The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Highest Credit Card Credit Limits by Category in 2020

Credit Card Limits

credit card advice

Eric Bank
By: Eric Bank
Posted: November 19, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

Running afoul of credit card credit limits can be a mortifying experience. Imagine being told by the waiter that your card has been declined as your guests look on in embarrassment. You soon find out that your sumptuous dinner for eight puts you way over your card limit.

That’s when you resolve that you’ll never go over your credit card limit again. And here you are — reading all about the credit cards with the highest limits. Naturally, you’ve resolved to maintain reasonably low balances on your cards, but isn’t it nice to know that the occasional splurge is well within reach?

It’s even nicer when you don’t have to pay a humongous annual fee to get an exclusive high limit card. No need to seek ways to get an invite for the infamous Black Card, you can choose from among dozens of rewards cards that won’t make you hyperventilate when the annual fee comes due.

Highest Overall | Air Miles | Balance Transfer | Cash Back | Points | Business | Student | Fair Credit | Bad Credit | Amex | BoA | Capital One | Chase | Citi | Wells Fargo

Highest “Overall” Credit Limit: $500,000

You probably don’t need a credit card limit of half a million dollars, but it’s good to know that high-limit cards are available when you are contemplating a big-ticket purchase. Imagine plunking down your credit card to pay for your child’s five-star wedding attended by hundreds of (hungry and picky) guests. Or perhaps you just bought your first home and need to drop some serious coin at the big box store.

The winners of the nosebleed award for the highest credit limit among cards for mere mortals are these twins: Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, with annual fees in the mid-triple digits and high-double digits, respectively. Both are very impressive cards, and remarks on Quora indicate that it’s possible to get a credit limit of up to $500,000.

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99%-23.99% Variable
$550
Good/Excellent

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

Back here in the real world, the average credit limit on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is $10,000, with a minimum limit loosely set to $5,000 (so first prequalify for the minimum limit before wasting a hard inquiry).

Credit Karma reports that about a third of Sapphire Preferred cardholders have a credit limit of at least $10,000, with 10% obtaining a limit above $20,000. Only 3% received credit limits below $5,000.

Screenshot of Sapphire Preferred Credit Limits Graph

Credit Karma user data indicates the average Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholder has a limit of around $10,000.

The credit limits on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card are even higher, with forum visitors routinely reporting lines of $50,000 to $80.000. But Chase doesn’t publish a credit limit for this card, so the ceiling probably matches or exceeds the Preferred card’s high of half a million smackeroos. Look for this card to offer a minimum credit limit of $10,000.

Both cards offer abundant benefits and perks, and we consider them among the very top travel cards currently available. The points you earn are worth more when you use them for travel purchases on the Chase Ultimate Rewards website.

Highest “Air Miles” Credit Limit: $50,000

Credit cards offering rewards in the form of air miles can help reduce the cost of a trip or vacation. With costs rising every year, air miles are a welcome money-saver for millions of consumers. By choosing an air miles card with a high credit limit, you have the flexibility to take longer and/or more expensive vacations without sweating every expense.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns kudos for the highest credit limit among cards offering air miles rewards. The card is available to consumers with fair or better credit scores, with the average credit bureau score hovering around 725 and the average credit line approximately $10,000.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

Some reviewers reported higher limits and lower scores, such as the person with a 662 score and a $15,000 limit. But we’ve also seen higher limits, in the $30,000 to $50,000 range. The minimum credit limit should be $5,000 because this is a Visa Signature® card.

Several reviewers mentioned that it was fairly easy to get a credit line increase from Capital One. Only occasionally were cardholders treated to an unsolicited credit line increase. The card boasts blackout-free travel rewards applicable to any airline or hotel, as well as the ability to transfer miles to participating frequent flyer programs.

Highest “Balance Transfer” Credit Limit: $95,000

It can happen – your credit card balances accumulate over time and you find yourself making a half-dozen minimum payments each month. Obtaining a high-limit balance transfer card can break the cycle by allowing you to consolidate all your balances onto your new card. The high limit allows you to concentrate your attention and money on paying down all your credit card debt using a single balance transfer card.

Research indicates the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers the highest credit limit — $95,000 — among balance transfer cards. This is considerably higher than the competition and probably is not representative of the vast majority of cardholders. Nonetheless, this is a remarkable limit for a credit card that has no annual fee.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Enjoy a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Introductory 0% APR for your first 12 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening (balance transfer fee applies)
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 billing cycles
0% for 12 billing cycles
13.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The card offers an APR of 0% for 12 billing cycles after opening the credit card account. To participate in the offer, you must complete the transfers within 60 days of opening the credit account. A balance transfer fee applies.

