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Credit Rating, Credit Limit and Credit Repair Guide

Sometimes it is necessary to increase your credit limit to allow for more available funds when needed.

Most people increase their credit card limit before they go overseas on a holiday. Some people also like to increase their credit limit to pay for large expenses if they use a rewards credit card for example. By using their card to make these payments they will garner more awards points. It certainly helps to pay attention to these things if you want to take advantage of special offers.

Choose a responsible credit limit for your credit card

Choosing a credit card

Depending on the credit card that you will apply for, there will already be a certain limit of what you will be able to have. Low interest rate cards, with no frills have lower credit limits, which will be up to maybe $5000. Now there are credit cards at the other end of the market. Platinum credit cards will higher credit limits starting at $10,000 and go up to around $100,000. If you don't need a credit limit between $10,000 - $100,000, don't apply for those cards. Start with the low interest rate cards with no frills. Just because you pick a platinum credit card, it doesn't automatically mean that you will receive a high credit limit.

Comparing credit cards

Rates last updated June 18th, 2018
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
Offers a 0% for 24 month balance transfer option, first year annual fee waiver and a competitive purchase rate.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Offers a 0% p.a. for 22 months balance transfer, $0 annual fee for the first year and an annual fee refund each year when you spend $6,000.
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer
12.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Platinum card benefits including complimentary insurance, plus first year annual fee waiver and 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Earn up to 60,000 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months and enjoy a discounted annual fee of $64 for the first year.
American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle - Qantas - Exclusive Offer
20.24% p.a.
$50 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($249 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the criteria with this dual Visa (issued & serviced by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex).
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
13.25% p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$79 p.a.
Receive up to 20 months interest-free on balance transfers with a 2% BT fee. Also enjoy exclusive offers with the home&Away Privilege Program.
NAB Low Fee Platinum Card
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$90 p.a.
Offers 7 complimentary insurance covers, a 0% p.a. for 24 month balance transfer and access to a 24/7 concierge service for a $90 p.a. annual fee.
American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle - Exclusive Offer
20.24% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
$0 first year annual fee & up to 90,000 bonus Altitude Pts when you meet T&C with this Visa (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex).
NAB Low Fee Card
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$30 p.a.
Receive complimentary purchase protection insurance, a 18 month balance transfer offer and special offers from Visa Entertainment.
Citi Platinum Credit Card - 100k Bonus Points
20.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 100,000 reward Points, enjoy a long-term balance transfer offer, a discounted first year annual fee and complimentary travel insurance.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Take advantage of 0% p.a. on balance transfers for up to 18 months. $64 in the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter), plus, bonus Velocity Points.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$199 p.a.
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 3 months of card approval, plus enjoy complimentary travel insurance.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
11.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
$49 p.a.
Offers a discounted annual fee, $100 cashback when you meet the spend requirement and 0% p.a. for 14 months on balance transfers.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Earn 50,000 bonus Amplify or Qantas Points when you spend $2,000 within 90 days and earn 0.5 Qantas Points or 1 Amplify Point per $1 spent.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
20.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2.5% balance transfer fee
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Earn reward Points per $1 spent, take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 26 month balance transfer offer, plus complimentary international travel insurance.
St.George Vertigo Visa
13.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$55 p.a.
Enjoy a 0% p.a. for 18 months balance transfer offer. Plus, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
ANZ First Visa Credit Card
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$30 p.a.
Get up to 18 months interest-free on balance transfers and save with a low $30 annual fee. Plus, up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$100 p.a.
Enjoy a 0% p.a. interest rate offer on purchases for 9 months and the protection of 7 complimentary insurances including overseas travel insurance.
Westpac 55 Day Platinum Credit Card
19.84% p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($90 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a 20 month balance transfer offer, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, a platinum concierge service and a $0 first year annual fee.
NAB Rewards Platinum Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$195 p.a.
Collect 60,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 within 60 days of account opening. Plus, receive complimentary travel and purchase insurances.
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$59 p.a.
This card offers a low introductory rate of 0% p.a. for 6 months on purchases. Plus 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$249 p.a.
Enjoy 30,000 bonus Qantas Points, 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year and the protection of complimentary insurance covers.
NAB Rewards Classic Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$95 p.a.
Get 30,000 bonus points when you meet the spend requirement, 0.75 NAB Rewards Points per $1 spent and a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Card
19.49% p.a.
3% p.a. for 36 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($79 p.a. thereafter)
Take advantage of a 3% p.a. for 36 months balance transfer offer, Amplify or Qantas points per $1 spent and enjoy a $0 annual fee for the first year.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum Card - Online Offer
12.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Online only: Enjoy 0% p.a. interest for 24 months on balance transfers (with a one-time 1% BT fee). Plus, a $0 first year annual fee.
BankSA Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer
12.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Online only: A low rate platinum card with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 24 months. Plus, $0 annual fee for the first year.

