Best High Limit Credit Cards: Spend More, Earn More, Do More

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Blog

Jul 10, 2019

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Looking for credit cards with high credit limits? Whether you want to accommodate a hefty monthly spend, finance large purchases, or pay off a big balance, you’ll find them here.

What do we mean by high limit?

$10,000 is generally considered to be a high credit limit. If you get credit lines like that, it’s clear that the card issuer trusts you to be a pretty responsible borrower.

With most cards the credit limit you get will depend on your creditworthiness, with an emphasis on your credit scores and income. In general, the better your credit and the higher your income, the higher your credit limits will be.

That means almost any card can be a high limit credit card. But those designed for good and excellent credit are most likely to get the highest limits, because card issuers feel more comfortable extending more credit to people with better scores.

Some cards have minimum required credit limits, which may be revealed by the issuer in the fine print, so if you’re approved for one you can be sure you’ll be getting at least that much. That’s why the Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Review), with its minimum required $10,000 credit limit, is our number one pick.

Out of all the reward cards, premium travel cards tend to come with the highest limits. So our list includes more than a few travel cards, but some simple cash back and balance transfer cards make appearances as well.

Best For Card
Premium Travel (Credit Card) Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Review)
Premium Travel (Charge Card) The Platinum Card® from American Express (Review)
Airline Travel Various
Hotel Stays Various
Flat-Rate Cash Back Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer (Review)
Balance Transfers Amex EveryDay Credit Card (Review)
Bad Credit Wells Fargo Secured Visa Card
Want a higher credit limit? You can usually request a credit limit increase from your issuer. Rejected? Try improving your credit and making more money (easier said than done, we know!).

Best High Limit Credit Cards

Best for Premium Travel (Credit Card)

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Review) is one of the leading premium travel cards, with competitive reward rates on travel and dining, a flexible travel credit, and a variety of cost-saving perks.

The Sapphire Reserve comes with a minimum credit limit of $10,000. It’s issued as a Visa Infinite card, the highest tier of Visa benefits available.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on:
    • Travel (after using the full $300 travel credit)
    • Dining
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar spent everywhere else
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 50,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus points for spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $500–$1,000 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 12.5–25%

Key Features

  • 50% point bonus: Redeem for travel expenses (like airfare or hotels) through Chase Ultimate Rewards to get a 50% point bonus.
  • Point transfer: To a variety of popular airline and hotel loyalty programs at a 1:1 rate, including JetBlue, United, and Marriott Bonvoy.
  • Annual $300 travel credit: An automatic $300 credit that will applied to eligible travel expenses (of which there are many).
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membershipAccess to Priority Pass airport lounges around the world with a one-time enrollment process.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: Get reimbursed for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85), once every four years.
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection: Discounts, benefits, and perks at participating locations around the world.
  • Elite Hotel Benefits at Relais & Châteaux: Accelerated progress towards Club 5C member status at Relais & Châteaux.
  • Special car rental privileges: Rental upgrades, discounts, and special offers at Avis, Silvercar, and National Car Rental.
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Provides primary coverage for rental cars when you decline the rental company’s own insurance.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $450
  • Credit limit: Minimum of $10,000

Read more in our Review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.

Not ready for the splendor that is the Reserve? Check out the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review), its cousin, which has a minimum credit limit of $5,000, a much smaller annual fee, and fewer perks.

Or for some other high-end travel credit card offers, consider:

Best for Premium Travel (Charge Card)

Ah, The Platinum Card® from American Express (Review). With near-mythical status in the credit card universe, the Platinum card has long been one of the most well-known and coveted travel cards.

In today’s competitive market, the card tends to be valued more for its benefits — like the annual travel credits, unrivaled airport lounge access, and elite hotel statuses — rather than for its rewards, which are a bit limited. There’s a lot going on here, so if you’re a cardholder be sure to explore the many features before booking travel.

