Best High Limit Credit Cards

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness

Updated Nov 02, 2018

Looking for credit cards with high credit limits? It turns out that most cards don’t have a maximum possible credit limit, or credit line.

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 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. (An exception is secured credit cards, which provide a credit line equal to the amount you deposit.)

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. Some of these have minimum required limits, like $5,000 or $10,000.

Out of all the reward cards, premium travel cards tend to come with the highest limits. We’ll start by listing the top travel cards, in no particular order, followed by a selection of some of the best cards from each major issuer.

Want to get approved for higher credit limits? It’s easier said than done: simply improve your credit and make more money.

High Limit Premium Travel Credit Cards

Best for Amex Membership Rewards Points

  • 5X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines, and flights/hotels booked with Amex Travel
  • Airline and Uber credits, wide-ranging airport lounge access
  • $550 annual fee

Read more and see why we picked this card below

 

Best for Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

We're currently unable to link directly to an application for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but you can learn more here, on our advertising partner's website.
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining
  • General travel credits, Priority Pass Select airport lounge access
  • $450 annual fee

Read more and see why we picked this card below

 

Best for Hotel Rewards

  • 6X points at Starwood Preferred Guest, Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton hotels
  • 3X points at restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
  • $300 annual SPG or Marriott hotel credit, annual Free Night Award, Priority Pass Select airport lounge access
  • $450 annual fee

Read more and see why we picked this card below

 

Best for Premium Travel with Lower Fee

  • 3X points on travel and mobile wallet purchases
  • Travel credits and Priority Pass Select lounge access
  • $400 annual fee

Read more and see why we picked this card below

Best Premium Travel Credit Card Picks

Best for Card
Amex Membership Rewards Points The Platinum Card® from American Express (Review)
Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Chase Sapphire Reserve (Review)
Hotel Rewards Citi Prestige® Card (Review)
Lower Annual Fee U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card (Review)

Best for Amex Membership Rewards Points

Use the The Platinum Card® from American Express (Review) to earn 5X Membership Rewards points on your eligible travel spending, and to get the best lounge access available on any credit card today.

This is a charge card, which means the balance must be paid in full each billing period. Charge cards have no credit limit, so their balances won’t affect your overall credit utilization.

Amex charge cards also have no preset spending limit, but this doesn’t mean unlimited spending will be fine. Instead you’ll have a spending limit that changes based on your creditworthiness and card activity. You can probably expect to have very high spending limits with this card.

The Platinum Card® from American Express
Apply Now

The Platinum Card® from American Express

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $550
  • Interest Rate: Not Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly
Quick Card Facts
  • 60,000 Membership Rewards points for spending $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, good for incidental fees like baggage fees and seat upgrades at one airline of your choice.
  • Up to $200 in Uber savings annually.
  • The Global Lounge Collection, a wide-ranging program that includes proprietary airport lounges around the world like Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass, Delta Sky Clubs, and more.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Terms Apply.
  • $550 annual fee

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on:
    • flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel
    • eligible hotels booked with the American Express Travel portal
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on other purchases from Amex Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar spent everywhere else
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 60,000 Membership Rewards points for spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of card membership
    • Value: $600–$1,200, depending on redemption method (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 12–24%

Key Terms & Features

  • Annual $200 airline fee credit: A $200 annual credit for incidental airline fees, like baggage and in-flight food
  • Annual $200 Uber credits: Get $15 in credit for Uber rides every month, except for December which gets $35
  • Global Lounge Collection: Access to a wide variety of airport lounges, like the Centurion Lounge, Delta Sky Clubs, Airspace, and Priority Pass
  • Hotel member status: SPG Gold Preferred Member status and Hilton Honors Gold Status
  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓: A credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓ ($85)
  • Fine Hotels & Resorts: Includes perks like a free breakfast, room upgrades when available, and more at participating locations
  • The Hotel Collection: A $75 credit for every two-night stay at eligible hotels
  • Credit line: This is a charge card, so it has “no pre-set spending limit” rather than a credit limit
  • Annual fee: $550

Read more in our Review of the Platinum Card from American Express

 

Best for Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

The Chase Sapphire Reserve (Review) is the best premium travel card for earning and redeeming Ultimate Rewards points, thanks to the 50% point bonus and transfer partners.

The Sapphire Reserve comes with a minimum credit limit of $10,000.

