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American Express Credit Card Limit Increase Tutorial

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Regularly requesting credit limit increases, if done correctly, can increase your credit score and mitigate the effects of canceling credit cards. This post will explain how to navigate the menus of American Express’ online interface so that you can request a credit limit increase without triggering a hard credit inquiry. I have done this successfully myself several times.

According to experts, as long as you use the online form you won’t trigger a hard credit inquiry.

Begin by logging into your American Express account. On the Summary of Accounts screen, click on the link that says “See all Account Services.” It should be located in the right hand side under Manage Your Account. If you can’t find it, here’s a screenshot of how it looks on my account (blue box around the link):

American Express Summary of Accounts

The next screen will list your cards, click on the little yellow arrow to the left of the card. This will expand the account services for that card. Click on the Credit and Balance Transfers tab, it will be the third one. Under the Line of Credit label, there will be a smaller link that says “Increase your Line of Credit.”

American Express Account Services

After you click that link, you’ll be prompted to enter in the 4-digit security code on the face of your card. Once you enter those digits, you will be faced with this screen:

American Express Request Credit Line Increase

From here, you just need to enter in your desired credit limit (not the increase, but the credit limit you want) and your income. Click submit and you will either get a screen congratulating you on your new line of credit, available for use within 15 minutes, or you won’t. Don’t abuse this (do it once every six months) or you’ll get a call from AMEX’s Financial Reviews department for further confirmation (according to users of Fatwallet). There have also been reports that it’s simple as long as you keep the limit under $25,000.

Just as an FYI, to get the screenshots for this tutorial I actually requested a credit limit increase. I had a credit limit of $20,000 and was approved for an increase to $25,000 on my American Express TrueEarnings card.

Enjoy!

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102 Responses to “American Express Credit Card Limit Increase Tutorial”

  1. Kenny says:

    Just to clarify, credit limits at Amex aren’t strictly followed. I put season tickets on my card and it went well over my credit limit, but was still approved. I called up Amex, worried that I would be charged and overage fee, and the customer service agent told me that each purchase is approved based on spending and payment ability, not on credit limit. He went on to say that as long as usage was within normal spending, the card would be approved, even when over the credit limit, with no overage charges. I went ahead and increased my limit with him over the phone anyways just to be sure I wouldn’t run in to problems on an upcoming trip.

  2. Erik says:

    Thanks for this advice. Worked like a charm. Tripled my limit in 2 minutes.

  3. miliKitty says:

    As of 4/07/2011 – the screens I saw were different from your screen shots and I couldn’t find an online CLI form.
    I checked the FAQs and the directions say to call the number on the back of your card.
    These instructions – while excellent – appear to be outdated.

  4. Drew says:

    Jim,

    Thanks for this article. Any tips on how to increase limits with a Bank of America Visa?

    Bank of America has denied my request twice in the last year. I have a student account with a credit limit of only $600, yet my regular checking account has a monthly cash flow of $10k. What gives? Are banks really that hesitant to give increased limits to self-employed students? $600 is a little ridiculous considering my circumstances.

    Drew

    • Jim says:

      Unfortunately, banks are hesitant to increase your limit because you don’t have a nice W-2 income and because you still are a student. It’s a risky world out there…

      • Drew says:

        Appreciate the reply. For what its worth, I called my bank only a few hours after I left that comment and I finally got approved for a healthy increase.

        In my line of work, my annual income statements come in the form of a handful of 1099-MISC forms instead of a W-2 so I guess it might have been a bit hard to prove earnings stability until just recently.

        Thanks again,
        Drew

        P.S. I enjoy reading everything else you have on this site too. I’ll be checking back frequently.

        • Jim says:

          You can always fall back on your tax return, no one lies on their return and puts on MORE money than they made. :)

  5. Kris says:

    Hi I am trying but unable to find the option in the new webpage they have. Can anyone please navigate me through the process ??

    • Aaron says:

      Kris, I just figured it out in the updated website, myself. Here’s what to do:
      - Log in.
      - In the menus near the top of the page is “Customer Services” — click “See all Customer Services Options”.
      - On that page, click the “Account Management” button/tab.
      - Near the bottom of the list will be the “Credit Management” section, with a “Increase your Line of Credit” link.

      • Eric says:

        Strange – I just tried your steps (using my Blue Cash account), and while I do see a “Credit Management” section, I don’t see a link for “Increase your Line of Credit” – just a link for Balance Transfer & Recent Declines…

        • Eric says:

          Same here. I think we are just not able to request one at the moment. Could it be?
          I’ve done this “increase CL” method on the old website a few times and it always worked well.
          I wonder why the option won’t show up for me.
          Weird.

