Your credit card limit is the amount you can spend, over one or multiple purchases, at any one time before paying at least some of it back. If you're finding that your current credit limit is too low, you can ask your credit card company for an increase. Whether or not you're approved is subject to basically the same criteria as when you first applied for the card.
If you've been a responsible spender and making your repayments on time, your chance of being approved is more likely than if you haven't. Here's what you need to do to request a credit limit increase for most of the major banks and lenders in Australia.
|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. Bank of Melbourne stipulates that you can only apply for a credit limit increase six 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||You will need to download and complete the "Credit Limit Increase Request form" to be submitted by fax or mail. HSBC stipulates that you can only apply for a credit limit increase six 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 six months you can apply to have your credit limit increased.|
|ME Bank||After you've held you credit card for at least six months, you must fill out a credit card limit increase request form and send it in by email, fax or post.|
|NAB||When you log into NAB internet banking, select "Credit card credit limit" and 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||To apply for an increase 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 six 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. St.George stipulates that you can only apply for a credit limit increase six months after your account opening date or last requested increase.|
|Suncorp||To apply for an increase call Suncorp on 13 11 55. 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 nine months.|
|Virgin Money||Call 13 37 39. 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 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 130 961.|
What should you consider before adjusting your credit limit?
When you first get a credit card, your bank or provider will usually assign you with an affordable credit limit for your circumstances. This limit is based on information in your credit card application including your income, expenses, existing debt and credit score.
If you get a credit limit that's too high, you increase the risk of overspending and going into debt. Submitting a request for a credit limit increase also impacts your credit history. 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.
Lenders know your credit score, so why shouldn't you?
Get your credit score and comprehensive report now!
Consider the following reasons why you should or shouldn't request a credit limit increase for more information.
Reasons why 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 why 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 happens if I go over my credit limit?
Although your credit limit generally sets the ceiling for your credit card spending, some card companies may let you exceed that limit and some may also charge you a penalty for going over your limit. Make sure you check these details with your credit card company so you can avoid additional fees if you max out your card.
How to increase your chances of being approved for a credit limit adjustment
- 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. Unless your circumstances have drastically changed, your request should be capped at 30% more than your current limit.
- 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.
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.Back to top