You just got a shiny new American Express credit card, but is the credit limit a little bit too small for your liking? If you’re willing to give it some time, it is actually pretty easy to grow it a large degree. Even better, you wont be getting those dirty hard inquiries on your credit report for doing so.
How To Get 3x Credit Limits
From the day you get approved for your new credit card, you’ll need to wait a total of 61 days. During that time frame, you’ll need to make sure your card is in good standing. This means paying your card on time and being responsible with the limit American Express already gave you. Once that 61 days have passed, you can either phone up American Express or request an increase on your online account. Ask for 3 times your existing credit limit, so if you had a $2,000 limit, ask to be raised to $6,000 total. In the best case scenario, you are approved for your request!
If you did not get approved for your credit limit increase because you applied too early, you can ask again on day 61. If you did not get the credit increase because of a credit related issue, you’ll be able to ask again 90 days later.
Once you do get your credit limit increase, you’ll have to wait 6 months (181 days to be exact) until you can apply for another credit limit increase. Once the 6 months have passed, you can ask for another 3x credit limit increase.
$35,000 Limit and Beyond
While it would be nice we could continually ask for 3x our limit forever, there is a certain point where it wouldn’t make sense for American Express to keep approving it. While not a hard rule, this seems to be around the $35,000 mark. Once you bump up around this point, they may ask for proof of income. Keep in mind, this is different from the dreaded American Express financial review. All you’ll need to do is prove that you actually make however much you claim to make. If your income supports having that $35,000 limit, then American Express will have no problem approving you for more.
However, don’t expect 3x limits if your income doesn’t support it. Once you reach this point, I’d shoot for getting $5k credit limit increases, as it’ll be much easier to approve those.
Restrictions to be Aware of
There are a few different restrictions outside of the 35k limit. The first restriction includes the way American Express views your account. Instead of each card being separate, American Express views your entire portfolio with them as the same account. So if you have 2 or more credit cards with them, you’ll only be able to get a credit increase with 1 card every 6 months. With that in mind, it would be worth doing 3x on the card with the bigger limit. If you need more other card, you can move the credit limit to the other card.
Something that impacts the way American Express views me personally has to do with my student loans. American Express is a very generous lender, however, they do look pretty unfavorably at student loans, more so than other lenders. I’ve only ever gotten a 3x increase from $2,000 to $6,000 because of my loans. Every other increase after that has been less than 3x, but still pretty substantial.
Finally, if you barely got approved for an American Express card (think very low, less than $1,000 limits), then you may not be able to use this 3x CLI guide until you build up the limit some more with them. This just has to do with Amex’s risk assessment. If you got that low limit in the first place, then there’s something they didn’t originally like. So long as you work on your credit, and show them you deserve it, they’ll help you out! You just may have to give it some time, and do smaller credit limit increases every 6 months.
At the beginning of anyone’s credit journey, the hardest thing to overcome are the low limits. Not many lenders are willing to be the first one to give out a big limits to a new customer. That, and when you may use a credit card for a small purchase, it eats up a big chunk of your credit limit. American Express is one of the only ones out there that are willing to work with people with new credit profiles.
Just increasing the credit limit on one card to a certain point ($5,000 or even $10,000) can really open the door for anyone looking to get better credit cards that have these minimums. To me, there is no better way to quickly get to that point then with the 3x credit limits Amex is willing to give out. Take full advantage of this as soon as possible!
Have you taken advantage of this policy? Share your experiences with us down in the comment section below.