After 20 hours of research evaluating 115 products, we picked Chase Sapphire Preferred® as our top choice.
Rocking a FICO score of 720 or higher? Congratulations - that’s not a common achievement!
The average FICO score is 700, and only 1 out of every 5 Americans boast a credit score higher than 780. Scores can dip as low as 300, so having a credit score in the 700s or 800s typically requires careful budgeting and a long and impressive history of financial stability.
If you have done a stellar job of building credit over the years, you deserve the rewards that come with one of the best credit cards for excellent credit.
It gets better:
The best credit cards for excellent credit have low APRs, generous cash-back rewards, and hefty sign-on bonuses for responsible people just like you. We’re confident you’ll find a credit card on our list that’s perfect for your lifestyle, whether you prefer free airline miles or like to rack up cash-back rewards.
Not eligible for any of the best credit cards for excellent credit? Not a problem - we’ve got something for every FICO score! Check out our list of the best credit cards for bad credit, or choose one of the best secured cards while you repair or rebuild your credit.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated October 11, 2019 but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.
The more you spend, the more you earn. Score double points at grocery stores, which is awesome since you don’t have to be a luxury spender to benefit from this card.
No major complaints about this card. However, the bonus offer for new members isn’t as impressive as the deals that other cards offer.
Application Process: Apply online and get an instant response. Sometimes it takes 7 to 10 days if an underwriter has to personally review your app.
Bonus Offers: New members get 15,000 Membership Rewards Points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. This is a totally attainable goal, even if you just put everyday purchases like food and gasoline on your card.
Rewards: You can do quite a bit with the points you accumulate on this card. Trade them in for gift cards or merchandise, use them to pay for purchases, or redeem them for travel-related perks. You can also transfer your points to eligible frequent traveler programs.
You earn 2 points per dollar for grocery store purchases and 1 point per dollar at other qualifying businesses. Grocery rewards are capped after your first $6,000 in purchases, but there's no limit for other points. You can earn 20% more points by making at least 20 purchases per billing cycle.
Annual Fee: Our favorite number: Zero! And it’s always $0, not just for the first year.Details:The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express »
This card stands out thanks to a high rewards rate of 2x the miles per $1 spent, plus flexible, user-friendly redemption options. Like many of the other best Capital One credit cards, the use of this card means no foreign transaction fees—a perfect pair with mileage-focused rewards points.
If you’re a frequent traveler, you might be deterred from this card because of the fact that it offers no airline specific perks. You may be better off with more specific airline credit cards. Furthermore, you won’t get a lot out of this credit card if you’re looking for general cash back benefits—this is a card whose strength lies in travel.
Application Process: Apply for your shiny new credit card on Capital One’s website and receive a decision within seconds.
Annual Fee: This credit card comes with a fee of $95 per year, but you’ll get a free pass during your first year of use.
Rewards and Redemption Options: There are two ways to claim rewards when using this card:
What makes Capital One’s Purchase Eraser different than the standard option is that there is no minimum for full travel statement credit options, just a 2,500 mile minimum for partial travel credit redemptions. This means that you can redeem at least $25 to help offset costs for more expensive tickets.
Bonus Offers: Capital One offers a one time bonus of 50,000 miles for every $3,000 spent in the first 3 months of account opening, or $500 in rewards.Details:Capital One Venture Rewards Card »
If you travel a lot, especially for business, the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card may be your perfect fit. Automatically receive $300 in statement credits for travel purchases this year, in addition to access to over 1,000 travel lounges worldwide.
Even if you don't frequently travel, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers a great rewards program and high bonuses. No foreign transaction fees are the cherry on top of an excellent credit card option.
Even for the best of the best Chase credit cards, it can certainly be hard to justify the high annual fee and high spending required to get bonus rewards. While the Chase Sapphire Reserve is generous in the rewards it offers users, it’s only recommended for people that extensively travel, spend a lot on dining, and can earn enough rewards to balance out the hefty $450 annual fee.
Application Process: Online, using a similar form to apply for all of the best chase credit cards.
Annual Fee: A whopping $450, but check out the bonus offers to understand how this is justified.
Rewards: Get 50% more value when you redeem rewards points through Chase Ultimate Rewards program. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 on Chase Ultimate Rewards. Alternatively, you can redeem rewards points for statement credit, but at a 1 point to 1 cent ratio.