This is a cash back card in which you earn the top purchase reward rate on the merchant category you choose. Other purchases earn lower cash back rates, depending on the merchant category. There is also a modest signup bonus when you spend the required amount on purchases during the first 90 days after opening the account.

Highest “Cash Back” Credit Limit: $24,000

Who doesn’t love cash? If you’d like more of it, then perhaps a cash back credit card should occupy a privileged spot in your wallet. By choosing a cash back card with a high credit limit, you don’t have to worry about juggling multiple cards when you’re in shopping mode. A high limit card can provide peace of mind when you’re shopping for a big family or simply need to handle large expenses.

After Chase won the overall top spot with its Sapphire doppelgängers, you shouldn’t be surprised that it’s got another set of twins that lead the high limit pack of cash back cards. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Freedom FlexSM siblings win this category with reported credit limits of up to $24,000 for qualified applicants. That’s a pretty high limit considering both cards are meant for everyday purchases and charge no annual fees.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Chase Freedom FlexSM Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

These cards have much in common, including high cash back rewards, signup bonuses, and 0% introductory interest rate offers for new cardmembers. In fact, just about the only difference between the two is the way you earn cash back.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers several cash back tiers depending on the merchant categories for your purchases. Chase Freedom FlexSM adds quarterly rotating bonus categories (which you must activate) to the mix.

While a relative few will qualify for the highest credit limits, average cardholders will receive card limits in the $3,000 to $5,000 range. However, many cardholders have reported successfully getting a higher credit limit from Chase. If you do so, remember that you’ll have a hard inquiry added to your credit report that may lower your score a few points for up to a year.

Highest “Points” Credit Limit: $500,000

Points are a flexible type of reward because you can use them to pay for purchases or convert them into cash back or miles when it suits you. The cards with the highest overall credit limits, Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, are points cards, so they win this category as well.

A few well-heeled applicants will qualify for six-figure limits, but most will qualify for limits closer to the $5,000 to $10,000 minimum.

POINTS & GIFTS RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99%-23.99% Variable
$550
Good/Excellent

POINTS & GIFTS RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

These two cards offer many benefits beyond a high credit limit. Furthermore, your points grow in value when you redeem them for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards. If you prefer, you can transfer your points to any airline or hotel partnering with Chase.

Also, you can cash in your points for a statement credit, an electronic deposit to your bank or credit union account, or gift cards from well-known merchants.

Highest “Business” Credit Limit: $25,000

Owners of small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) can use business credit cards to cut their expenses and earn rewards, but the cards are also widely used at large corporations. Most business cards offer free employee cards that allow owners to accumulate rewards much faster. Business credit cards often provide higher rewards for business-related purchases and travel.

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card offers credit limits as high as $25,000 to its best applicants. However, the minimum credit limit for this card is $5,000. You may qualify for higher limits (initially or later on) based upon your income, credit, and debt.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • New Offer! Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99%-20.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

The card rewards you well in return for its moderate annual fee. Rewards are in the form of points that you can redeem at Chase Ultimate Rewards for 25% more value when used for travel.

You can transfer your points 1:1 to the leading frequent flyer program, spend them through Chase Ultimate Rewards, or redeem them for cash back and gift cards. There’s no charge for employee cards, foreign transactions, or liability protection. The card also bestows you with various types of travel and purchase protections.

Highest “Student” Credit Limit: $5,000

You shouldn’t expect student credit cards to have high credit limits because students can obtain these cards without a payment history. In other words, issuers of student credit cards are usually flying blind regarding an applicant’s creditworthiness. Expect most of these cards to offer limits in the $300 to $1,000 range.

The Deserve EDU Mastercard for students usually has a starting credit limit of around $500, but the limit can climb as high as $5,000 over time, earning it top honors in this category. This card offers cash back rewards, no annual or international transaction fees, and a mobile app to manage the account. In addition, the card provides cellphone protection and one free year of Amazon Prime Student.

Deserve EDU Mastercard Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

4.2/5.0
  • Earn 1% cash back on all purchases + Amazon Prime Student on us for 1 year
  • Cellphone protection up to $600
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No Social Security number required for international students to apply
  • $0 Annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.74% (variable)
$0
None/Limited

Unlike many of its competitors, the Deserve EDU Mastercard is available to international students who lack a Social Security number. The card does not support cash advances or balance transfers. You can earn a small bonus when you refer a friend who gets the card.