We're currently unable to link directly to an application for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but you can learn more here, on our advertising partner's website.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on:
    • travel
    • dining at restaurants
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar spent everywhere else
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points for spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $500–$1,000, depending on redemption method (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 12.5–25%
Redemption Bonus
  • 50% point bonus when redeeming for travel expenses through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Equivalent to:
    • 4.5X points on travel and dining at restaurants
    • 1.5X points everywhere else

Key Terms & Features

  • Point transfer: To a variety of popular airline and hotel loyalty rewards programs
  • Annual $300 travel fee credit: An automatic $300 credit that will applied to travel expenses
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership: Access to over 900 Priority Pass airport lounges around the world
  • 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
  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓: A credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓ ($85)
  • Special car rental privileges: Rental upgrades, discounts, and special offers at Avis, Silvercar, and National Car Rental
  • Credit line: Minimum of $10,000
  • Annual fee: $450

Read more in our Review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

 

Best for Hotel Rewards

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card (Review) stands out for its high earning potential and hotel perks, like an annual hotel credit, a free night stay, and airport lounge access.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card
Apply Now

Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Interest Rate: 17.49%–26.49% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • 6X points per dollar at SPG and Marriott Rewards 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
  • $300 SPG or Marriott Rewards annual statement credit
  • Free Night Award every year after your card anniversary
  • Complimentary 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

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 18.5X points or more per dollar at SPG, Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton properties
    • 6X Bonus points per dollar from the card
    • 12.5X Base points per dollar or more on eligible purchases for being a Marriott member
  • 3X Bonus points:
    • For flights booked directly from airlines
    • At U.S. restaurants
  • 2X Bonus points for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 100,000 Bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $800–$2,000 (assuming 0.8–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 16–40%

Key Terms & Features

  • Annual $300 Hotel Credit: Good for eligible purchases at SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels
  • Free Night Award: One Free Night Award every year after your account anniversary, good for stays with redemption levels of 50,000 points or less
  • Complimentary Gold Elite Hotel Status: Automatic Gold Elite status at SPG and Marriott, including a 25% bonus on Base points, room upgrades, and more
  • 15 Elite Night Credits: Every year you’ll get 15 Elite Night credits toward a higher hotel member status
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership: Access to over 900 Priority Pass airport lounges and restaurants around the world
  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓: A credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓ ($85)
  • Complimentary Boingo WiFi: Enroll to connect to over one million hotspots around the world
  • Annual fee: $450

Read more in our Review of the Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury Card

 

Best for Premium Travel with Low Fee

The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card (Review) has an annual fee on the low end of the premium travel cards, but it still offers a hefty travel credit each year.

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
Apply Now

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $400
  • Interest Rate: 17.74% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • $325 annual travel credit
  • 3 points per dollar for travel and mobile wallet purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,500 in the first 90 days of membership. That’s worth $750 in travel purchases.
  • Airport lounge access through Priority Pass Select

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 3X points per dollar on
    • travel
    • mobile wallet purchases
  • 1X point per dollar on all other eligible purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 50,000 bonus Points for spending $4,500 on purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
    • Value: $750 (assuming 1.5 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 16.67%

Key Terms & Features

  • $325 Annual Travel Credit: Good for any travel expenses, including flight tickets and hotel stays
  • Priority Pass Select membership: Complimentary access to hundreds of airport lounges around the world
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ Credit: Get a credit for the application fee for Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓ ($85) once every four years
  • Annual Gogo in-flight Wifi passes: Get 12 passes for Gogo in-flight WiFi per year
  • Relais & Châteaux member status: Special privileges at Relais & Châteaux properties
  • Annual fee: $400
  • Must be an existing U.S. Bank customer to apply

Read more in our Review of the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite

High Limit Credit Cards for Fair Credit

You aren’t as likely to get a high credit limit if you only have fair credit, compared to excellent or good credit. But if your income is relatively high you can generally still expect to get pretty large credit lines.

Looking for guaranteed approval high limit credit cards? Sorry, there is no guarantee that you’ll ever be given a high limit, although you can always check to see if you’re pre-approved for any cards. High limit cards with instant approval do exist, but there’s no way to tell exactly what your credit limit will be.

Best for Flat-Rate Cash Back

We're currently unable to link directly to an application for the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®, but you can learn more here, on our advertising partner's website.
  • 1.25% cash back for every purchase when you pay on time (1% cash back if you don’t pay on time)
  • Don’t need to be a student to apply
  • No annual fee

Read more and see why we picked this card below

 

Best for Cash Back Bonus Categories

  • 3% cash back on travel and entertainment, 2% cash back at restaurants
  • Various benefits and statement credits
  • No annual fee

Read more and see why we picked this card below

 

Best for Transferring a Balance

  • 15-month 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers
  • No balance transfer fee for the first 60 days
  • No annual fee

Read more and see why we picked this card below

 

Best for Students

  • 5% cash back in bonus categories that change every 3 months
  • Double cash back in your first year
  • No annual fee

Read more and see why we picked this card below

Best Credit Card Picks for Bad Credit

Best for Card
No Annual Fee Any of these cards
Flat-Rate Cash Back Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® (Review)
Cash Back Bonus Categories Deserve Pro Mastercard (Review)
Transferring a Balance Chase Slate (Review)
Students Discover it® Student Cash Back (Review)

Best for Flat-Rate Cash Back

You don’t need to be a student to apply for the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® (Review). That means anyone with fair or average credit has a chance of being approved.

It doesn’t offer much cash back, but as long as you pay on time you’ll be getting a bit more than the typical 1% reward for every purchase.