Bonus Offers: Here's where things get juicy. Though the credit card may seem hard to justify at $450/year, the bonuses are plentiful and include the ability to:
Application Process: Apply online and get a response within 60 seconds.
Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate; unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Bonus Offers: Score a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases during your first 3 months as a cardholder. Get $25 more when an authorized user makes their first purchase in the same 3 month period.
Annual fee: None.Details:Chase Freedom® »
There's a lot to love about the Chase Freedom Unlimited cash back credit card. It provides a high rewards rate with no nonsense in terms of rotating spending categories - just a flat 1.5% back on every purchase you make with the card. With responsible use, you won't have to pay a penny to use this card, as there's no annual fee.
As far as actually getting the cash back you've earned, there's no minimum required for redemption, and cash back earnings can be redeemed for any amount (unlike the Chase Freedom card, which requires a minimum $20). On top of that, there's a relatively small minimum spend required to earn the lucrative account opening bonus.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card doesn't offer any specific bonus categories, due to its nature as a flat-rate cash back credit card. So those who know their high-spending categories (like groceries, for example) may want to opt instead for a cash back credit card that caters to their spending habits.
While going through this list, you'll also notice that it's not the highest flat-rate cash back card around. There's also a foreign transaction fee, so if you want a credit card specifically for international travel you should look into opening a credit card that caters specifically to travelers.
Application Process: Online, over the phone, or at a branch. Online is the easiest method, but it's nice to know that you have options!
Annual Fee: No annual fee! How's that for maximizing the money in your pocket? Balance transfer fees are $5 or 5% of the transferred amount (whichever is greater).
APR: 0% for the first 15 months, then a variable APR of 16.24% to 24.99%.
Rewards: You can redeem your rewards as cash back in the form of:
Or, you can also redeem rewards using the Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1 cent each and may be claimed through the Ultimate Rewards portal for:
Bonus Offers: Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500, within 3 months after opening a new account. Additionally, you can also earn $25 if you opt to add an authorized user of the card, and that person makes their first purchase within the 3 month period.Details:Chase Freedom Unlimited® »
Enjoy VIP status when you whip out your Platinum AmEx at participating airports, restaurants, and hotels. No foreign transaction fees.
Hefty annual fee - but it’s worth it if you’re a frequent traveler. The card’s benefits are incredible.
Application Process: Find out whether you need to clear a spot in your wallet for this Platinum American Express in just 30 seconds. The online app is super simple.
Bonus Offers: Want an easy 60,000 points? Just charge $5,000 in the first 3 months with your Platinum AmEx. This impressive bonus offer basically knocks out the annual fee that some people gripe about paying (more on that later).
Rewards: Wow, where do we even begin? You can rack up more rewards with this credit card than any other card on this list. Here are some perks that cardholders love:
APR: You don’t pay interest on your purchases because you aren’t allowed to carry a balance. You have to pay off this card in full each month.
Annual Fee: At $550, the annual fee is the highest on our list (and some folks gripe about it). Most cardholders feel the fee is reasonable, though, since you get an insane amount of benefits with this Platinum AmEx.Details:The Platinum Card from American Express »
Application Process: Online, through Chase.
Rewards: Earn 2X points on travel and dining purchases worldwide, and 1 point per dollar spent elsewhere.
Bonus Offers: Earn 50,000 rewards points for every $4,000 spent for the first three months, which is $625 towards travel when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. If you add an authorized user who makes a purchase within the first 3 months, you’ll earn an additional 5,000 points.
Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $95.
Details:Chase Sapphire Preferred® »
Written by Missy Nolan
If you’ve got excellent credit, you’re probably a seasoned expert when it comes to credit cards - unless you’ve had lots of money-management help from your parents or a financial advisor. Even if you’ve gotten where you are with no help whatsoever, you still might have a few questions about maintaining your credit card or choosing the best card for your lifestyle. Keep scrolling to learn everything you need to know about credit cards for people with excellent credit!
General Questions About Credit Cards for Excellent Credit
A credit card for excellent credit is a card that’s geared toward individuals with FICO scores that are 720 or higher. FICO scores range from 300 to 850 - and the higher the score, the better your credit.
Credit cards for excellent credit often have low APRs, generous rewards, and high credit lines. That’s because credit card companies have faith that you’ll pay your bill on time, every time, if you’ve got excellent credit. Basically, good behavior is rewarded in the financial world.
If I don’t have bad credit, does that mean I have excellent credit?