Highest “Fair Credit” Credit Limit: $5,000

FICO scores in the 600s generally indicate fair credit. If you belong to this group, you may not qualify for the best credit cards, but you’re not relegated to the worst. In fact, some pretty good cards are readily available for consumers with fair credit, and some have reasonably high credit limits.

The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card has an average credit limit around $2,000, and top applicants may be assigned a limit of up to $5,000.

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$39
Average, Fair, Limited

Credit limit increases are possible, but you first must observe responsible behavior (i.e., paying every credit card bill on time, staying below your credit limit), for six months. The card charges a low annual fee and lets you earn a flat cash back rate on all purchases.

The card offers very modest benefits. There are no bonus offers and the interest rate is on the high side. Still, you can perform balance transfers with no transfer fee, get unlimited access to credit information, and receive $0 fraud coverage.

Highest “Bad Credit” Credit Limit: $4,900

When your credit is bad, your best shot for obtaining a credit card is getting a secured one. Secured cards are collateralized by your cash deposit that the issuer uses to ensure you meet your payment obligations. A secured card’s credit limit equals (with rare exception) the amount you deposit.

Currently, the Bank of America® Cash Back Secured Credit Card offers the highest maximum credit limit, $4,900, although the limit can be as small as $300. The bank may set an initial credit limit based on your income and your ability to pay. If you try to deposit more than the approved limit, the bank will refund you the difference.

Bank of America® Cash Back Secured Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • A minimum refundable security deposit of $300 (maximum of $4,900) is required to open this account
  • Access your FICO® Score updated monthly for free, within your Mobile Banking app or in Online Banking
  • Optional overdraft protection option helps prevent declined purchases, returned checks or other overdrafts when you link your eligible Bank of America® checking account to your credit card. Transfer fees may apply.
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
23.99% Variable
$0
Bad/Limited

Bank of America’s policy is to periodically review your credit activity and return your deposit if you demonstrate creditworthy behavior. The card features several cash back reward tiers and flexible redemption methods, including statement credits, automatic redemptions, and direct deposits to checking, savings, Merrill investment, or qualifying 529 accounts. The card charges no annual fee and offers optional overdraft protection.

Highest “American Express” Credit Limit: NPSL

Whoever coined the phrase “the sky’s the limit” must have owned The Platinum Card® from American Express because it has no preset spending limit. This is a charge card, which means you are expected to pay your entire balance each month. However, you can use Plan It® to stretch out the payments for large purchases for a fixed fee, up to your Pay Over Time limit.

While it’s true that this card has no preset spending limit, it doesn’t mean you can go hog wild if you want to pay over time. The Pay Over Time limit sets the total amount you can finance, including purchases, cash advances, and your current balance. You must immediately pay any balance in excess of your Pay Over Time Limit.

The Platinum Card® Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CATEGORY RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Also earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels (booked and paid in advance) on amextravel.com.
  • Earn 1X points on all other eligible purchases. Terms apply.
  • Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees, such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments, are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card® Account
  • $100 hotel credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa, and resort activities. Qualifying activities vary by property.
  • Access to The Global Lounge Collection® including 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries and counting
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A (Charge Card)
$550
Excellent

Let’s be frank: The financing options for The Platinum Card® are a kluge to make up for the card’s original charge-only nature. The card is aimed at affluent consumers, so you may never need to finance your purchases. However, if you do need to stretch your payments, you should delve into the paragraphs of fine print that define your options, but first, brew up a pot of strong coffee.

The card is festooned with generous rewards and benefits, as befitting a card charging an annual fee in the mid-three-digit range. The APR for the Pay Over Time feature is relatively low, but that’s not the case for the cash advance and penalty APRs. Fees apply to cash advances, late payments, and returned payments, but not to foreign transactions.

Highest “Bank of America” Credit Limit: $95,000

Research indicates that the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers the highest credit limit — $95,000 — among BOA cards. This is considerably higher than the competition and probably is not representative of the vast majority of cardholders. Nonetheless, this is a remarkable limit for a credit card that has no annual fee.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Enjoy a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Introductory 0% APR for your first 12 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening (balance transfer fee applies)
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 billing cycles
0% for 12 billing cycles
13.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

Our hunch is that only the top tier of BoA customers — those with $100,000+ on deposit — would qualify for this credit limit. In fact, the minimum credit limit of $1,500 is probably way closer to the average.

