Best credit cards for excellent credit of February 2023

Achieving excellent credit takes hard work. CardRatings editors reveal the best credit cards which reward those with excellent credit scores.

Best credit cards of 2022
author Jennifer Doss
Terms apply; see the online credit card application for full terms and conditions of offers and rewards.

20+ years

finding the best card for you

1,500+ cards

in our database

5,000+ cardholders

polled about their cards

243 reviews

from our experts

List of Winners

Don’t let your excellent – and hard-earned – credit score gather dust. Use it to cash in on the amazing perks and features only those with your level of credit receive with our tops picks for the best credit cards for excellent credit from our partners.

The reality is that your top score makes you a hot commodity for credit card issuers because you’ve shown you know how to handle credit and you are likely to be a low-risk cardholder, also known as a person who uses their card and pays off the balance. In other words, you’re the golden goose of credit card customers and issuers are willing to throw their best features, perks and rewards your way in hopes of landing you as a cardholder. 

There’s nothing wrong with being wooed by highly-coveted rewards, perks and features. All those extras could ultimately save you money, and not just when it comes to the rewards. Cards for people with excellent credit often feature some “fine print” features like auto rental insurance or travel reimbursements or purchase protections that will save you money because you won’t be buying those features separately.

The cards below reflect our picks for individuals with excellent credit and they range from offers of travel rewards to cash back to low interest; there are even options for business credit cards, which often feature some of the best bonuses on the market.

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CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: With this card you'll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all non-bonus category purchases, which is a step up from what you'll earn on "other" purchases from most no-annual-fee credit cards. If you don't mind strategizing with your cards, this card has no annual fee so it's a great one to work into your rewards-earning strategy to help you optimize the amount of cash-back you earn. But what really pushes this card to the top of the "Cards for Excellent Credit" list, is that the rewards can be redeemed for cash back or this card can be one piece of a powerful travel rewards strategy when combined with other Ultimate Rewards earning cards.
Welcome Bonus
Up to $300 Earn an extra 1.5% on your purchases (up to $20,000 spent) during the first year, for a total of up to $300 cash back
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Credit Score
CreditScoreNeeded

The Bonus: Enjoy earning an extra 1.5% cash back on purchases during your first year (up to $20,000 spent), for a bonus worth up to $300; plus, take advantage of an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months (then RegAPR).

The Annual fee: AnnualFees

The Rewards: Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining at restaurants and on drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases.

PROS:

  • If you have a large purchase to make (or an existing balance on another card that you're willing to transfer) and need some extra time to pay it off, you're sure to love the intro 0% APR offer that comes with this card. (Regular RegAPR APR applies after the intro period.)
  • Because this card has no annual fee, it's great for both those looking to amp up their rewards-earning strategy with a solid "everyday" card, as well as for those who just want something simple to use without worrying about any extra costs.
  • The new card member bonus opportunity is a good offer for a no-annual-fee card.

CONS:

  • Even though there is no annual fee this card does charge for foreign transaction fees so it’s not the best card to travel abroad with.
  • The 1.5% rate for all non-bonus category purchases is solid, but to make the most of this card, you might need to strategize a bit.

Read our full CardName.

Current Scores Past Scores
Overall Score 85.0 83.4
Rewards Program Satisfaction 8.4 8.3
Customer Service 8.6 8.4
Website/App Usability 8.9 8.3
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 9.0 8.3
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 8.1 8.0

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

 

Part of a larger plan

CardName earns all its rewards in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Combine earnings from this card with the earnings from other eligible Chase cards in your wallet to truly maximize their value. For instance, if you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can redeem points for 25% more value when you redeem them for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal; Sapphire cardholders can also transfer points directly to a number of airline and hotel partners. Find out more in the Guide to Chase Ultimate Rewards.

CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: First, you get your rewards as straight cash back: You don't have to redeem miles for travel or route them through particular investment accounts. And, secondly, this card rewards you for paying off your balance – something we always support. Furthermore, enjoy an 18 month intro period of 0% APR on balance transfers, a rare perk for rewards credit cards. (Balance transfer fee applies: BalanceTransferFees) After the intro period, RegAPR applies. ) Citi is a CardRatings advertiser
Balance Transfer Offer
Intro 0% APR for 18 months Balance transfer fee applies. After the intro period, RegAPR
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Rewards
2% cash back 1% when you buy, 1% when you pay

The Bonus: There's no traditional bonus with this card, but you could consider the intro 0% APR on balance transfers to be a nice "bonus" of sorts. Remember, a balance transfer fee applies: BalanceTransferFees After the intro period, a RegAPR APR applies.

