- Comply with the rules. Behave yourself, because all transgressions of the bank’s rules and regulations are logged in your records and will cast a negative light on your application for a credit limit increase.
- Keep a clean credit score. Always protect your credit score by making payments on time. Even late payments on phone and utility bills, car loans or personal loans can hurt your credit report and deter the bank from increasing your credit limit.
- Don’t ask too soon or too often. Unless otherwise stipulated, credit card providers typically review your account after six months. Asking before that time could raise alarm bells and hurt your chances of a future credit limit increase. Asking again too soon after a previous request would do the same.
- Don’t ask for too much. Prudence can go a long way when it comes to requesting a credit limit. It is better to ask for a conservative 10-25% increase than to wildly shoot for more. Unless your circumstances have drastically changed, your request should be capped at 30%.
- Wait for an automatic increase. If you can wait, do wait. Credit card companies are probably more eager to raise your limit than you are. If you’re doing all of the above, their periodic review of your account should automatically result in an invitation to increase your credit limit.
Even if a credit limit increase isn’t on the cards for you yet, all the above suggestions are good habits to practice. The underlying principle is to establish healthy credit history by borrowing and repaying responsibly. A credit limit increase may be good to have but it shouldn’t increase your spending dramatically, or negatively impact your ability to repay. So only apply for a credit increase if you can afford it, and spend responsibly!Back to top