Lowering credit limit on Chase cards

Until recently, it’s been ages since we’ve gotten an instant approval on a credit card application. I miss the days where I didn’t have to call recon or wait for a pending application to be approved. Since banks will only extend a certain amount of credit based on your income, you’ll generally hit a point where the computer can no longer approve you instantly. If you’re applying for a new card with Chase, I think it’s a good idea to lower your credit limit on other cards before doing so. Here’s what you need to know about lowering your Chase credit card limits to increase your odds of automatic approval.

How do I lower my credit limit?

Lowering your credit limit on Chase credit cards is easy. Simply send a secure message asking to lower your credit limit. You don’t need to provide a reason. Within 12 hours or so, an agent will reply saying your credit limit has been updated and is effective immediately.

Chase Secure Message
It’s as easy as that!
How much should I lower my credit limit?

I’m in favor of bringing the credit limit down substantially to free up more credit to open the new card. However, you shouldn’t make your new credit limit too low in case you do have to call recon. One of the easiest ways to get approved when calling recon is to offer to move credit from an existing card in order to open the new card. The minimum credit limit to open a Visa Signature credit card is $5,000. If my existing credit limit is $32,000, for example, lowering it $10,000 makes sense because I’ll have enough credit to move to open the new card while maintaining a $5,000 credit limit on the existing card.

Won’t this impact my credit score?

Yes, lowering your credit limit can impact your credit score since part of the calculation is based on utilization. If you have more credit extended to you, the lower your utilization ratio will be. If you are a churner, you likely have a lot of credit cards with a lot of credit extended to you so lowering your credit limit on one card won’t have much of an impact.

Does this actually work?

In my (limited) experience, lowering your credit limit does help improve your chances of an automatic approval from Chase. For example, the last three Chase cards we got all required calls to recon. This time I decided to lower some of the credit limits and I’m happy to report we go approved automatically. Calling recon takes time (that I generally don’t have), so any little thing to speed up the process is worth it for me.

Chase Automatic Approval
I’ve missed seeing this screen!
Final Thoughts

Lowering your credit limit on Chase cards before applying for a new card may help you receive an automatic approval. If you don’t receive an automatic approval, call recon and offer to move credit from an existing card in order to open the new card. Keep in mind that depending on how much credit is extended to you, there could be a small impact on your credit score.

Have you had any luck getting an automatic approval by lowering a credit limit at Chase or any other bank?

11 thoughts on “Can a Lower Credit Limit Help You Get Approved for a New Chase Card?”

  1. Be careful with new Chase apps, I recently went through hell to get my accounts reinstated. milesperday has talked about it alot recently.

    1. I applied for the card two days after lowering the credit limits. I believe you should be okay to apply for the new card once you receive confirmation that your credit limit has been lowered.

  2. I lowered the credit limit on my Reserve card by $10,000 in anticipation of some new applications. A few days later I applied for 2 cards and had to call recon on both. For both cards, I had to move credit from my Freedom card to get them opened. Loss of $10,000 in available credit for me.

    1. Thanks for sharing. It’s definitely important to hear about scenarios when this doesn’t work out. Everyone should tread lightly with this method since the data points tend to go both ways.

  3. My wife is about to try to earn our 4th Southwest Companion Pass by applying for SW business 60k and 1 or 2 months later SW personal plus card 50k in the airport. We really want this to work as we use the pass for about 12 free round trips each year.
    She has CIP 20K and Ink Cash 26k. Should she reduce those to 10k each a week before applying for SW business? She would love to get instant approval avoiding the dreaded recon torture call. However, we have both always had success thru recon by using the extra credit to shift limits to create the new account. I would be dissapointed if we voluntarily gave up 26k in credit and had to go thru recon anyway. My wife also Chase Hyatt 19k, IHG 10k, & Marriott 5k. Should she reduce the 2 large personal limits? I wish there were a lot of data points because it is easy to drop credit but not very easy to get it raised back.

    1. Thanks for your question. It’s definitely not guaranteed that dropping the credit limits will work. I’ve generally had success doing so, and for me, I’d rather give up some of the credit line even if my chances of instant approval are only marginally increased. If you don’t mind having a lower credit line, I’d say go for it since it appears she has other credit lines open that could be used to shift credit if a call to recon is needed. You also don’t have to reduce them all the way down to 10k. hope that helps!

  4. Thanks very much for your help. My wife reluctantly lowered her Chase credit limits by secure message requests to avg 10k for each of her 5 cards. She applied for Southwest Business on 10/30/18 and got instant approval. It was so nice to not go to pending, wait a couple of weeks for denial , and then go thru another stressful reconsideration call interrogation requesting a credit realignment to try to open the card. Maybe she would have gotten instant approval without the credit limit reduction. But I think you a right that once an applicant already has as much Chase credit as Chase wants to give them the computer automatically sends your application to pending with no chance of any Instant approval.
    Now we are waiting at least 30 days for my wife to apply for either the Southwest Priority or Plus. Do you think 30 days is enough or would 2 or 3 months make approval more likely. We will again make the avg limit 10 k. Thanks again.

    1. Glad to hear it! For the next card, you definitely should wait at least a month like you said. I think how long you wait is a personal preference…waiting longer may help with instant approval, though the “optimal wait time” to achieve instant approval isn’t really known. I personally would rather earn the Companion Pass as early as possible even if I have to call recon. For this reason, I’d probably apply after 5 or 6 weeks of waiting rather than 2-3 months. Best of luck!

      1. We are in Las Vegas airport flying SW to Long Beach. Inside security there is a kiosk offering SW Priority with 50k RR points. It’s so tempting to apply now but it would be disappointing if we went to pending. We will take your advise and wait 5 weeks .

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