Compare up to 4 providers

Compare more credit cards here

How to decide on a credit limit

credit card limit decideCredit card companies are going to ask for your income and requested credit limit. It's important to choose a responsible credit limit for your credit card. You don't want something that is too high, where you are going to max it out and then not be able to pay it off. Credit histories are always looked at for other things such as mortgage requests, car loans and sometimes employment.

When thinking about a credit limit, it is a general recommendation to get at most 50% of your monthly income. But it is even better if you can get 30%. Therefore, if you make a monthly income of $5000, then you should request between $1500 and $2500. If you know you are going to pay it off every month, then you can get the higher credit limit. But if you have trouble with spending, then you should stick to the lower credit limit.

The only exception to this is if you are trying to max out some reward credit cards to get frequent flyer miles or reward points. If that is the case, get a higher limit but only if you are going to pay it off each month.

One thing to remember when deciding on your credit limit, is that it won't be able to change for at least six months. Even then you will have to request either an increase or decrease. Credit card companies are not allowed to increase your limit without your permission anymore. Keep that in mind so you're not regretting your decision within the first month.

Credit card company's decision

As mentioned above, the credit card company will have the final say on your credit limit. It will most likely be based on credit history and income. If you have a good habit of paying off your balance each month, then you will be more likely to get a higher credit limit. But you ultimately give them a starting base for them to decide.

When trying to decide on a responsible credit limit for your credit card look at the different credit cards and what type of limits they offer. Then think about your situation and request between 30%-50% of your monthly income. Remember, how you handle your spending and your credit history will impact other important financial decisions. The credit card company will ultimately have the last say on what your credit limit is but it is up to you to keep spending responsibly. You should pick a reasonable limit and stick with it.

Clean your credit file

How to increase your credit limit

Your credit limit can be increased by calling your bank or visiting your local branch. Usually this is pretty much instant or else your increased limit will start to take effect once you last credit card bill has been paid off. Before you ask for a higher limit make sure you do the following first:

  • Be loyal to your bank

    They trust a long-term customer more than people who have no financial track record, but if there are better deals around, don't be scared to switch.

  • Keep paying those annual card fees

    This will establish trust between you and the credit card provider.

  • Pay off your credit card debt in full each months

    The easiest way to do this is by setting up a direct debit from your savings account. If you do, make sure you check your credit card statements thoroughly to spot any discrepancies. If you don't, then your financial details might be abused by cyber thieves without your knowledge.

  • Pay attention to the offers coming through your mailbox

    Some credit card companies will mail you appropriate offers from time to time. Know they don't do this willy-nilly. They usually have access to a large database of financial information about you and wouldn't offer you a new card unless they know you are suited to the offer.

  • Credit utilisation has a big impact on your file

    You never want to use all of the credit available to you, lenders look negatively on that. Using less than 25% of your available credit limit is favourable, while using more than 80% negatively affects your credit file and borrowing power. Fortunately, a high credit utilisation will not hurt your credit rating forever. When you reduce your balances, or have the limits increased, your utilisation will decrease and your file will go up.

How to increase your credit limit after having your credit file repaired

Some consumers find themselves unfortunate enough to run into financial troubles at some stage in their lives. If that happens to you, not all is lost as long as you work with your lenders. If you show a genuine interest in wanting to repair your credit, then chances are that by following the above steps you too can increase your credit card limit eventually.
About credit rating

If you are having difficulties in obtaining credit, you might want to find out how a credit repair service can help remove the defaults on your credit file. Learn more about credit card repair service.

With the right knowledge and your own willingness to better your situation it is possible to increase your credit limit after doing credit repair on your credit file.

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Credit Card Offers

Important Information*
Westpac Low Rate Card
Westpac Low Rate Card

Interest rate

13.49

Annual fee

59
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
HSBC Platinum Credit Card

Interest rate

19.99

Annual fee

129
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer

Interest rate

12.74

Annual fee

99

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    September 13, 2016

    Quoting from the guide: “Using less than 25% of your available credit limit is favourable, while using more than 80% negatively affects your credit file and borrowing power”

    What exactly defines utilisation? If for example, I spend 81% of my credit limit, but then pay that off before the due date, does that count as credit utilisation? Or is it only if a balance is carried each month that the credit is actually being utilised?

    • Staff
      DebbieSeptember 21, 2016Staff

      Hi Brendan,

      Thanks for your question.

      To exactly define credit utilisation, it is the percentage of your credit card balance versus your credit limits. For example, you have a balance of $5,000 and your credit limit is $25,000, then your credit utilisation is 20% (balance/credit limit*100). If you spend 81% of your credit limit, you need to pay the balance before due date or make it lower and achieve at least 25% credit utilisation rate before statement closing date so your credit report won’t be affected.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Debbie

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