Charge cards like this don’t have a traditional credit limit. Instead, your purchasing power adjusts over time with your usage of the card. You can typically expect it to be relatively high, but you can use Amex’s “Spending Power” tool to test different purchase amounts.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Flights booked directly through airlines or through Amex Travel
    • Prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar on other eligible travel expenses booked through Amex Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 60,000 Membership Rewards bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $600–$1,200 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 12–24%

Key Features

  • Global Lounge Collection: Complimentary access to Priority Pass, Centurion, American Express International, Delta Sky Club, Escape, Airspace, Lufthansa, and Plaza Premium Lounges.
  • $200 annual airline fee credit: Good for incidental costs like baggage fees and in-flight food (not flight tickets) at your selected airline.
  • $200 annual Uber credit: $15 in statement credits for Uber rides each month, except for December which gets $35.
  • $100 annual Saks credit: Up to $100 in statement credits each year for Saks Fifth Avenue: $50 from January through June, and $50 from July through December.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: A statement credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100 every four years) or TSA PreCheck ($85 once every four and a half years).
  • The Hotel Collection: A $100 hotel credit and room upgrades when available for every eligible two-night stay.
  • Fine Hotels & Resorts Program: Daily breakfast for two, room upgrades when available, amenities valued at $100, and more at eligible properties.
  • Complimentary elite hotel statuses: Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status.
  • Point transfer: To a selection of airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $550
  • Charge card: You must pay your statement balance in full each month.

Read more in our Review of The Platinum Card® from American Express: Is It Worth the $550 Annual Fee?

You don’t have many charge card options for travel rewards, but another good pick is the American Express® Gold Card (Review). Its best bonus categories (4X points) are focused on food, but the 3X categories cover eligible flights and you’ll get a $100 annual airline fee credit (along with a $120 annual dining credit).

Best for Airline Travel

Take a bird’s-eye view at these premium airline credit cards. The United MileagePlus® Club Card (Review) in particular will get you quite a high limit — its minimum required credit line is $15,000! The others don’t have published minimum limits.

Key Features

  • 7X miles for United purchases (2X from the card, 5X from member status)
  • Perks: Premier upgrades on United award flights, United Club membership, Premier Access airport services, World of Hyatt Discoverist status
  • Annual fee: $450

 

  • 7X miles for Delta purchases (2X from the card, 5X from member status)
  • Perks: Delta Sky Club membership, annual companion certificate, first checked bag free, priority boarding, priority checkpoint, 20% in-flight discount
  • Annual fee: $450

 

  • 7X miles for American Airlines purchases (2X from the card, 5X from member status)
  • Perks: Admirals Club membership, first checked bag free, reduced mileage awards, 25% in-flight discount, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • Annual fee: $450

Best for Hotel Stays

Book your hotel and resort stays with premium hotel credit cards like these and you’ll be accompanied by a retinue of premium benefits as well, like elite hotel status, free night stays, and Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership. These two cards don’t have published minimum limits.

  • 34X points at Hilton properties (14X from the card, 20X from member status)
  • Perks: $250 annual resort credit; $250 annual airline fee credit; Diamond status; annual free weekend night; Priority Pass Select membership
  • Annual fee: $450

 

  • 18.5X points at Marriott Bonvoy properties (6X from the card, 12.5X from member status)
  • Perks: $300 annual hotel credit; annual free night award after account anniversary; Gold Elite status; Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • Annual fee: $450

Best for Flat-Rate Cash Back

It’s hard to go wrong with the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer (Review). With an industry-leading 2% back for every purchase you make and no annual fee, the Double Cash should be most people’s go-to option for purchases that fall outside the bonus categories of other cards (unless you have a way to get more than 2% back for that spending).

The minimum credit limit for the Double Cash is just $500, but your limit could potentially be much higher.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 2% cash back for every purchase you make
    • 1% back when you make a purchase
    • 1% back when you pay for that purchase

Key Features

  • Citi Concierge: Call for non-emergency help whenever you need it, like assistance making travel reservations.
  • ShopRunner membership: Use ShopRunner to get free two-day shipping and returns at participating retailers.
  • Free credit score: Check your FICO Bankcard Score 8 for free, based on your Equifax credit report.
  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 18 months, then a regular APR of 15.74% - 25.74%* Variable (for transfers made during the first four months)
  • Annual fee: $0*
  • Credit limit: Minimum of $500

Read more in our Review of the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.

