It seems that we regularly get posts on our message board asking about high limit cards, so I thought I would dedicate a blog post to them.
Here are our current updated picks for 2016. This post will be updated regularly with recommendations for the credit cards on which people report receiving the highest credit limits. This list is based on feedback from our forum, online research and our product reviews. Obviously though, results can different for everyone depending on their credit.
For Excellent Credit:
- Capital One Venture Rewards – Tons of positive reviews about this card.
- Discover it – They gave me a good limit when I opened my account.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – The card is reportedly aimed at those with income in the top 15%, so naturally, many report getting a high credit limit with this card.
- Gold Delta SkyMiles – I’ve heard of people getting big limits on this card, but American Express became more conservative after the big recession. Things seem to have loosened up a bit since then, luckily, but your mileage may vary.
For Fair credit or little credit history:
To be perfectly honest, it seems those with average credit aren’t getting high limits from any issuer (at least on unsecured cards). But here are some to consider anyway, which are the most popular.
For Bad Credit:
- Secured Credit Cards – As you can imagine, high limit unsecured cards for bad credit represent the null set. But if you’re interested in a secured card, there are some that will give you a credit line of up to $5,000 with a matching deposit. Like the saying goes, banks like to lend money to those who don’t need it.
There are three things you should keep in mind…
1. Banks are still more conservative with giving out credit
Prior to 2008 (i.e. the golden days) it wasn’t uncommon for average income consumers with excellent credit to receive credit limits of $30,000 to $50,000 per card! During the recession the banks took a bath due to people defaulting on mortgages and credit cards and as a result got very stingy with credit limits for a few years. Even though the credit freeze thawed out long ago card issuers aren’t quite as generous as they once were (once bitten, twice shy). Even a high income and superior FICO score won’t guarantee obscenely high lines anymore – though they can still be pretty high.
2. You may have to work harder at getting a high credit limit
Apply for the best cards you can get (cards that are known for giving generous limits) and then having the limit periodically raised every few months or so. It’s still possible to get a high limit, but you probably will have to work harder to get there. It can also be helpful to close any unneeded store cards you might have, which could improve the ratio of your open trade lines to income ratio, something that card issuers look at when determining your risk level.
3. Your chances may be better going with a different issuer
Banks will only allocate so much risk to a customer. This is why your strategy should be to apply to banks where you’ve never had a card before.
Let’s say you already have a card or two with Bank of America. If you apply for yet another BofA card in hopes of getting a high credit limit, it probably won’t happen. Instead, they will probably give you a small limit and if you want it any higher, you will have to re-allocate credit from your other card(s) you have with them. That being said, combining the limits of all your cards from one issuer is definitely a method of obtaining a high limit credit card. However the big drawback with that technique is that your other cards will be left with tiny limits.
The primary upside of applying for a credit card from a different bank or card issuer (with whom you don’t already have an existing account relationship) is that you basically have a blank slate. There are no other cards taking a slice of that credit pie, therefore they might be more likely to give you a larger credit limit. Plus, when they pull your credit report they can see what other cards and limits you have so they may be motivated to steal some market share from their competitors. It never hurts to play one bank off another.
This post was written or last updated June 8, 2016