  6. Elise Rodriguez says:

    question in regard to my American Express Gold charge card I went to check my spending limit it told me they couldn’t approve the limit I ask for because I had no preset spending limit what those that mean

  7. Darshak Thakore says:

    Hi Jim,
    thanks for the excellent info. I had always clicked on the “Increase Credit” link and had always cancelled the process when i saw that form. I was under the impression that if i fill that form, it would put a hard inquiry on my credit report but after reading your article, i realized that’s not the case. So i tried the form and voila, got mine increased pretty nicely. Will be doing the next one in 7 to 8 months, just to be safe.

  8. Kyle says:

    This is great info. I was unaware that asking for the credit increase on Amex’s site did not trigger the credit inquiry.

    That makes me wonder, though, what is an appropriate amount to ask for? I pay my bills on time and in full and I rarely get anywhere near my credit limit (only in emergency situations, and I can count on one hand how many times that has happened…though one of those times was earlier this year, and I’ve only had my Amex for six months).

    Regardless, I’d like to improve my credit utilization score, but I fear that if I ask for too big an increase, I’ll get denied. My credit limit now is $4,000. How can we know how much is the right amount to seek? I have a steady job and a decent salary, and I use my credit cards responsibly.

    Thanks!

  9. Andrew says:

    Kyle,

    I just requested a limit of 10,000 (was at 2,000) and they raised me to 6. Because the limit was only 2,000 before I never used the card, I frequently use my card for work and rack up several thousand a month in expense reports.

  10. Sara says:

    Does AMEX charge a fee when you request for a credit limit increase?
    I can’t find the answer on their website…

  11. B says:

    I was in quite a bind as my work has had me traveling around asia for some time, and we usually choose to charge expenses to our personal cards (to gain rewards points etc…).

    This was causing me to hit my credit limit so I needed an extra increase to cover some expenses and requested online, I don’t think they do a hard credit check for online requests as I have my credit reports locked down pretty tight for security reasons and still got an increase (requested to double my limit) and got approved within a few hours.

    However I did go from being a poor grad student with a hefty credit limit (for a poor grad student with ~negative income..) to having a good income so YMMV, but AMEX came through for me in a pinch so I think that counts for something.

  12. Damian says:

    I just got the increase as well.
    Did the same thing as Andrew, had $2000 applied for $10000 and got $6000.
    Good luck to everyone..

  13. adam says:

    had $4500, asked for $15k, and got $13.5k.

    pretty easy. thanks for the article!

  14. alisa says:

    One note: you CANNOT increase your limit on AMEX in the first 60 days after opening the account.

  15. Art says:

    Just followed these steps and increased my Starwood Preferred limit from $1,000 to $5,000.

  16. danny says:

    How are you everyone?
    i have a quick question i cant seem to find the link on the new site help thank you

  17. David says:

    I cant find the link on the site either, I dont have the “see all acount services” link on my account. please help, thanks!

  18. Lee says:

    I just updated to the newest website and cant find the way to request a credit line increase. can anyone guide me? thanks a lot.

  19. Sunny says:

    I would never deal with Bank of america, this bank sucks in eevry manner whatso ever

  20. Otis says:

    From comments above and from my attempt, it looks like you generally can’t be approved for more than 3x your current limit. I was at 3, requested 10, got 9.

  21. MV says:

    Just went from 20K to 30K with instant approval.

  22. MV says:

    high MV what link did you follow? icannot see an upgrade limit link in the new amexwebsite

  23. NM says:

    I went on now to ask for an increase from $17K to $25K. The process was the same as you have indicated but the response back was:

    Request a Line of Credit Increase
    Your request for a line of credit increase has been submitted.
    You will receive a written response within 7-10 days.

    My card is a clear amex.

  24. Brian says:

    On the left side of the Account Home page, you’ll see several links, under those you’ll see More Account Options with an arrow. Click that and under Account Management, the last line is Increase Line of Credit. I click that and it gives me a message that AMEX is updating there website. Anybody else getting this message?? Thanks.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. AmEx changed their layout so now its
    (Profile & Preferences >>Manage Your Credit Limit).

    Super easy. I had 7000, asked for 15000. They gave me instant approval for 14,800 instead! Didn’t know it was so fast :)

    • Drew says:

      This goes against what others have been saying. Did AMEX change their policy or are your circumstances different?

      Do you maintain a balance on your card? What is your total utilization %?

      I recently had my Amex Blue Cash tripled from 2k to 6k. And now I’m waiting to be eligible to do it again to 18k. Never had a balance. Been a member since May ’11.


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