The card itself offers three tiers of cash back, a signup bonus when you spend the required amount on purchases during the first 90 days after account opening, and a 0% introductory APR for purchases. You have many options for redeeming your rewards, including the Premium Rewards Program in which your other BoA accounts can boost the value of your rewards.

Highest “Capital One” Credit Limit: $50,000

One reviewer received an initial $50,000 credit limit from the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. That’s pretty good for Capital One, which aims its credit card offerings to a wide swathe of credit profiles. The average credit limit is in the $5,000 to $10,000 range, depending on your creditworthiness.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

The card lets you earn unlimited double air miles on all purchases, and the miles don’t expire while the account remains open. It comes with a two-stage signup bonus that rewards you for purchases made in the first three and 12 months after account opening. You’ll be reimbursed for Global Entry or TSA Precheck fees, and you can transfer your miles to more than 10 frequent flyer programs.

Highest “Chase” Credit Limit: $500,000

The hands-down winners among the Chase cards are the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card twins sporting an overall credit limit as high as $500,000.

We think anything approaching that limit is as rare as hen’s teeth, but if you’re a wealthy cardholder, perhaps you will score a six-figure credit limit. More likely, your initial credit line will range from $5,000 to $10,000, followed by a credit limit increase for creditworthy behavior.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99%-23.99% Variable
$550
Good/Excellent

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

If you don’t mind shelling out a stiff annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one terrific card, with many bells and whistles that should satisfy all but the fussiest travelers. If you’d like 80% of the features for 20% of the cost, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card that arrives with many benefits in a much more affordable package.

Highest “Citi” Credit Limit: $50,000

Among Citi credit cards, the competition for the highest credit limit is spirited. The Citi® Double Cash Card just edges out second-place Citi Prestige® Credit Card, $50,000 to $45,000, according to a couple of in-the-know sources.

Caveat: Credit card issuers don’t publish maximum credit limits, so sussing out the highest one from Citi or any other credit card company often relies on random comments in a forum or review.

CITI® RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn cash back twice! Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance Transfers do not earn cash back and will have a fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • 24/7 access to customer service representatives
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 18 months
13.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

The Citi® Double Cash Card pays cash back when you purchase an item and again when you pay the credit card bill. It also offers one of the longest balance transfer 0% introductory offers in the business. Another nice feature: No annual fee.

Highest “Wells Fargo” Credit Limit: $38,000

A City Data reviewer reports a $38,000 credit limit for the Wells Fargo Platinum Card. This card is a bit of an odd duck because it doesn’t offer any rewards. Rather, its selling point is a moderate regular APR and a 0% introductory APR on purchases and credit card balance transfers for new cardmembers.

Wells Fargo Platinum Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Introductory 0% APR offers for 18 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers (balance transfer fee applies)
  • Account protection features such as Zero Liability protection for promptly reported unauthorized transactions, alerts, and cell phone protection
  • My Money Map – tools to help you manage spending and create a budget with ease
  • Access to your FICO® Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online®
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 18 months
0% for 18 months
16.49% - 24.49% Variable
$0
Good

The card charges no annual fee. Benefits include auto rental collision damage waiver, travel and roadside assistance, travel accident insurance, and cellphone protection. Additionally, you get $0 liability protection, access to your FICO credit score, overdraft protection, and automatic alerts.

What is a Credit Card Credit Limit?

The credit limit on your credit card defines how much you can charge for purchases and cash advances. If you attempt to spend beyond your credit limit, the card issuer will likely decline the transaction and/or charge you a penalty fee.

If your end-of-cycle balance exceeds your credit limit, your minimum payment will be at least the amount of the overage.

Issuers impose credit limits to protect itself and its customers. Allowing a cardholder to have an unrealistically high credit limit may lead to late and missed payments. Therefore, card issuers take care to evaluate an applicant’s financial condition and payment history before setting a credit limit.

How Are Credit Limits Determined?

For unsecured credit cards, issuers determine credit limits based upon an applicant’s credit score and credit history, as well as the general guidelines for each card. Cards are often pitched to different types of credit profiles, from poor to excellent, and the general range of credit limits varies accordingly.

When you apply for a credit card, the issuer will usually conduct a hard inquiry on your credit report. This gives the issuer a complete look at your credit history, including any derogatory items that occurred up to 10 years ago.

Issuers apply algorithms that look at an applicant’s income, current indebtedness, creditworthiness, and other factors before approving an application and assigning a credit limit.

Secured credit cards work a little differently. Their credit limits match the amount deposited by the cardholder as collateral. Secured card credit limits generally range from $300 to $5,000, depending upon the issuer’s practices.

