How to Increase Your Credit Limit With Citi

Find out whether Citibank automatically increases credit limits and how you may request one on your own. We also provide tips to increase the odds of success.

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Last Updated: 11/18/2022

A credit limit increase (CLI) on your Citi credit card gives you more freedom to use credit without increasing your credit utilization ratio. You may qualify for an automatic increase if you have good or excellent creditworthiness and maintain low or no outstanding balances. These factors also hold you in good stead if you request an increase on your own.

You may request Citi for a credit limit increase online or over the phone. Whether Citi carries out a hard or soft credit inquiry to make a decision depends on the specifics of your case, so you might want to ask a Citi representative in advance. If Citi denies your request, it is possible to take corrective measures and ask again, or you can apply for a new card.

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MoneyGeek’s Takeaways

Citi grants higher credit limits to cardholders who meet specific criteria.

You may submit a credit limit increase request online or over the phone.

Making timely payments, ideally in full, increases the odds of getting a CLI.

How to Increase Your Credit Limit With Citi

You can ask Citi for a credit limit increase by using its website or app or by speaking with a Citi customer service representative over the phone. Citi typically does not carry out a hard credit inquiry unless you request a higher limit than what Citi initially grants. But to be sure, it’s best to speak with a Citi representative first.

Request Online or via the Citi Mobile App

Citi allows you to request a credit limit increase by logging in to its website or mobile app. Once you log in to your Citi account, you can choose to request a permanent or temporary credit limit increase. When you submit your request, you’ll need to provide details about your annual income and rent/mortgage payments. Citi will also ask you for your desired credit limit and the reason for the increase.

More often than not, cardholders will find out about Citi’s decision almost immediately. If approved, the increased credit limit takes effect right away.

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Ask for a temporary credit limit increase if your requirement is short-term. It remains valid for 60 days from approval.

Call Citi to Request a Credit Limit Increase

You may call the number on the back of your card to contact a Citi customer service representative and request a credit limit increase. If you don’t have the card handy, you may call 1-800-950-5114 for support in English or 1-800-947-9100 for support in Spanish.

Although calling might seem like a hassle, it gives you better means to state your case and even make an appeal. Much like an online request, Citi might approve your over-the-phone request immediately.

Making the Call

When you make the call, it’s important to highlight why you deserve a higher credit limit instead of telling the customer service representative why you need it. Factors that may work well for you include being a longstanding Citi customer, making sizable payments, having good/excellent creditworthiness and receiving a promotion/pay hike.

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Think twice before asking for an additional increase soon after your request’s approval, as it will result in a hard credit inquiry, which can negatively impact your credit score.

Citi Automatic Credit Limit Increase

Getting an automatic Citi credit limit increase might be possible if you use your card in a responsible manner. Citi reviews its credit card accounts periodically and offers higher credit limits based on multiple factors as part of its marketing endeavors. These include the age of an account as well as a cardholder’s spending patterns, payment history, credit score and annual income. Citi typically reviews accounts for automatic credit limit increases after they’ve been open for at least six months.

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Increase your use of the card in question while maintaining a low credit utilization ratio and update any increase in income. Consider making extra payments throughout the month to keep your balance low. Doing this may improve the odds of getting an automatic credit limit increase.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Higher Credit Limit?

If Citi increases your card's credit limit, it's important that you use the additionally available credit in the right manner. By doing so, you can enjoy an increased spending capacity and a low credit utilization ratio, which ultimately results in an improved credit score.

  • This is an icon

    Higher purchasing power

    An increase in your card's credit limit translates to higher spending power. This might be particularly beneficial if you use your Citi credit card to earn cash back or rewards. However, rewards are usually worth your while only if you pay off your balances in full each billing cycle.

  • This is an icon

    Improved credit score

    A higher credit limit on your Citi card leads to an increase in your total available credit. By not incurring more debt or by paying large percentages of your balance, you get to maintain a low credit utilization ratio. Once this happens, you can expect to see your credit score improve.

When Should I Request a Credit Limit Increase?

Citi does not have any published guidelines surrounding how long you need to wait to request a credit limit increase after receiving your card. However, as with most other card issuers, it’s best to wait for at least six months. This is also the case if you want to ask Citi for a subsequent increase.

Asking Citi for a higher credit limit might work well for you if your income has increased since you first applied for the card, there has been an improvement in your credit score, you’ve been making your payments on time and you maintain no or low outstanding balances in your account. It’s important to know where you stand ahead of time because Citi might lower your credit limit based on certain factors.

Factors That Determine Credit Limit Increases or Decreases

Increases
  • There’s an improvement in your credit score.
  • You received a pay hike.
  • You make timely payments.
  • You maintain low outstanding balances.
  • You asked for a higher limit.
Decreases
  • You use your card sparingly.
  • Your credit score has changed for the worse.
  • There’s a dip in your income.
  • You’ve missed making a payment or more.
  • You’ve made late payments.
  • Your credit utilization ratio is on the higher side.
  • Your credit report has a mention of an unfavorable ruling.
  • You’ve been a victim of identity theft.

A credit limit increase might hurt your finances if you don’t play your cards right. This may happen if you’re indiscriminate with your spending and end up accumulating debt you find hard to repay. Remember that credit cards usually charge high interest on balances you carry forward from one billing cycle to the next.

>> More: What Is a Credit Limit and What Factors Determine It?

Reminders Before Requesting a Credit Limit Increase

There is more to getting a Citi credit limit increase than simply asking for one. Knowing the requirements you need to meet and the factors that warrant your attention might help you decide if you should move forward with your request in the first place.