The Annual Fee: AnnualFees

The Rewards: You earn 1% back per $1 spent on every purchase, then earn another 1% back when you pay your balance (you must pay the minimum amount due on time to earn cash back). That brings your total cash back opportunity to 2% on every purchase with no caps or categories to think about.

PROS:

  • The 2% cash back earning (after purchases have been paid) for all purchases is excellent for a no-annual-fee card.
  • This card is currently offering an intro 0% balance transfer APR, allowing you the flexibility to transfer a balance and save on interest. After the intro APR period, RegAPR will apply.
  • With the ability to earn 1% cash back when you make a purchase and an additional 1% when you pay for your purchase, the Double Cash Card incentivizes good credit behavior with great rewards.
  • If you also have the Citi Premier® card, you can combine your earnings and convert your Double Cash rewards to ThankYou Points to expand your redemption options.

CONS:

  • The intro 0% balance transfer APR offer is one of the best on the market, however this offer does not apply to new purchases, so if you are looking for an intro offer for new purchases this may not be the card for you.
  • This card charges foreign transaction fees, which you should keep in mind if you are planning to use it internationally.

Read our full CardName.

Current Scores Past Scores
Overall Score 84.7 82.2
Rewards Program Satisfaction 8.5 8.2
Customer Service 8.4 8.0
Website/App Usability 8.3 8.2
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 8.8 8.5
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 8.4 8.3

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: Chase Ultimate Rewards points are transferable to many frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs, so you aren't tied down to a single brand with this card. Plus, points are worth 25% more towards travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards. And, importantly, the card is currently offering an excellent signup bonus.
Welcome Bonus
60,000 points Earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on your card in the first three months
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Rewards
5X points on travel through Ultimate Rewards... 3X points on dining out, on select streaming services and on online grocery store purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs); 2X points on all other travel; 1X points on other purchases

The Bonus: Earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. That's worth $750 in travel.

The Rewards: Earn five points per $1 on travel purchased through the Ultimate Rewards® portal; three points per $1 on dining (including takeout and delivery), online grocery store purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs), and on select streaming services; two points per $1 on travel; and earn one point per $1 on everything else. Chase Ultimate Rewards® points are transferable to numerous frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs.

The Annual Fee: AnnualFees

PROS:

  • The new cardmember 60,000-point bonus offer after $4,000 spent in three months of membership is quite the valuable bonus offer, so don't miss out.
  • As an Ultimate Rewards earning card, the points earned with Sapphire Preferred® can be combined into a single pot with other Ultimate Rewards-earning cards.
  • The points earned with this card are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, meaning the bonus alone is worth $750 in travel.

CONS:

  • The annual fee is something to keep in mind if you prefer a no annual fee card.
  • No introductory 0% APR balance transfer or purchase offer.
  • If you are not a frequent traveler there are other cards on the market with higher points earning potential.

Read our full CardName.

Current Scores Past Scores
Overall Score 86.6 75.9
Rewards Program Satisfaction 8.6 7.5
Customer Service 8.7 7.9
Website/App Usability 8.8 7.7
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 8.7 8.2
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 8.6 7.1

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: Travel rewards are fantastic and often mean you can pay for your flights and/or hotels entirely with points. But you have to eat while you're away and eating while traveling can get expensive. Sadly, even travel rewards cards with sky-high annual fees can't often do much to help you offset your food costs. Enter the no-annual-fee CardName, which allows you to redeem your earned points to erase restaurant purchases from your statement. FINALLY! A way to help pay for your food when you travel!
Welcome Bonus
25,000 points Earn 25,000 points – worth $250 in statement credit to cover travel or dining purchases – after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Rewards
1.5 points per $1 spent

The Bonus: Earn 25,000 online bonus points – worth $250 when redeemed to cover travel or dining purchases charged on your card – when you spend just $1,000 in the first 90 days.

The Rewards: Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on every eligible purchase. Additionally, if you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member you will earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase depending on your tier. That means every purchase could earn 1.87-2.62 points per $1 spent.

