How to Get a Amex Credit Line Increase (2022 Update)

Article Summary:

You can get an American Express credit line increase either automatically or through a formal request. You can give them a call or message them through your mobile app or online account to ask for a credit line increase. Your chances are best if you haven’t reached or exceeded your current credit limit, have a good credit history, and regularly make timely payments on your Amex credit card.

Who hasn’t wanted a credit limit increase at one time or another? Perhaps you want to make a major purchase so you need a higher credit limit. Or maybe you just want to increase your overall credit limits in order to lower your credit utilization ratio. That’s a solid way to improve your credit score and make you more attractive to other lenders.

Whatever your reasons for wanting an Amex credit limit increase, there are a number of ways to make your request more compelling. Let’s take a look at Amex credit cards, how they work, and the best ways to get approval for a credit limit increase request.

Amex credit cards

American Express began as a freight forwarding company back in 1850 and didn’t launch its first charge card until 1958. Shortly afterward in 1966, Amex introduced the Corporate Card, separating personal cards from company finance and focusing on helping business owners better understand their financial choices.

In 1995, American Express released its first cobranded card: the Hilton Optima card. Since the 1990s, in fact, Amex has prided itself on offering one of the best rewards programs among credit card issuers. After providing independent services and expanding into Yugoslavia and Venezuela in the late 1990s, American Express has become a major credit card issuer with cards tailored to specific users, including military personnel, Delta Air Lines flyers, and corporate owners.

How to apply for an American Express card credit limit increase

In some cases, you don’t have to do anything to get a credit line increase with American Express. Depending on your creditworthiness and account history with Amex, you may be eligible for an increased credit limit automatically.

If you haven’t received an automatic credit limit increase yet, you have three options to formally request one.

Pick up the phone and call

Even in this day and age, some people just prefer to talk to an actual human being, and that’s perfectly acceptable. Call an American Express card representative at one of the numbers below and request a credit limit increase request.

DepartmentPhone number
Personal cards1-800-528-4800
Small business1-800-492-3344
Merchant service1-800-528-5200
Corporate cards1-800-528-2122
Membership rewards1-800-297-3276

IMPORTANT! If you have an Amex credit card connected to specific rewards (such as a Marriott Bonvoy or Hilton card), check the back of your card for a different phone number. You may have better luck speaking with a representative that can help you with your specific card.

From your online account

  1. Visit AmericanExpress.com and login to your account
  2. Click “Account services”
  3. Click “Credit management”
  4. Then select “Increase line of credit”

An Amex card representative will consider your request for a credit limit increase by checking your available credit and payment history with them. They will also look at other credit details, such as how much additional debt you have and what your current credit score is.

How to get approved for an Amex credit line increase request

Customers should be aware that when requesting a credit limit increase, American Express will need to check their credit again, which may result in a hard inquiry. In many ways, getting approved for credit line increases is similar to how you originally applied for the card, plus some additional general eligibility requirements and guidelines.

  • Timing. Amex claims there are three ideal times to ask for a credit limit increase. These “ideal times” include when your credit score is strong, your income increases, or when you regularly make timely credit card payments.
  • Card balances. You should be in good standing with your Amex card account. In other words, you shouldn’t be over your credit limit or have any late payments. This should also be the case with your other credit card accounts. Additionally, you want to show a low credit utilization ratio (30% or less is ideal).
  • Credit reports. Having the same or better credit scores than when you applied for your original Amex card is helpful. No credit card company wants to see that you can’t manage your debt, and if a credit check reveals that your score has plummeted, you won’t be eligible for a credit increase.
  • American Express card usage. In addition to your account being in good standing, your request for an increased limit will likely be looked on more favorably if you use the spending power of your Amex card on a regular basis. The card issuer doesn’t want to see a card balance that’s dangerously close to your current credit limit, nor do they want to see almost no activity either.
  • Be conservative. Don’t try and shoot for the stars when asking for a credit line increase. If your current credit limit is $5,000 and you ask for a $5,000 increase, your chances of being denied are high. A more conservative approach is best. If you ask for a 20% limit increase of $1,000, your approval odds improve drastically.

Even if you can’t receive a permanent increase, you may be eligible for a temporary credit limit increase with American Express. If you have a large purchase coming up, call the Amex customer service number and explain your situation. It may only be a temporary credit limit increase, but that’s better than nothing.

What to do if your American Express credit line increase is denied

It’s possible that you’ve done everything right — kept your credit score in good shape, managed your American Express card and other accounts responsibly — but your request for a higher credit limit is still denied.

In that case, you might turn to another credit card company to see about a credit line increase on a different card. Or, you might want to apply for an entirely new card altogether. If the reason you were asking for the higher credit line was to make a big purchase, you might want to look into a card with a 0% introductory rate. That way, you could have a year or two to pay it off without owing any interest.

