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How to increase your credit card limit

If you want a higher limit on your credit card, you'll need to apply for an increase – here’s how it works and what to keep in mind.

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A credit limit gives you a set amount of money you can spend with the card before you need to pay at least some of it back. If you often reach your limit or want to make larger purchases with your credit card, you can request an increase to your credit card limit.

Depending on your credit card issuer, you may be able to request a limit increase online or over the phone. But keep in mind that requesting a higher limit counts as an application for more credit, so it is subject to basically the same criteria as when you first applied for the card.

Need help with managing credit? Call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 to speak to a financial counsellor for free.

How to request an increase your credit card limit with major Australian card issuers

Here are details of what you need to do to request a credit limit increase for most of the major banks and lenders in Australia.

BankDetails
American Express
  • Log into your American Express account or call the number on the back of your card and make your request.
  • Processing is immediate and your credit limit will be increased within the hour if approved.
ANZ
  • Sign into ANZ Internet banking, select your credit card account, then select "Apply for a credit card limit increase". You will then be prompted to fill out an online application form.
  • This online service is only applicable to personal credit cards and you must be the primary credit cardholder.
  • For business credit card requests, visit an ANZ branch or call 13 22 73 at any time.
Bank of Melbourne
  • Log into Bank of Melbourne internet banking, look under "Manage my accounts". Under the "Card services" heading, select "Increase credit card limit" to make your request. You can get an instant response when applying online.
  • Otherwise, call 1300 784 934 and say “increase card limit” when prompted.
  • With Bank of Melbourne, you can only apply for a credit limit increase 6 months after your account opening date or last requested increase.
Bankwest
  • Visit a Bankwest branch, call 13 17 19 or request a Live Chat through Bankwest Online Banking.
Bendigo Bank
  • Visit any Bendigo Bank branch or call 1300 236 344.
Citi
  • Call 1800 801 732 and select option 2. You can request a credit limit increase nine months after your account opening date or six months after your last requested increase.
  • Your credit limit cannot be increased by more than 50% of your current limit, or beyond the product maximum.
  • Assessments take between 5 and 10 working days and are subject to Citi's credit criteria.
Coles
  • Call 1300 306 397 to make a request.
Commonwealth Bank
  • Log into NetBank or the CommBank App to request a change to your credit limit.
HSBC
  • Download and complete the "Credit Limit Increase Request form" to be submitted by fax or mail.
  • With HSBC, you can only apply for a credit limit increase 6 months after your account opening date or last requested increase, provided your account has been kept in good order.
Macquarie Bank
  • After you've held your card for 6 months you can apply to have your credit limit increased.
ME Bank
  • After you've held you credit card for at least 6 months, you must fill out a credit card limit increase request form and send it in by email, fax or post.
NAB
  • Log into NAB Internet banking, select "Credit card credit limit" and follow the prompts to make your request.
  • Alternatively, you can call 13 22 65 (8am-7pm Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm on weekends AEST/AEDT) or +61 3 8641 9083 from overseas.
Qantas Money
  • Call Card Support on 1300 992 700.
  • For an increase to be approved, you must meet the credit criteria, your accounts must be in good standing and you must not have successfully applied for a credit limit increase or accepted an additional credit product from Qantas Money within the last 6 months.
St.George
  • Log into St.George internet banking, look under "Manage my accounts", select "Card services", then select "Increase credit card limit". You can get an instant response when applying online.
  • Otherwise, call 1300 784 934 and say “increase credit card limit” when prompted.
  • You can also request a credit limit increase at your nearest branch.
  • With St.George, you can only apply for a credit limit increase 6 months after your account opening date or last requested increase.
Suncorp
  • Call Suncorp on 13 11 55 and follow the prompts.
  • For an increase to be approved, you must meet the credit criteria, your accounts must be in good standing and you must not have successfully applied for a credit limit increase or accepted an additional credit product from Suncorp within the last 9 months.
Virgin Money
  • Call 13 37 39 and follow the prompts.
  • You can request a credit limit increase 9 months after your account opening date or 6 months after your last requested increase.
  • Your credit limit cannot be increased by more than 50% of your current limit, or beyond the product maximum. Assessments take between 7 and 10 working days and are subject to Virgin Money's lending criteria.
Westpac
  • Log in to Westpac online banking and select "request a credit limit increase".
  • Alternatively, visit any Westpac branch or call 1300 651 089.

What to think about before adjusting your credit limit

If you get a credit limit that's too high, you increase the risk of overspending and going into debt. Under the current credit card regulations in Australia, providers can only offer you a credit limit that you could reasonably afford to pay off (with interest) over a 3-year period.

This means your application to increase to your credit limit could be declined if the amount you request is considered too high to manage, based on the details you include in the application.

So before deciding if you want a credit limit increase, it's a good idea to consider whether or not your circumstances have changed enough to warrant a limit increase.

It's also worth thinking about the reasons you want a higher credit limit – and weighing them against factors that might make a higher credit limit risky.

