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What is credit card limit?

Your credit card limit is an important factor when it comes to picking the right credit card for you. This page explains what determines your credit limit.

What is credit limit?

Credit limit is the maximum amount granted by the credit card issuing bank that you can use on your credit card at any given time.

Each credit card issuing bank has its own sets of minimum and maximum credit limits for different card types. Even with the same card type, the limit for each individual person may not be the same amount.

In some specific cases, some banks will allow the use of over-the-limit spends but incurring extra fees. You should check the over limit fees with your bank beside your credit limit.

How your credit limit is determined

The bank will look at your credit history and other key factors to decide whether to accept your credit card application, and what credit limit to offer you.

Essentially, a credit card is treated like a bank loan: the higher your credibility, the more money a lender will lend you. So how is your creditworthiness assessed? Here are some things lenders will consider:

  • Income
    As this is a key factor when assessing a borrower's ability to pay, income will have a big impact on the credit limit that you are granted. That's why you need to present your proof of income when you make your application. Usually, the higher and more stable your income, the higher the credit limit you'll receive.
  • Employment
    A stable employment can help to increase your credit score as it would show your long term payment capacity. Therefore, banks usually would also check your employment status in your card application.
  • Credit history
    Having a good credit history is more than just not having any bad debt. Lenders want to see your total debt burden, repayment behavior, spending behavior, etc., which are also indications to banks about the ability of a person to service the loan repayments.

After a thorough review, banks can provide a specific card type and credit limit suitable for your finances, if they accept your application.

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6 ways to check your credit limit

When you already have a card and want to know your current credit limit, you can check via:

  1. Your welcome package from the card issuing bank.
  2. Credit card statement
    Your credit limit, along with other important information such as transaction history and payment due dates, will be in a statement that is sent to you every month.
  3. Online banking or mobile banking
    You can log on using your preferred device and check your credit limit by choosing your credit card on the menu bar.
  4. Bank customer service
    Another way is to call your card issuer's customer service line to find out more about the card you're using.
  5. Card issuer's branch
    If your credit card is from a bank, you can go to a teller at your nearest branch to ask about your credit limit.
  6. ATM
    Some basic information, including your current credit limit, will be displayed on the ATM screen when you insert your credit card.

Knowing your current credit limit is important for you to have a reasonable monthly shopping plan and avoid the risk of overspending.

If you don't have a credit card yet, you'll only know your credit limit after submitting your credit card application and getting a response from your bank. Remember that even if you used to have a credit card, if you're applying for a new one, the credit limit might be different than your previous card.

What is available credit limit?

Available credit limit refers to how much you still have left to spend with your credit card.

For example, if your card has a limit of VND60 million and you have already used it to make purchases of VND20 million and assuming you do not have any other interest/ fee charges, the remaining VND40 million is your available credit limit. The limit will go back to VND60 million again once you have settled your account balance.

To determine your available limit, you can do the same as when checking your credit card limit.

Changing your credit limit

If you want to request for a new limit, you can either contact your bank directly or allow your issuer to do it automatically for you. Depending on your spending habits when using the card, the bank will consider whether to keep or increase your current limit.

Automatic credit limit increase

As people income tend to increase and the spending need of people increase overtime, banks do automatically increase your credit limit as they assess your credit behavior and as reward of the loyalty.

Some banks will notify your credit limit changes, but you don't have to accept it. If you feel more comfortable with your previous limit, you can always inform your bank to keep the limit unchanged.

Submit a request to increase your credit card limit

If you have the need to increase the credit limit while your bank has not done it, you can request the bank to do so, however, in certain cases bank do require you to prove that your financial capacity have increase, i.e. income increase or lower debt burden.

The increase or decrease of your credit limit depends on your banks' policies. Card issuers normally consider changing your limit when you have owned a credit card for 6 months or 1 year.

When requesting a credit limit increase, you should prepare the following documents to streamline the process: a request for a credit limit increase, proof of income and your most recent employment contract.

3 tips to help you increase your credit card limit

It's really not difficult to quickly change your limit once you prove you're a responsible cardholder. Here are some tips to help you with that:

  • Always pay your credit balance on time
    A late payment, even for one day, will affect your ability to get a credit line in the future.
  • Be patient
    The longer you own a credit card, the higher your chances of getting a limit increase. So in any case, avoid canceling your credit card early.
  • Make frequent purchases
    Something as simple as making regular card transactions can also significantly improve your credit score and credit history.

Understanding credit limits for HSBC credit cards

Our credit card limits

As mentioned, a credit limit can vary widely, even in a single credit card line. This largely depends on the creditworthiness of your profile when you apply for a credit card with us.

HSBC offers a range of credit cards: such as HSBC Visa LiveFree Classic, HSBC Visa Cash BackHSBC Live+ and HSBC TravelOne. Each of these cards have their own range of credit limits. You can find out more about this on the credit card page, but this table shows you the basics:

Basic credit limits range for HSBC LiveFree Classic, Cash back, Live+ and TravelOne credit card.
Credit limit LiveFree Classic Cash Back Live+ TravelOne
Minimum (VND million) 9
15 20
Maximum (VND million) 60
1,000 1,000
Basic credit limits range for HSBC LiveFree Classic, Cash back, Live+ and TravelOne credit card.
Credit limit Minimum (VND million)
LiveFree Classic 9
Cash Back 15
Live+ 15
TravelOne 20
Credit limit Maximum (VND million)
LiveFree Classic 60
Cash Back 1,000
Live+ 1,000
TravelOne 1,000

If you apply for a supplementary credit card, say for your spouse or a family member, your credit limit won't increase. Instead, the supplementary card will share the same total credit limit as the primary card.

Using your credit limit

Credit limit for everyday spending

For online or POS payments that accept Visa credit cards, all banks and financial institutions allow you to use up to 100% of your card limit.

At HSBC, sometimes we allow you to spend slightly more than your credit card limit, so that you can complete your purchases. The amount you can spend over the limit is based on your cards terms and conditions. Just keep in mind that there is an over-limit fee if you use this feature. 

Cash advance limit

You can also use your credit card for a cash advance for any short-term need of cash. You should know that the amount you can withdraw may be lower than your available credit limit. The withdrawal amount is subject to a cap as a certain percentage of credit limit which is determined by your bank.


The maximum amount you can withdraw each day is capped at VND16,000,000, even if your credit limit is much higher. In addition, the amount you can withdraw will depend on your available credit limit.

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Having high credit limits can be a good thing, because it gives you the flexibility to spend money when you need to — and it may help you maintain good credit scores. But having high credit limits can be dangerous, as overspending on a high-limit card may put you into more debt than you can easily pay off. Knowing your maximum, does not mean it’s a good idea to reach it. In fact, it is much more important to learn how to manage your limit responsibly and make on-time payments every month.

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