Pro Tip

Try not to submit too many requests for credit limit increases. American Express generally won’t approve a credit limit increase within six months of the previous request.

Repair your credit score

Alternatively, if you suspect that your request was denied due to credit score problems, this would be a good time to reassess your financial situation and make some changes that will turn that score in a more positive direction.

Fortunately, the American Express website offers MyCredit Guide, which provides users with a free credit report and score from Transunion. One of the best things about this feature is that anyone can use it, not just American Express cardholders.

Scouring your credit reports for errors, paying down your debts, and keeping all of your accounts in good order are solid ways to achieve this goal. You might also consider hiring a credit repair company to help you.

Pro Tip

If you haven’t used your Amex card much lately and you want to request a credit limit increase, you might consider harnessing that buying power to show some activity on your account first. Your limit increase request will probably be looked on more favorably if you regularly use the card.

Amex card security

Amex provides multiple security features that protect cardholders from fraudulent activity and simple mistakes. One feature unique to Amex credit cards is the card’s four-digit security code. While it may not seem like much, the code’s additional digit makes it that much harder for hackers to steal your information.

In addition to the security code, Amex account holders can freeze their American Express cards. If you notice your card is missing, normally you would need to cancel the card and wait for a new one in the mail. But because of the freezing feature, you can just pause the account and if the card turns up, you can just turn it back on.

IMPORTANT! Fortunately, you can freeze your account both online through the American Express website or through the company’s mobile app.

Minimum requirements to get an Amex card

Before you apply for an Amex credit card, make sure you meet the requirements below.

  • Be 18 years or older, depending on where you live.
  • Have a stable and independent income to pay back your credit card debt.
  • Have a U.S. address that isn’t a P.O. box.
  • Maintain a reasonable credit utilization ratio.
  • Provide personal information, including your Social Security number, current employment status, employer, and your annual income.

American Express also requires card applicants to have a good to excellent credit score (think 670 and above) and solid credit history to access the best Amex cards and terms. You also cannot be the primary cardholder on more than five Amex credit cards at once.

These requirements are higher than some credit card issuers. If you prefer to use a different credit card than an Amex card, take a look at some of your options below.

FAQs

Does Amex automatically increase your credit limit?

Depending on your spending habits, account activity, and creditworthiness, American Express may automatically increase your credit limit.

Does increasing your Amex credit limit affect your credit score?

Your American Express credit limit increase will likely decrease your credit score temporarily, as the representatives reviewing your application must perform a hard inquiry on your credit report. However, this decrease is only temporary.

That being said, a credit line increase may still affect your credit score if you mismanage your account. For example, if you miss or make late payments, it will negatively affect your credit score and you wouldn’t be eligible for a credit line increase. Also, it should be noted that you can’t actually go over your credit limit — if you attempt it, your credit card transaction will be denied.

Is an Amex credit line increase a soft pull?

If you request a credit limit increase, American Express may perform a hard pull on your credit report, which will temporarily decrease your credit score. However, a hard credit inquiry isn’t always necessary, so Amex may only need to perform a soft pull. Regardless, it’s best to be prepared for either situation.

What is the Amex Gold Card limit?

The American Express Gold Card does not currently have a preset spending limit. This means your spending power is determined on a monthly basis based on the cardholder’s current income, spending habits, and payment history.

Is it good to request a credit line increase?

Requesting a credit limit increase can be fine to do, especially if you need a higher credit limit for a major purchase. A larger credit line will also lower your credit utilization ratio, at least initially, which can provide a boost to your credit score.

However, it’s important to understand the potential downsides that come with a higher credit line. For instance, you may feel you can spend more money than you can reasonably pay back, which may hurt your credit score.

Key Takeaways

  • A few clicks on your online account is all you need to do to request an American Express credit limit increase.
  • Amex will review your credit details and payment history before approving an American Express limit increase.
  • There may be a hard pull of your credit report to approve a higher credit limit, which could temporarily shave a few points off your credit score.
  • Despite your best efforts, a credit line increase is not guaranteed, so you might need to explore other options.
View Article Sources
  1. Who We Are — American Express
  2. Credit Cards — American Express
  3. What Is Available Credit? — SuperMoney
  4. How to Lower Your Credit Utilization Ratio — SuperMoney
  5. How to Improve Your Credit Score — SuperMoney
  6. How to Get A Higher Limit on Your Credit Card — SuperMoney
  7. What are the Different Types of Credit Cards? — SuperMoney
  8. Best American Express Credit Cards | August 2022 — SuperMoney
  9. Best Business Credit Cards | August 2022 — SuperMoney
  10. Bread Cashback American Express Credit Card — SuperMoney
  11. Credit One Bank American Express® Card — SuperMoney
  12. American Express® National Bank Amex EveryDay® Credit Card — SuperMoney
  13. 2021 Consumer Credit Card Industry Study — SuperMoney