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How to increase your credit card limit

Here are the steps you can take to request a credit card limit increase with major Singaporean banks.

Use this guide to find out how to request a credit limit increase with your bank. Plus, get tips to improve your chances of approval. Before making a request, you’ll want to compare the reasons why you should or shouldn’t ask for a credit limit increase based on your own circumstances.

Credit limit

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has a number of measures to help borrowers avoid accumulating excessive unsecured debts. We suggest you read our ‘Frequently asked questions’ section below to find out more detail on how some of these rules work.

If you’re unsure if you’re eligible to apply for additional credit, you may contact your provider directly to find out more. Content on this page has been provided for general information purposes only.

How to request a credit limit increase

You will need to ask your bank for a credit limit increase. Here’s how you can initiate a credit limit increase with different credit card issuers:

BankDetails
American ExpressDownload the credit limit review form from the provider’s website. Once it’s duly filled in and signed, attach your latest income documents and send it back to American Express through fax or mail.
DBSSign into DBS Internet banking using your iBanking details or card number and PIN. Download the required form, fill in and upload it with the supporting documents. You may apply online if you only require a temporary credit limit increase. You can also increase the credit limit by making an advance payment to your credit card account.
OCBCDownload the form for credit limit review on OCBC’s website. Once you’ve completed the form and attached your latest income documents, you may mail to the bank’s mailing address or fax to 6830 7917. If you only require a temporary increase, you can speak directly with a customer service officer by calling the bank’s dedicated hotline at 6363 3333.
MaybankYou may apply directly at your nearest UOB branch, or through UOB’s online banking and uploading your supporting income documents. You can also download the credit limit review form, attach all the required income documents, and either mail or fax it to the bank. For a temporary increase in the credit limit, you may call the bank’s customer care at 1800 222 2121 for assistance.
HSBCApply by downloading and filling in the bank’s credit limit review form. Once the form is duly filled in, sign and upload the required supporting documents. Alternatively, you can also send the application form and documents directly to the bank’s HSBC’s mailing address.
CitibankLog into the online application facility available on Citi’s website and apply directly. You can also download the form from the bank’s website, fill in all the necessary fields, attach the required documents, and mail it to the bank’s address. If you’re looking to get a temporary credit limit change, you make your request directly from Citi’s online banking.
Standard CharteredDownload the credit limit review form from the bank’s website. Once you’ve duly filled in the form, you can either fax it or mail it along with the necessary income documents to the bank.
UOBGo to the bank’s website and download the credit limit review form. Make sure you fill in all the mandatory fields and attach all the relevant income documents before faxing or mailing it to the bank.
BOCTo apply for credit limit adjustment, you can contact BOC’s 24-hour Customer Services Hotline for credit cards at (852) 2853 8828.
ICBCVisit this lender’s website and download its Limit Adjustment Application Form. After completing all the required fields, you can mail it to the bank.
CIMBGo to the bank’s website and download its credit limit review form. Simply mail the completed form together with your latest income document(s) for review and the bank will typically notify you of its decision within two weeks.

What to consider before adjusting your credit limit

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.

If you get a credit limit that’s too high, you’ll increase 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’s 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.

  • It could help your credit score. If you can afford a higher credit limit, it could 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’ll have 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 $1 spent on a rewards or frequent flyer card.
  • Emergency funds. You’ll have a bigger safety net in case of an emergency.
  • 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 your credit score and you’ll have to wait longer before your next application. Lenders tend to get suspicious when they see many 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 mean higher minimum monthly repayments.
  • Increased debt risks. Having more credit could increase your spending and lead to more debt if you’re 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 and some also 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 credit limit adjustment

  • Use your card regularly. Card providers generally favour cardholders who use their cards frequently and pay off their balances on time. This shows them two things: that you have a need for a higher credit limit and that 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 that you are a responsible and low-risk borrower. Paying off the full balance also shows the bank that you’re capable of managing aoo soon or too often. Unless otherwise stipulated, credit card providers typically review your account after six months. Asking before that time could raise alarm bells and hurt your chances 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. It may be 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 credit card 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, it’s good practice to establish a healthy credit history by borrowing and repaying responsibly. A credit limit increase can be helpful 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 spend responsibly.

Frequently asked questions

How is my credit limit calculated in Singapore?

Your credit card limit is set by the card issuer and will be based on factors including your age, income and borrowing history. Plus, the limit will need to be within the parameters set by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

What’s the maximum credit limit?

As per MAS regulations, credit card limits in Singapore are usually restricted to no more than four times your monthly income.

MAS also dictates that if you have any outstanding unsecured debts exceeding six times your monthly income, financial institutions are not allowed to grant any increase in credit limit or any new unsecured credit facilities that will result in your credit limit exceeding 12 times your monthly income.

For instance, if you earn a monthly income of S$5,000 and have an outstanding debt of S$40,000 (which is 8 times your monthly income), you cannot be granted any additional unsecured credit if your existing total credit limit exceeds S$60,000.

Keep in mind that you’re not obliged to take the maximum credit limit. In fact, you may feel it’s a better option to choose a lower limit to help you avoid spending too much.

How is age a factor in the credit limit rules?

Generally speaking, the rules are similar but some income requirements can be lower if you’re aged 55 or above – but keep in mind that you may need to have at least S$750,000 in personal assets.

