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  • FIRST POST
    • xmarksthespot
    • By xmarksthespot 9th Feb 19, 11:07 AM
    • 18Posts
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    xmarksthespot
    Can credit card limits be consolidated?
    • #1
    • 9th Feb 19, 11:07 AM
    Can credit card limits be consolidated? 9th Feb 19 at 11:07 AM
    I have amassed many credit cards over the years from different providers - usually because one card had an offer - such as Avios - which was then reduced or withdrawn and better card options existed. Then I have a card I use for non-GBP transactions and cash withdrawals overseas.

    I never have any problem getting credit and I always pay off my credit cards in full each month, but find that I'm only using 2-3 different cards (out of the 8-10 or so that are active).

    Today I received a card from one of the card companies I tend not to use any longer (it was simply because the previous card was nearing expiry). It has a massive credit limit and I'd prefer if I had less cards and could perhaps distribute this limit to one or more of the other cards that I do use that have lower limits for the "just in case I need it" scenario.

    1. Is 'consolidation' of the limits possible?
    2. How does having multiple cards affect my credit rating currently?
    3. How would closing some of these cards affect my rating?

    Grateful for any help or insight.
Page 1
    • zx81
    • By zx81 9th Feb 19, 11:18 AM
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    zx81
    • #2
    • 9th Feb 19, 11:18 AM
    • #2
    • 9th Feb 19, 11:18 AM
    You can't move limits between lenders - only sometime within the same company.

    You have no credit rating to be affected by either cards or limits.

    Lenders will assess your total limits, debts and other factor in making a decision. That will vary across lenders. All you can do is consider whether you are carrying too high a limit in regard to your income.
    • xmarksthespot
    • By xmarksthespot 9th Feb 19, 11:26 AM
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    xmarksthespot
    • #3
    • 9th Feb 19, 11:26 AM
    • #3
    • 9th Feb 19, 11:26 AM
    Thank you. Just to check my understanding, by having 'unused' but active cards, am I therefore hampering the credit limit I can get when I open a new card? And by closing an account does that better enable me to negotiate up one of my existing credit limits on one of the cards I do use?

    One of the reasons I ask is because I opened a new card recently that has fee free withdrawals overseas and with no interest on that cash withdrawal until statemented. The card came with a credit limit and within that a cash credit limit (which they hadn't made explicit during the application or in their literature or website) which for me is about one third of the total credit limit. This constraint actually makes the card a bit ineffective for several cash withdrawals on long trips.
    Last edited by xmarksthespot; 09-02-2019 at 11:32 AM.
    • zx81
    • By zx81 9th Feb 19, 11:28 AM
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    zx81
    • #4
    • 9th Feb 19, 11:28 AM
    • #4
    • 9th Feb 19, 11:28 AM
    It depends on what you have. Closing card and having reduced limit can suggest that no one trusts you.

    Having excessive limit in regard to your income can look like you couldn't handle any more.

    There is no one size fits all solution.

    If you post income, cards, balances and limits, then a more specific answer could be given.
    • xmarksthespot
    • By xmarksthespot 9th Feb 19, 11:38 AM
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    xmarksthespot
    • #5
    • 9th Feb 19, 11:38 AM
    • #5
    • 9th Feb 19, 11:38 AM
    "Closing card and having reduced limit can suggest that no one trusts you"

    "Can suggest." To whom? Can you explain your one-liner please?

    Surely if I call the bank, cancel the card and they see it hasn't been used there's no issue. Or is there someone somewhere in the murky world of finance without access to the reason, second-guessing why an account has been closed and making decisions on that basis?! Would be curious to understand how it works.

    The credit limits when added together amount to about 70% of my income. As previously advised, all balances paid off in full each month.
    Last edited by xmarksthespot; 09-02-2019 at 11:40 AM.
    • zx81
    • By zx81 9th Feb 19, 11:43 AM
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    zx81
    • #6
    • 9th Feb 19, 11:43 AM
    • #6
    • 9th Feb 19, 11:43 AM
    "Closing card and having reduced limit can suggest that no one trusts you"

    "Can suggest." To whom? Can you explain your one-liner please?
    Originally posted by xmarksthespot
    Lenders will see you have had a number of cards closed and limits cut.

