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How to set a contactless card spending cap to avoid the new £100 limit

The contactless card payment limit rose from £45 to £100 on 15 October. But Bank of Scotland, Danske Bank UK, Halifax, Lloyds and Starling will let you set your own limit, with Santander becoming the latest to do so. Some providers will also let you turn off contactless completely. Here's what you need to know.

The change, which came in following a public consultation and after discussions between the Treasury and the financial regulator, will be good news for many but some will want to set their own cap on the back of concerns over theft.

See the table below for a bank-by-bank explanation of what's happening.

Which card providers allow you to set your own contactless limit?

Card provider Can I set my own contactless limit? Can I turn off contactless completely? (i) Does this apply to all debit and/or credit cards?
American Express
Bank of Scotland


Between £30 and £95. Via app, online or phone (ii)


Via app, online or phone (you must be registered for online banking to change limit)


Debit card only




Capital One
Danske Bank UK


Between £0 and £100. Via app, phone or in branch


Via app, phone or in branch (v)



Between £30 and £95. Via app, online or phone (ii)


Via app, online or phone (you must be registered for online banking to change limit)


Debit card only

Lloyds Bank


Between £30 and £95. Via app, online or phone (ii)


Via app, online or phone (you must be registered for online banking to change limit)


Debit card only






Via app



By phone


Via app

Debit card only


Via app

Debit card only



Via app or phone


Mastercard debit and credit cards only



Between £10 and £90. Via app


Via app


Via app, phone or online

Data correct as of 2 December 2021. Info for children's accounts or business accounts may differ. (i) Some banks will allow you to turn off contactless functionality completely, while others will send you a new, non-contactless card. (ii) Will introduce contactless caps of between £30 and £95 for credit cards later this year. (iii) There is option to set spend limits across all transactions, which includes contactless transactions, via the app. (iv) Introducing this functionality in future. (v) Can set limit to £0, effectively turning contactless off. (vi) Considering introducing this functionality in future.

What's at risk if my card is stolen?

While many welcomed the added convenience of the contactless limit increasing, some people reported nervousness about the rise (see Martin's Twitter poll responses on the change below) as they worried about their exposure to theft on the back of this.

Currently, regulations state that providers will prevent contactless payments where you try to spend above the contactless limit, where you've made more than five contactless transactions in a row using the same card, or where the total amount spent since you last had to verify a transaction exceeds £300 (this was £130 prior to 15 October). However, payment providers do have the ability to set tighter limits than the FCA's maximum. 

So if you are concerned about fraud and what might happen if someone steals your contactless card, you should think about your contactless limit as if you were carrying cash. Consider how much cash you would feel comfortable carrying around at any one time and set that as your contactless limit if your provider allows you to do so.

Of course, if your card is stolen, cancel it as soon as possible and notify your provider. You should also monitor your statement for any suspicious transactions.

However, responding to concerns that raising the contactless limit could lead to increased levels of fraud, the Treasury said there was no significant rise in reported fraud when the limit was raised from £30 to £45 last year. It added that reported fraud equated to 0.02% of the total spent using contactless cards since April 2020.

There are no upper limits for mobile payments

According to banking trade body UK Finance, mobile payments, such as those made via Apple Pay or Google Pay, do not have an upper spending limit when verified through biometric technology, such as fingerprint or facial recognition. However, a retailer or your card provider itself – if you link mobile payments to your card – may still put limits in place that override this.

Apple Pay says that given it doesn't set the limits itself, you'd need to ask your card provider whether you can put a cap on this type of spending. We've also put this to Google Pay and we'll update this story when we know more. Of course, when you use such technology, the idea is that someone who's stolen your phone will be much less likely to be able to access your cash.

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