How To Get a Credit Limit Increase (CLI) With Capital One
Want to get the limit on your Capital One credit card increased? You've got your work cut out for you. Unlike Discover, Chase and American Express, Capital One is known for being one of the toughest companies to get a credit limit increase (CLI) out of. That's not to say it's impossible, though, or that you shouldn't try. Here are some methods you can use to get a CLI from Capital One.
First: Check Your Credit Scores
Before applying for a credit limit increase it's extremely important to check your credit scores and report.
The reason for this is simple - the bank may do a hard-pull on your credit to see if your eligible for a credit limit increase. You want to verify that your credit scores are above 700 for the best chance of approval. Also make sure that you do not have high credit utilization as this can be a red flag and make it look like you are desperate for more credit.
If your scores are below 700 or you are using over 30% of your available credit it may be best to hold off on requesting an increase.
Have a "Starter" Card?
If you have one of the "starter" credit cards from Capital One designed to rebuild credit, you'll probably begin with a limit of $300-500 and earn an automatic credit limit increase to $750 within a year, assuming you make on-time payments and don't go over your limit. The problem? Don't count on ever getting your credit limit on these starter cards above that point.
Note: If you are rebuilding your credit using these cards you should keep a close eye on your balance and make sure that it never exceeds 20% of your available credit (here's why). Since your credit limit is likely to be very low it may only take a few purchases so beware!
Most CreditForums members report having no luck with these cards as they are just designed to help you get started again and get your credit in shape for something better -- even if Capital One doesn't come out and say that. In fact, one member with a credit score near 750 reports requesting a CLI on one such Capital One card and getting turned down. They closed the account shortly afterward and applied for a better Capital One card, only to receive a $3,000 initial credit limit.
Simply put, these Capital One cards aren't designed for people who want to be rewarded with periodic credit limit increases and certain Cap One cards are ineligible for CLIs.
Requesting a Credit Limit Increase
While Capital One claims all accounts are subjected to random "automatic considerations" for credit limit increases, you can also take your luck and try calling them to request consideration. You can call the automated line at 1-800-955-7070 and select the "increase credit limit" and then enter the amount you'd like and wait for either an approval or denial. You can also speak directly with an operator.
The good news is most requests are soft pulls on your credit report so it won't hurt to try. The bad news? Even if your account type is eligible for a credit limit increase, most people find it next to impossible to get a manual CLI from Capital One.
It seems credit limit increases from Capital One are, for the most part, random and even customers with perfect on-time payment history for years with an excellent credit score may be turned down while trying to increase the limit on a Capital One card with a low credit limit.
Success Story and Alternate Approach
It seems one CreditForums member has found an interesting way around the policy of Capital One to not grant credit limit increases, particularly on accounts with a "maxed" limit. This Capital One customer had a credit card with the company for three years enrolled in the credit steps program and the credit limit was eventually maxed out at $2,000.
After repeated failed attempts to get a credit limit increase request approved, he sent an email to the CEO of the company.
Shortly thereafter, he received a call back from someone in the executive resolution group who sent the information to a senior underwriter and the credit limit was increased from $2,000 to $5,000.
Other members report success with this method, many of whom get a call back within hours of sending the email. Others have used this approach to get rewards added to their account or get the limit of their Capital One card to match higher limits offered by other companies.
The bottom line is Capital One is known for being incredibly stubborn about credit limit increases but you may want to try searching for the CEO's email address and trying the approach that seems to be working best for others to get in touch with a senior underwriter to look at your account.
Personally I've had the best luck for CLI's with Capital One. It's actually easy to get one (from the automatic considerations mentioned above) assuming you have one of the top tier cards like Venture - just pay on time every month and use your card as much as possible (while still paying it off in full at the end of each month). I noticed a CLI with two of my accounts within a month of two of really ramping up spending.