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Account management

How to transfer your credit limit on Discover cards

If you have multiple Discover credit cards, you can transfer a credit limit after getting approved for a credit increase

Summary

If you have multiple Discover cards and want to transfer part of your credit limit from one card to another, you can request a credit increase and then ask for it to be added from another card.

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Discover has built a passionate following among its credit card customers, due largely to the cards’ valuable rewards, low fees and reputation for excellent customer service.

Some Discover card customers are so satisfied with their cards that they have more than one. When you have multiple Discover card accounts, you might encounter a situation where your credit isn’t allocated the way you need it to be. When this happens, you may be able to request a credit limit transfer.

What is a credit limit transfer?

A credit limit transfer is when a credit card issuer increases a card’s credit limit, while at the same time reducing the credit limit of another account held by the same customer, by the same amount. From the standpoint of the credit card issuer, there is no increased exposure to default, as the total amount of credit extended to the cardholder hasn’t changed.

In personal terms, imagine that you’ve lent a friend $200 to get his car fixed and another $500 to pay for a doctor’s bill. If he called you up and said that his medical expense was lower but his car repair cost more than anticipated, it might be acceptable to you, so long as he doesn’t ask for more than the $700 total that you’ve already lent him. That’s essentially what happens when a credit card issuer is asked to approve a credit limit transfer between two accounts.

A credit limit transfer should not be confused with a balance transfer. A balance transfer occurs when an actual debt is transferred from one account to another. However, a credit limit transfer, or reallocation, doesn’t involve the transfer of any part of an account’s balance. Also, balance transfers can only occur between two accounts from two different card issuers. Card issuers permit balance transfers to acquire new debt, and possibly a new customer account from a competing card issuer. Also, balance transfers usually incur a fee, while a credit line transfer does not.

Why should I transfer a credit limit to another card?

You might consider a credit limit transfer for several reasons. For example, perhaps you’re a longtime Discover card user, and you’ve recently opened a new Discover card account. If your old account had a large credit limit and your new account didn’t receive one that was nearly as large, then you could request a credit limit transfer from the old card to the new card.

This might put you in a better position to take advantage of the new card’s features and benefits. For instance, the Discover it® Cash Back card will automatically match the cash back or miles that you’ve earned in your account’s first year. If you transfer part of your credit allotment from another card, you might be able to put more of your usual spending on this card to reap the bonus rewards.

Another situation where you may want to transfer a portion of your credit limit to another card is when one card offers different bonus categories than another. For example, you may have a Discover card that offers better rewards for gas or groceries but has a lower credit limit than your other card. By transferring a portion of your credit limit to that card from another Discover card, you might be able to better maximize the opportunity to earn those rewards.

And if you decide to close one of your Discover cards, then you may wish to preserve your total credit limit by transferring as much as possible from the account you’re closing to one of the accounts that you’re keeping.

You might also want to combine credit limits in an attempt to help your credit score, but that might not necessarily be the result. Make sure you look at your options and how they’ll affect different factors, such as average age of credit accounts, before you make a move.

How do I combine Discover credit limits?

It’s easy to contact Discover to request to reallocate a portion of your credit line, but you should be aware of three rules before trying. Note that these rules aren’t specifically documented by Discover, but cardholders have widely reported having to comply with them before a credit limit transfer can be approved.

The three-month rule

Although Discover doesn’t publish this rule, numerous reports from Discover cardholders reveal they were denied a credit limit reallocation until each of their cards had been open for at least three months. If you’ve recently opened a new Discover card account, then you should wait for at least three months from the day your application was approved before contacting Discover to request your credit limits be combined.

The credit line increase rule

Rather than simply combining the credit lines from two different cards, as many card issuers will do, Discover requires that you first request a credit limit increase. Once approved for a credit limit increase on one of your cards, you can then request that a portion of the credit line from another card be transferred to that card.

For example, let’s say you have a Discover it Cash Back card with a $5,000 line of credit, and you also have a Discover it® Miles card with a $1,000 line of credit. If you’d like to move a portion of your total available credit to the Discover it Miles card, then you would first need to request a credit line increase for your Discover it Miles card. Once granted, you would then request that Discover transfer a portion of your available credit from your Discover it Cash Back card to your Discover it Miles card.

The $500 rule

Both the credit card you are transferring the credit line from and the one you are transferring the line to must have a credit limit of at least $500.

The process of requesting Discover combine credit limits

Because of the credit line increase rule mentioned above, combining credit limits between your Discover cards will require an extra step.

1. Contact Discover and request a credit line increase

Although you can request a credit line increase online or by using the Discover card mobile app, it’s important that you call its customer service line if you also want to combine credit limits. Fortunately, Discover offers 24/7, U.S.-based customer support and is widely regarded as offering excellent customer service.

2. Once approved for a credit line increase, ask to speak with the credit operations department

The Discover card’s credit operations department will be able to approve a combination of your card’s credit limits, in conjunction with the credit line increase that’s already been approved.

Bottom line

When you have multiple Discover card accounts, it’s important to manage them well. By requesting a credit line transfer, you can ensure that you have the credit you need on the card that you use the most.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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