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Updated on Friday, April 27, 2018
If you’re planning on requesting a credit limit increase from Citi, the process is fairly simple and can be done in a matter of minutes. But before you request an increase, make sure your motives for doing so are justified. If you have a history of maxing out your card, a credit limit increase may be a temporary solution to a long-term problem of overspending.
However, requesting a credit limit increase can be a step towards lowering your credit utilization rate, possibly resulting in an improved credit score. And, if you’re looking to make a large purchase soon and need a larger credit limit, requesting an increase can give you added buying power.
In this post we’ll provide step-by-step instructions for requesting a credit limit increase with Citi.
Option 1: Online
1. Log in to your account and click on “Services,” then “Credit Card Services.”
2. Select “Request a Credit Limit Increase.”
3. Select an account that you want to request a credit limit increase.
Fill in your total annual income and monthly mortgage/rent payment, then click “Continue.”
4. Confirm the information you entered and click “Continue” to submit your request.
5. You will receive an instant decision detailing whether you’ve been approved for a new credit limit or not.
Your new credit limit is effective immediately. You will also have the option to request a larger credit limit by entering a specific amount.
However, bear in mind that requesting more credit will require Citi to pull a credit bureau report, which results in a hard inquiry on your credit. This dings your score slightly, but it will bounce back, and the potential benefits from an increased credit line will often outweigh the slight drop in your score. Citi states that their credit department will review your request within 24 hours.
Option 2: Over the phone
Call the number on the back of your card to speak with a representative, who will assist you in requesting a higher credit limit. Be prepared with your account details and financial information.
Option 3: Automatic credit limit increases
On occasion, you may receive a notice from Citi in the mail saying your credit limit has automatically been increased. If you receive an increased credit limit, there is no action required on your part and your new credit limit is available for use.
Your odds of receiving an automatic credit limit increase may be increased if you follow some of the tips below:
- Pay on time, and more than the minimum. Having a good payment history shows issuers that you’re responsible with your credit card and may lead to an increase in your credit limit. Maintaining a good payment history means not being late on payments and avoiding carrying a balance whenever possible.
- Keep your income up to date. If you get a raise, for example, record your new salary on your account profile so your financial information will be current. If issuers see you’re making more money, they may raise your credit limit.
Why request a credit limit increase?
Sometimes the best way to get a credit limit increase is to ask your credit card issuer for one. It may result in a hard pull on your credit and could ding your score, but the benefits might outweigh the risks if you use your new limit responsibly.
If you receive an automatic credit limit increase or fill out a request online without asking for a specific amount, there will be no harm done to your credit score. However, if you decide to request more credit than the amount Citi awarded you online, a credit bureau report will be requested, resulting in a hard pull. If you decide to request a credit limit increase by phone, verify with the representative whether a credit bureau report will be pulled or not.
A higher credit limit can boost your score — if you use it wisely. An increase in your credit limit may boost your credit score by lowering your utilization rate. Your utilization rate is the percentage of credit you’re using compared with the total credit you have. If you maintain the same spending on an increased credit limit, your utilization rate will decrease, and as a result, your credit score may rise. But the key is to not overspend and max out your new higher limit — doing that will only hurt your score.
For example, if you spend $500 a month on a card with a $1,000 credit limit, your utilization rate is 50% — and that’s high. But, if you request a credit limit increase and receive a new line of credit at $2,000, your utilization rate will drop to 25%, as long as you still spend $500 a month.
Increased buying power. If you’re planning on making a large purchase but don’t have the credit limit to do so, requesting and being approved for an increase in your credit limit may give you the buying power you need. Just be sure to pay it off as quickly as possible so you don’t rack up interest charges.