We're currently unable to link directly to an application for the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®, but you can learn more here, on our advertising partner's website.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 1% cash back for every purchase
    • 1.25% cash back when you pay on time

Key Terms & Features

  • Access a higher credit line: Make your first five monthly payments on time to automatically get a higher credit line
  • Platinum Mastercard benefits: Including Extended Warranties, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, and Travel Accident Insurance
  • CreditWise credit monitoring service: Monitor your TransUnion credit report, and your VantageScore 3.0 based on that report
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Capital One Journey Student Credit Card

 

Best for Cash Back Bonus Categories

The Deserve Pro Mastercard (Review) is designed for people with fair or limited credit, but still offers some cash back categories.

Deserve will check more than the typical criteria when you apply, giving you a better chance of approval. In addition to the normal factors, it will also look at:

  • Education
  • Future employability
  • Projected earnings

Take note that Deserve will need to connect to your bank account to verify the balance when you apply. This may worry some people, but it’s because Deserve bases its decision on more than just your credit history. It also wants to check your ability to pay off the card.

Deserve Pro Mastercard
Apply Now

Deserve Pro Mastercard

For People with
Fair Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 18.49%–25.49% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • More cash back on the things you enjoy the most: 3% on travel/entertainment, 2% on restaurants & 1% on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Credit limit up to $10,000
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Use anywhere in the world where Mastercard is accepted
  • Includes Mastercard Platinum Benefits like Price Protection, Travel Assistance, ID Theft Protection, Car Collision Damage Waiver & Extended Warranty
  • Refer a Friend and get a $30 statement credit. Refer 10 friends and get a $200 bonus for a total of $500 in statement credits

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 3% cash back on:
    • travel
    • entertainment
  • 2% cash back at restaurants (excludes bars)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

The 3% and 2% categories are limited to the first $500 in combined spending each billing cycle.

Key Terms & Features

  • Feather Furniture Rental credit: Use code DESERVE100 when renting from Feather to get $100 off your first month’s rental
  • Lemonade Insurance rebate: A $10 statement credit after making 3 consecutive monthly insurance payments with Lemonade insurance
  • Platinum Mastercard benefits: Including Price Protection, Roadside Assistance, and Cell Phone Protection
  • First late fee is waived
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Credit limit: Up to $10,000

Read more in our Review of the Deserve Pro Mastercard

 

Best for Transferring a Balance

The Chase Slate (Review) is one of the best balance transfer cards available, and not just for those with fair credit. This card offers the ability to transfer a balance for free, and gives you quite a while to pay it off at no interest.

Chase Slate
Apply Now

Chase Slate

For People with
Good Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 16.99%–25.74% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • $0 Intro balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open. After that, the fee for future transactions is 5% of the amount transferred with a minimum of $5.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, 16.99% — 25.74% variable APR.
  • See monthly updates to your FICO® Score and the reasons behind your score for free
  • No Penalty APR - Paying late won't raise your interest rate (APR). All other account pricing and terms apply
  • $0 Annual Fee

The information for Chase Slate has been collected independently by Credit Card Insider. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Key Terms & Features

  • Free FICO 8 Score: Check your FICO score whenever you’d like, based on your Experian credit report
  • Visa benefits: Like Price Protection, Purchase Protection, and Extended Warranties
  • 15-month 0% intro APR: For purchases and balance transfers
  • No balance transfer fee: For transfers made during the first 60 days
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Chase Slate Credit Card

 

Best for Students

The Discover it® Student Cash Back (Review) is the best credit card for students thanks to the valuable rewards program, which will provide up to 10% cash back in your first year.

Discover it® Student Cash Back
Apply Now

Discover it® Student Cash Back

For People with
No Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 14.99%–23.99% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Double all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year automatically - only for new cardmembers*
  • 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter like gas, restaurants, Amazon.com and more-up to the quarterly maximum when you sign up.* 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. No late fee on first late payment & paying late won't raise your APR.*
  • Free FICO® Credit Score on statements, online & by mobile app.* 100% U.S.-based service any time. Text alerts when payment is due & a free mobile app to stay on top of your account.
  • New Freeze ItSM on/off switch lets you prevent new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers on misplaced cards in seconds by mobile app & online.*
  • Each Discover purchase is monitored. If it's unusual, you're alerted by e-mail, phone or text-and never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover card
  • *See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms & other info by clicking “Apply.”

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back on the first $1,500 spent per quarter, in categories that rotate every 3 months (see calendar below)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • Cashback Match: New cardmembers get double the cash back earned in the first year

The 5% cash back calendar for 2019 is:

Quarter 5% Cash Back Category
January – March Grocery Stores
April – June Gas Stations, Uber, Lyft
July – September Restaurants
October – December Amazon.com

Key Terms & Features

  • Good Grades Award: A $20 statement credit for each year in which your GPA is 3.0 or higher, for up to five years
  • FICO Credit Scorecard: Check your FICO score based on your TransUnion credit report for free
  • 6-month 0% intro APR: For purchases, then a regular rate of 14.99%–23.99% Variable
  • 6-month 10.99% intro APR: For balance transfers, then a regular rate of 14.99%–23.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Discover it for Students Credit Card

 

High Limit Credit Cards for Bad Credit

If you have bad credit you can’t usually expect to get extremely high credit limits.