There are quite a few solid flat-rate cards from different issuers, offering easy cash back rewards. Consider the following:

Best for Balance Transfers

You probably wouldn’t expect the Amex EveryDay Credit Card (Review) to be one of the best credit cards for balance transfers. It’s long been a decent rewards card, but thanks to its low introductory interest rates, and especially the lack of a transfer fee, this card recently became a prime contender in the balance transfer space as well.

A lot of reward cards have 0% intro APRs, but they have balance transfer fees; and some balance transfer cards have no transfer fees, but they don’t have rewards. The Amex EveryDay takes some of the best features of each, without any significant downsides (transfers must be made in the first 60 days, however).

Amex does not specify a minimum required credit limit for this card.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 2X Membership Rewards points at U.S. Supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1X)
  • 1X Membership Rewards point on all other purchases
  • 20% point bonus for making 20 or more purchases in a billing period
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 10,000 Membership Rewards bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $100–$200 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 10–20%

Key Features

  • Amex Offers: Discounts or extra points at specific merchants, like (at the time of publication) Blue Apron, Squarespace, and Pinterest
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership: Register with ShopRunner for free two-day shipping and returns at select online retailers.
  • Entertainment Access: Exclusive tickets to events, concerts, sports, and shows.
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months, then a regular APR of 15.24%–26.24% Variable (for transfers made during the first 60 days)
  • No balance transfer fees
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Amex EveryDay and Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Cards.

Some other balance transfer cards have similar intro periods and no transfer fees, though they don’t offer rewards. And then there are cards with longer intro periods, but you may find they have relatively high transfer fees:

  • Chase Slate (Review): 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (then 17.24%–25.99% Variable), no transfer fee for the first 60 days
  • BankAmericard® Credit Card: 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles, for transfers made in the first 60 days (then 15.24%–25.24% Variable), no transfer fee for the first 60 days
  • Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever (Review): 0% intro APR for balance transfers for 21 months, for transfers made in the first 60 days (then 16.99% - 26.99%* Variable), transfer fee of 5%, $5 minimum

Best for Bad Credit

If you want a secured card with the highest credit limit you can get, the Wells Fargo Secured Visa Card is the plastic for you.

You can provide up to $10,000 for the security deposit, although you should consider if that money could be better spent elsewhere (at least some of it). If you have a load of credit card debt increasing your credit utilization and bringing your scores down, for example, it might make more sense to pay some of that off.

This card requires an existing Wells Fargo checking or savings account to apply. The security deposit will be drawn from that account.

Use this card responsibly, and Wells Fargo may upgrade you to an unsecured card. This decision will likely be based on your overall credit, not just this single card account.

Key Features

  • Shopping and Travel Protections: Including Cell Phone Protection, an Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, and Roadside Dispatch
  • Security deposit: $300 to $10,000
  • Bank account required: Must have a Wells Fargo checking or savings account
  • Annual fee: $25

Most other secured cards from major issuers don’t allow you to deposit more than a few thousand, but you can still use these cards to help build your credit:

How High Should My Credit Limit Be?

A credit card with a higher limit lets you charge more before you need to pay anything off.

It’s generally best to have credit lines that will let you charge as much as you need to each month, with some extra room to prevent you from getting close to the spending limit.

If you’re only going to charge $500 to your card each month, you’ll likely be fine with credit limits as low as $2,000 or so. If you’ll be spending upwards of $5,000 each month, you would probably want a credit line over $15,000.

Fun fact: In mid-2017, U.S. consumers had a total of over $4 trillion in credit card lines!

The credit limits you get will be based in large part on your credit history and income. Young people, who are just beginning to establish a credit file and generate income, can expect to get relatively small credit limits — often $1,000 or less.

Student credit cards typically have low limits for this reason. Retail store cards often tend to come with low credit lines as well, likely because they’re relatively easy to qualify for.

On the other hand, premium travel cards tend to require credit limits of several thousands of dollars. If you can’t qualify for the minimum limit you won’t be approved. Many mid-tier travel cards with annual fees require credit limits of at least $5,000.

No matter what credit limit you get when approved, most cards allow you to request a credit limit increase. We recommend doing this once every 6 or 12 months if you want higher limits, but take note that these requests can often lead to hard inquiries on your credit reports (but not always). If approved, you’ll get what’s known as a “reactive” credit line increase (RCLI).

