high limit credit cards

High limit credit cards

Are you eligible for a 'premium' card, and is it right for you?

High limit credit cards – or 'premium' credit cards – offer a much higher credit limit than traditional credit cards. This might sound ideal, but they come with some hefty drawbacks too. In this short guide we cover how high limit credit cards work, who's eligible for one, and whether they're the right choice for you. 

What is a high limit credit card?


High limit credit cards are exactly what they say on the tin: credit cards that allow you to spend more - usually several thousands of pounds. 

All credit cards come with a limit, which is the maximum amount you can borrow at any one time. This credit limit is set by the card provider and is usually based on your income and credit history.

The average credit card limit is between £3,000 and £4,000 but, in theory, there's no maximum credit limit a card company could offer you. What a high limit means will vary between credit card companies, but generally, a high limit would be anything above this average – and could be in the tens of thousands of pounds. 

These types of high limit, or 'premium' credit cards, are usually only available to those with stellar credit histories, and very high incomes (or net worth). 

How do premium credit cards work?

Premium credit cards work in the same way as a standard credit card – the only difference is the amount you're able to spend on it. 

In a nutshell, this means: 

  • Your credit limit will be based on your credit check and application – though some of the most exclusive premium cards will be offered by invitation.
  • When you spend on your premium card, you're actually borrowing money from the card provider that you'll need to pay back.
  • You'll have to repay at least the set minimum amount each month. Not paying means you're breaking your contract and, in addition to a late fee, it'll leave a negative mark on your credit file for up to six years
  • You'll pay interest on amount you owe each month. 

Some premium credit cards will come with additional perks such as access to airport lounges, personal assistance services or travel insurance, though you might have to pay a high annual fee to get these. 

For a full breakdown of the basics, head to our How credit cards work guide. 

What high limit credit cards are available?

Use our free credit card eligibility checker to see what cards you could qualify for. 

Am I eligible for a high limit credit card?


High limit credit cards are designed for those with a high net worth and excellent credit history. 

In most (but not all cases) you'll need to apply for a high limit card in the same way as a traditional credit card. This means you won't know what limit you'll be offered until after your application has been accepted.

When deciding whether you're eligible for a high limit, the card provider will consider: 

  • Your credit history. This lets the lender see how well you've managed your finances in the past, and whether you're likely to be responsible with any credit allowance you're offered in the future. You can check out your credit score for free with MSE's Credit Club.
  • Your income, including your annual salary and any income you get from savings and investments. 
  • Your existing credit products and debt, including how much you owe other cards, loans, overdrafts, and the amount of debt you could potentially have if you used all credit available to you – even if you're not currently borrowing anything.
  • Your age. Often premium products like high limit credit cards are only available to those aged 21 and older. 
  • Any existing products you have with the provider. Some credit card providers will only offer premium products to people who already have another product with them. This both rewards loyal customers, and means they know more about how you handle your finances before you're offered a very high credit limit. 
  • Is there a minimum income requirement for a high limit credit card?

    There's no set minimum income that will guarantee you qualify for a high limit credit card  – each provider will have their own preference. However, for credit limits over £10,000, you'd be expected to be earning a high income (either from your salary, or from investments), in the range of £50,000 to £100,000 and above. 

    It's important to remember that your salary is just one of the factors providers will consider when they decide whether you're eligible for a card. If you have a poor credit history, or a large amount of credit already available to you, you may still be rejected for a credit card, even if you have a high annual salary. 

Advantages & disadvantages

If you're eligible for a premium credit card, they can offer some useful advantages – including the opportunity to make large one-off purchases, and access some exclusive perks. However, high limit cards have their downsides too, most notably their hefty annual fees. 

When thinking about whether a high limit credit card is right for you, consider the following pros and cons: 


  • Larger spending limit. A higher credit limit can give you more flexible spending options and can offer an affordable way to make larger one-off purchases.
  • Looks good to other financial institutions. Being offered a high credit limit by one financial institution can make other credit providers more confident in lending to you. 
  • Access to exclusive perks. Many of the more premium credit cards come with special perks and rewards. These can include earning air miles, access to airport lounges and personal assistant services.  


  • It's a debt, and you'll have to pay it back. It's important to remember that anything you spend on your credit card is actually a debt. Having a higher limit can make it tempting to spend more than is within your means. 
  • High annual fees. Because premium credit cards often come with luxury perks and rewards, they also often have annual fees that can be several hundreds of pounds.  
  • High interest rates. Given that credit providers are taking on more risk when they offer someone a higher credit limit on their credit card, you'll often have to pay a high rate of interest if you don't pay off your card in full each month. 
  • Minimum spend requirements. Some premium cards will require you to put a certain amount of your spending on the card in order to continue qualifying for the perks, or access a lower interest rate. 
  • What rewards can you get with high limit credit cards?

    The rewards available will depend both on your card provider, and which specific product you choose. 

    For example, American Express Platinum Card offers 30,000 reward points when you spend £4,000 in your first three months of membership, which can be used to buy flights. And HSBC's Premier World Elite Mastercard offers unlimited free access to over 750 airport lounges. 

    Common rewards include: 

    • Car or travel insurance
    • Reward points that can be used to buy flights
    • Personal assistant or concierge services
    • Access to airport lounges
    • Early access to sought after events, such as film premieres and gigs.


  • Are there any other costs associated with premium credit cards?

    The most common costs associated with premium credit cards include: 

    • Annual fees
    • Interest rates
    • Minimum spends. 

    If you're considering applying for a high limit or premium credit card, it's worth taking the time to work out whether the benefits outweigh these costs. 

Alternatives to high limit credit cards

High limit credit cards aren't for everyone. Maybe you're not eligible for the credit limit you're looking for, or the cons outweigh the benefits – it all depends on your personal financial situation. 

If you know you can't trust yourself not to spend more than you can afford to repay, then a high credit limit card could do more harm than good.

If you're worried about debt that you're not sure how to repay, instead take a look at our Debt Problems guide for what to do and where to get help.

Some other options for accessing credit also include: 

  • Loans – if you're looking to make a planned and budgeted-for one-off purchase, it may be cheaper to take out a low-interest loan. Check your loan eligibility.
  • Credit unions – Credit unions may not be able to lend large sums, but they can offer an affordable way to borrow if your credit score isn't strong enough to qualify for the level of credit card or loan you're after. Read more about what support credit unions can offer

If you're interested in a premium card for the benefits, it's worth doing a bit of research to see if you can get the same perks in a cheaper, easier way. For example, many current accounts and phone contracts will include perks such as access to airport lounges, and early access to gig tickets. 

More credit card top tips

We've a whole host of guides with top tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your credit card. Below is a quick round-up of where we'd suggest you head to next. 

Suggestions for you

  • Access your credit score and improve your chances of being accepted with MSE's free Credit Club. This offers full access to your Experian credit report for free at any time. 

  • Get full info and check your eligibility if you're thinking of applying for a credit card or cheap loan.
  • Credit score not where you want it to be? Don't despair – learn how to build up your credit history with a credit builder card

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