There are a few secured credit cards that let you put down a fairly large security deposit, giving you access to several thousand dollars in credit line. But only one — our top pick, by Wells Fargo — lets you deposit up to $10,000.

Best for High Credit Limit

  • Requires security deposit of $300 to $10,000
  • Must have a Wells Fargo checking or savings account to apply
  • $25 annual fee

Read more and see why we picked this card below

 

Best for Next-Highest Credit Limit

  • Requires security deposit of $300 to $4,900
  • Bank of America may return your deposit with good credit behavior
  • $39 annual fee

Read more and see why we picked this card below

 

Best for Earning Rewards, No Annual Fee

  • 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations
  • Requires security deposit of $200 to $2,500
  • No annual fee

Read more and see why we picked this card below

 

Best for Military Members and Families

  • Requires security deposit of $250 to $5,000
  • USAA membership required
  • $35 annual fee

Read more and see why we picked this card below

Best Credit Card Picks for Bad Credit

Best for Card
High Credit Limit Wells Fargo Secured Visa Card
Next-Highest Credit Limit BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card
Earning Rewards, No Annual Fee Discover it® Secured Credit Card (Review)
Military Members and Families USAA Secured Card® American Express® (Review)

Best for High Credit Limit

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

Wells Fargo Secured Visa Card
Apply Now

Wells Fargo Secured Visa Card

For People with
No Credit

  • Annual Fee: $25
  • Interest Rate: 18.99% (Variable)
Quick Card Facts
  • Emergency Card Replacement
  • Free Online Credit Education Courses
  • Choose Your Due Date
  • Verified by Visa®: Protect your card with a unique password.

Key Terms & Features

  • Visa Platinum benefits: Including an Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver and Roadside Dispatch
  • Annual fee: $25
  • Required security deposit: $300 to $10,000
  • Upgrade to unsecured card: Wells Fargo will periodically check your account to see if you qualify for an upgrade to the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa
  • Bank account required: Must have a Wells Fargo checking or savings account

 

Best for Next-Highest Credit Limit

The BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card comes with one of the highest potential credit limits, after the Wells Fargo card.

You can deposit between $300 and $4,900 to fund the credit line of this card.

BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card
Apply Now

BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card

For People with
Bad Credit

  • Annual Fee: $39
  • Interest Rate: 20.24% (Variable)
Quick Card Facts
  • No application fees or activation fees
  • Credit line $300-$4,900. Your maximum credit line is determined by your individual ability to pay based on the income that you provide and your security deposit.
  • Important account information is shared with the 3 major credit bureaus—helping you build your credit history
  • After 12 months, you may qualify to have your security deposit returned while you continue to use your card
  • $39 annual fee
  • Access to credit education on topics like using credit cards responsibly, budgeting and more

Key Terms & Features

  • Free FICO Credit Score: Check your FICO score at any time, based on your TransUnion credit report
  • Annual fee: $35
  • Required security deposit: $300 to $4,900
  • Upgrade to unsecured card: Bank of America will periodically check your account and creditworthiness to see if you qualify to have the deposit returned

 

Best for Earning Rewards, No Annual Fee

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card (Review) is the best secured credit card available, although it doesn’t come with the highest possible credit limit.

Instead, it’s the best because it has a solid rewards program, giving people without good credit a chance to earn cash back. There are some other favorable terms as well, including no annual fee.

Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Apply Now

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

For People with
Bad Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 24.99% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Double all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year automatically - only for new cardmembers*
  • 2% cash back at restaurants and on gas - up to $1,000 per quarter.* 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • New Freeze ItSM on/off switch lets you prevent new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers on misplaced cards in seconds by mobile app & online.*
  • Free FICO® Credit Score on statements, online & by mobile app.* And 100% U.S.-based service any time.
  • No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. No late fee on first late payment & paying late won't raise your APR.*
  • Each Discover purchase is monitored. If it's unusual, you're alerted by e-mail, phone or text and never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover card.
  • *See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms & other info by clicking “Apply.”

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 2% cash back on the first $1,000 spent per quarter at:
    • restaurants
    • gas stations
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • Cashback Match: New cardmembers get double the cash back earned in the first year

Key Terms & Features

  • FICO Credit Scorecard: Check your FICO Score 8 based on your TransUnion credit report for free
  • 6-month 10.99% intro APR: For balance transfers, followed by a rate of 24.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Required security deposit: $200 to $2,500
  • Upgrade to unsecured card: Discover will check your account and creditworthiness every 8 months to see if you qualify to have the deposit returned

Read more in our Review of the Discover it Secured Credit Card

 

Best for Military Members and Families

The USAA Secured Card® American Express® (Review) requires USAA membership, but it provides access to a fairly high credit line for a secured card: up to $5,000.

It’s one of the better military credit cards for building credit, although there’s also a very similar Visa card, the USAA Secured Card® Platinum Visa® (Review).

If you’re a servicemember on active duty, you may be eligible for special interest rates through the SCRA. Some issuers will actually drop interest rates all the way to 0%, and will even waive the annual fees on their cards — including their premium travel cards.
USAA Secured Card® American Express®
Apply Now

USAA Secured Card® American Express®

For People with
Bad Credit

  • Annual Fee: $35
  • Interest Rate: 11.90%–21.90% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Best for members rebuilding or establishing credit.
  • Determine your own credit limit ($250 to $5,000) with an interest-earning CD.
  • No foreign transaction fees when you travel outside the United States.
  • It's not a debit or prepaid card.

Key Terms & Features

  • USAA military benefits: Special interest rates for servicemembers on deployment or permanent change of station
  • American Express benefits: Including a Personal Concierge, Price Protection, and Travel Assistance Services
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $35
  • Required security deposit: $200 to $5,000

Read more in our Review of the USAA Secured American Express Card

 

Best High Limit Credit Cards by Issuer

The following are some of the best travel and reward card offers from each popular credit card issuer, other than the cards mentioned above in our Best picks.

American Express

Key Terms & Features

  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines, or eligible flights and hotels booked through Amex Travel
  • Introductory bonus: 60,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • Annual $200 airline fee credit: A $200 annual credit for incidental airline fees, like baggage and in-flight food
  • Annual $200 Uber credits: Get $15 in credit for Uber rides every month, except for December which gets $35
  • Global Lounge Collection: Access to a wide variety of airport lounges, like the Centurion Lounge, Delta Sky Clubs, Airspace, and Priority Pass
  • Hotel member status: SPG Gold Preferred Member status and Hilton Honors Gold Status
  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓: A credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓ ($85)
  • Fine Hotels & Resorts: Includes perks like a free breakfast, room upgrades when available, and more at participating locations
  • The Hotel Collection: A $75 credit for every two-night stay at eligible hotels
  • Credit line: This is a charge card, so it has “no pre-set spending limit” rather than a credit limit
  • Annual fee: $550

Read more in our Review of the Platinum Card from American Express

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 6X points per dollar at SPG, Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton hotel brands
  • Introductory bonus: 100,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • Annual $300 Hotel Credit: Good for eligible purchases at SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels
  • Free Night Award: One Free Night Award every year after your account anniversary, good for stays with redemption levels of 50,000 points or less
  • Complimentary Gold Elite Hotel Status: Automatic Gold Elite status at SPG and Marriott, including a 25% bonus on Base points, room upgrades, and more
  • 15 Elite Night Credits: Every year you’ll get 15 Elite Night credits toward a higher hotel member status
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership: Access to over 900 Priority Pass airport lounges and restaurants around the world
  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓: A credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓ ($85)
  • Complimentary Boingo WiFi: Enroll to connect to over one million hotspots around the world
  • Annual fee: $450

Read more in our Review of the Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury Card

 

Key Terms & Features

  • Up to 34X Hilton Honors points at Hilton properties
    • 14X Bonus Points from the card
    • 20X Base Points for being a member
  • Introductory bonus: 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening
  • Hilton Honors Diamond status: Includes a point bonus, complimentary breakfast, executive lounge access, and more
  • $100 Hilton On-Property Credit: Book a minimum two-night stay and get up to $100 in credit for qualifying charges
  • $250 Hilton Resort Credit: Get up to $250 in statement credits per year for purchases at Hilton resorts
  • $250 Airline Fee Credit: Up to $250 in statement credits per year for incidental airline fees (not tickets)
  • Annual fee: $450

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. restaurants, and on up to $25,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets
  • 3X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amex Travel
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: Up to $100 in statement credits per year for incidental airline fees (not tickets)
  • $120 Dining Credit: Up to $10 in monthly statement credits for purchases from eligible restaurants and delivery services
  • Annual fee: $250, waived the first year
  • Charge card: You must pay your balance in full each billing period

Read more in our Review of the American Express Gold Card

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 6% cash back at grocery stores
  • 3% cash back at gas stations and department stores
  • Introductory bonus: $200 statement credit for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

Read more in our Review of the Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card

 

Bank of America

Key Terms & Features

  • 3% cash back on gas
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • Introductory bonus: $200 cash bonus for spending $500 in the first 90 days after account opening
  • 12-month 0% intro APR: On purchases
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 3X points per dollar on purchases from the Bank of America Travel Center
  • 1.5X points per dollar for every other purchase
  • Introductory bonus: 20,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days after account opening
  • 12-month 0% intro APR: For purchases
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 2X points per dollar on travel and dining
  • 1.5X points per dollar for every other purchase
  • $100 annual airline fee credit: Good for incidental costs, like baggage fees and seat upgrades (not flight tickets)
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ Credit: Get a credit for the application fee for Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓ ($85) once every four years.
  • Annual fee: $95

 

Key Terms & Features

  • Free FICO Credit Score: Check your FICO score at any time, based on your TransUnion credit report
  • Annual fee: $35
  • Required security deposit: $300 to $4,900
  • Upgrade to unsecured card: Bank of America will periodically check your account and creditworthiness to see if you qualify to have the deposit returned

 

Barclays

Key Terms & Features

  • 2X miles per dollar for every purchase
  • Introductory bonus: 60,000 bonus miles for spending $5,000 in the first 90 days after account opening, after paying the annual fee
  • 12-month 0% intro APR: For balance transfers
  • Annual fee: $89

Read more in our Review of the Barclays Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 6X points per dollar for JetBlue purchases
  • 2X points per dollar at restaurants and grocery stores
  • Airline perks: Free first checked bag, 50% discount on in-flight purchases, fast track to Mosaic status
  • Annual fee: $99

 

Capital One

We're currently unable to link directly to an application for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, but you can learn more here, on our advertising partner's website.

