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The 10-Second Credit Limit Increase

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I logged into my Citi credit card account online today to make some changes to my profile when I decided to try to get an automatic credit line increase. I figured I was already logged in doing other things, a few button clicks to see if I could increase the limit certainly wasn’t going to cost me much time. I swung up to Tools & Services and click on Request a Credit Line Increase. If you recently did this, the option won’t be there.

I clicked on it and this is what appeared:
Citi Credit Limit Increase Request

So, Citi card holders, this is your semi-annual reminder to try increasing the credit limit on your credit cards. Citi’s great about this because they let you do it all online and oftentimes without a credit check (as they explicitly tell you that a credit bureau report was not pulled).

Benefits of a Credit Increase

Credit utilization is one of the more significant factors in your credit score. Take your credit card balances at the end of the month, divide by your total credit limit – that’s your utilization. By increasing your total amount of credit, you decrease your utilization and increase your attractiveness to lenders.

You also give yourself a larger line of unsecured credit that, should things turn south, you can tap to bridge the gap. While it’s better to fund and then draw down an emergency fund, having unsecured credit is better than having no money at all. Sometimes life presents you the choice between two evils. This reason actually dovetails nicely with one of the current drawbacks of getting a large line of credit.

Drawbacks of a Credit Increase

Some issuers are now looking at your total credit limit as a risk factor and may reject you for a new card because of this. This is a fairly recent development because a few years ago this was never a concern (which probably contributed to the economic situation we’re in today!). Since your personal finances can very quickly take a turn for the worst in this economy, many credit card companies are probably wary about extending credit to someone who already has a lot. In the past, they didn’t care as much because they expected you to replace an existing card with their card.

That being said, since I don’t anticipate applying for another credit card, I went ahead and requested a CLI. As I said before in my tutorial walkthrough on CLIs with Citi, if they start asking for detailed information… walk away. Detailed information means a hard inquiry and a hard inquiry is bad.

For other strategies you can use to boost your limit, read this post on how to increase your credit limit.

{ 28 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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28 Responses to “The 10-Second Credit Limit Increase”

  1. aua868s says:

    i used to get this working a while ago..but when I clubbed together 2 citicards i dont get these offers any more..possibly because of the credit limit already high (2 cards credit in 1)

    • eric says:

      Is this really the case? I added a second Citi card to my account and I haven’t seen the option since either…

      • aua868s says:

        i do not see any other reason apart from this…my credit history is impeccable….and I can absolutely say for sure that I stopped getting these offers after clubbing the 2 cards to 1.

        • Chuck says:

          I don’t know what you mean by “clubbing” cards. If you mean adding multiple cards to the same online account, I have 4 cards in one account, and only one of the cards gave me the offer. I had to click through each one.

          • aua868s says:

            By “clubbing”, i mean adding the credit limit of 2 cars into 1….for example, if Citibank card A has credit limit of $5K and Citibank Card B has credit limit of $7K, clubbing would be consolidating the credit limits of the 2 cards into 1 and cancelling the other card…so after “clubbing” it would be 1 card with a credit limit of $12K..

            Hope that helps?!

  2. stuarsj says:

    I did this exact thing yesterday and increased my available credit from $3000 to $4000 on my citicard. Literally took 2 seconds.

  3. Chuck says:

    Got $1600. That was fun.

  4. lostAnnfound says:

    Not something that interests me right now. I have a Citi card and currently my limit is $24,920. That is more than enough unsecured credit for me, thank you very much! :)

    • aua868s says:

      please check out if it allows you to get a credit limit raise like how it did to Jim…with your limit, it is unlikely that you wwould get a similar kind of raise.

  5. tbork84 says:

    I tried this out with my Bank of America Visa card and was able to get a quick $1100 increase on my card. Great suggestion!

  6. Chris says:

    I wish PenFed had this option…

  7. BrianC says:

    Very nice! A $1250 increase.

  8. jesse.anne.o says:

    Sweet – I’d been meaning to call for an increase but kept forgetting. I started this card as a secured $250 card and they eventually raised it to $950. I don’t usually need more credit than that but just in case! – they just raised it to $1,900. Thanks for posting this.

  9. Greg says:

    Thanks for the tip. Just got $1500 increase each on my two cards with them.

  10. zapeta says:

    I wish Chase had an option to do this. My utilization is low but could be lower.

    • Soccer9040 says:

      I run my credit once every few months using annualcreditreport.com and I was alarmed by what I saw this time. My 2 Chase cards reported having a 0 credit limit. This means my credit utilization was sky high. I disputed the items and within days they came back and said the problem had been fixed, but it made me take a 2nd look at my credit limit. I wish Chase had a way to do an online increase. I guess I’ll just have to call the old fashion way.

  11. Izalot says:

    I’m on the Chase team as well…sigh.

  12. vtomar says:

    I could not find anything similar for chase bank

    • Shirley says:

      Same for Discover… nothing.

      • govenar says:

        Discover has an automated way in their phone system to request a credit limit increase (at least, they did a few months ago). I called the number on the back of the card and chose option 5, then 4, I think.

  13. jsbrendog says:

    i have the chase freedom card and have been thinking of requesting a credit increase but am not sure if it will be a hrd inquiry..if it is it might not be worth it.

    anyone know?

  14. blk94civ says:

    I did this a few weeks ago as well, It seems you can do it about 2-3 times a year.

  15. T says:

    Interesting experience with Chase. I had initially opted out of automatic line increases (the kind of increase that you don’t ask for) and when I called to Opt-in, I was told that it was not possible…

  16. Jeffery says:

    I did this once with a new BoA credit card. It said to call for a review… I did and they said they were going to not only deny the increase but close the account for further purchases.

    I had no late payments and no new negative information on my report. The guy on the phone would not help me out or explain aside from reading me their prescripted reasons. “Past collection account. You have sufficient debt.”

    I ended up having to go to a BoA branch and have the credit specialist call a senior credit analyst and explain everything again on the phone before she reinstated my account.

    Now I am too scared to hit the button again.

  17. kudos says:

    I know this post is a bit old but it actually says it will pull credit –
    By submitting this form you authorize Citibank (South Dakota), N.A. to check your credit history.

    Was this the case when all you guys got approved?

    • AustinTex says:

      Well, what they mean is that they will pull a soft report, not a hard inq. They’re just letting you know that they will be accessing your report though.


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