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

12 min read
Brendan Harkness By Brendan Harkness Jul 10, 2019 | Updated Mar 27, 2020

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?

Let’s start by tackling the definition of “credit limit.”

Your credit limit is the amount you’re allowed to charge to your credit account without having to pay off at least some of your balance. If you exceed your credit limit the issuer will usually just decline the transaction.

$10,000 is generally considered to be a high credit card 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 — even those you can get with average credit. 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.

Here are a few of our favorites — we’ll dig deeper into each card below.

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)
Fair Credit Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review)
Bad Credit Discover it® Secured (Review)

It’s also possible to increase a card’s relatively standard credit limit significantly over time by practicing good debt management habits and requesting limit increases, if they’re not offered automatically.

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.

Insider tip

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)

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$550
Regular APR16.99%-23.99% Variable

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
  • 10X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Lyft rides
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on:
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months after account opening

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
  • Lyft Pink membership: One free year of Lyft Pink, which includes 15% off rides, relaxed cancellations, surprise offers, and priority airport pickup.
  • DoorDash membership: A free membership (DashPass) for a year, which provides free delivery and reduced service fees on orders over $12
  • $60 annual DoorDash credit: Get $60 in DoorDash credits in 2020, and $60 in credits in 2021.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $550
  • 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 smaller annual fee, and fewer perks.

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

Best for Premium Travel (Charge Card)

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$550
Regular APRN/A
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

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 bonus points for spending $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months

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 New United Club℠ Infinite 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.

New United Club℠ Infinite Card

New United Club℠ Infinite Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$525
Regular APR16.49% - 23.49% Variable
  • 4X miles for United purchases
  • 2X miles per dollar spent for:
    • Restaurants
    • Travel
  • 100,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • Perks: Premier upgrades on United award flights, United Club membership, Premier Access airport services, World of Hyatt Discoverist status, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit
  • Annual fee: $525

 

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$550
Regular APR15.74–24.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • New! With Status Boost&reade;, earn 15,000 MQMs after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to four times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • New! Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free and Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights.
  • New! Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Complimentary access into the Delta SkyClubs® for you when travelling on a Delta flight.
  • New! Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book your Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • 2X SkyMiles per eligible dollar spent for purchases made directly with Delta Air Lines
  • 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Perks: Delta Sky Club membership, annual companion certificate, first checked bag free, priority boarding, priority checkpoint, 20% in-flight discount
  • Annual fee: $550

 

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$450
Regular APR15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage®bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
  • Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% – 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

  • 2X AAdvantage miles for American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 50,000 AAdvantage bonus miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
  • 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.

Hilton Honors Aspire Card

Hilton Honors Aspire Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$450
Regular APR16.74%–25.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 14X Bonus Points per dollar at participating Hilton Portfolio hotels and resorts
  • 20X additional Base Points per dollar at Hilton Portfolio hotels and resorts for your Diamond member status
  • 7X Bonus Points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, flights booked directly with airlines, select car rentals
  • 3X Bonus Points per dollar on all other eligible purchases
  • 150,000 Bonus Points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status and other benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $450 annual fee

The information related to Hilton Honors Aspire Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
  • 150,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening
  • Perks: $250 annual resort credit; $250 annual airline fee credit; Diamond status; annual free weekend night; Priority Pass Select membership (excludes non-lounge experiences)
  • Annual fee: $450

 

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$450
Regular APR16.74%–25.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 6X points per dollar at Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 3X points per dollar at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2X points per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • 75,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • $300 Marriott Bonvoy annual statement credit
  • Free Night Award every year after your card anniversary
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, Platinum Elite status after spending $75,000 per year
  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ application
  • $450 annual fee

The information related to Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

  • 6X Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with participating Marriott Bonvoy properties
  • 75,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • 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

Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

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 on Balance Transfers, then a regular APR of 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable) (for transfers made during the first four months)
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Credit limit: Minimum of $500

Read more in our 2020 Review: Citi Double Cash Card – Best Flat-Rate Credit Card?

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

Best for Balance Transfers

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.99%–24.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.99%–25.99%.
  • $0 balance transfer fee. Balance transfers must be requested within 60 days from account opening.
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases.
  • Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

The information related to Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

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 points for spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months

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 13.99%–24.99% 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 16.49%–25.24% 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® Diamond Preferred® Card (Review): 0% intro APR for balance transfers for 21 months, for transfers completed in the first 4 months (then 13.74% – 23.74% (Variable)), fee: 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum

Best for Fair Credit

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$39
Regular APR26.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card isn’t your ordinary credit card. It’s designed to provide individuals with limited or average credit with a chance to earn rewards, something you don’t find on every card at this credit level.

How? Well, you’ll have to pay an annual fee, but it’s on the small side. Cards made for average credit typically don’t offer the highest credit lines right off the bat, but you can increase your credit limit over time through the ways mentioned above. The starting credit limit for this card is just $300.

But, if you make your first five monthly payments on time, Capital One will automatically increase your credit line — a nice feature if you need more spending capacity.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 1.5% cash back for every purchase

Key Features

  • Higher Credit Line: Access a higher credit line after making your first five monthly payments on time.
  • CreditWise: Use the CreditWise tool to monitor your TransUnion credit report, and your VantageScore 3.0 based on that report.
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 14.49% - 25.49% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0

Another solid option for fair credit is the Discover it® Cash Back (Review). It’s a popular credit card that earns 5% back on a selection of spending categories that rotates quarterly, not unlike the Chase Freedom® (Review). It also provides a unique signup bonus that doubles all cash back earned in the first year.

Best for Bad Credit

Discover it® Secured

Discover it® Secured

Our rating
Min. credit levelBad
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRSee Terms

The information related to Discover it® Secured has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

If you want a secured card with the highest credit limit you can get, the Discover it® Secured (Review) is the plastic for you.

You can provide up to $2,500 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.

You’ll even earn some rewards, a rare feature when it comes to secured cards.

Discover will review your card account and your credit periodically, every eight months. Show responsible credit use, and Discover may return your deposit and let you keep using the account.

Key Features

  • Security deposit: $200 to $2,500
  • 2% cash back at Restaurants and Gas stations, up to $1,000 spent per quarter
  • Cashback Match: Double all cash back earned in the first year; awarded at the end of the first year
  • Free credit score: Check your FICO Score 8 for free, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Purchase APR: See Terms
  • Balance Transfer APR: See Terms for See Terms, then See Terms
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0

There is another card with a $2,500 maximum limit, although the other features aren’t quite as good. 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.

Insider tip

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 when applying for new credit cards — 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.

Insider tip

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 credit card companies 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 credit 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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At a glance

Nearly any card can be a high limit credit card. Your card’s limit depends less on the card itself and more on your creditworthiness in the eyes of the issuer. Even if you start with a low limit, you can generally request increases to work toward a high limit over time.

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