    They may be generous and decide that you chose to do that.

    Or they may take the more likely route and decide that others lenders are concerned about your credit and reducing or closing limits.

    With the limits you have in relation to income, you could stand to lose a card or two, if you have no immediate credit application needs coming up.
    • xmarksthespot
    • By xmarksthespot 9th Feb 19, 12:12 PM
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    xmarksthespot
    • #7
    • 9th Feb 19, 12:12 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Feb 19, 12:12 PM
    Perhaps you can explain what you mean exactly by "you could stand to lose a card or two..."?

    And having given you the proportion of my total credit limit vs income, how does that compare with the market in general or how lenders view risk?

    I'm inclined based on my reading/interpretation of what you say to 'do nothing' as if I close cards then future lenders are likely to make uninformed decisions. How ridiculous. This is almost as irresponsible as them giving credit to people who can't afford it!

    At the minute the unused cards do no harm - and in fact they provide additional credit options if I ever need it. I see no advantages whatsoever of making any changes, but perhaps I've missed something fundamental?
    • Verityspinelli
    • By Verityspinelli 9th Feb 19, 1:13 PM
    • 75 Posts
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    Verityspinelli
    • #8
    • 9th Feb 19, 1:13 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Feb 19, 1:13 PM
    At the minute the unused cards do no harm - and in fact they provide additional credit options if I ever need it. I see no advantages whatsoever of making any changes, but perhaps I've missed something fundamental?
    Originally posted by xmarksthespot
    There you go, you answered your own question.

    Credit card companies don’t negotiate whether they’ll give you more money, you ask, they say yes or they say no.
    And please don’t ask me to explain to you how I came to that conclusion or what I mean, i don’t think it’s to hard to Understand.
    • Gary_Dexter
    • By Gary_Dexter 9th Feb 19, 5:37 PM
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    Gary_Dexter
    • #9
    • 9th Feb 19, 5:37 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Feb 19, 5:37 PM
    Some lenders will let you consolidate across their products.

    You can’t consolidate across different providers.
    • Ben8282
    • By Ben8282 9th Feb 19, 7:28 PM
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    Ben8282
    When you mention a 'massive' credit limit could you give us some idea of how much this credit limit actually is.
    The lower cash limit is nothing to do with your credit standing. It will be a normal feature of the card.
    The total of my credit limits has exceeded my income for some time. I have had no problem in obtaining new cards, although I don't apply that often, and the lowest limit I have on any card, which was the last card I applied for, is in the region of £7000.
    Credit limits totalling 70% of your income is not excessive.
    It is perfectly normal for a person with a long established credit history who habitually repays in full each month to have thousands and thousands of pounds unused available credit. It is said that the optimum utilisation is 10%.
    You will not be able to consolidate credit limits between different providers but if you have more than one card issued by the same provider, two Barclaycards for example, they may be able to consolidate the limits on one card.
    In your place I would not leave the cards completely unused as no use for an extended period could result in cancellation of the card. It would be better to put a small purchase through each card from time to time just to keep them active.
    You ask how having multiple cards affects your credit rating currently. Although credit scores are worthless in themselves, if you are getting good scores that would imply that the CRAs cant see anything particularly untoward with your current situation. Your post also implies that you have not experienced any particular difficulty in obtaining further cards, so I get the impression that everything is OK with your current credit rating. Leaving aside the cash withdrawal limit situation, have the credit limits that you have been getting in recent applications consistantly become exceptionally low? If yes, then perhaps you are seen to have excessive available credit. If no, then no problem.
    With regard to the consequences of closing some accounts, avoid closing any cards with high credit limits or cards which have been open for a long time. High credit limits show that lenders trust you with such limits. Old credit card accounts show stability and also show that you have maintained the account for a long time without defaulting it. You do have quite a lot of credit cards so if there are any particular cards with low limits or cards that for one reason or another you don't particularly like etc it wouldn't do any particular harm to close them.
    • A4445
    • By A4445 9th Feb 19, 7:59 PM
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    A4445
    I’ve closed a number of cards recently as my available credit was ridiculous. I consolidated a few so some looked like I had credit reductions and them closed. It’s not caused me any issues and I’ve just been accepted for a Mortgage. I’d like to close a few more but I’m going to stagger it just in case.
    • xmarksthespot
    • By xmarksthespot 10th Feb 19, 1:25 PM
    • 18 Posts
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    xmarksthespot
    Credit card companies don’t negotiate whether they’ll give you more money, you ask, they say yes or they say no. And please don’t ask me to explain to you how I came to that conclusion or what I mean, i don’t think it’s to hard to Understand.
    Originally posted by Verityspinelli
    My question wasn’t about negotiating for MORE money. It was about redistributing the existing total credit limit across cards and providers. I don’t think that’s to (sic) hard to understand.