Which Credit Card Offers the Highest Credit Limit?

Of the cards reviewed in this article, the Chase travel card twins, Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, are purported to have credit limits as high as $500,000.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

That’s probably exceedingly rare, but limits of up to $100,000 are more achievable. The minimum credit limits on the Preferred and Reserve cards are $5,000 and $10,000, respectively.

Some luxury cards are geared to the ultra-rich rather than the general public. American Express and Mastercard offer “black” cards that may carry seven-digit credit limits. The American Express Centurion® Card is available only through invitation, and if you aren’t a multimillionaire, you need not hang around your mailbox waiting for your invite.

The Luxury Card™ Mastercard® Black Card™ was once a Visa card before it was rebranded. You can apply for this card online and, if approved, receive an initial credit limit starting at $20,000 (although much higher limits are feasible).

Naturally, black cards have high annual fees, but if you have a sudden urge to buy a Maserati, one of these cards may do the trick.

How Can I Increase My Credit Limit?

You have a few ways to obtain a credit increase, depending on the card issuer’s policies. The most direct method is to call a card rep and ask for a higher limit. Your chances of approval will depend on your credit history.

How to Increase Your Credit Card's Credit Limit

Naturally, to maximize your chances of approval, you should be able to demonstrate a solid record of paying your bill on time, every time, and staying within your card’s current limit. It helps to have a relatively low credit utilization rate (i.e. total credit used divided by your total available credit) that is no higher than 30% and a net income that will support a higher limit.

Another alternative is to apply for a new card with a higher limit. This makes sense if your credit score has improved since you obtained your current card. If you take this route, do not close your current account because it could hurt your credit score.

Some cards are aimed at consumers with bad or fair credit and initially have a lower credit limit. Often, these cards will automatically reevaluate your credit limit after a set period (usually six months or more). If you’ve paid your bills on time and kept your credit card balance low, you may be awarded a higher limit.

If you get a secured card, the issuer may have strict rules governing the maximum initial credit limit it will allow you. Once again, the card issuer may re-evaluate your limit after a set period and grant you a credit increase with or without requiring a larger deposit. Eventually, the issuer may convert the card to unsecured by refunding your deposit.

What is the Average Credit Limit?

The average credit limit depends on your credit score range, as this chart shows:

Average Credit Card Limits by Score

The top category represents consumers with very good to excellent credit. As you can see, it has the highest average, and it accommodates limits that are occasionally very high. Generally, the higher your score within your range, the more likely you are to receive an above-average credit limit.

The median is the middle value, with 50% of values above and 50% below. If the chart were based on median credit limits rather than average ones, there would be a lower credit limit in the highest score range and higher in the lowest range. The reason is that median statistics are not subject to the skewing by outliers that affect averages.

What is a Good Starting Credit Limit?

A good starting limit for someone with bad or fair credit would seem woefully inadequate to folks with good to excellent credit. The previous chart shows the average limit by score range, so it’s safe to say that starting credit limits would be below average within each range.

If your credit is bad, you may start off with a limit as low as $300 for secured and unsecured cards. Some issuers of secured cards may allow you to increase your initial deposit (say, up to $1,000) and thereby boost your starting credit limit.

If you have reasonably good credit, your initial credit limit may be in the four-to-five-digit range, depending on your credit history, income, other debt, and other factors.

Increase Your Credit Score and/or Income to Increase Your Credit Card Credit Limits

For most consumers, credit card credit limits are not all that important as long as the limits are reasonable. By reasonable, we mean that the limit is high enough to accommodate your monthly shopping without going over the limit.

Of course, your lifestyle may demand a higher credit limit. But whatever your requirements, you can take a few steps to improve your credit, prompting your credit limit to rise over time:

  • Increase your income and/or decrease your expenses (both fixed and variable). The more money you have left over at the end of the month, the easier it will be to get a higher credit limit.
  • Pay your bills on time, without fail. Late or missed payments can devastate your credit score and prevent you from getting a higher credit limit.
  • Pay down your existing debt. When your debt levels are high (i.e., credit utilization rate of used credit / available credit above 30%), a creditor may worry that you may be in or nearing financial distress, making it less likely your credit limit will rise.
  • Fix your credit reports. You can do it yourself or hire a credit repair service. The goal is to remove inaccurate or incomplete negative information from your credit reports, after which you should see your credit bureau score rise and your credit limit following suit within six months to a year.

Improving your credit profile can pay off in other ways as well, including unlocking better access to credit, lower APRs, and lower fees.

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.