The maximum credit limit is one of the most important things you need to know about your credit card.
This is the maximum outstanding balance you can have on your credit card before you’re penalised or cut off.
Most standard credit cards have limits between $1,000 and $5,000, but there are some high-end cards that offer credit up to $100,000.
How is your maximum credit limit set?
When you apply for a credit card, there are several factors you may be assessed on, including:
- Your income: Usually, the more you earn, the higher the maximum credit limit you will be offered.
- Your current debt level: If you have a lot of debt, the credit card issuer may not be willing to give you a high maximum credit limit.
- Your credit history: In Australia, you’ll have what’s known as a ‘credit score’, which is a number that signifies your trustworthiness as a borrower. To see exactly how this score is calculated and find out what your score is for free, click here.
- Your current financial obligations: Things like rent, car payments, dependent children and the amount of credit available on other cards may also be considered in evaluating your maximum credit limit.
How do you know what your maximum credit limit is?
The easiest way to check is to look your credit card billing statement, log onto your online account or call your bank or credit union.
What happens if you go over your maximum credit limit?
This depends on the terms and conditions of your credit card, so it’s worth checking them carefully. Usually, you can make purchases all the way up to your credit limit, but you can’t go over it. Exceeding the maximum credit limit may result in an over-the-limit fee and can incur a high penalty rate.
How can you increase your maximum credit limit?
If you already have a credit card, but would like to increase the maximum credit limit, the first thing you can do is ask your provider. You can either do this over the phone or in person at a branch. You may need to provide proof that you can afford the extra credit. This could be a letter from your employer showing you’ve had a pay rise or a statement showing you’ve paid off debt.
The other option you have is to shop around for a new credit card that offers a higher maximum credit limit. RateCity has a handy credit card comparison tool to help you see what’s on offer.
How can you lower your maximum credit limit?
If you’re struggling to pay off your credit card on time, and need help staying on budget, you can ask to lower your maximum credit limit. Just talk to your credit card provider, either over the phone or in person at a branch to request this.
What credit cards offer the largest maximum credit limits?
If you are a big spender, there are many providers that offer extremely high maximum credit limit. Depending on your financial circumstances you could get a limit of as high as $100,000.
These credit cards are usually gold, platinum or black accounts, and also come with a long list of rewards and perks.