    Some lenders will let you consolidate across their products.
    You can’t consolidate across different providers.
    Originally posted by Gary_Dexter
    Succinct and to the point. Your second point answers my first question. Thank you.
    And on your first point, yes this has been my experience as I have previously successfully consolidated limits across cards with the same provider.

    When you mention a 'massive' credit limit could you give us some idea of how much this credit limit actually is.
    Originally posted by Ben8282
    The limit I describe as ‘massive’ is £40k. It’s a credit card that I once used a lot but haven’t used for some time now. They’ve just sent me a new card. I have another card with a £25k limit that I tend to use most frequently now. My other existing cards (with the exception of the recent Barclaycard see below) range from £7k to £20k.

    The lower cash limit is nothing to do with your credit standing. It will be a normal feature of the card.
    Originally posted by Ben8282
    The latest card I have received (a Barclaycard) has an overall credit limit of £3.5k and a cash credit limit of £1k. I applied for it as I need a fee-free card for non-GBP transactions instead of my Saga card (£9k credit limit), given the Allied Irish Bank is severing its ties with Saga next month and closing the Saga card for all customers

    (As an aside I wonder if (uninformed) lenders will deem this bank-driven card closure as a customer loss of credit?)

    The Barclaycard not only comes with fee-free non-GBP transactions (as per Saga) but it also offers fee-free cash withdrawals overseas. However its cash credit limit is limited to £1k.

    With a forthcoming overseas trip to a largely cash-driven economy, the £1k is too low for my needs and that’s what I am trying to change if possible.

    I called Barclaycard and got lots of conflicting information – some said the cash limit was a percentage of the overall limit, others said the cash limit was fixed irrespective of the overall limit, some said not everyone gets a cash credit limit, some said it wasn’t possible to change it. How embarrassing that these people don’t even know how their own products work!

    Credit limits totalling 70% of your income is not excessive.
    It is perfectly normal for a person with a long established credit history who habitually repays in full each month to have thousands and thousands of pounds unused available credit. It is said that the optimum utilisation is 10%.
    In your place I would not leave the cards completely unused as no use for an extended period could result in cancellation of the card. It would be better to put a small purchase through each card from time to time just to keep them active.
    With regard to the consequences of closing some accounts, avoid closing any cards with high credit limits or cards which have been open for a long time. High credit limits show that lenders trust you with such limits. Old credit card accounts show stability and also show that you have maintained the account for a long time without defaulting it. You do have quite a lot of credit cards so if there are any particular cards with low limits or cards that for one reason or another you don't particularly like etc it wouldn't do any particular harm to close them.
    Originally posted by Ben8282
    This is very useful to know and understand. I found your post informative, clear, reasoned, specific, helpful and practical. Thank you very much @Ben8282
    • Ben8282
    • By Ben8282 11th Feb 19, 1:54 AM
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    Ben8282
    Based on the information given it is clear that your annual income is in excess of £150,000. So long as you don't start managing your accounts really badly, I think that you have very little to worry about as far as credit cards are concerned.
    I was interested by the Barclaycard that you mention so I looked more closely at it. It appears almost too good to be true as far as the foreign cash withdrawals are concerned. No foreign transaction fee. No cash withdrawal fee. Normal 56 days interest free period on the foreign cash withdrawals.
    I think that I can understand why Barclaycard may wish to place a limit on these foreign cash withdrawals, You refer to a cash limit. Is this limit over a specific period of time, for example do they say £1000 per-month or something like that, or is it a general cash limit. If the latter, I believe that you simply need to repay the cash amount and then you will be free to withdraw more cash up to the limit again and so on.
    • adindas
    • By adindas 11th Feb 19, 8:14 AM
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    adindas
    You sometimes could consolidate the limit of your credit cards within the same credit card companies. I have done these with Santander, Halifax. I fully believe other credit cards providers will do if you ask.