If you’re aged under 55 with and your yearly income is S$30,000 or below, you’ll have a credit limit cap of up to two times your monthly income. If you earn between S$30,000 and S$120,000 per year, your credit limit is up to four times your monthly income.

Finally, there’s no regulation on your limit if you earn S$120,000 or more a year.

How long does a credit limit increase take?

This will vary from bank to bank and could be anything from the same day to a couple of weeks. Make sure you read the lender’s terms before you apply, and check if there’s a waiting period for any previous applications you may have made to extend your credit.

Compare credit cards

Name Product Reward Cashback Offer Annual Fee Min Income - Singaporean and PR
HSBC Revolution Credit Card
Earn up to 10X Reward points or 4 miles per $1 spent on qualifying purchases.
Receive up to $200 cashback. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Dec 2022.
$0 annual fee
$30,000
New cardholders can choose from a Samsonite Prestige 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale (worth $670) or $200 cashback upon $500 minimum spend. Plus, receive up to $150 cashback when you apply for supplementary cards. Existing HSBC credit cardholders are eligible to receive $50 cashback. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Dec 2022.
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card
For every $1 spent, earn 1.2 KrisFlyer miles on local purchases, 2 KrisFlyer miles on overseas spend in June and December, Singapore Airlines and KrisShop and 3.2 KrisFlyer miles on Grab.
N/A
$337.05 annual fee
$50,000
Get 16,400 KrisFlyer miles upon annual fee payment and first transaction within 30 days from card approval. An additional 15,000 KrisFlyer miles when you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of Card approval. Valid until 30 Sep 2022. Also, earn 3,600 KrisFlyer miles based on the $3,000 spend above (based on 1.2 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spent locally). T&Cs apply.
Citi Prestige Card
Deals and discounts in more than 90 countries. Also, get six complimentary golf games across Asia
Up to 20% cashback at selected merchants
$535 annual fee
$120,000
Receive 120,000 ThankYou Points (48,000 Miles) when you pay the annual fee ($535) and spend $800 within two months. T&Cs apply. Valid until 31 Oct 2022.
HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card
Earn 1 Reward point for every $1 on all spend.
Up to 5% cash rebates on groceries, dining and fuel with minimum monthly spend of at least $600.
$0 annual fee for the first 2 years and $192.60 thereafter
$30,000
New cardholders can choose from a Samsonite Prestige 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale (worth $670) or $200 cashback upon $500 minimum spend. Plus, receive up to $150 cashback when you apply for supplementary cards. Existing HSBC credit cardholders are eligible to receive $50 cashback. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Dec 2022.
American Express Platinum Credit Card
Up to 50% off your food bill for unlimited visits at hotels around Singapore
N/A
$321 annual fee
$80,000
Get $100 CapitaVoucher upon payment of annual fee and first transaction within 30 days from card approval. An additional $100 worth of CapitaVouchers when you spend $2,000 within the first 3 months of card approval. Also, receive 2,500 Membership Rewards points from your base earn rate for the $2,000 spent. T&Cs apply. Valid until 30 Sep 2022.
Citi Cash Back+ Credit Card
Get up to 14% fuel discounts at Esso and Shell and 1.6% cash back on eligible retail purchases.
1.6% cash back on selected retail purchases
$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and $192.60 thereafter
$30,000
Receive 10% cash back (up to $300 cash back) on up to $3,000 spend in the first 2 months. T&Cs apply. Valid until 31 Oct 2022.
HSBC Advance Credit Card
Receive up to $200 cashback when minimum spend requirements are met.
Enjoy up to 3.5% cashback on all purchases with no minimum spend
$0 annual fee for the first 1 year (permanently waived for HSBC Advance banking customers) and $192.60 thereafter
$30,000
New cardholders can choose from a Samsonite Prestige 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale (worth $670) or $200 cashback upon $500 minimum spend. Plus, receive up to $150 cashback when you apply for supplementary cards. Existing HSBC credit cardholders are eligible to receive $50 cashback. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Dec 2022.
American Express True Cashback Card
Enjoy 1.5% cashback on all purchases with no minimum spend or cap. Plus receive up to $80 CapitaVouchers when a minimum spend of $250 is made in the first month.
Earn 1.5% cashback on all eligible spending with no minimum spend or cap
$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and $171.20 thereafter
$30,000
Apply today and get a 3% cashback bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first six months.
Citi Cash Back Card
Get up to 20.88% fuel discounts at Esso and Shell, 6% cashback on dining and 8% cashback on groceries.
6% cash back on dining, 8% cashback on groceries and petrol transactions. 0.25% cashback on other retail purchases, capped at $80 for all transactions per statement month.
$0 annual fee for the first 1 year and $192.60 thereafter
$30,000
Get a welcome gift of $300 cash back when you spend $800 in the first two months. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 Oct 2022.
Aspire Corporate Card
Enjoy exclusive perks and discounts with Aspire's extensive range of partners, redeemable at anytime
1% Cashback for qualified spend of above S$5,000. T&Cs apply
$0 annual fee
N/A
A corporate debit card for SMEs and Startups with no annual fee and low FX fees. Enjoy 1% cashback on marketing and SaaS spend. T&Cs apply.
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