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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MisterBill
MisterBill

First, they seem to have moved the link to request a CLI and I could not find the new link. However, I entered “how to request a credit limit increase” in the chatbot, and it provided a link.

That said, I requested an increase from 6.3k to 18.9k following the 3x recommendation, and it said “In order for us to complete our review, please provide the three most recent months of consecutive bank statements from your primary bank account(s) by directly connecting your bank account or by manually attaching them in PDF format:” I don’t want to do that. I declined to submit it and exited, figured I’d try a lower request, but it appears to have submitted it anyway, so we’ll see what happens. If they decline any increase, I’ll just move some of the credit line from a different card. Then they sent email asking for it, so it seems like they will not be processing it unless I send the info. Update — just reallocated $3700 from another lightly used card to this one/ It took effect instantly, and I now have a $10k limit, so my credit usage should drop to a reasonable level next month.

I don’t really NEED the increase on this card, but I had a no-fee Plan It offer on the card and ended up at around 25% of the credit limit, which dropped my credit score. Trying to get the utilization down without pre-paying the Plan It, even thought I don’t really have any need for the extra money.

PS here’s the new link: https://global.americanexpress.com/lending/line-increase/request

Joshua
Joshua
Joshua
Joshua

It appears 2 months after opening is no longer accurate. When visiting the increase request link after 2 months it says it is unavailable because the account was opened too recently and to try again later.

Mike
Mike

The rule of thumb I’ve read is 3X but not higher than 40% of stated income. AMEX may ask for tax returns if the requests go over a certain amount like 25K or 35K. I just did an increase up to 40% of my income but not quite 3X and was instantly improved. The largest CLI I’ve ever received

veeRob

Did you do it online or on the phone? I’m not seeing the option online since the redesign.

Dave
Dave

It’s hidden. Click on live chat and you’ll find the option there

veeRob

Ahh, gotcha. I messaged them “increase limit” and it led me to the following link. Didn’t work for me but maybe William Charles can update the post with the link?

https://global.americanexpress.com/lending/line-increase/request

Jane
Jane

Approved for my first Amex 20 months ago at $2k, my lowest credit line by far. Just received my first successful credit line increase after numerous previous attempts. Requested $6k, received $4k with a note that 2x increase is the maximum allowed.

Kris
Kris

Asked for a x3 increase of 75,000. As another commentator posted, hit with a IRS 4506-T. States review should take 15-30 days. Should not be an issue since I gave actual income, but will see. Will report back with results. William Charles may want to note that someone should provide accurate income level because amex may require you to prove it.

Kris
Kris

Denied. Reasons given were exceeded maximum credit limit and low spend in relative to current credit limit. Ironic becuase I just opened a platinum and was given a no preset spending limit.

Chritom
Chritom

My husband also just got an IRS 4506-T for this attempt. I have a feeling he will also be denied for low spend. Just to be sure, your denial ended up as a soft inquiry, not hard?

TTls
TTls

Thanks Doc. My card had a limit of 2,000 since I opened it in 16. In January Amex raised the limit without request to 5,000. My request for 15,000 was just approved instantly.

Fay
Fay

Just went from 2,500 to 7,500 on a card that has just matured 2 years.

Marcopolo
Marcopolo

Be careful now.
They asked me to verify my income from IRS by filling out my Tax return info

Daniel
Daniel

Went from 23k to 69k. Instant approval! ~3 years since last request.130k income, 800CS