Credit cards with the highest limits
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.
Let’s start 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 or a decrease during economic downturns — as has happened during the pandemic.
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 cards that offer no pre-set spending limit.
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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 help examine average credit limits. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 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|
Any line higher than $10,000 is considered above average for consumers with the best credit scores. Again, whether $10k 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 will also look at your income, monthly expenses, payment history, and credit utilization. Your age and location can also be factors.
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, which could boost your score.
Top cards with high limits
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). As a Visa Signature card, the minimum credit limit you can have is $5,000.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening. Plus earn a $50 statement credit on grocery purchases in the first year of account opening.
Rewards: Earn 2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel and dining categories and 1x point per dollar on everything else. You’ll also earn 5x points on Lyft rides through March 2022.
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
APPLY HERE: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Highest reported credit limit: $78,000, according to a post on the myFICO Forums. As a Visa Infinite card, your limit will be $10,000 at a minimum.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening.
Rewards: Earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel (after $300 travel credit exhausted) and dining categories and 1 point per dollar on everything else. You’ll also earn 10x points on Lyft rides through March 2022.
Annual fee: $550
APPLY HERE: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Highest reported credit limit: $50,000, according to a post on the myFICO Forums. This is another Visa Signature card, so the minimum credit limit is $5,000.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Rewards: Earn 2x miles on every purchase.
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
APPLY HERE: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Highest reported credit limit: $50,000, according to a post on the myFICO Forums.
Welcome offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
Rewards: Earn 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, restaurants and U.S. supermarkets and 1 mile per dollar on everything else.
Benefits: Enjoy priority boarding, a first bag checked free on Delta flights, no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees) and 20% savings on inflight purchases. You’ll also get a $100 Delta flight credit after you spend $10,000 in a calendar year.
Annual fee: $99, waived the first year (see rates and fees)
APPLY HERE: Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Highest reported credit limit: $31,500, according to a post on the myFICO Forums.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening.
Rewards: Earn 5x points on dining at restaurants and air travel, 3x points at hotels and cruise lines and 1x everywhere else.
Benefits: The most lucrative of the many perks this card offers is its fourth-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 (up to twice per year). 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: $495
The information for the Citi Prestige has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
As previously mentioned, some cards don’t have any preset spending limits. Most Amex-branded cards, including The Platinum Card® from American Express, the American Express® Gold Card and the American Express® Green Card, fall under this category. With these cards, your transactions are approved on a case-by-case basis, which in practice means that you’re getting a much larger credit line.
For instance, as you can tell from above, it’s not easy to get approved for a single credit card with a $100,000 credit limit. Still, many businesses can charge much more each month to The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.
Amex allows eligible cardholders to pay eligible charges of $100 or more over time through the Pay Over Time program, but there is a limit for this and the fees are usually high.
The information for the Amex Green Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
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. It may be possible to go over your credit limit, but it usually has consequences.
Mike Cetera contributed to this post.
Feature image by rawpixel via Unsplash.
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