Key Terms & Features

  • 10X miles per dollar at Hotels.com/venture
  • 2X miles per dollar for every other purchase
  • Introductory bonus: 50,000 bonus miles for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ Credit: Get a credit for the application fee for Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓ ($85) once every four years
  • Annual fee: $95

Read more in our Review of the Capital One Venture Rewards Card

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 1.5% cash back for every purchase
  • Introductory bonus: $150 cash back for spending $500 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • 9-month 0% intro APR: For purchases and balance transfers, then 14.74%, 20.74%, or 24.74% Variable APR
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

 

We're currently unable to link directly to an application for the Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card, but you can learn more here, on our advertising partner's website.

Key Terms & Features

  • 3% cash back at restaurants and entertainment
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores
  • Introductory bonus: $150 cash bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • 15-month 0% intro APR: For purchases and balance transfers, then 14.74%, 20.74% or 24.74% Variable APR
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Capital One SavorOne Rewards Card

 

We're currently unable to link directly to an application for the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®, but you can learn more here, on our advertising partner's website.

Key Terms & Features

  • 1% cash back for all purchases; 1.25% cash back when you pay on time
  • Access a higher credit line: Make your first five monthly payments on time to automatically get a higher credit line
  • Platinum Mastercard benefits: Including Extended Warranties, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, and Travel Accident Insurance
  • CreditWise credit monitoring service: Monitor your TransUnion credit report, and your VantageScore 3.0 based on that report
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Capital One Journey Student Credit Card

 

Chase

We're currently unable to link directly to an application for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but you can learn more here, on our advertising partner's website.
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on travel and dining
  • Introductory bonus: 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • Point transfer: To a variety of popular airline and hotel loyalty rewards programs
  • Annual $300 travel fee credit: An automatic $300 credit that will applied to travel expenses
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership: Access to over 900 Priority Pass airport lounges around the world
  • 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
  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓: A credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓ ($85)
  • Credit line: Minimum of $10,000
  • Annual fee: $450

Read more in our Review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 2X miles per dollar for United Airlines purchases
  • 1.5X miles per dollar for all other purchases
  • Introductory bonus: 40,000 bonus miles for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • Airline perks: United Club membership, free first and second checked bags, Premier Access travel services
  • Annual fee: $450

Read more in our Review of the United MileagePlus Club Card

 

We're currently unable to link directly to an application for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, but you can learn more here, on our advertising partner's website.

Key Terms & Features

  • 2X points per dollar on travel and dining
  • Introductory bonus: 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • Redemption bonus: 25% point bonus when redeeming for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Point transfer: To a variety of popular airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

Read more in our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred

 

We're currently unable to link directly to an application for the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card, but you can learn more here, on our advertising partner's website.

Key Terms & Features

  • 6X points per dollar spent at Marriott and SPG locations worldwide
  • Introductory bonus: 75,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Hotel perks: Free night award every anniversary, automatic Silver Elite member status, fast track to Gold status
  • Annual fee: $95

Read more in our Review of the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card

 

Key Terms & Features

  • Free FICO 8 Score: Check your FICO score whenever you’d like, based on your Experian credit report
  • Visa benefits: Like Price Protection, Purchase Protection, and Extended Warranties
  • 15-month 0% intro APR: For purchases and balance transfers
  • No balance transfer fee: For transfers made during the first 60 days
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Chase Slate Credit Card

 

Citi

Key Terms & Features

  • 2X American Airlines miles per dollar for American Airlines purchases
  • Introductory bonus: 75,000 bonus miles for spending $7,500 in the first 3 months
  • Airline perks: Admirals Club membership, first checked bag is free, enhanced airport experience, 25% discount on in-flight purchases
  • Annual fee: $450

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 3X ThankYou points per dollar on travel and at gas stations
  • 2X ThankYou points per dollar at restaurants and on entertainment
  • Introductory bonus: 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • Point transfer: To a variety of popular airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

Read more in our Review of the Citi ThankYou Premier Card

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 2% cash back for every purchase
  • 18-month 0% intro APR: For balance transfers
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Citi Double Cash Card

 

Deserve

Key Terms & Features

  • 3% cash back on travel and entertainment, 2% cash back at restaurants
  • Feather Furniture Rental credit: Use code DESERVE100 when renting from Feather to get $100 off your first month’s rental
  • Lemonade Insurance rebate: A $10 statement credit after making 3 consecutive monthly insurance payments with Lemonade insurance
  • Platinum Mastercard benefits: Including Price Protection, Roadside Assistance, and Cell Phone Protection
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Credit limit: Up to $10,000

