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The amount a credit card holder can spend on a card is called the credit line limit or credit limit. Cardholders can request a credit limit increase at any time, but increases to a credit card limit can occur automatically when a card issuer conducts a periodic review. Credit increases can lead to improvements in a cardholder’s credit score and overall credit history as long as healthy spending habits and low credit utilization are maintained.
How to Increase Your Bank of America Credit Limit
You can request a credit limit increase by logging into your Bank of America online banking account and completing a questionnaire.
To see if you are eligible to apply online, select your credit card account, then select “Request a credit limit increase” under Card details in the account summary. If your account is not eligible for online application, call the number on the back of the card to speak to a representative. This can, at least, help you understand how to improve your chances of approval.
Be prepared to provide information to Bank of America, such as the exact amount of credit line increase you want, total income, and monthly housing payment amounts. Bank of America may automatically approve the increase through a computer review or you may have to wait to receive approval after a manual review. In either case, you should receive details of the bank’s decision and, if your request is refused, some indication of why your request was refused.
Do credit limit increases happen automatically?
Automatic increases are possible for responsible holders. Like most other card issuers, Bank of America conducts periodic reviews of credit card accounts to determine eligibility for an automatic credit boost. A credit limit increase may depend on total annual income, monthly housing payment amounts, existing debt, card payment history and more.
Your credit card account must remain in good standing to receive automatic increases. If your income increases, be sure to report it to Bank of America. Always make payments on time and don’t carry a large balance from month to month.
Advantages and disadvantages of higher credit limits
Benefits of higher credit limits
Having a higher credit limit can be beneficial for anyone looking to boost their credit rating or make major purchases. This is usually a sign that the account is in good standing with the credit card issuer. You may have a higher income, a history of on-time payments, or a decent credit score.
Here are some benefits of having a higher credit limit:
- Lower credit utilization rates. Higher credit limits can reduce cardholders’ existing credit utilization ratios by increasing the amount of credit available. The credit utilization rate will decline as long as cardholders maintain healthy spending habits and do not drive the rate up.
- Credit score increases. Cardholders can see their credit score increase with less credit usage, making on-time payments and adopting responsible spending habits.
- More credit available for large purchases. Cardholders can make larger purchases with more available credit, such as televisions, major appliances, or home renovations. Remember to pay off the balance as soon as possible to avoid interest, preferably before interest accrues.
- Improve your position for a new car loan or mortgage. Ready to take out a loan for a car or a mortgage? A good credit score, low credit utilization, and high credit limit can show future lenders that an applicant qualifies for a large loan and a lower interest rate.
Disadvantages of higher credit limits
Higher credit limits may involve risk. Cardholders should spend responsibly after receiving more credit.
Here are some disadvantages of increasing the credit limit:
- More available credit can lead to irresponsible spending. Having more available credit can present a temptation to spend more. Cardholders should be wary of spending more than is affordable or refundable at the end of each billing cycle.
- Greater risk of indebtedness. Combined with lavish spending and small monthly card payments, interest can add up quickly and turn into a cycle of debt.
- Difficult credit inquiries. Some credit limit increase requests may result in a firm credit investigation by a card issuer. If you have too many difficult requests to make in a short time, it can have a negative effect on your credit score.
What to do if your credit limit increase is declined
Bank of America should and generally will provide reasons why a credit limit increase is declined. Cardholders can address these reasons over the next six to 12 months by improving their spending habits or otherwise improving the factors included in the decision to increase a credit limit.
Increasing the credit limit depends on several factors, such as annual income, payment history, and existing debt. Applications may be declined if the credit card account is less than six months old, has recently received a raise (or lowered), is rarely used, or is in poor condition.
Be sure to use a Bank of America card responsibly, pay your bills on time, and keep the amount of credit used to a minimum from month to month.
Cardholders can apply for a new credit card from Bank of America or another card issuer. In some ways, receiving a new credit card has a similar effect to increasing another card’s credit limit, at least in terms of credit utilization rate and overall available credit. This can, however, be risky if the cardholder is already in debt or unable to repay balances on time. Requests for additional cards also come with requests for additional credit report information.
Eligible cardholders can request a credit limit increase by logging into an online account or by calling the number on the back of a card. Applications may be approved immediately, but if denied, Bank of America will provide details of its decision. Credit limit increases may occur automatically if the cardholder is in good standing and keeps their financial information up to date. Always maintain responsible spending habits and pay balances on time to avoid accruing interest and charges.g in more debt.