Reasons you might want to adjust your limit

  • Increased spending potential. You’ll have greater spending power because you can make larger purchases without going over your existing credit limit and potentially being charged a fee.
  • Greater rewards earning potential. If you have a frequent flyer or rewards credit card, you may be able to earn more points with a larger credit limit.
  • Emergency funds. You’ll have a bigger safety net in case of an emergency.

Reasons you might not want to adjust your credit limit

  • If you have a bad credit history. When assessing your application, the bank will make an inquiry into your credit history. This credit inquiry is then recorded on your credit report and can negatively affect your credit score.
  • Meeting monthly repayments. A higher credit limit and larger debt will increase the minimum repayments you have to pay each month.
  • Increased debt risks. Having more credit could increase your spending and lead to more debt if you’re not disciplined and repay your account in full each month.

What is a good credit limit?

A good credit limit is one that you can easily manage without paying lots of interest or going into debt. This means there's no single credit limit that will work for everyone.

But to put things in perspective, here are a few statistics on credit card limits in Australia:

  • The average credit limit is $9,746 per borrower, according to Finder analysis of Reserve Bank of Australia data for October 2021.
  • The average credit card purchase is $107.
  • The average balance per credit card is $2,690.
  • The average balance accruing interest is $1,353 per card.
  • A Finder survey from September 2020 found that around 15% of all credit card holders went over their limit during the coronavirus pandemic.

Want more details on cards in Australia? Check out Finder's credit card and debit card statistics.

What happens if I go over my credit limit?

Although your credit limit generally sets the ceiling for your credit card spending, some card providers may let you temporarily exceed that limit. But there could be a fee for going over your limit, so make sure you check these details with your credit card provider to avoid extra costs.

How to increase your chances of being approved for a credit limit increase

  • Use your card regularly. Card providers generally favour cardholders who use their cards frequently and pay off their balances on time. This shows them two things: that you have a need for a higher credit limit and that you can handle credit responsibly.
  • Make payments on time and pay your balance in full. Timely payments can improve your chances for approval because they show the bank that you are a responsible and low-risk borrower. Paying off the full balance also shows the bank that you’re capable of managing a higher credit card limit.
  • Optimise your credit score. Always protect your credit score by making payments on time. Even late payments on phone and utility bills, car loans or personal loans can hurt your credit report and deter the bank from increasing your credit limit. You can get a free copy of your credit score and review your report through Finder.
  • Don’t ask too soon or too often. Unless otherwise stipulated, credit card providers typically review your account after six months. Asking before that time could raise alarm bells and hurt your chances of a future credit limit increase. Asking again too soon after a previous request can have a similar outcome.
  • Don’t ask for too much. Prudence can go a long way when it comes to requesting a credit limit. It is better to ask for a conservative 10-25% increase than to wildly shoot for more. As a general guide, it's a good idea to cap your request at 30% more than your current limit, unless your circumstances have drastically changed.
  • Apply for a card with a high minimum credit limit. Premium credit cards typically offer higher minimum credit limits than standard cards. If you meet the eligibility requirements for these cards, you could compare your options and apply for one that suits your spending habits and needs.

How to request a credit limit decrease

If you want to lower your credit limit instead, you can submit a request online or by calling your credit card provider. As long as the lower credit limit meets the card's minimum credit limit requirements, your request should be processed straight away. No credit check is required for a credit limit decrease, either.

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Even if a credit limit increase isn’t on the cards for you yet, all the above suggestions are good habits to practice. The underlying principle is to establish a healthy credit history by borrowing and repaying responsibly. A credit limit increase may be good to have as long as it doesn't increase your spending dramatically or negatively impact your ability to repay. You should only apply for a credit increase if you can afford it and spend responsibly.

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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    AdamJuly 1, 2015

    Hi,

    I need a credit card limit of $60,000 -$80,000 can I get this sort of limit on application?

    My credit history has no defaults my credit score is 593 currently I have a few smaller credit limits of $2000, $6000.

    I earn $80,000 a year gross.

    Any help with which providers are more lenient would be great?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JonathanJuly 8, 2015Staff

      Hi Adam, thanks for your inquiry!

      Please see the following link for Platinum, Gold & Black credit cards which have higher credit limits. The available credit limit on the credit card will depend on the lender’s criteria. As a result it would be best to contact the provider before completing an application to better assess your personal needs.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  2. Default Gravatar
    buyiswaJune 2, 2015

    I want to increase my instant credit limit

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      sally.mcmullen@hiveempire.comJune 2, 2015Staff

      Hi Buyiswa,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Depending on your card and bank, you may wish to contact your bank directly to discuss your options.

      However, if you have any more specific questions, feel free to contact us and we will try to provide you with further assistance.

      Thanks,

      Sally

  3. Default Gravatar
    ericMarch 13, 2015

    I have African Bank credit card silver and i want a credit in it, can i get it?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JonathanMarch 16, 2015Staff

      Hi Eric, thanks for your inquiry.

      Credit limit increases can be requested by contacting your respective bank/ lender.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

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