Why I Lowered the Credit Limit on my Chase Card

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I just got off the phone with Chase card services. I called to lower the credit limit on my United Explorer Business Card. I am gearing up to apply for another Chase credit card, and this is a step to prepare for my next application.

If you keep up with the blog, you’ll remember I’m in the midst of a plan to rake in as many Chase bonuses as I can before they decide they’ve had enough of me. I was maxed out by the 5/24 rule for years until recently, and now that I’m not anymore, I’ve opened a Chase Sapphire Preferred, a United Explorer Business Card, and an Ink Business Preferred.

No animals were exploited for the purpose of this photo. He got a treat for being a good boy.

Theoretically, if I play my cards right, I should be able to open a few more business cards I want:

Then it will be time to hit the consumer cards I want. Business cards come first in my line up as they do not factor into your 5/24 total. The only reason I prioritized the Sapphire Preferred over other business cards is because I will likely upgrade it to a Chase Sapphire Reserve eventually and hold that long term. Didn’t want to get locked out of that option.

Returning to the original question: What does lowering the credit limit on one my existing cards have to do with applying for another one?

Lending too much credit to one customer makes you seem risky to Chase, and lowering your credit limit on an existing card will reduce Chase’s exposure and improve your application’s chances of auto-approval. In other words, if their computer notices the amount of credit extended to you is too high compared to your income, that’s a reason to deny your application automatically.

Anecdotally, your total credit line with the bank shouldn’t be more than $45,000 to $60,000. That’s a pretty speculative number though, according to FlyerTalk.

My total credit line with Chase wasn’t that much, but I’m conservative. I don’t like denials. And I don’t hold large balances on my credit cards, so lowering the credit limit on one card wasn’t going to affect my credit utilization ratio (total amount of debt compared to total amount of credit available).

Creditkarma.com calls credit card utilization ratio credit card use.

Save Some Credit Line Just in Case

While it is a good idea to lower your overall credit line with Chase before applying for a new card, you want to leave some available in case you aren’t auto-approved and need to offer to reallocate some of your existing credit to the new account. That is one of the best tactics for getting a Chase card application reconsidered. The internet says the minimum credit line on Visa Signature cards is $5,000. My Ink Business Preferred Card, which is a Visa Signature, has a slightly lower credit limit than that though. Perhaps that has to do with it being a business card or maybe there are just exceptions.

As many Chase cards are Visa Signature you can see how that could potentially present an issue if none had a credit line of at least $10,000.

If you need to go this route–either because your application isn’t auto-approved or is denied–call 888-270-2127 for personal cards and 800-453-9719 for business cards.

Bottom Line

If you’re going to churn credit cards, and by that I mean opening lots of them for the purpose of jacking up your return on spending via lucrative sign-up bonuses, do it wisely. Take measures like this one to improve your approval odds, and familiarize yourself with the Issuing Banks Rules for Approvals and New Bonuses. I’ll be updating that post soon with the latest rules and restrictions, which are ever-involving in this hobby. And don’t forget that newbies and veterans alike can get help with credit card application advice via our Free Credit Card Consultation Service.

You don’t have to call Chase to lower a credit limit on an existing card. The call took me just a couple minutes, but if you prefer you can easily send a secure message through your online account. I’ve always gotten replies from Chase within 24 to 48 hours. What I don’t recommend is lowering your credit limit immediately before applying. Give Chase’s computer some time to catch up.


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. I have the Sapphire Preferred, Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Business Plus and I’ve had them all over two years. What should my next move be to try and get more ultimate reward bonuses? Also specifically is there any way for me to upgrade to the Sapphire Reserve and get the bonus? Can I have my wife apply for it and get a card in my name and be able to transfer those points to mine? She has the Preferred card under my account.

  2. I have run up against the credit limit with Chase at around 75k. When I apply for a card and it isnt approved right away I call Chase and volunteer to move the credit limits between my accounts. That way I can keep my credit available to me. I think though that it is valuable to reduce your credit limits if they will likely never to be used. I believe that in general this will improve credit ratings. Thanks for the article Katie.

  3. Unfortunately Chase now counts business cards in the number of cards applied for. You will probably be turned down for new cards based on application count not necessarily 5/24. Business cards still get a personal hard pull.

    • As far as I know 5/24 is still based on new accounts, not applications/hard credit inquiries. Is your opinion based on personal experience or did you read that somewhere?

  4. I’ve been doing this for years all credits lines are $5k .When I call to make the card hot I lower the CL then go over the bonus rules . Pick ur cards wisely it’s getting harder to get them . All my statements post @ ZERO and my Fico is 810. But anyone can look @ ur credit history as see what ur doing . I plan way out all trips booked till 6/2/2020 but looking for a cash ticket to AUS .I missed one for $547 RT as in a Big OOP’s .
    Good Luck !!
    CHEERs

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