So you’ve got a Bank of America credit card but you’re not quite pleased with your current credit line… what are you to do? Cancel? Switch to another bank? The answer is to probably apply for a credit limit increase with Bank of America.
In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to get a credit line increase with Bank of America and give you some data points and tips to help you better realize your odds. I’ll also talk about whether or not they will conduct a hard pull or soft pull on your credit report and how long to wait to request an increase.
How to request a Bank of America credit line increase
You can request a credit line increase online by logging into your account. Click on the link/button called “Request a Credit Line Increase” and simply follow the steps. You will need to supply some information such as your income so be prepared for that.
Note that not everybody will be able to see the request a credit line increase link (aka the “Luv Button”). If you have not had your account very long (only a couple of months) you might not see the link. In that case, you can also call the Bank of America customer service phone number at 1(800)732-9194 but read below about how long you should wait before calling.
If you are not instantly approved for the credit line increase then your odds of getting the credit limit increase are probably going to be on the smaller side. It still might be possible to get approved for a credit limit increase but I would not necessarily expect one at that point. Either way, you should hear something in the mail after a few business days.
Tip: Use the app WalletFlo to give you auto-reminders of when to request credit limit increases!
How much of an increase to request?
You might be wondering how big of a credit limit increase is a reasonable request. A lot of people stick to requesting around 25% to 35% of their current credit limit. So if you had a $10,000 credit limit you might request a credit limit increase of $2,500. But sometimes it is possible to get much higher credit limit increases.
Many people will request an amount much higher than they actually want because it is possible that Bank of America will come with a counter offer. So in many cases you may want to request an amount higher than you actually need or want.
(Just note that if you ask for an extremely high amount you may have to call into process the request. Also, you might be at more of a risk of getting hard pull.)
Here are some data points to give you an idea of what to expect for your credit line increase:
- $1,000 increased to $4,000
- $2,500 increased to $12,000
- $3,700 increased to $10,000
- $6,000 increased to $10,000
- $22,000 increased to $30,000
- $30,000 increased to $40,000
Bank of America should NOT conduct a hard pull
In the past, bank of America would conduct a hard pull on your credit whenever you requested a credit limit increase. Getting a hard pull (or hard inquiry) on your credit report is not ideal because it will typically bring down your credit score by a handful of points. (If your credit score is on the lower side, a hard pull could do even more damage to your credit score.)
However, in the middle of 2018 Bank of America changed their policy and started to allow credit limit increases with only soft pulls. This means that if you request a credit limit increase you should not have a negative impact on your credit score. For those people who are trying to rebuild their credit scores this is a fantastic change.
That doesn’t mean that a hard pull can never happen so always try to verify with a Bank of America rep if you can. And if there is a hard pull, there’s a good chance you might get a pull from TransUnion or possibly Experian.
Minimum waiting period
When going for an increase in your credit limit with Bank of America, there’s often a minimum waiting period of three to six months from the time of approval or from your last credit increase or credit increase request. This means that if you get denied for your request, you should probably wait about 90 days for your next request.
Some people report they have been able to get a credit limit increase in as short as 30 days but that’s probably pushing it. Keep in mind that just because the “Luv Button” (button for a credit line increase) shows up, that does not mean that you should apply for one — I would try to wait at least 90 days from the time of account opening.
And it goes without saying but you absolutely don’t want to have any late payments during the waiting period. So prioritize your payments with Bank of America (and really all of your credit cards) so that you can ensure 100% on-time payments.
There are some reports of people requesting a credit limit increase directly after requesting a prior credit limit increase. In other words, they double dip on the credit line increase.
This is something that you can consider if the credit line increase link is still showing up after you receive your increase. However, this type of tactic does feel a bit like gaming the system and so you may not want to go that route if you don’t want unnecessary eyes on your accounts.
Again, the button may return after about three months and then you can request an additional credit limit at that time. Patience is a virtue.
Bank of America automatic credit limit increase
If you are able to stick to paying off your bills on time and not maxing out your credit card, you might receive an automatic credit limit increase after about six months or a year. (Other banks such as Chase also do this.)
You can probably increase your odds of getting an automatic credit limit increase if you continuously run up a balance near your credit limit and then pay it off entirely each month (avoiding interest). This will show Bank of America that you are capable of responsibly managing your credit line and will likely increase the chances of them allocating you more available credit. It could also help them see you as a more profitable customer which can only help your odds even more.
Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!
Bank of America is another credit card issuer that allows you to transfer credit between different credit cards. So for example if you had two credit cards with Bank of America and both of them had a $5,000 credit limit you could transfer something like $3,000 of one credit line to the other card. In that case, you would end up with one card with an $8,000 credit credit limit and another card with a $2,000 credit limit.
If you have big purchases or plan on running up a bit of a balance this can be a great way to mitigate the damage to your credit. This can also be a handy trick to do if you are going to cancel or close a credit card because it will allow you to preserve a lot of your credit line and therefore preserve your utilization.
Remember, utilization is 30% of your total FICO score so you want to keep that down as much as possible. By holding on to your available credit limits, it will be easier to keep your utilization in check.
Have a good reason for requesting a higher limit
Although it is not always necessarily required for you to have a legitimate reason for requesting a credit limit increase (especially when doing it online) it won’t ever hurt your odds to have a good reason. A common reason for wanting a higher credit limit is if you have a major purchase coming such as a:
- Family vacation, etc.
This just helps to get the bank added confidence and assurance that this is a planned out move and that you have thought out your request. You could also just tell the bank you’re trying to improve your credit score, since that’s a pretty reasonable reason for wanting more credit.
Credit line increases with other issuers
You might also be interested in reading about getting credit limit increased with other issuers.
As you can see, the process for getting a credit line increase with Bank of America is pretty straight forward. You just need to have a bit of patience to wait three to six months for your request and then request an amount that leaves some room for a potential counter from Bank of America. Also, try to have a good reason for your request just in case you need to get on the phone and plead your case. And finally, you should not have to worry about hard pulls for your credit limit increase.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.