    It is quite strange the that limit of your new card seems to be less to do with your old card limit. People said this might be something to do with income, but some people here have reported that they have got limit almost twice their income.

    It might be more to do with their default limit they will normally give to people and might be also human subjective factor. Keep in mind apart from machine, human factor still pay a great influence in this case.

    I had a credit card with limit of £10,000+ but when I applied to ASDA creditcard I just got £350 (not £3500) could you believe that ? But I am still using my ASDA credit card because of cash back when shopping in ASDA. Also I got Amazon Newday with credit limit of £500.

    Lender could see the low credit limit of your cards from your file, but I don't think it will greatly influence the credit limit of the new card they will be giving you when you already got a card with reasonably high limit.
    Last edited by adindas; 11-02-2019 at 8:21 AM.
    • xmarksthespot
    • By xmarksthespot 11th Feb 19, 10:11 AM
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    xmarksthespot
    You refer to a cash limit. Is this limit over a specific period of time, for example do they say £1000 per-month or something like that, or is it a general cash limit. If the latter, I believe that you simply need to repay the cash amount and then you will be free to withdraw more cash up to the limit again and so on.
    Originally posted by Ben8282
    I never mismanage my cards - which is great for me but probably doesn't make me a great customer in the bank's eyes! What I was trying to get to the bottom of was why the Barclaycard limit I got was comparatively low, and within that why the cash credit limit was only £1000.

    To answer your question, it's a cash credit limit between consecutive statemented periods (not to be confused with a daily cash withdrawal limit). If it was as simple as repaying the cash withdrawn while I'm away (by faster payments say) to effectively reset the available cash credit back to zero then the limit would be a non-issue and I wouldn't be asking the questions I am.

    Sadly however, Barclaycard tell me that it doesn't work that way - in effect, they say, if any repayments are made before the next statement then they are held in suspense until the next statement and so the cash credit limit between statements is the maximum that can be withdrawn, and making 'repayments' against it has no effect.

    What I am trying to do is find a way to increase my Barclaycard overall credit limit and especially its cash credit limit, while reducing credit limits elsewhere. And also trying to get a sense of the impact of closing cards or reducing limits before I'd do same.

    As my Saga card is being closed then the no-brainer would be to simply transfer its credit limit to my Barclaycard. Unfortunately, the feedback here tells me it doesn't work that way. Worse still, I've learned that decisions are being made by lenders with incomplete information and based on assumption.
    Last edited by xmarksthespot; 11-02-2019 at 10:21 AM.
    • Gary_Dexter
    • By Gary_Dexter 11th Feb 19, 10:36 AM
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    Gary_Dexter
    What I am trying to do is find a way to increase my Barclaycard overall credit limit and especially its cash credit limit, while reducing credit limits elsewhere. And also trying to get a sense of the impact of closing cards or reducing limits before I'd do same.

    As my Saga card is being closed then the no-brainer would be to simply transfer its credit limit to my Barclaycard. Unfortunately, the feedback here tells me it doesn't work that way. Worse still, I've learned that decisions are being made by lenders with incomplete information and based on assumption.
    Originally posted by xmarksthespot
    That's right - that's not the way it works.

    Each lender has their own match for you in-terms of lending criteria - where lender A might feel comfortable lending you £5000, lender B may only feel comfortable lending you £3000.

