Amex credit limit increase: How to request one

Man sitting at home on his couch, holding his credit card and reading about how to increase his Amex credit limitImage: Man sitting at home on his couch, holding his credit card and reading about how to increase his Amex credit limit

In a Nutshell

If you want an Amex credit limit increase, you can request a credit limit increase online or by phone. But you’ll need to meet American Express’ requirements to qualify.
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Getting an Amex credit limit increase can give you more spending power and possibly even give your credit a boost.

Your credit utilization rate is an important factor in your credit scores. And increasing the available credit on your American Express credit card could help increase your spending power and potentially give your credit scores a boost. If you’re an Amex cardholder, here’s how you can try to get American Express to increase your credit limit.

How to request an Amex credit limit increase

Your credit limit is the maximum amount you’re authorized to spend on a credit card. If you want to up your limit, here are a few different ways you may be able to get an increase in your available American Express credit.

Use your card carefully

American Express may offer to increase your credit limit without your needing to ask. If you use the card regularly and always pay your bill in full and on time, the company may you offer a credit limit increase. And keep in mind that American Express may even periodically ask you for updated income information to consider you for a credit line increase.

This could happen as often as every six to 12 months. But don’t worry: If American Express deems your account worthy of an increase, it’ll get in touch to seek your consent before increasing your limit automatically.

Just keep in mind, though, that upon review of your account, American Express can also decrease your credit limit.

Ask American Express directly

If you don’t wait to wait for a potential automatic credit limit increase from American Express, consider reaching out directly and requesting a higher credit limit.

You can apply for a credit limit increase with American Express through your online account or by calling the number on the back of your credit card. If you want to submit your request online, visit the credit line increase request page and log in to your account.

American Express notes that you can improve your chances of securing a higher limit if your income has increased recently, you have a good credit score and you’ve been paying your balance consistently without using a large chunk of your existing limit.

Apply for a new American Express credit card

You may be able to get approved for a new American Express credit card. Doing this with American Express may not affect the limit on your existing card, but it can still increase your spending power and total available credit.

It could also give you the opportunity to take advantage of new benefits and different rewards rates, and you can compare different types of cards to find the best option for you.

Keep in mind, though, that applying for a new credit card typically results in a hard credit check.

Does Amex do a hard pull for credit limit increase?

If you ask for an Amex credit limit increase, American Express may run a hard inquiry on your credit reports. This hard pull can potentially lower your credit scores temporarily.

What to consider when requesting a credit limit increase

If you’re considering requesting an increase to your American Express credit limit, it’s important to think about why you want to up your available credit.

In addition to dictating your spending power, credit limits can also affect your credit scores. More specifically, credit-scoring models look at how much you spend on your card relative to its credit limit. A higher credit utilization rate — the percentage of your limit that you’re using at a given time — is typically associated with lower credit scores.

If you try to spend beyond your credit limit, Amex may approve the overage, depending on your history with the issuer and your credit in general. And while Amex doesn’t charge an over-limit fee on its cards, going over your set spending limit is something to watch out for. If you’re having trouble getting by without relying on your credit cards and you’re consistently running into your credit limit, adding more available credit could make your financial situation even worse.

But if a credit line increase won’t put you in danger of overspending, it can be a good way to work toward improving your credit scores or having more available credit in the event of an emergency.

What to do if Amex denies your request

There’s no guarantee that you’ll get an Amex credit line increase, even if your financial situation has improved since you first got the card. You can ask American Express about its reasoning for denying the request, so you’ll know which steps you can take to increase your approval odds the next time around.

If you’ve improved your financial situation, you can submit another request to American Express three months after a denied request, or you can ask for an increase on a card you have with a different card issuer or even apply for a new credit card altogether.

Take your time to consider all of your options before deciding how to proceed.

About the author: Ben Luthi is a personal finance freelance writer and credit cards expert. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and finance from Brigham Young University. In addition to Credit Karma, you can find his wo… Read more.