Read more in our Review of the Deserve Pro Mastercard

 

Discover

Key Terms & Features

  • 1.5X miles per dollar for every purchase
  • Miles Match: You’ll earn double miles during your first year with the card
  • 14-month 0% intro APR: For purchases, followed by a regular rate of 13.99%–24.99% Variable
  • 14-month 10.99% intro APR: For balance transfers, followed by a regular rate of 13.99%–24.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Discover it Miles Credit Card

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 5% cash back in bonus categories that rotate every three months, including gas stations, grocery stores, and Amazon.com
  • Cashback Match: You’ll earn double the cash back during your first year with the card
  • 14-month 0% intro APR: For purchases and balance transfers, followed by a rate of 13.99%–24.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Discover it Credit Card

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, up to $1,000 spent on purchases per quarter
  • Cashback Match: You’ll earn double the cash back during your first year with the card
  • 14-month 0% intro APR: For purchases and balance transfers, followed by a rate of 13.99%–24.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Discover it Chrome Credit Card

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 5% cash back in bonus categories that rotate every three months, including gas stations, grocery stores, and Amazon.com
  • Cashback Match: New cardmembers get double the cash back earned in the first year
  • Good Grades Award: A $20 statement credit for each year in which your GPA is 3.0 or higher, for up to five years
  • 6-month 0% intro APR: For purchases, followed by a rate of 14.99%–23.99% Variable
  • 6-month 10.99% intro APR: For balance transfers, followed by a rate of 14.99%–23.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Discover it for Students Credit Card

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, up to $1,000 spent per quarter
  • Cashback Match: New cardmembers get double the cash back earned in the first year
  • FICO Credit Scorecard: Check your FICO score based on your TransUnion credit report for free
  • 6-month 10.99% intro APR: For balance transfers, followed by a rate of 24.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Required security deposit: $200 to $2,500
  • Upgrade to unsecured card: Discover will check your account and creditworthiness every 8 months to see if you qualify to have the deposit returned

Read more in our Review of the Discover it Secured Credit Card

 

HSBC

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

Key Terms & Features

  • 3X points per dollar on travel
  • 2X points per dollar on dining
  • Introductory bonus: 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • $100 annual airline credit: Good for flight tickets, baggage fees, in-flight purchases, etc.
  • $100 annual ride sharing credit: Get $100 in credits every year for Uber and Lyft
  • $85 TSA Pre✓ Credit: A credit for the application fee for TSA Pre✓, once every four years
  • Annual fee: $395

 

HSBC Premier World Mastercard

Key Terms & Features

  • 2X points per dollar on travel
  • Introductory bonus: 35,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • $50 annual ride sharing credit: Get $50 in credits every year for Uber and Lyft
  • $85 TSA Pre✓ Credit: A credit for the application fee for TSA Pre✓ once every four years
  • Annual fee: $95, waived the first year (no fee if you have an eligible HSBC checking account)

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 1.5% cash back for every purchase
  • Introductory bonus: $150 cash back for spending $500 in the first 3 months
  • 10% anniversary bonus: Get a 10% bonus on all cash rewards earned during the previous year
  • 15-month 0% intro APR: For balance transfers
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard

 

USAA

Key Terms & Features

  • 5% cash back at gas stations and military bases, up to $3,000 per year
  • 2% cash back at supermarkets, up to $3,000 per year
  • Introductory bonus: $150 cash back for spending $500 in the first 90 days after account opening
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 3X points per dollar at restaurants
  • 2X points per dollar at gas stations and grocery stores
  • Introductory bonus: 2,500 bonus points after making your first purchase
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the USAA Rewards American Express Card

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 1.5% cash back for every purchase
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the USAA Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature

 

Key Terms & Features

  • USAA military benefits: Special interest rates for servicemembers on deployment or permanent change of station
  • American Express benefits: Including a Personal Concierge, Price Protection, and Travel Assistance Services
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $35
  • Required security deposit: $200 to $5,000

Read more in our Review of the USAA Secured American Express Card

 

U.S. Bank

Key Terms & Features

  • 3X points per dollar on travel and mobile wallet purchases
  • Introductory bonus: 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,500 in the first 90 days
  • $325 Annual Travel Credit: Good for any travel expenses, including flight tickets and hotel stays
  • Priority Pass Select membership: Complimentary access to hundreds of airport lounges and restaurants around the world
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ Credit: Get a credit for the application fee for Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓ ($85) once every four years
  • Annual Gogo in-flight Wifi passes: Get 12 passes for Gogo in-flight WiFi per year
  • Relais & Châteaux member status: Special privileges at Relais & Châteaux properties
  • Annual fee: $400
  • Must be an existing U.S. Bank customer to apply

Read more in our Review of the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite

 

