American Express, commonly referred to as Amex, was founded in 1850. The multinational financial services corporation is the world’s largest card issuer by purchase volume and brings in a total revenue of $32.1 billion.
The company offers personal, small business, corporate, and prepaid credit cards, as well as travelers’ insurance and travelers’ cheques. People who have American Express credit cards have the right to request a limit increase if they want a higher limit. It is a relatively simple process.
How to Request a Credit Limit Increase
Requesting am American Express credit limit increase is as easy as picking up the phone. Consumers just dial 1-800-528-4800 and request the increase.
Cardholders also have the option of requesting the credit increase online. Consumers must log into the website, go to “Account Services,” and click on “Credit Management.”
“Increase Line of Credit” is one of the options on the “Credit Management” page. Click on it and enter the four-digit personal code that is located on the credit card, above the credit card number.
Consumers are then taken to another page, where they must enter the desired credit limit and their total annual income. Once submitted, American Express will review the application and approve or deny it.
The Qualification Process
The qualification process for an American Express credit limit increase is relatively straightforward.
American Express begins the process by determining if the cardholder is eligible for a credit increase. Cardholders must have their cards for a minimum of 60 days to be eligible for an increase. Also, if cardholders are denied a request, they cannot make another one for a full 90 days.
In addition, American Express looks at the user’s credit history and income. While American Express doesn’t do a hard pull of a user’s credit report, it does look at the overall credit history, as well as the way the card is used.
If the user has a high overall balance, makes late payments, or has a poor debt-to-income ratio, he or she will likely be denied the increase. However, if the cardholder has proven himself or herself to be a reliable cardholder, it is likely the credit limit increase will be approved.
Improving the Chance of Getting Approved
Those who do not think they are good candidates for an American Express credit limit increase can improve their chances before applying. There are several options for this.
Paying down the balance is one of the easiest ways to improve one’s chances. Start making higher monthly payments to pay the balance down quickly. Doubling or even tripling monthly payments allows cardholders to make huge dents in the balance.
Creating a positive payment history will also increase one’s chances of getting approved. People who have missed some payments in the recent past should wait until they make several on-time payments in a row. The longer the string of on-time payments is, the more likely the cardholder will get improved.
Choosing the right amount for an increase also helps cardholders get approved. It should not be more than three times as much as the recent limit. For example, if Mark has a limit of $1,000, he should not ask for an increase that is greater than $3,000.
Cardholders who are up for a raise can also improve their chances. They should wait until they get the raise and then list the new income when applying for the increase. This makes the cardholder’s debt-to-income ratio more favorable.
Credit Limit Increases and Credit Scores
While some people are hesitant to ask for a credit limit increase, it might help their credit scores, depending on credit utilization. It might also help you out if you’re constantly going over your credit limit.
Lower credit utilization rates lead to better credit scores. In fact, credit utilization factors in 30 percent of the overall score.
When someone increases his or her credit limit, this also decreases his or her credit utilization. That means credit scores can go up quickly.
The key is to maintain the low balance after increasing the limit. A failure to do so will cause the credit utilization to go up, and it will negatively impact the score. That’s why it is always a good idea to be wise when using new credit.
Deciding to increase one’s credit limit can be a big decision. Consumers should analyze the benefits and the likelihood of getting approved. Those who think it is a good fit for their financial health should follow the steps and apply for an increase. If approved, the cardholders should be wise when using the new credit in order to enjoy the credit score benefits.
Author: Andrew Rombach
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