Citi continues to be a major player in the credit card space. While each of these cards comes with different perks and rewards, one thing they have in common is the presence of a credit limit, or the maximum amount you can spend on your card.
Credit limits are based on a variety of factors, including income, credit score, and card utilization, and therefore vary from cardholder to cardholder. That said, you might be eligible for a higher credit limit than the one you received when you originally applied for the card. This is particularly true for those who have a positive credit history or have recently increased their annual household income.
Before you request a credit limit increase, it’s important to understand how the decision is made—specifically whether or not a company runs a hard credit inquiry, which can temporarily lower your credit. That’s particularly true if you have a low credit score or recently applied for multiple cards or credit increases.
Citi does not have a one-size-fits-all policy when it comes to credit inquiries, and while some credit limit increase requests will require a hard inquiry, others will not; decisions are made by an algorithm that considers a variety of factors. However, all customers are alerted to any hard inquiry requirements prior to application submission. Thus, it’s important to thoroughly read all messages and alerts that appear throughout the request process.
How to Request a Citi Credit Limit Increase
To request a credit limit increase online, simply log in to your Citi credit card account and go to the Services tab. From there, click “Services,” and then “Credit Card Services.” Here, you should see the “Request credit limit increase” option, which you can select to begin the process.
If you have more than one card, select the card for which you’d like to receive the increase. Please note that not all cards will be eligible for a limit request, and not all Citi credit card holders will have the ability to request a credit limit increase online. If you do not see a specific card, please contact the Citi credit card customer service to further inquire about a limit increase.
Once you select an eligible card, you will be asked to provide basic financial information like your annual income and monthly housing payment (i.e., rent or mortgage). Further information may be required, and some applicants will need to authorize Citi to pull their credit report (i.e., a hard inquiry). An alert or message notifying you of a hard inquiry requirement will appear if that’s the case.
If you move forward with the request, Citi will typically immediately approve or deny your request. If you are denied, you will receive written notification explaining the reasons for the denial within 10 days; if you’re enrolled in paperless billing, you will receive an email containing the same information.
Citi credit card customers can also request a credit limit increase over the phone by calling the number on the back of their card or by contacting Citi at 1-800-347-4934.
Once on the phone with a representative, you’ll be required to answer the same questions asked of those applying for a credit limit increase online (annual income, monthly housing payment, etc.). At that time, a Citi credit card representative will also inform you if they need to obtain a copy of your credit report (a hard inquiry). If they do, you will need to provide verbal authorization prior to proceeding with the request.
Decisions are typically instant, with most customers being approved or denied before the close of the call. As with online requests, any denial will result in written or email communication explaining why you were denied.
Why Request a Citi Credit Limit Increase?
For some, the decision to request a credit limit increase is one that could result in increased spending power and a potentially higher credit score if you’re using a lower percentage of your available credit. It can also provide the freedom to purchase large items and earn more credit card rewards. If you’ve recently received a raise and have a history of positive credit utilization, then an increase can be a powerful change worth considering.
However, if you have a poor credit history or low score, are having trouble making existing credit card payments, or if your financial situation has changed for the worse, then increasing your credit limit may not be the best way to manage your financial needs.
If you’re a Citi credit card holder wondering how to request a credit increase, the steps above should help you navigate the process. However, before you submit your request, take time to evaluate your present credit needs, your credit utilization, and how a hard inquiry, if necessary, will reflect on your current credit score.