Not exactly. The opposite of bad is good, not excellent - but you might not have good credit either.
As we mentioned above, FICO scores range from 300 to 850. If you don’t have bad credit, you might have poor credit (which is still bad credit, but slightly less bad), fair credit, good credit, or excellent credit.
Honestly, if you’re asking this question now, there’s a good chance you don’t have excellent credit. That’s because excellent credit doesn’t happen by accident; it takes careful planning and a lengthy history of responsible credit usage.
You can find out whether you have excellent credit by requesting a credit report. You’re allowed to get one free copy from each of the three major credit bureaus each year, but these reports don’t list your credit score. If you want your credit score, you’ll have to check loan documents (sometimes they list monthly score updates) or buy a credit score.
You can buy your FICO score at MyFico.com, but keep in mind that scores can change quickly. The score you see today might be totally different tomorrow, so consider a subscription service that lets you track changes to your score and view your updated credit history regularly.
Yes, they’re usually much better. If you compare the benefits listed in our articles about the best secured credit cards and the best credit cards for bad credit, you’ll notice they’re nowhere near as impressive as the perks for cards tailored toward folks with excellent credit.
For example, credit cards for bad credit often require a security deposit. It’s refundable unless you default on the card - and many people do.
Cards for people with bad credit also have high APRs and few, if any, rewards. It’s not uncommon to pay a variable APR that’s higher than 25% if you have bad credit, but people with excellent credit can often get cards with rates that fall between 10% and 20%. People with excellent credit earn airline miles and cash-back rewards as high as 5%, but people with bad credit are lucky to score some free roadside assistance and 1% cash back.
Yes, but you probably can’t do it on your own. If you know someone who has excellent credit, you can ask them to add you to their credit card account as an authorized user. This may help increase your credit score if you (and the original cardholder) use the card responsibly.
We’re glad you asked! We’ve got several cards that we recommend for people who have excellent credit, but our favorite is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. It’s got plenty of perks, including no annual fee for the first year and tons of cash-back rewards.
Here are some other cards that are perfect for people with excellent credit:
You can learn more about all of these cards by reading the article above this helpful tips section.
Applying for a Credit Card for Excellent Credit
You can get a credit card for excellent credit the same way you get a credit card for bad credit or average credit:
Some credit cards for excellent credit card are only available by invitation, so keep an eye on your mailbox if you’re hoping for a hard-to-get card.
Most of them do, yes. Sometimes there’s a delay (which we explain below), but usually you’ll know right away if you’re approved or rejected for a credit card.
Sounds like the credit card company needs more information about you before they can approve your application. Don’t panic, though - this doesn’t mean your app is getting rejected.
Here’s the deal: When you apply for a credit card, a computer verifies your information. It pulls your credit report and makes sure there are no discrepancies with basic info like your name, address, date of birth, etc. If you have recently moved or accidentally input some wrong info, there might be a delay.
The company might also need more time to process your application if you’ve got a security alert on your credit report or if you’ve been a victim of identity theft in the past. Companies also verify info that seems unusual, like if you’re a full-time college student who reports that you earn $500,000 a year.
Safety first! Credit card companies often offer generous lines of credit to folks with excellent FICO scores, so they need to make sure that you’re really you before they mail out a card.
You’ll also have to undergo an identity verification if you have a note on your credit report requesting one. You may not remember adding this note, but sometimes people place notes on their file after dealing with messy divorces, fraudulent charges, or identity theft.
Sometimes identity verifications are simply random requests that have nothing to do with you or your credit history.
Rejection sucks, doesn’t it? It’s especially disappointing when you’re used to getting approved for nearly every credit card or loan you request.
Here are some reasons why someone with excellent credit might get rejected for a credit card:
Another potential issue is that maybe you have average or good credit, not excellent credit. We talk more about this above, under the question titled “What is a credit card for excellent credit?”.
Technically you can reapply whenever you want, but as a general rule, you should wait at least 6 to 12 months.
Don’t reapply until you’ve addressed any issues that caused the rejection. If your FICO is below 720, work on raising it. If your rejection letter stated that you had too many recent inquiries, give them some time to fall off your credit report (this can take up to 2 years).
Account and Usage Fees
Yes, many of them do. That’s because credit cards for excellent credit often have impressive benefits that outweigh the minor inconvenience of an annual fee. Plus, most popular cards waive the annual fee for the first year so you have time to test drive the card(s) of your choice.