Sometimes an issuer will automatically increase your credit limit, with no need for a request. This type of increase, known as a “proactive” credit line increase (PCLI), will not result in a hard inquiry on your credit reports.

Card issuers can also lower your credit limits whenever they want. They might do this if your creditworthiness takes a sudden turn for the worse, and they no longer feel comfortable extending that much credit to you. We’ve heard many reports of store cards doing this, sometimes for no apparent reason.

If you’re worried that a large credit line will tempt you into a lot of unnecessary spending, we don’t recommend going for high credit limits. Instead, you can actually ask your credit card issuers to decrease your credit limits if you wish, although this will reduce your available credit and may negatively impact your credit utilization.

But if you’re comfortable with them, high limit cards can be an important asset in your financial toolkit.

Benefits of High Credit Limits

  • Greater spending capacity: You’ll be able to charge more before you need to make payments, which can be useful in emergencies.
  • More comfortable shopping: Large credit lines mean you won’t need to worry about your card being declined at the register for hitting the limit.
  • Finance large purchases: Credit cards can be used to pay off purchases over time, especially with 0% intro APR cards.
  • Improve credit scores: The higher your credit limits, the lower your revolving credit utilization ratio will be (as long as you don’t rack up more debt, of course). This is great for your credit scores in general.
  • Consolidate debt: A large credit line lets you move all your debt onto the same low-interest card, like a 0% APR balance transfer card.
  • Transfer credit lines: Some issuers will allow you to transfer credit lines between cards. You can consolidate onto one card to get a very big credit line, or spread your total credit line out over multiple cards.
  • Access more benefits: The credit limit you’re approved for may factor into the number and type of card benefits you receive. A Visa Signature card, for example, will often require a $5,000 credit limit and may come with more perks than a Visa Platinum card (and in rare cases, a better signup bonus).

Do Amex Charge Cards Have Credit Limits?

American Express offers some charge cards in addition to regular credit cards, for both consumers and small business owners.

Charge cards differ from regular credit cards in a few ways:

  • There is no APR (usually)
  • You must pay the entire statement balance in full by the due date each billing period (usually)
  • There’s almost always an annual fee, because the issuer won’t make money from interest payments
  • They usually require good or excellent credit
  • They have “no pre-set spending limit” instead of a credit limit

The last point is the most important for our purposes here. Rather than having a credit limit, Amex charge cards are advertised as having “no pre-set spending limit.”

However, this does not mean you can spend an unlimited amount with these cards — there’s still a spending limit. It just means that your particular spending limit will adjust over time, based on your use of the card and general creditworthiness (similar to a regular credit limit).

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see your spending limit with charge cards. But Amex does provide a “Spending Power” tool you can use to test purchase amounts. If you’re planning a large purchase and aren’t sure if you’ll be approved you can use this tool to check beforehand. You can also contact customer support to ask if a purchase amount will go through.

But beware: Overuse of the Spending Power tool may lead to a financial review by Amex, in which they temporarily freeze your accounts to review your activity. Sebastian from AskSebby has reported triggering a financial review by testing the Spending Power tool with big transactions of $20,000, $30,000, and $50,000.

How Do Charge Cards Report to Credit Bureaus?

Regular credit cards report their balances and credit limits to the credit bureaus every month, and these data appear on your credit reports. This information is used to calculate your credit utilization, an important factor in your credit scores.

But charge cards don’t have traditional credit limits or available credit. So what gets reported to the credit bureaus and is shown in your credit history?

The answer is easy: Only the monthly card balance is reported to the bureaus.

Since there’s no credit limit to report, charge cards are not counted in revolving credit utilization.

This means you can spend on charge cards without worrying about driving up your total utilization. That can make it a bit easier to keep your credit scores up. But remember the flip side of this equation: You must pay off your charge cards in full each billing period, you can’t revolve a balance from month to month.

In the past, charge cards could be counted in overall utilization by using the highest reported balance as the credit limit. But those credit scoring systems were relatively messy, and prone to abuse. The new scoring methods seem better for the average charge card user because spending won’t affect your utilization.

As mentioned, you can get a high credit limit with a wide variety of credit cards — check out some of our favorites in the Best Credit Cards.
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