There are a lot of good reasons to request a credit line increase, whether you’re looking to finance a large purchase, for example, or take advantage of the potential boost to your credit score.
If money is tight, increasing your credit limit can also give you some extra flexibility. If you have a Chase credit card, asking Chase to increase your credit limit can help build your credit and provide you with additional spending power. Unlike other top credit card issuers, though, Chase does not let you request a credit increase online. If you want a Chase credit limit increase, you’ll need to call the number on the back of your rewards credit card.
Before you make the call, here are some tips to help make your credit line increase request as successful as possible as well as some options to consider if your request is denied.
Before you apply for a credit increase
Before you decide to increase your credit limit with Chase, there are a few questions you should ask yourself to determine whether or not it’s a good idea.
What is your current credit limit?
How much credit is Chase currently giving you? You can log into your Chase account to check the credit limit on each of your Chase credit cards. Your total credit limit should appear alongside the rest of your credit card information (if you’re on the Chase Mobile app, you might need to select “Show Details”). If you have trouble finding your credit limit, you can always calculate it by adding your current balance to your available credit.
How much credit do you want?
Once you know your current credit limit with Chase, you should consider how much credit you want. In general, it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution—or in other words, try not to request a wildly large credit limit increase. Going from $5,000 to $6,000, for example, is better than going from $5,000 to $15,000. You should have a reasonable number in mind and be prepared to back up your request with proof you’ve been using your credit card responsibly. If you have a history of on-time payments, for example, you may be more likely to score an increase with Chase compared to someone with a history of consistently late payments.
Are you eligible for an increase?
There are two main factors that help determine your eligibility for a Chase credit limit increase, including your account history and credit score. If you’ve only had a Chase credit card for a few months, you probably won’t be eligible for a credit limit increase. Chase determines your credit limit when you first open a card, and you should wait at least six months before requesting an increase.
It’s also a good idea to check your credit score before contacting Chase. Your request is more likely to be successful if you have good or excellent credit. If you find yourself below the threshold, you should take steps to build your credit score before asking for an increase. You should also keep in mind that a credit limit request may come with a hard pull to your credit (which could drop your score by up to 10 points).
4 ways to increase your credit limit with Chase
If you want Chase to increase your credit limit, you can always ask—but that isn’t the only way to increase your limit. Here are four ways to boost your Chase credit limit and increase your purchasing power:
Apply for a new Chase card
Sometimes the easiest way to increase your credit limit is to apply for a new credit card. Opening up a new Chase credit card won’t increase the credit limit on your old Chase cards, but it’ll give you an additional line of credit to use. Having that extra available credit could even increase your credit score.
There are a lot of advantages to having multiple credit cards, including the ability to earn sign-up bonuses and earn points and cash back from rewards credit cards. The Chase Ultimate Rewards program can be especially lucrative and even more so for frequent travelers.
In some cases, you may be able to get preapproved for a new Chase credit card without affecting your credit score. That said, you should keep Chase’s 5/24 rule in mind before you apply; if you’ve already taken out five credit cards in the past 24 months—regardless of whether those cards were from Chase or another issuer—Chase is likely to turn down your application.
Request a credit limit increase
If you’d like to request a credit limit increase, you can call the number on the back of your Chase credit card to do so. Currently, Chase credit increase requests can only be completed over the phone, and you cannot request a credit increase online. You should be prepared to discuss the credit limit you’d like Chase to apply to your account as well as your current income, employment status and reason for requesting more credit. This is your opportunity to prove that you can manage your increased line of credit responsibly.
Receive an automatic credit limit increase
Chase cardholders that are in good standing may occasionally receive an automatic credit limit increase. To increase your odds of earning an automatic limit increase from Chase, you should be sure to manage your current Chase credit accounts responsibly, make on-time payments and avoid carrying high balances.
You can also boost your odds of earning an automatic credit limit increase by updating your income with Chase. If you recently got a promotion, took a new job or otherwise increased your income, it’s a good idea to let Chase know. You might get a credit limit increase as a result.
Respond to a targeted credit limit increase offer
Sometimes Chase will automatically increase your credit limit, and other times Chase will ask you if you’d like a credit limit increase. Responding to these targeted credit limit increase offers is a great way to build your credit. These kinds of offers should appear when you log in to your Chase account, though you may also get an email notifying you of a new or outstanding offer. If you accept the offer, the increased credit limit is automatically applied to your account.
How often does Chase increase credit limits?
Chase may automatically increase your credit limit every six to 12 months if you’re a borrower in good standing. Whether or not Chase will automatically increase your credit line depends on several factors, including your credit score, account history and credit utilization.
How long does a credit line increase take?
In many cases, it only takes a few minutes to learn the results of a credit line increase request. Once you’ve been approved for a credit line increase request, it should be applied to your account immediately.
How much of my credit limit should I be using?
It’s a good idea to use no more than 30 percent of your available credit, with an ideal utilization ratio of under 10 percent. This means if your total credit limit is $1,000, your balance should not exceed $300. If you use more than 30 percent of your available credit, it could have a negative effect on your credit score.
Keep in mind that this guideline primarily applies to revolving balances that stay on your card from month to month. For example, if you have a $1,000 credit limit and charge $500 to your card, it won’t affect your credit utilization as long as you pay the balance off in full before the end of your grace period.
What to do if your request is denied
If your credit line increase request is denied, you still have options. Here are three ways to manage your credit after getting denied for a credit limit increase:
Try a balance transfer
If you were hoping to use a credit limit increase to free up some space on a credit card, you might want to consider a balance transfer instead. Balance transfer credit cards allow you to transfer old balances from existing cards and often with at least six months of an introductory 0 percent APR to help you pay off those balances without paying interest. The best balance transfer credit cards offer 0 percent intro APR periods that last between 15 and 18 months, giving you over a year to pay off your transferred balances.
Improve your credit score
If your credit score is keeping you from getting the credit limits you want, you should try to boost your score (and in many cases, you can raise your credit score in just a few months). You should focus on making on-time payments and paying down your outstanding balances in order to increase the likelihood that your next credit limit request will be approved. Once your credit is where you want it to be, a credit limit increase can raise your score further.
Apply for a different credit card
If you requested a credit limit increase with Chase and got denied, you might want to consider increasing your available credit by applying for a card from another issuer. If your credit score isn’t great, consider applying for one of the many credit cards for bad credit or credit cards for fair credit—otherwise, you run the risk of another denial. If your credit score is good, applying for another card could help you continue to build a positive credit history.
Remember: Just because Chase denied your credit limit increase request doesn’t mean you can’t find other ways of acquiring new credit. Credit card issuers periodically cut back on credit limits, so if your Chase request gets denied, you can always try another issuer.
There are many ways to obtain an additional line of credit, especially if you use your current lines of credit responsibly. To see if you prequalify for credit card offers without affecting your credit score, you can use Bankrate’s CardMatch tool to get matched with a card that best fits your needs.