    You won't be able to ring up Barclaycard when you Saga card is closed and say "I had £XXXX limit with Saga that is now closed, can you please increase my limit with you by that amount?".

    That's always been the case, except when you consolidate between the same lender.

    What you can do is wait for the account to be closed and settled off then apply for a limit increase with Barclaycard - but don't put all your hopes into getting what has been "freed up" from the Saga card.

    Also you should avoid using your CC for Cash Withdrawals and Cash Purchases.
    • xmarksthespot
    • By xmarksthespot 11th Feb 19, 11:10 AM
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    xmarksthespot
    What you can do is wait for the account to be closed and settled off then apply for a limit increase with Barclaycard - but don't put all your hopes into getting what has been "freed up" from the Saga card.
    Originally posted by Gary_Dexter
    Yes, will do this in due course - but the whole point is that Saga is closing end March whereas I'm travelling overseas from this weekend for 3 weeks and so really need the increased cash limit on Barclaycard for this forthcoming trip.


    Also you should avoid using your CC for Cash Withdrawals and Cash Purchases.
    Originally posted by Gary_Dexter
    Not sure I understand what you mean here. Can you please clarify? The primary use of the Barclaycard for me is to withdraw cash overseas, as that's fee-free, does not attract daily interest and is in fact interest free if paid off in full when statemented.
    Last edited by xmarksthespot; 11-02-2019 at 11:39 AM.
    • Gary_Dexter
    • By Gary_Dexter 11th Feb 19, 11:32 AM
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    Gary_Dexter
    Are you sure it's interest fee?
    I've not known a credit card that allows cash withdrawals (either at home or overseas) where interest doesn't occur from day one - fee free yes - but not interest fee.

    Maybe you should look at getting a Starling/Monzo/Revolut account that allows for fee-free cash withdrawals
    • xmarksthespot
    • By xmarksthespot 11th Feb 19, 11:58 AM
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    xmarksthespot
    Are you sure it's interest fee?
    I've not known a credit card that allows cash withdrawals (either at home or overseas) where interest doesn't occur from day one - fee free yes - but not interest fee.
    Originally posted by Gary_Dexter
    Now you have some new-found knowledge! I can confirm that there is no interest to pay on cash withdrawals if the statemented balance is paid off in full. This is also confirmed by Ben8282 above in this thread: "It appears almost too good to be true as far as the foreign cash withdrawals are concerned. No foreign transaction fee. No cash withdrawal fee. Normal 56 days interest free period on the foreign cash withdrawals".

    Maybe you should look at getting a Starling/Monzo/Revolut account that allows for fee-free cash withdrawals
    Originally posted by Gary_Dexter
    No, definitely not, I have already ruled these out. Not just because of Barclaycard's superior offer but also because Revolut (for example) incurs local ATM transaction fees at most bank ATMs where I'm going, whereas Barclaycard's (and Visa's) arrangements are such that there are way more ATMs where there will be no local cash withdrawal fee. Trust me, I've looked at this closely, and also taken advice from the TripAdvisor forum from those who have found drawbacks with Revolut etc. in certain locations.
    Last edited by xmarksthespot; 11-02-2019 at 12:10 PM.
    • Gary_Dexter
    • By Gary_Dexter 11th Feb 19, 12:09 PM
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    Gary_Dexter
    Are you 100% sure?

    The T's and C's on the Platinum Travel Card clearly state that there is interest payable on Cash Withdrawals:

    No interest free period on cash withdrawals and balance transfers

    Foreign Usage

    Non-sterling transaction fees will not be charged on transactions made on or before 31 August 2022. (Standard or cash interest rates apply depending on the type of transaction).
    Interest Charging Information

    If interest is payable, it will be charged over the following period:

    Purchases and non-sterling cash withdrawals:
    from the date the transaction is debited to your account until the date of your last statement before the transaction is paid in full.

    Sterling cash withdrawals and balance transfers:
    from the date the transaction is debited to your account until it is paid in full.

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