This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi Prestige Card
Let’s start off by acknowledging there’s a bit of mystery — intentional at that — to credit card limits.
Issuers don’t generally volunteer their credit limit ranges, although you may be able to coax a customer service representative into telling you about the highest credit limit they’ve seen. And cardholders sometimes share stories in online forums about the size of their credit lines.
Otherwise, you won’t know what your credit limit is until after your card application wins approval. (You can also get a credit card limit increase with good behavior.)
Generally speaking, if you’re looking to apply for a card with a high credit limit, your best bets are premium rewards cards and business credit cards, which may be able to offer outsized credit lines based on your company’s spending needs. A good rule to follow is that any card with high benefits is likely to come with a potentially high spending limit. You also can look to cards that carry Visa Infinite or Mastercard World Elite branding or charge cards that offer no pre-set spending limit.
What is a High Credit Limit?
Your definition of a high credit limit may vary. If you’re just starting out with credit, a few hundred to a few thousand bucks may seem like a huge line. More experienced users would define a high credit limit as one that exceeds tens of thousands of dollars.
To get a sense of what a high credit limit might look like, it might be helpful to examine average credit limits. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently reported average credit lines per account broken down by FICO score range. Here’s what the agency found:
|Credit Category||Credit Score Range||Average Credit Line|
|Super prime||720-850||About $10,000|
|Prime||660-719||Less than $6,000|
|Near prime||630-659||Roughly $3,000|
So, any line above $10,000 is considered above average for consumers with the best credit scores. Again, whether 10 grand is a high limit really depends on your experience and needs.
How to Get a High Credit Limit
How issuers determine credit limits is proprietary, although some of them offer guidance.
American Express says it takes into account “the customer’s overall level of debt relative to his or her financial resources known to us. Also, we look at a variety of factors that comprise a customer’s overall credit profile, which includes, among other things, your credit bureau reports and scores at the time you apply, payment history (if any) with American Express, reported income and usage habits (if known).”
Discover, meanwhile, says your credit score is important, but “a high score alone does not necessarily guarantee a certain credit limit or even card approval.”
Issuers also will look at things like your income, monthly expenses, payment history and your credit utilization.
Why You Might Want a High Credit Limit
There are two pretty good reasons to seek a credit card with a high limit.
If you put as much of your monthly expenses on a credit card as you can (and you should so you can earn the rewards) and you have many expenses that you can pay off each month, you should look to a high-limit card. Second — and this actually works in tandem with the first reason — getting a high-limit card could actually help your credit score.
Credit utilization, one of the things mentioned above that influences issuers’ decision on how big your credit line will be, is a huge factor in your credit score. The less credit you use as a percentage of the credit available to you, the better as far as your score goes. Grab a big credit line and use only a small portion of it each month, and it could help boost your score.
Here are five cards that are likely to snag you a big credit limit if you have a stellar credit score and a good income:
Highest reported credit limit: $100,000, according to Quora (although a $50,000 limit seems more likely).
Welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening.
Rewards: Earn 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel and dining categories and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Chase is fairly generous with what counts as a purchase in either of these categories. Points can best be redeemed for travel by booking through the Chase portal or by transferring them to one of 13 Chase travel partners, including United Airlines and Hyatt.
Benefits: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card comes loaded with travel perks, including primary car rental insurance, trip delay insurance, trip cancellation/interruption insurance and baggage delay insurance.
Annual fee: $95
Highest reported credit limit: $78,000, according to a post on myFICO Forums.
Welcome bonus: Earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening.
Rewards: Earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel (after $300 travel credit exhausted) and dining categories and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
Annual fee: $450
Highest reported credit limit: $50,000, according to a post on myFICO Forums.
Welcome bonus: Earn 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. Those miles are worth $500 in travel.
Rewards: Earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend on every transaction. Earn 10 miles for every dollar you spend on Hotels.com using this special offer link. Redeem your miles (valued at 1 cent each) as a statement credit against any eligible travel purchase you’ve made with the card in the last 90 days, including flights, hotels and rental cars.
Benefits: Visa Signature travel benefits include travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and secondary auto rental coverage. You’ll also get extended warranty protection and purchase security, which replaces, repairs, or reimburses you for purchases in the event of theft or damage within 90 days of the purchase date, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per cardholder.
Annual fee: $95, waived the first year.
Highest reported credit limit: $50,000, according to a post on myFICO Forums.
Welcome bonus: Earn 30,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in the first three months. The bonus is worth $360, according to TPG’s latest valuation.
Rewards: Earn 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on everything else. Miles are worth 1.2 cents each, according to TPG valuations. Getting great redemption value isn’t easy, but it is possible.
Benefits: Enjoy priority boarding and a first bag checked free.
Annual fee: $95, waived the first year. (See Rates & Fees)
Citi Prestige Card
Highest reported credit limit: $31,500, according to a post on myFICO Forums.
Welcome bonus: Citi Prestige once offered a whopping 75,000 point sign-up bonus, but today there is none.
Rewards: Earn 3x Citi ThankYou points on all airfare and hotel purchases, 2x points on all dining and entertainment purchases and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Redeem your points for for airfare through Citi’s travel portal, hotels and to get cash back. The most lucrative way to redeem your points is to transfer them to one of Citi’s 16 travel partners. TPG values ThankYou points at 1.7 cents each.
Benefits: The most lucrative of the many perks this card offers is its 4th Night Free benefit. Citi will give you the fourth night of your stay gratis at virtually any hotel when booking through the Citi Prestige Concierge. The rate is based on your average night stay and doesn’t include taxes and fees. You’ll also receive an annual $250 air travel credit, a $100 Global Entry credit, Priority Pass lounge access, trip coverage and purchase protection.
Annual fee: $450
If you have a solid credit score and you take home a decent paycheck, you have a good shot at earning an above-average credit limit on your next credit card — especially if you’re willing to fork out a healthy annual fee. You’re not going to get a good feel for your specific limit before you apply — though you may be able to get a credit limit increase down the line.
Have you won a larger credit limit than you see here? Tell us in the comments below.
Feature image by rawpixel via Unsplash.
For rates and fees of the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card, please click here.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards