Should I update my income for my credit card issuer?

An income increase could positively affect your account.

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Whether or not you keep your personal information up to date for your credit card provider is your decision. Although it’s not always mandatory to update your income, it can be worth it in many cases.

Why is my credit card issuer asking for an income update?

Credit card issuers primarily use a combination of your income and credit score to determine your creditworthiness. If you make a relatively high income, they perceive that you will be able to repay any debt you incur, and will be more willing to offer you high spending limits. Alternatively, if you have a lower income, credit card issuers will offer you a proportionally lower credit card limit.

Am I required to update my income?

You are required to provide your income when you apply for a new card. Once you’re approved for the card, updating your income is voluntary. Typically, there are no repercussions if you don’t update your income.

But if your account is flagged for a review, not updating your income could affect your account.

Should I update my income for my credit card issuer?

If your income has increased since you first got the card, it can be beneficial to update the information for a potential credit limit increase. However, if your income has dropped, reporting your income may cause your card provider to lower your credit limit.

Pros and cons of updating your income

Pros
  • You may get a higher credit limit if your income has increased
  • A higher credit limit can lower your utilization ratio, which positively affects your credit score
  • You may get offers more suited to your financial situation
Cons
  • You may see a drop in your credit limit if your income has decreased
  • A lower credit limit can increase your utilization ratio, which negatively affects your credit score
  • Your income information could be shared with a third party

How to update your income for your credit card issuer

The process of updating your income may slightly vary depending on your card provider, but in general, here’s what to do:

  1. Log in to your online credit card account.
  2. Find your personal details option.
  3. Locate your income details.
  4. Enter your new income and submit.

If you can’t find that kind of information in your online profile, then you can try calling your credit card issuer directly to update you income information. By talking to someone directly, you may even be able to get immediate notice of how your credit limit will be impacted.

    Compare rewards credit cards

    If your income has increased, you can either update your income with your current credit card account and potentially get a higher credit limit, or you can apply for another card. Having a higher income can sometimes give you access to better credit cards and to a higher credit limit.

    Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Benefits with this card Description
    American Express Cobalt Card
    19.99%
    21.99%
    $120
    N/A
    Earn 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at eligible grocery stores, restaurants, bars, cafés and food delivery services, and earn 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at eligible gas stations, and on transit and travel purchases, and earn 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent elsewhere. Terms apply
    Earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year.
    BMO World Elite Mastercard
    19.99%
    22.99%
    $0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
    $80,000
    Get 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible travel, dining and entertainment purchases (up to $50,000 spend annually), and get 2 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases (and once you reach the $50,000 annual spend).
    Get up to $575 in value in your first year. Get a bonus of 40,000 BMO Rewards points ($285 travel value booked on bmorewards.com). Plus, get the $150 annual fee waived in the first year.
    SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express
    19.99%
    21.99%
    $99
    N/A
    Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases
    Earn 10% cash back on all eligible purchases (up to $400 in cash back) for the first four months of Cardmembership.
    Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
    1.95% intro APR for the first , 19.95% thereafter
    19.95%
    $0
    $12,000
    Earn 2% cash back in two categories of your choice (or three categories if you open a Tangerine Savings Account and directly deposit your cash back into the account), and 0.5% cash back on everything else.
    Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening).
    American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card
    20.99%
    21.99%
    $120
    N/A
    Earn 1 AIR MILE for every $5 spent on eligible food, drink, gas and transit purchases (up to an annual spend of $30,000), and earn 1 AIR MILE for every $10 spent on all other eligible purchases (and after the $30,000 annual spend)
    Earn a Welcome Bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES when you spend at least $1,500 in eligible purchases within the first three months.
    American Express Business Edge Card
    19.99%
    21.99%
    $99
    N/A
    Earn 3 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible business essentials including office supplies, electronics, rides, gas, eats and drinks (up to an annual earn of 75,000 Membership Rewards), and earn 1 Membership Reward point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
    Earn up to 42,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year. Earn a Welcome Bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months, and earn 1,000 Membership Rewards points each month (a total of 12,000 annually) when you spend a minimum of $3,000 on eligible purchases
    Shell AIR MILES Mastercard from BMO
    19.99%
    22.99%
    $0
    $15,000
    Get 2 AIR MILES for every $20 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners, and get 1 AIR MILE for every $20 spent on eligible purchases elsewhere.
    Get 950 AIR MILES Bonus Miles (enough for $100 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash). Plus, get 5x the Miles at Shell until December 31, 2020.
    American Express Gold Rewards Card
    N/A
    N/A
    $150
    N/A
    Earn 2 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible gas station, grocery store, drug store and travel purchases and on eligible hotel and car rental bookings made with American Express Travel, and earn 1 Membership Reward point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
    Earn a Welcome Bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $1,500 on eligible purchases within the first three months
    HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®
    11.9%
    11.9%
    $0 annual fee for the first year ($25 thereafter)
    N/A
    Earn 2 Points for every $1 spent on eligible dining or entertainment purchases.
    Earn 20,000 Points ($100 travel value) plus a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year ($25 value). Apply by December 28, 2020. Conditions Apply. This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec. (Quebec residents eligible for separate offer).
    Shell AIR MILES World Mastercard from BMO
    19.99%
    22.99%
    $99
    $60,000
    Get 5x the Miles at Shell until December 31, 2020 and earn 1 Mile per $15 spent for all other purchases.
    Get 5x the Miles at Shell until December 31, 2020 and earn 1 Mile per $15 spent for all other purchases.
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    Compare up to 4 providers

    Can I lie about my income?

    Lying about income is the most common lie on credit card applications. But if you get caught, you could end up in trouble because that is considered a fraudulent act according to section 342(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada and is punishable by law.

    Bottom line

    Updating your income will mostly affect your credit limit and the potential offers from new card providers. If you have increased your income, this will likely cause a boost in your credit limit. But if your income decreased, your limit could drop.

    If you decide to apply for a new credit card, make sure you compare your options until you find the best card for your financial situation.

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