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Life can be unpredictable, and you never know exactly what you may need to spend money on tomorrow. In these situations, you may suddenly need more spending power on your credit cards than you previously anticipated. Fortunately, there are credit and charge cards that allow you to make the charges you need.
If your credit score is good enough, you might be able to score an “unlimited credit card”—one without a preset spending limit. That’s not a free pass to go on a months-long shopping spree, of course, as these credit cards technically do have some limitations. But they can be a flexible way to manage your finances, especially if you manage large monthly expenses or travel a lot. Find out more about credit cards with no limits below and whether one might be right for you.
What a No Limit Credit Card Really Means
The phrase “no limit credit card” is a bit misleading. Technically, all credit cards have limits. It’s not in the interest of lenders to allow card holders to drive up balances with no end in sight.
When people talk about unlimited credit cards, then, they usually mean one of two things. First, they could mean a credit card with a very high limit—one you’d be unlikely to hit in the normal course of spending if you’re regularly paying off the card. These types of cards include exclusive invitation-only “black cards.”
Second, and more commonly, they mean cards with no preset or published limits. Cardholders on these accounts are given a limit that’s unique to them, and it’s based on factors such as creditworthiness, income, and how long you have had an account. The credit limit might even fluctuate as you demonstrate continued or increased creditworthiness.
How to Determine if No Limit Credit Cards Are Right for You
Typically, these cards require good or excellent credit, so they aren’t something everyone can qualify for. The most exclusive cards with no preset spending limits are available only to individuals who receive an invite.
Cards with especially high credit limits or extremely flexible limits may also not be the right choice for someone who is in financial distress or already struggling to manage debt. It’s an unfortunate paradox that if you really need the larger credit line, you might be at greater risk of running up the credit card balance and digging yourself deeper in debt—and therefore unlikely to be approved for the larger credit line.
Need a card for fair or poor credit? We’ve got you covered.
Alternatives to No Limit Credit Cards
If you don’t have great credit, you might want to consider a different option, such as a balance transfer card. If your credit is good enough, you can get a balance transfer card with a preset limit that lets you transfer high-interest debt and pay it off faster at 0% interest for a specific period of time.
If you’re doing well financially and would like the flexibility of a credit card with a high limit without the temptation of ongoing debt, you might consider a charge card. Charge cards are a type of credit card—often with high limits—that you have to pay off each billing cycle.
3 High Limit or No Limit Credit Cards to Consider
If a high limit card does sound like a good idea, you’ll want to research available options and choose the best one for your needs and preferences. Here are four to consider.
1. American Express® Gold Card
The American Express® Gold card is a card with a high-limit. With its Pay Over Time feature, this Amex card allows eligible charges of $100 or more to be carried across statements with interest. Other charges are due each month. You also get up to $120 in dining credits a year by earning up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
2. Mastercard Black Card
- Stainless steel and carbon card. Tailored to be an everyday essential. Rewards and protection benefits that are designed to be used everywhere you go, rather than select categories and purchases. Plus, no foreign transaction fees.
- Simple and flexible rewards without the hoops. 2% value for airfare redemptions with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. 1.5% value for cash back redemptions. Earn one point for every one dollar spent. No minimum threshold requirement for cash back or airfare redemptions.
- Annual Airline Credit—up to $100 in statement credits toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more. Just pay for airline purchases with your Mastercard Black Card and we will automatically apply the credit to your account. That’s it. No need to activate or designate an airline.
- Up to a $100 application fee credit for the cost of TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry. Also, enjoy automatic enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select with access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide with no guest or lounge limits. Includes credits at select airport restaurants for cardholder and one guest.
- 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge®—available by phone, email, SMS and chat in the app. Around-the-clock service to help you save time and manage tasks big and small. There is no requirement to make a purchase in your requests and no fees are associated with using the concierge's assistance.
- Exclusive Luxury Card Travel® benefits—average value of $500 per stay (e.g., resort credits, room upgrades, free wifi, breakfast for two and more) at over 3,000 properties. Plus, peace of mind protection benefits like trip cancellation and interruption, auto rental car collision waiver, travel accident and baggage delay.
- Cell phone protection for eligible claims of up to $1,000 each year. Plus additional World Elite Mastercard® benefits.
- Annual Fee: $495 ($195 for each Authorized User). Terms and conditions apply.
- Type: Rewards/Cash Back
- Credit Needed: Excellent
- Ongoing APR: 21.24%, 25.43% or 28.24% Variable
- Sign up bonus: n/a
- Rewards: Earn redemption cash back in the value of 2% if you redeem on airfare or 1.5% if you redeem for cash back.
- Annual fee: $495 ($195 for each Authorized User added to the account)
One of three products offered by Luxury Card, the Mastercard Black Card is truly luxurious. There is no official minimum starting limit for this card—but that flexibility comes with a cost. The annual fee is steeper than many can afford, but the card comes with $100 in airline credit and $100 in TSA Pre✓® application credit every year, Exclusive luxury travel perks, and around-the-clock access to a concierge. It also includes a full range of traveler perks. Coupled with the rewards, this card can pay for itself when used by frequent travelers.
3. American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card
The American Express Blue Cash Preferred® card comes with a lot of standard Amex benefits. There’s no overlimit fee, and its “Plan It” features allow you to create monthly payment plans with a fixed finance charge each month, rather than the ongoing APR.
No Limit Credit Cards and Your Credit Score
Paying on time and keeping your balance low is as important with these types of cards as with any other card. But you also need to consider your revolving credit utilization. Since these cards may not have a set or published limit, it’s important that you understand what the actual limit is and how it’s being reported. Check your credit report to see what limit is being reported so you know whether your credit utilization is high. Charge cards may not affect your utilization rate at all.
If you really want to dig in to your credit reports and the factors affecting your credit scores, consider signing up for ExtraCredit. ExtraCredit lets you access this information from all three credit bureaus whenever you want. That helps you best manage all of your debt, whether you have an unlimited credit card or not.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.