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Your guide to high limit credit cards

Looking for a credit card with higher limits than traditional cards? Our guide will tell you what you need to know about before you take one out.

Looking for a credit card with higher limits than traditional cards? Our guide will tell you what you need to know about before you take one out.

Written by
Alex Hasty
Insurance comparison and finance expert
16 NOVEMBER 2023
6 min read
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What is a high-limit credit card?

A high-limit credit card does what it says. It offers you a higher spending limit. They are typically aimed at wealthy people, customers with high annual earnings and with good credit history. 

Typical limits for a credit card are £3,000 to £4,000, while high-limit cards could be £10,000 upwards.

But of course, how much you can borrow depends on your credit history and the assessment card providers make from your application. You won't be guaranteed a higher limit just because you want one.

How do high-limit credit cards work?

A high-limit credit card works the same way as a regular credit card - you can spend on it up to your total balance amount (or credit limit). You’ll then have to repay in full each month or make at least the minimum monthly payments toward the debt.

If you opt for monthly payments, you'll find the interest charge is typically higher on premium or high-limit cards than regular cards. This can soon add up.

There's usually a fee to pay for high-limit credit cards, and you may also have to pay a fee for additional cardholders. But high-limit credit cards can also come with some perks.

Compare the Market acts as a credit broker, not a lender. To apply for credit products you must be a UK resident and aged 18 or over.

What are the pros and cons of credit cards with high limits?

Advantages of high-limit credit cards

  • Higher limits mean you can make more expensive one-off purchases with ease
  • This type of card often comes with other benefits such as air miles or lounge access
  • Used properly, high-limit cards may make you look more attractive to other credit providers
  • Some high-limit cards offer additional purchase protection.

Disadvantages of high-limit credit cards

  • They often have a high annual fee
  • Typically have higher interest rates as the higher limit presents more risks for lenders
  • Can have minimum spend requirements to keep your credit limit or rate of interest
  • Can tempt you to spend more as they have higher limits
  • May suit you only if you have a stable high income and can confidently pay the balance back each month to avoid the interest.

Alternatives to high-limit credit cards

High-limit credit cards aren't for everyone, and not everyone will be eligible. So what alternatives are there?

Personal loans

If you know you have an expensive one-off purchase coming up, you may find that you’re better off with a personal loan. These typically have a lower interest rate than credit cards, so could be cheaper too.

0% purchase cards

Again, if you have to make a big purchase, a 0% purchase card might be a better option if you know you’ll need to pay in instalments rather than in one go. Paying no interest for a fixed period is potentially cheaper than a high-limit card with a high rate of interest.

Low interest credit cards

A low APR credit card could suit you better if you're the kind of person who uses a card from time to time to help with cashflow. You might find that you’re better off with a card that charges low interest if you pay back monthly for your occasional use.

Rewards cards

It's not just high-limit cards that have perks. You can get freebies for spending on reward cards such as cashback, air miles and discounts. But remember to factor in the fees of high-limit cards, which could reduce the attractiveness of the perks.

Save up

You could of course save up or use savings for some of the purchase price of an item and put the rest on a normal card. If you can wait to buy, the interest you make on a savings account could help build up your funds.

Get debt advice

If you are looking for a high-limit card to help you juggle your finances, getting into more debt isn't likely to be the solution. Read our guides How to get out of debt and How to pay off your credit card debt to help understand your options. 

If you need more help, then contact a free, non-judgmental debt advice organisation or charity. Moneyhelper can help you find free debt advice.

Are you eligible? How to get a credit card with a high limit.

In the UK, you must be 18 to get credit, but for some high-limit cards this may be set higher at 21. Each credit card provider will have its own additional eligibility criteria to help to decide whether to offer you a card or not. They will base their decision on a variety of factors, including:

  • Your credit history – this indicates whether you have previously been good at paying back money you borrow.
  • Existing credit commitments such as other loans, cards, overdrafts and how much you would owe if you borrowed everything available to you up to the limit – even if you’re not doing so at the moment.
  • Your income – this can include your salary, bonuses and income from savings and investments to assess the affordability of repaying any borrowing.
  • Any other information they hold about you – for example, if you have a current account, loan or mortgage with them. Some card providers will only issue cards to customers who have another product with them. They will also look at all the information supplied in your application form.

As well as deciding whether you’re eligible, the card company will also decide what credit limit to offer you and what rate of interest you'll be charged.

If you want a high credit limit, you'll typically need a high income and a good credit score.

If you're looking for a new credit card, it's a good idea to see which cards you’re likely to be accepted for before you apply. This is because a credit card application leaves a record on your credit history. 

You can see which cards you are likely to be accepted for with an eligibility checker before you make a formal application. This won't impact your credit score and you'll also be able to weigh up your options between cards.

Consider increasing the limit on your existing credit card

You could consider asking your current card provider if they would consider increasing your limit on your current credit card. If you've used your card responsibly, they may be willing to do this.

It might be a good option as it could mean a lower overall available credit limit by having one rather than two cards, therefore a smaller risk for the card provider. It could also be potentially easier to manage, with just one bill and one minimum payment each month. 

But there's no guarantee you’ll be approved for the higher limit. The decision will depend on your indebtedness, your credit history and your income, as with a new card.

Can I improve my chances of getting approved for a high limit credit card?

You can potentially increase your chances of approval, by maintaining a stable high income, improving your credit score and reducing existing debts. But you'll still only be eligible for cards that match your credit profile and personal situation.

Frequently asked questions

Can you use 100% of your credit limit?

While it is possible, the credit reference agencies suggest you use only 25-30% of your available credit to keep a good credit score. This indicates that you’re a responsible borrower. The percentage of available credit you use is known as the credit utilisation ratio.

If you want to spend more than this on your credit card, you might want to opt for a higher limit to avoid damaging your credit score. That is providing, of course, that you can afford to pay back what you borrow.

Using all your credit could show you're experiencing a financial squeeze, which may set alarm bells ringing with credit providers.

What happens if I go over my current credit limit?

Going over your credit limit, even by mistake, can have consequences such as:

  • Your card being declined when you try to pay with it
  • Your provider freezing the card until you’ve paid off some of the balance
  • Being charged a fee for exceeding your agreed credit limit
  • Losing the interest-free period and being charged a much higher rate if you have a 0% credit card
  • Being asked to pay back the full balance or your account being closed if you overspend regularly
  • Damaging your credit score.

The content written in this article is for information purposes only and should not be taken as financial advice. If you require support on the products discussed here, please speak to your bank/lender or seek the advice of an independent professional financial advisor. We also have more information on our Customer Support Hub.

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