Posted by William Charles on March 28, 2014
Credit Cards

Published on March 28th, 2014 | by William Charles


Increase The Limit On Your American Express Card By Up To 3 Times It’s Starting Amount

If you don’t have a long credit history one thing you’ll notice is that it’s hard to get credit cards with large credit limits. In most cases this is not an issue because you can simply pay off the card early and then reuse the limit for that month. Unfortunately some cards require a minimum credit limit to be approved (e.g World MasterCard’s have a $5,000 minimum limit).

Lenders usually don’t want to be the first ones to extend you a large credit limit, as it’s an increased risk for them. Whereas if they see you already have high limits they are more likely to give you an equally large limit as they can see you haven’t abused it.

American Express is one issuer that’s not afraid of giving larger limits, possibly because they charge merchants more to process their cards and thus make higher profit margins and can tolerate greater risks. Whatever the case they usually offer high credit limits.

Increasing your credit limit can also help you to have a lower overall credit utilization (assuming you spend the same amount), as the amount of total credit you have available is increased. This is an important scoring factor for the FICO score. Although this positive can easily be matched by simply paying your credit cards before the statement posts to reduce the amount of debt you have that is reported to the credit bureaus.

This guide is meant for people who can use credit responsibly.

The interest rates on most American Express cards are quite high, if you often find yourself with maxed out credit cards that aren’t paid off within the grace period then this guide is NOT for you.

The best thing about American Express is that it’s easy to get your credit limit approved by up to 200% of it’s current limit. For example, if you’re limit is $1,000 you can get it increased to $3,000. Below is our short guide to getting this increase:

Rules For American Express Credit Limit Increases:

  • You must wait a minimum of 60 days after a card is opened before requesting a credit limit increase from American Express, unless you have another American Express issued credit card that has been open for at least six months
  • You must wait a period of six months in between credit limit increases from American Express. This applies across all of your American Express cards.
  • If you’re denied, you must wait 90 days before applying for an increase again
  • If you successfully receive a credit limit increase you can apply for another one after six months. In general this is much more difficult to receive than the first increase unless your income has gone up significantly.

Tips For Receiving A Credit Limit Increase:

  • Decrease the amount of debt you have with other credit card issuers. Make sure your credit cards off before the statement posts, this way the reported balance will be 0. A common denial reason

How To Request The Credit Limit Increase

  1. Call the number on the back of your card and follow the prompts. Requesting a credit limit increase is usually button 3 or 4 after calling the initial number. OR
  2. Online:
    1. Log into your American Express account
    2. Click profile & preferences
    3. Click more options
    4. Under account management click “manage credit limit”
    5. Click start then follow the prompts

When requesting the increase, make sure you request a limit that is three times your opening limit if you want to increase your limit by the maximum allowed. For example, if American Express gave you a limit of $3,000 request a limit of $9,000.

What To Do If You’re Denied:

If you’re denied, it’s not the end of the world. After all it was only a soft inquiry and you had nothing to lose. American Express is required to send you a letter of adverse action notice when this happens, this will list the reasons as to why you were denied for the credit limit increase along with any credit score they used in the decision.

Try to improve on the reasons they gave you for denial if possible (see our tips section) and then wait 90 days before trying again.

Don’t believe this works?

Why not read over 73 pages of success stories (mixed with some failures as well, but nobody really fails as you have nothing to lose) in this myFICO forum thread.

You can find out if other card issuers do a soft or hard pull by clicking here.

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Great site, and thanks in advance for response.
I have a balance of $4,000 on another cc that has a 12,000 limit.
My fico score is 800.
My American Express has a $1000 limit, I’ve had the card over 10 years and have never asked for a CLI.
Based on the info given what are my chances of having AE increase me to $3000 without a hard pull on my credit report?

My credit line on one of my cards was already really high. I asked to increase to 20,000, and it was approved immediately. I figured that they wouldn’t give me 37K in limit. Don’t need it anyways, but if it helps my FICO score, I’m in. Thanks for the guide!!

Which carrier gave you the 37k limit? I thought most cc companies max out at 25k.

Thats not accurate.
United card $35,000

This has been a godsend in establishing a good line of credit with all of my cards. 6 years ago I was struggling with a $500 limit card from USAA with a student account, now my credit limit on the Fidelity Amex (after several requests) is $50k. A limit like that opens all sorts of manufactured spend options (might as well pay taxes with it), keeps my credit score and utilization low and gives me piece of mind knowing I can always float any emergency expenses. It also means almost every other new card from any issuer comes with a big fat limit at least in the ballpark of $20k+.

I’ll say that there’s some limit to this. Beyond 50k I think you may need to show substantial assets if you’re really looking for a big boost.

Did they require any additional info to raise it past $25k?

I went from $10k to $24.9k to stay below that limit, but Id like to push past it next time.


I’m anxious to see my results. Just yesterday, I paid off all my other cards, so as soon as they all show $0 balances, I’ll ask for my Amex increase.

