How to Check Your Credit Card Available Credit

Woman checking credit card account online
••• © JGi/Jamie Grill / Getty

Your credit card's available credit is the difference between your credit limit and your outstanding balance. It's the amount you're able to spend on your credit card without facing penalties for exceeding your credit limit or having your card declined.

Knowing your credit card's available credit before you make a purchase will help you stay within your credit limit. You can avoid any over-limit fee charged by your credit card issuer by staying aware of your balance and available credit. And, if you're concerned about building or maintaining a good credit score, knowing your available credit is key to managing your credit utilization. Here are three ways to check the available credit on your credit card.

1. Your Billing Statement

A recent copy of your billing statement will include your your credit limit, current credit card balance, and your available credit. If you’ve made any payments or purchases since your last billing statement was mailed, the available credit on your statement won't be accurate. Fortunately, there are two more ways to check your most recent available credit.

2. Your Online Account

If have online access to your credit card account, you can log on to check your available credit. Creating one only takes a few minutes if you haven't already signed up. Your online account will typically more current than your paper billing statement. Even so, transactions you've made within the past day may not reflect in the available balance shown on your credit card statement.

3. Customer Service Line

Call the customer service number listed on the back of your credit card. Listen to the prompts for the option to get your available credit or ask to speak to a customer service representative. You will typically be given the most up-to-date available credit when you call your credit card’s customer service.

Raising Your Available Credit

You can try requesting a credit limit increase to gain access to additional credit. The credit card issuer will review your account history, income, and credit history to make a decision and raise your credit limit if you're approved. Otherwise, if your request is denied, you'll get an email or letter in the mail letting you know the reason your request wasn't approved.

If your credit limit increase request is denied, you can make a larger credit card payment to free up the credit you need. Keep in mind that it can take one or two business days for the payment to post to your account and your available credit to increase.

Credit Cards With No Preset Spending Limit

Some credit cards do not have a preset credit limit. These cards instead have a spending limit that can change from month to month based on your income, spending habits, and other financial data your credit card issuer has on file. Your spending limit won't be printed on your credit card statements or available on your card's automated customer service number.

Knowing your available credit on a credit card with no preset spending limit may require a call to customer service. For example, if you're making a big purchase that's outside your normal spending habits, you could ask your credit card issuer whether the charge would be approved based on your spending limit.