You probably will have a decent APR if you’ve got excellent credit. It’s not uncommon to deal with APRs between 24% and 36% if you’ve got bad credit, but folks with excellent credit often have APRs that are less than 20%.
In fact, there are even some cards on our list of the best credit cards for excellent credit that have APRs that start between 10% and 12%. Keep in mind your APR is based on creditworthiness, which is just a fancy way of saying you’ll pay more interest if your credit sucks.
Yes, but it’ll cost you a hefty fee with a high APR. APRs for cash advances are usually at least 25%, plus you have to pay a transaction fee.
This is still much cheaper than getting a payday loan, though.
Depends on the card, but it should be clearly outlined in your cardholder agreement. If you decide to pay in full each month rather than carry a balance, you might be able to avoid paying interest on your purchases.
You can also take advantage of promotional deals. Many cards for excellent credit offer special introductory APRs of 0% for anywhere from 12 months to 21 months.
Improving and Maintaining Your Credit Score
It won’t happen overnight, so be prepared to work hard. People with excellent credit generally share some common traits, including:
If your credit needs some TLC, tackle negative items on your credit report before you request new lines of credit. After that, spend some time “in the garden,” as folks often say during credit repair.
“The garden” refers to the waiting period after you get a new card. Instead of applying for new cards or racking up a bunch of debt on existing cards, you just pay your bills on time and give your credit history time to grow.
Keep your FICO score high by paying bills on time, and do whatever you can to prevent accounts from getting sent to a collections agency. Oh, and don’t get sued or get hit with a tax lien. These derogatory marks stay on your credit report for at least 7 to 10 years.
Don’t go crazy with your credit cards. Keep your balances below 30% - preferably much, much lower. For example, a card with a $10,000 limit should never carry more than a $3000 balance.
If you accidentally pay a bill late, contact your credit company ASAP. Many companies will remove late payments from credit reports for customers with a previous history of paying on time.
You might eventually, but it’ll take a while. When you first file for bankruptcy, your credit score might drop significantly. After your discharge, it might increase, but you’ll probably still be in the poor/fair range on the FICO scale.
If you want excellent credit after bankruptcy, follow the suggestions listed under the question titled “How can I get excellent credit?”. They’ll help you boost your score, but keep in mind that your discharged bankruptcy remains on your credit report for 7 to 10 years.
Common Issues and Concerns
Yes, as long as you take steps to protect your personal information. We don’t recommend applying for a credit card at work, school, or the local library, even if you’re using a secure connection. People can easily walk by and see what you’re doing, which puts you at risk for identity theft.
If you’re using Google Chrome, check the upper left corner for a lock. This indicates that you’re transmitting data via a secure connection.
You can also apply over the phone or request a paper application if you don’t feel safe. Many cards offer these options.
Sometimes, but there’s also a chance that it will increase it. It’s hard to answer this question without viewing your personal credit history because new accounts affect everybody in different ways.
If you’re currently utilizing a lot of your available credit, adding a new credit card with a high credit limit can help lower your overall utilization rate. However, the credit check for the card - especially if it’s a hard pull - might knock some points off your FICO.
Please open a new tab and find the contact info for your credit card company immediately - as in, right now. You need to report this ASAP so the credit card company can freeze your card.
You might be thinking, “Oh, but I have fraud protection, so what’s the big deal?” Well, fraud protection isn’t always instant or automatic. You might have to dispute the fraudulent charges, and that can take weeks - or even months!
In the meantime, your credit card will continue reporting your balance and payment history to the three main credit bureaus. That’s bad news if Cathy CoffeeLover stole your card and charged $3000 worth of Starbucks frappucinos before you started disputing her caffeine binge.
Possibly, but it depends on a few factors. We recommend reviewing the cardholder agreement to see the current APR range for your card. If the range is 15% to 24% and you’re hoping for a 10% APR, you’re probably out of luck.
If you currently pay the highest APR for your card, you might have some luck getting it lowered if any of the following apply:
When you call, be polite. Don’t demand a new interest rate; ask for a supervisor and calmly explain why you feel you deserve one. If the supervisor says no, call back another time and try again.
Contact the credit card company immediately! Sometimes a company is happy to extend your due date or waive a late fee if you usually pay on time.
Also, calling the company might prevent them from blowing up your phone every 5 minutes to remind you your bill is due. If you’ve ever paid late, then you know what we mean.