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How to increase your credit card limit

Increase your spending power by requesting a higher credit limit on your credit card.

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If you use your credit card regularly, requesting a higher credit limit could help you increase your financial flexibility, avoid overlimit penalty fees, earn frequent flyer points on big ticket items or allow you to consolidate balances onto one card. Use this guide to find out how to request a credit limit increase with your bank; learn the factors to consider and some tips to improve your chances of approval.

What you’ll find in this guide

How to increase the credit limit on your credit card

The first step is to ask your bank for a credit limit increase. Here is how you can initiate an increase to your credit limit with different credit card issuers:

BankHow to increase the credit limit
American ExpressIf you need more credit at any time for your American Express card, request this through the Credit Limit Increase Form. American Express looks at your ability to repay this higher limit and advises that you evaluate your financial circumstances.
ANZDrop in a New Zealand ANZ branch with your photo ID. You can also call them on 0800 658 044 or reach them on +64 9 522 3010 if you are overseas. Alternatively, use the ANZ Internet Banking platform to send a Bank Mail request.
ASBTo begin your application, drop into any ASB branch or call them on 0800 255 382.
BNZYou can visit instore or complete an online form titled ‘Changes to your credit card’. Additionally, if your card is eligible, you can easily apply for an increased limit through your account online. Simply click your credit card, opt to ‘view details’ and then click on ‘Apply for increased limit’.
GE MoneySimply call GE Money’s Customer Solutions team at 0800 500 505 to request an increase in your credit card limit. Once approved, increases can take effect immediately.
KiwibankLog into your Kiwibank online banking account to make changes to your credit card limit. Select your credit card account and then refer to ‘Additional options & details’.
The WarehouseOnce you are eligible, you can apply if you have been a cardholder with The Warehouse for at least 6 months or if your last credit limit increase was within the last 6 months. Alternatively, The Warehouse notifies you of the pre-assessed increase when you’re eligible.
TSBApply at any time to TSB Bank to increase your credit limit. Approval of increases in credit limit are at TSB Bank’s own discretion. Holders of an Additional Card must have their application made by whoever is named on the Card Account.
WestpacSimply visit a Westpac branch to begin your application. You can also download, fill in and submit a form from Wespac’s ‘Updating your credit card details’ page. Alternatively, call Westpac’s Cards team on 0800 888 111 from 7am to 11pm. If you are overseas and willing to pay international toll charges, call +64 9 912 8000

Credit limit increase offers

Your credit card provider may offer to send you invitations to increase your credit limit. This service is only available if you opt to receive the invitations. Contact your provider directly to find out more.

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What should I consider before requesting a credit limit increase?

When you first get a credit card, your bank or provider will usually assign you an affordable credit limit for your circumstances. This limit is based on factors in your credit card application including your income, expenditure, existing debt and credit score or credit rating.

If you increase your credit to a limit that is too high, you run the risk of ongoing debt. Submitting a request for a credit limit increase also impacts on your credit history. So, before deciding if you want a credit limit increase, it is a good idea to consider whether or not these circumstances have changed.

Consider the following reasons why you should or shouldn’t request a credit limit increase for more information.

Reasons why you might want to increase your limit

  • It could help your credit score. If you can afford a higher credit limit, it may help improve your credit score by providing you with a lower credit utilisation ratio (the amount of credit used compared to the amount of credit available).
  • Increased spending potential. You will enjoy greater spending power because you can make larger purchases without worrying about maxing out your card.
  • Greater rewards earning potential. A higher credit limit means you can use your card for more purchases and maximise the points you earn per NZD$1 spent on a rewards or Airpoints card.
  • Emergency funds. You will have a bigger safety net in case of an emergency.

Why you shouldn’t request a limit increase

  • If you have a bad credit history. When assessing your application, the bank will make an inquiry into your credit history. This credit inquiry is then recorded on your credit report and can negatively affect your credit score.
  • Potential rejected application. If your request is denied, it will impact on your credit score and you will have to wait longer before you can make another application. Lenders tend to get suspicious when they see repeat credit inquiries made within a short period of time listed on your credit report.
  • Meeting monthly repayments. A higher credit limit and larger debt also means higher minimum monthly repayments.
  • Increased debt risks. Having more credit could increase your spending and lead to more debt if you are not disciplined.

What happens if I go over my credit limit?

Although your credit limit generally sets the ceiling for your credit card spending, some card companies may let you exceed that limit, while others may charge you a penalty for going over your limit. Make sure you check these details with your credit card company so you can avoid additional fees if you max out your card.

How to increase your chances of being approved for a higher credit limit

  • Use your card regularly. Card providers generally favour cardholders who use their cards frequently and pay off their balance on time. This shows them two things: that you have need for a higher credit limit and you can handle credit responsibly.
  • Make payments on time and pay your balance in full. Timely payments can improve your chances for approval because they show the bank you are a responsible and low-risk borrower. Paying off the full balance also shows the bank that you are capable of managing a higher credit card limit.
  • Optimise your credit score. Always protect your credit score by making payments on time. Even late payments on phone, utility bills, car loans or personal loans can hurt your credit report and deter the bank from increasing your credit limit.
  • Don’t ask too soon or too often. Unless otherwise stipulated, credit card providers will typically review your account after six months. Asking before that time could raise alarm bells and hurt your chance of a future credit limit increase. Asking again too soon after a previous request can have a similar outcome.
  • Don’t ask for too much. Prudence can go a long way when it comes to requesting a credit limit. It is better to ask for a conservative 10-25% increase than to wildly shoot for more. Unless your circumstances have drastically changed, your request should be capped at 30% more than your current limit.
  • Apply for a card with a high minimum credit limit. Premium credit cards typically offer higher minimum credit limits than standard cards. If you meet the eligibility requirements for these cards, you could compare your options and apply for one that suits your spending habits and needs.

Even if a credit limit increase isn’t on the cards for you yet, all the above suggestions are good habits to practice. The underlying principle is to establish a healthy credit history by borrowing and repaying responsibly. A credit limit increase may be good to have but it shouldn’t increase your spending dramatically, or negatively impact your ability to repay. You should only apply for a credit increase if you can afford it and will spend responsibly.

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Need a new credit card? Compare your options here

Name Product Purchase Rate Interest Free Period Annual fee
American Express Airpoints Card
0% for 6 months (reverts to 19.95% p.a.)
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0
Be rewarded with 50 bonus Airpoints Dollars. Simply apply, be approved, and spend $750 on your new Card in the first 3 months of membership. This offer is available to new Card Members only.
American Express Airpoints Platinum Card
19.95% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$195
Be rewarded with 400 bonus Airpoints Dollars when you apply online by 30 March 2021, are approved, and spend $1,500 on your new Card within the first 3 months. This offer is available to new Card Members only. You will also earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $59 you spend on your card.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
2.99% for 6 months (reverts to 19.95% p.a.)
Up to 55 days on purchases
$149
Enjoy a low rate on purchases and earn 20,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points if you apply, are approved and spend $750 in the first 3 months of Card membership. This offer is available to new Card Members only.
American Express Platinum Card
N/A
Up to 44 days on purchases
$1,250
A charge card with premium travel benefits. Plus up to 80,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you spend $1,500 on your card within the first 3 months, available to new Card Members only.
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