Funny thing is, I’ve only had this card (green card) for going on three months, but from checking my spending limit on their site, to appears to have already gone from around $6K to at least $15K, without asking for it. And my FICO scores are just in the low to mid 600’s! Maybe it’s because I’ve been charging everything, then paying in full, including a $4K down payment on a car? Can anybody shed some light on this?

I’m not gonna ask them for a 200% increase, because that’ll probably mean having to show proof of income (which I currently don’t have). I’d be ecstatic to just see it bumped up to $24K.

Totally new here. Any advice would be appreciated.

I know this is an old thread but, it may not be such a good idea to have $0 balances. Carry a little bit at least. Say you have 4 cards, each with a $2,500 limit and you have a total balance between them of $1,000. Your utilization rate is 10% or $1,000/$10,000 limit. Once you pay that off, it becomes 0/$10,000 and that = 0. The credit algorithms may see that as non-use.
Also, a side note, I have paid off a few cars and one student loan at different and my scores have gone down temporarily. Not only that, when loans are paid off, you lose your length of credit history on those loans and same token, if you take out a new car loan, you then divide 1 month of loan tenure into your total age of credit history and remove XX months that you had your previous auto loan. Just some food for thought.

Not true Fico scoring models love to see 0 balance on high credit limits my Fico drops when I carry a balance. Check your facts Jack before giving out wrong info to people trying to do the right thing.

Where do i check these facts jack? You won’t find that answer on fico’s website.

And perhaps I was not clear. I’m not advocating paying interest but paying in full each month.

In contrast to you, I have paid a card down to $0 and had no activity after and my score dropped.

And the overall balance I was talking about would be ideally a total 1% utilization across all cards. All of my Fico scores are right around 800 and my vantage scores at TU 786 and EQ 782. No my utilization is not where I want it to be at this point but it is good enough.

I am sorry if you feel I am misleading folks but I am sharing my experience with others here because of things I’ve been through. I’m not here to patronize you but you already know fico scoring is not as black and white as they make it to be.

Just a datapoint… I was able to increase my credit limit just now using this method and went from $2,000 to $6,000, but with an account that was only 39 days old!

Is there a higher chance of Amex denying an application for a new card down the line because they’ve extended you too much credit? Or at the very least failing instant approval and having to call the reconsideration line to move credit lines around?

I just did the opposite of this with Barclay. I moved my credit line from the US Airways card to the Arrival+ card which is coming up for renewal soon. I plan on cancelling the Arrival+ card when the fee hits. My reasoning is that Barclay will be more likely to approve me for a new card if it hasn’t extended so much credit to me already.

William, I highly value your opinion on things like this. What are you thoughts?

Great site. Thank you for the guide.
I had a $12,000 credit limit. After reading your site I applied for $24,000 limit online and got immediately approved (seconds after hitting “submit”). Wish I had applied for 30,000 😉
Will try again next year…

William…You are THE M-A-N!! I just increased my Amex Blue Cash CL to 25000 from 8200 using the online method you suggested. The approval was literally faster than clicking the mouse!

Worked for me! I went from $7k to $21k on my Everyday.

Did you leave balance on any of your credit cards when you requested you CLI with Amex or it had to be 0 Bal

Hi William, Do you know if the 6 month between credit increase requests counts if they increase your credit limit automatically first? I’ve had the SPG Amex for around a year and a half and they have increased the limit automatically two times without me asking. I was looking to make an increase request on it, but do not know if it has been six months since they automatically increased it. Thanks!

Thanks for the wonderful article. I applied for a CLI after 40 days of getting the card and was approved. My limit was raised from 6k to 18k. After I applied it gave me a message saying the decision will be mailed in 7 to 10 days but the credit limit changed in the homepage. So Yayy!! Also, I can vouch for the fact that Amex is not enforcing the 60 day rule (since opening the account) anymore. Source: Their customer care agent.

How long after getting the “decision will be mailed in 7-10 days” message did it take before your credit limit was changed on your homepage?

Hi does the same 60 days rule apply for the uk

Wondering: 1. if I request a credit limit increase and am I denied will it hurt my FICOS score / will the simple fact that I was denied hurt my credit score?

2. I have a credit around 10K and I am close to my limit with no other cards so how likely am I to be approved? (I don’t want to apply if doing so will in ANY way HURT my credit score.)

Thanks — this is an awesome site. 🙂

It worked for me!

I just paid off my balance before it closed on April 10th. Today (4/13/15) I requested a credit limit increase from $3100 to $9000.

My request was approved immediately.

Thanks for the tip!

Have 2 Amex cards and coming up on 61 days for both. Can I request 3X cli for both of them or do I request it for only 1 and wait 6 months for the other. Didn’t know how this works.

Only requested for one card if you get an approval, I have 2 AE cards, and after I got approved from $9.8k to $20k, I applied to the other one right away and I got denied. I called CSR, to know why with my exelent credit was denied, and they told me to wait 6 months, and the reason of the denied was, because they approved me the limit increase on one card, they don’t approve in 2 o more cards, only one.Oh the CSR told me for that, I’m getting only a “soft inquiry”

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