What is a good credit card limit?

Find out how credit card limits work and whether you can increase yours.

Your credit limit will be set by your credit card provider once your application for a credit card has been accepted, and it can vary depending on a number of factors.

But what’s a good credit limit and what are your options for increasing it? We explain all you need to know.

What is a credit limit?

A credit limit is the amount you can borrow on a credit card at any one time. So if your credit card has a credit limit of £2,500, this is the maximum amount you can spend on your card.

Your credit limit will be determined based on a number of factors such as the following:

  • Your credit score and credit history. If you have a history of borrowing responsibly and repaying your debt on time, you’re more likely to be offered a higher credit limit.
  • Your income. The more you earn, the more you’re likely to be able to borrow.
  • Existing levels of debt. The amount of debt you have already and your current credit limits can also be a factor when determining how much you’ll be able to borrow.
  • Length of time as a customer. The longer you’ve been with a provider, the more likely they are to offer you a higher credit limit.
  • The lender’s policy. Credit limits can vary depending on the card provider and the type of credit card.

What is a good credit card limit?

A good credit limit is one that meets both your borrowing needs and your ability to repay it.

Experts recommend that you should avoid using more than 30% of your available credit per card at any one time, so if your credit limit is £3,000, you should use no more than £900. A “good” credit limit should ensure this is all you need to access. Having a lower credit utilisation rate – the amount of available credit that you use – can also be beneficial for your credit score.

The average credit card limit in the UK sits between £3,000 and £4,000, but someone on a low income with a poor credit history might only have a credit limit of around £200 to £500.

By contrast, if your credit history is excellent and you have a high income, you might be offered a credit limit as high as £12,000.

How can I increase my credit limit?

The best way to increase your credit limit is to be a reliable borrower. That means paying off your credit card balance on time each month and sticking to your current credit limit. If you do this successfully for a number of months, and manage all other credit well, your credit card provider might automatically offer you an increase or, if they don’t, you can ask your provider for one.

Pros and cons of a high credit limit

Pros

  • Gives you plenty of spending flexibility
  • Can lower your credit utilisation rate
  • If you have a rewards credit card, a higher credit limit will help you earn more cashback or air miles

Cons

  • Could encourage you to spend more than you can afford to pay back
  • If you don’t clear your balance each month, you’ll end up paying a lot in interest
  • A higher credit limit could prevent other lenders from offering you credit in the future

Frequently asked questions

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