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Requesting a credit limit increase is an excellent way to free up available credit for a large purchase, and it can also provide a boost to your credit score. Because your credit utilization ratio makes up 30 percent of your FICO credit score, a higher credit limit can lower your credit utilization and overall boost your score.
If you have an American Express credit card, you may be considering applying for a credit limit increase. This guide covers the ins and outs of Amex credit limit increases, including how to ask for an increase and steps to take if your request is declined.
Before you apply for a credit increase
There are a few things to consider before you apply for a credit limit increase with American Express, including your current credit limit, how much credit you want and your potential eligibility.
What is your current credit limit?
You can find out what your current credit limit is by checking your Amex credit card account details, which can be found by logging into your online account management page or by checking your paper credit card statement.
How much credit do you want?
If you’re considering a credit limit increase, think about how much available credit you might want to ask for and keep in mind that asking for too much additional credit could result in a denied request.
According to 2020 Experian data, the average credit limit across all cards for Americans is $31,015, but the best credit limit for you depends on your own unique financial situation. American Express suggests asking for an increase of 10 percent to 25 percent of your current limit for the highest chances of approval.
Are you eligible for an increase?
You should take stock of your credit score and borrowing history in order to determine your eligibility for a credit limit increase. To qualify for an Amex credit limit increase, your credit card account must be open for at least 60 days. You also need a good credit score and a positive history of employment and income to qualify.
3 ways to increase your credit limit with American Express
Here are a few different ways you could potentially access more available credit, either by securing an American Express credit limit increase or applying for a new American Express credit card.
Request a credit limit increase
Most of the time, the best way to secure a credit limit increase is to ask for one. With American Express, you can request a credit limit increase by calling American Express customer service or through your online account management page.
Wait it out
You can also wait to see if your credit limit increases automatically over time. Most card issuers will consider increasing your limit once you have demonstrated a history of responsible credit use, such as paying your credit card bill early or on time for six to 12 months.
Apply for a new Amex credit card
If you want more credit from American Express, you should also consider applying for another Amex rewards credit card. This option can help you secure additional credit, and the best credit cards also come with welcome bonuses and ongoing credit card rewards. If you don’t qualify for a new Amex card, you may also want to check out credit cards for fair credit.
How long does an American Express credit line increase take?
If you qualify for a credit limit increase from Amex, you could see the increase reflected in your account right away. You can find out if your increase went through by logging in to your online account management page and checking whether your credit limit has been boosted to reflect the change or not.
Does American Express automatically increase credit limits?
American Express may automatically increase your credit limit as often as every six to 12 months. However, just because you haven’t received an automatic increase doesn’t mean you’re not eligible. You should reach out to American Express to see if you qualify.
Does American Express do a hard pull for a credit line increase?
Asking for a credit limit increase sometimes results in a new hard inquiry on your credit report, which could temporarily hurt your score. A credit line increase request may not always trigger a hard pull from American Express, but it’s still a factor that you should keep in mind.
Can I request an Amex temporary credit limit increase?
Under certain circumstances, American Express may grant cardholders a temporary credit limit increase. This type of increase is only available under limited circumstances, and you must have been a cardholder for at least six months.
What to do if your Amex request is denied
If your Amex credit limit increase is denied, there are a few steps you can take to put yourself in a better position to qualify for a credit limit increase down the line.
Pay all your bills on time
Your payment history makes up 35 percent of your FICO credit score, so you should make sure you pay all your bills early or on time. By making sure your credit profile is pristine and free of late payments, you can set yourself up for better credit over time.
Pay down debt
Since your credit utilization makes up another 30 percent of your FICO score, paying down debt on revolving lines of credit is an excellent way to boost your score. American Express may also be more willing to increase your available credit when you owe less overall. You should try to keep your credit utilization below 30 percent.
Check your credit reports for errors
Be sure to check your credit reports for reporting errors. You can do so with all three credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax and TransUnion—for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. If you do find reporting errors or mistakes on any of your reports, Bankrate’s guide to disputing errors on your credit reports outlines your next best steps.