If you’re using your credit card fairly often, especially using cash back credit cards to maximize your rewards on big-ticket items and everyday purchases – it’s usually better to have a high credit card limit.

But this can also increase your chances of making credit card mistakes, making it more likely you won’t be able to pay back the full balance every month, and ultimately tanking your credit score.

So how do you get a higher credit card limit than the one you were approved for or started out with?

The first step is to ask your bank. You can:

  • call your provider,
  • write a letter/email,
  • request a limit increase via online banking, and
  • visit a branch.

But before you make the call or get the car started, there are a few things to consider.

You need to have a healthy credit score

You shouldn’t bother asking for a higher credit limit if your credit score isn’t healthy.

If you’re carrying a large balance, only making minimum payments, or simply don’t have a good credit history – you probably don’t want to ask for a limit increase.

Here’s how credit scores in Canada are classified:

  • 760 – 900: Excellent
  • 725 – 759: Very Good
  • 660 – 724: Good
  • 560 – 659: Fair
  • 300 – 559: Poor

Wondering what your score is? Here’s how to find out your credit score in Canada.

If you’re really set on increasing your limit and are willing to put the work in to improve your credit card score, here’s a few tips to improving your credit score:

  • Pay your credit card bills on time, every time.
  • Keep your credit utilization (the percentage of your credit you use) under 30% – start going above that, and your score starts to decline as it can be seen as a sign of financial stress.
  • Make more than the minimum payment.

And the best tip of them all?

Go on a money date with yourself

Grab a glass of wine, a cup of coffee, or whatever your favourite relaxing beverage is – and be honest with yourself.

Go over all of your finances, make sure all credit card purchases add up, you’re not being charged any hidden credit card fees, and that your card isn’t being compromised.

See if you can cut back on some unnecessary purchases and make some healthier decisions to put you closer to your financial goals.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself during your money date:

  • Am I spending too much on things I shouldn’t be?
  • How much do I need to budget for my necessary spending? (bills, rent, groceries, gas)
  • Am I using my credit card to maximize my rewards? (AKA utilizing the earn rates on my credit card)

Once your credit score is good or higher, you’re probably in the clear to ask for a credit limit increase.

Related: Credit Card Fraud: 5 Things I Wish I Knew

Credit cards with no income requirements to boost your credit score

If you’re looking to boost your credit score, having more credit to your name is often a good way to go. For easier approval, a low or no income requirement credit card can help you.

The has no income requirements, no annual fee, and a nice 1% cash back with every purchase.

Plus, it’s also part of the small no foreign transaction fee club, which is always a bonus when travelling or making purchases in a foreign currency.

The also has no income requirement, no annual fee, and a nice 2.5% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months. After that, you’ll be earning 1.25% cash back on all other purchases.

Did we mention there’s no limit to the cash back you can earn?

Related: No Fee Vs. Low Fee Credit Cards

Rate Your Wallet and find your perfect match.

What’s good and bad about asking for a limit increase?

Like with every situation, there’s a good and a bad side. It’s good to consider the pros and cons before asking for a credit card limit increase.

Pros

If you’ve decided to go ahead with a limit increase, it can help you in a lot of ways. It can:

  • boost your credit score by increasing the amount of credit you aren’t using,
  • add to your available spending to maximize credit card rewards, and
  • increase the amount of credit you have in case of financial emergencies.

Cons

A big con to a limit increase: not being able to handle it.

A limit increase can do great things, but it also increases your chances of being in credit card debt.

If you’re not able to make your monthly payment, you’re not able to handle the responsibility of increasing your credit card limit.

There’s a phrase that’s worth repeating over and over again:

Don’t treat credit cards like free money.

Should I accept a pre-approved credit limit increase?

Sometimes you don’t even need to ask for a credit limit increase – the bank just offers you one.

It’s usually when you’re seen as a good client that a bank will reach out with the opportunity to increase your credit.

For me, I almost always accept these increases as it does boost my credit score and I’ve set out on a journey on increasing my score to its full potential, but that might not be the way to go for everyone.

For a pre-approved credit limit increase, the cons remain the same.

Before you accept, ask yourself:

Are you sure you’re responsible enough to have a larger balance?

We want to hear from you

Have you ever been pre-approved for a credit card?

Did you accept it?

Let us know in the comments below.