U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card

Key Terms & Features

  • 3X FlexPoints per dollar at restaurants
  • 2X FlexPoints per dollar at airlines and gas stations
  • Introductory bonus: 30,000 bonus FlexPoints for spending $2,000 in the first four months
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ Credit: Get a credit for the application fee for Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓ ($85) once every four years
  • $25 air travel credit: Get a $25 credit when redeeming points for eligible travel award tickets
  • Annual fee: $85

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 2X FlexPoints per dollar in the category you spend most in each month: either airlines, gas stations, or grocery stores
  • 2X FlexPoints per dollar for cell phone services and at charitable organizations
  • Introductory bonus: $400 in bonus points for spending $2,000 in the first four months
  • $25 air travel credit: Get a $25 credit when redeeming points for eligible travel award tickets
  • Annual fee: $49

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 5% cash back in your choice of two categories
  • 2% cash back in your choice of one everyday category
  • Introductory bonus: $150 cash bonus for spending $500 in the first 90 days
  • Annual fee: $0

 

Wells Fargo

Key Terms & Features

  • 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • 1.8% cash back for qualified mobile wallet purchases during the first 12 months
  • Introductory bonus: $200 cash bonus for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • 12-month 0% intro APR: For purchases and balance transfers
  • Annual fee: $0

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 3X points per dollar on travel, gas stations, restaurants, and eligible streaming services
  • Introductory bonus: 30,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • 12-month 0% intro APR: For purchases and balance transfers
  • Annual fee: $0

 

Key Terms & Features

  • 5X points per dollar on gas, grocery, and drug store purchases, but only for the first 6 months and up to $12,500 in spending
  • Redemption bonus: 50% point bonus when redeeming for airfare
  • 15-month 0% intro APR: For purchases and balance transfers
  • Annual fee: $0

 

Key Terms & Features

  • Visa Platinum benefits: Including an Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver and Roadside Dispatch
  • Annual fee: $25
  • Required security deposit: $300 to $10,000
  • Upgrade to unsecured card: Wells Fargo will periodically check your account to see if you qualify for an upgrade to the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa
  • Bank account required: Must have a Wells Fargo checking or savings account

Is a High Limit Credit Card Right For You?

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 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.

Many people consider $10,000 to be a good standard for a high credit limit. Most cards don’t have maximum credit limits, with a few exceptions like secured cards and some subprime cards.

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 scores 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.

On the other hand, premium travel cards tend to only be available with credit card limits of several thousands of dollars. The Chase Sapphire Reserve (Review), for example, requires a minimum credit limit of $10,000. If you can’t qualify for a line that large you won’t be approved. Many travel cards with annual fees require a credit limit 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 six or 12 months if you want higher limits, but take note that these requests can often lead to hard inquiries on your credit reports. 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 issuer to decrease your credit limits if you wish, although this may negatively impact your credit utilization.

High credit limits do more than just increase your spending capacity. They also have beneficial effects on your credit, and can give you access to better card perks.

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. This is great for your credit scores.
  • 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.

That last item requires a bit more explanation. Your credit line may determine some of the extra, less-important benefits you get, like Purchase Protection and Travel Accident Insurance. This applies to both Visa cards and Mastercards, although it isn’t true in every case.

Take the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review), for example. If you’re approved with a credit limit of $5,000 or more, you’ll get a Visa Signature version of the card. Otherwise you’ll get a Visa Platinum.

The Visa Signature card comes with benefits like the Luxury Hotel Collection, shopping discounts, and a personal concierge, among others. But the Visa Platinum version will have a more basic set of perks, leaving out the most valuable ones.

A similar relationship exists between World Mastercard and World Elite Mastercard benefits.

However, take note that the benefits you get completely depend on the particular card you have. If your card says “Visa Signature,” for example, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have all the Visa Signature benefits you can find online. Instead, your card will just have a selection of the possible Visa Signature benefits.

You need to check your Guide to Benefits to learn the specific benefits that are available with your card. Some card issuers let you check your benefits online, or you may have to request a paper version of the guide.

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
  • You must pay the entire balance in full by the due date each billing period
  • There’s almost always an annual fee
  • 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 (pretty much like 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 can 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 balance and credit limit 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.

If your total credit lines are equal to $10,000, for example, and a total balance of $2,000 is reported, your revolving credit utilization will be 20%. The lower your utilization, the better it is for your credit scores.

But charge cards don’t have 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. This new scoring method seems better for the average charge cardholder because spending won’t affect your utilization.

Selection Criteria: What Makes a Great High Limit Credit Card?

  • A high credit limit: Credit limits of about $10,000 are usually considered to be high.
  • Enough spending capacity: Whatever it is you’re buying, your credit limits should be high enough to accommodate your typical and expected spending habits.
  • An appropriate rewards program: It’s nice to earn cash back or points for the types of purchases you make the most.
  • Reasonable fees: You may need to pay an annual fee for the card you want, but there are quite a few no annual fee cards that can provide high limits as well.
  • Good extra benefits: If you’re spending a lot of money with your card it makes sense to be covered by purchase and travel protections, as well as cost-saving perks and travel credits.
It generally makes more sense to aim for the particular card features you want, rather than a specific credit limit. Ready to find the perfect card for you? Check out our Best Credit Card Picks today!
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