How Much of a Credit Increase Should I Get?

Citi does not publish any information about specific rules or a fixed range it considers when determining credit limit increases. The standard practice is to limit your request to no more than 25% of your card’s existing limit. For example, if your card’s existing credit limit is $6,000, you may ask for a revised limit of $7,500. If you’re unhappy with the increase Citi initially grants, you may request an additional increase. However, this will result in a hard inquiry.

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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

Consider getting a credit limit increase six to 12 months ahead of a major loan request, like a mortgage or a business loan. The higher credit limit could boost your credit score to qualify for better interest rates and terms on your loan application. — Lee Huffman, credit card expert at BaldThoughts.com

What Is My Current Credit Score?

Citi looks at your credit score before making a credit limit increase decision — either through a hard or a soft inquiry — so it’s ideal that you do the same in advance. Citi gives its consumer credit cardholders the ability to view their FICO scores for free by signing into the Citi.com website.

The odds of getting a Citi credit limit increase are more in your favor if you have excellent credit. You may still have a good chance of increasing your limit if you have good credit, provided you meet a few other parameters. Most Citi credit cards require that you have a credit score of over 700 to apply, so you may consider this to be the case when asking for a credit limit increase as well. You might consider improving your credit score if it’s below the 700 mark before asking for a higher credit limit.

Making timely payments toward all your credit accounts is critical since this affects your credit history. You can also lower your credit utilization ratio by paying off your balances as quickly as possible, which will have a positive effect on your credit score. Since almost every application for new credit brings your credit score down by a few points, it’s best to space them out by at least six months.

Here are some of the Citi cards that qualify for credit limit increase requests:

>> More: Does Requesting a CLI Hurt Your Credit?

What Is Credit Utilization?

Your credit utilization ratio refers to the amount of credit you’ve used from your total available credit. From the credit score point of view, your overall credit utilization ratio tends to play a more important role than card-specific credit utilization. However, both are important when you ask for a credit limit increase. Ideally, both should be below 30%.

Consider this example. The Citi credit card for which you want a CLI has an existing credit limit of $15,000, of which you’ve used $7,500. In this case, your credit utilization ratio is 50%. To get it to below 30%, you should bring your outstanding balance to below $4,500. Typically, the better your credit utilization ratio, the higher the odds of your CLI request’s approval.

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MONEYGEEK QUICK TIP:

Add the existing credit limits and outstanding balances of all your credit cards in a spreadsheet to check and keep track of your overall credit utilization ratio.

Learn more: How to Calculate Your Credit Utilization Ratio

What to Do if the Request Is Denied

Citi might deny your credit limit increase request because of varied reasons. If you don’t receive an adverse action notice that informs you of the reason, you may be able to find out by speaking with a Citi customer service representative over the phone. Some of the common reasons why Citi might reject your CLI request include:

  • Your credit card is only a few months old.
  • You’ve made late payments or missed making payments.
  • You have a high outstanding balance.
  • Your credit score is low.
  • You don’t use your card often enough.

Taking measures to fix the problem/s identified increases the likelihood of approval when you request a CLI the next time around. However, there’s still no guarantee of approval. If you don’t want to ask Citi for an increase again, or if it rejects your subsequent request, applying for a new card might be the way to go.

Call the Citi Support Center

You may call Citi customer service to ask for reconsideration, especially if you think there might be an error in its decision-making. You may call the number on the back of your card or 1-800-950-5114. If you need assistance in Spanish, the number to call is 1-800-947-9100. People with hearing or speech impairments may contact Citi by calling 1-800-325-2865. Bear in mind that asking Citi for reconsideration might lead to a hard credit inquiry.

Apply for a New Citi Credit Card

If Citi denies your CLI request or if you’ve reached the maximum possible credit limit made available for your Citi credit card, you may think about getting a new Citi card. However, you need to meet a few basic rules for applying. Individual consumers may apply for no more than one card in an eight-day period and a maximum of two cards within 65 days. Business customers need to space out their applications by at least 95 days. It’s also worth noting that some customers are ineligible for a welcome bonus if they've received a bonus from certain cards in the last 24 to 48 months.

If Citi approves your request for a credit limit increase, your overall credit limit goes up too. When this happens, you may expect to see an improvement in your credit utilization ratio and, therefore, your credit score.

Depending on what you need from your new card, in addition to its credit limit, you may choose from Citi’s co-branded cards, travel cards, cash back cards, 0% APR cards and balance transfer cards.

If you wish to get any of Citi’s highest credit limit cards, you need excellent creditworthiness to qualify. Other factors such as your income also play a role in the credit limit that Citi assigns to your new card. Examples of high-limit credit cards from Citi include the Citi Premier Credit Card, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card and the Citi® Double Cash Card.

>>MORE: WHAT IS THE CITI TRIFECTA & IS IT STILL WORTH IT?
  • Credit Card
    Approximate Max Credit Limit
  • Citi Premier Credit Card

    Up to $20,000

  • Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite
    Mastercard Credit Card

    Up to $16,000

  • Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite
    Mastercard Credit Card

    Starts at $5,000

  • Citi® Double Cash Card

    Up to $25,000

You may check if you are preselected for a Citi card by using the Citi.com website. Details you need to provide include your complete name, your email address, the last four digits of your Social Security number and your mailing address. Finding out if you prequalify for a Citi credit card does not have any effect on your credit score. However, once you submit an application it might result in a hard inquiry.

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About the Author


Rajiv Baniwal has been writing about different financial topics for over 15 years. Meticulous in his research, he makes sure he provides accurate and up-to-date information. His areas of expertise include mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, insurance and international money transfers.


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