The Annual Fee: AnnualFees

PROS:

  • Hands down the top perk of this card is the ability to redeem points to cover eligible dining purchases, including those for takeout and delivery. What a fantastic way to use credit card points to extend your vacation food budget.
  • There's no annual fee or foreign transaction fees to worry about.
  • The points earning is simple; there aren't a lot of tiers or rotating categories to trip you up.

CONS:

  • The rewards are quite flexible when it comes time to redeem (which we love), but you lose out on the ability to add value by transferring rewards to a partner or using a proprietary travel portal like you have with some other travel rewards cards.
  • Again, the simplicity is key with the rewards here, but flat-rate rewards cards rarely often the highest earning potential; you could likely earn more with a tiered rewards card.

Read our full CardName.

Current Scores Past Scores
Overall Score 78.6 74.0
Rewards Program Satisfaction 7.7 7.2
Customer Service 8.2 7.5
Website/App Usability 7.9 7.8
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 8.3 7.8
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 7.6 7.4

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: There's a lot of value here even with an above-average annual fee. Consider, for instance, that cardholders earn 4X Membership Reward points for charges at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per year). American Express is a CardRatings advertiser
Welcome Bonus
60,000 points Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first six months
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Rewards
4X points at restaurants in the U.S.... 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X); 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com; 1X point on other eligible purchases

The Bonus: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first six months. You can also earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with your card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.

The Annual Fee: AnnualFees

The Rewards: Earn 4X Membership Rewards points for charges at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases each year, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or via amextravel.com and 1x points on your other eligible purchases.

PROS:

  • One of the biggest benefits of this card is the points earning potential, especially on dining out. The Gold card earns 4X Membership Rewards points for charges at restaurants and 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases each year, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or via amextravel.com and 1x points on your other eligible purchases.
  • Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with your card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • The new cardmember bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points earned after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first six months can get you well on your way to your next points redemption.

CONS:

  • Unlike typical credit cards, the card allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all.
  • The annual fee is relatively high, especially for those who won’t be able to take advantage of the travel and dining benefits to help offset the fee.
  • The overall rewards earning with the Gold card is good, however the travel rewards earning being higher only on specific travel purchases made through American Express can be a bit of a barrier compared to other travel rewards cards that offer higher points earning on most travel purchases.

Read our full CardName

Current Scores Past Scores
Overall Score 83.4 80.9
Rewards Program Satisfaction 8.4 8.0
Customer Service 8.4 8.3
Website/App Usability 8.3 8.1
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 8.4 8.2
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 8.2 8.0

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: A card that rewards you for hotel and airline purchases and for everyday expenses is somewhat hard to come by these days. With this card, you can have the best of both worlds.
Welcome Offer
60,000 points Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou Points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Rewards
3X points at gas stations, restaurants, supermarkets, hotels and on air travel... 1X per $1 spent on all other purchases

The Bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening, worth $600 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com.

The Annual Fee: AnnualFees

The Rewards: Earn three points per $1 spent at gas stations, air travel and hotels; three points per $1 spent at restaurants and supermarkets; and one point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

PROS:

  • Traveling abroad? Don't forget to pack this card! It doesn't charge fees on foreign transactions, so it makes a good international travel companion.
  • Transfer ThankYou Points to participating airline loyalty programs or redeem for a wide selection of gift cards at thankyou.com. Points can also be used to shop online at Amazon.com or BestBuy.com.
  • If you also have the Citi® Double Cash Card, you can combine rewards and convert your Double Cash rewards to ThankYou Points.
  • Enjoy $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, through thankyou.com once per calendar year. If you frequently stay at hotels, this is a great perk that offsets the cost of the card.

CONS:

  • Looking for a no-annual-fee card? Unfortunately, this one charges a AnnualFees fee. We think this is a fair cost considering the perks of the card, but it's something to keep in mind.
  • The redemption options are great for the right type of user, but if you prefer the flexibility of cash-back rewards, this might not be the best option for you.

Read our full CardName.

Current Scores Past Scores
Overall Score 84.5 76.7
Rewards Program Satisfaction 8.3 7.6
Customer Service 8.5 7.7
Website/App Usability 8.5 7.8
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 8.6 7.8
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 8.5 7.8

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: Though the fee for this card doesn't come cheap, it offers a lot of bang for your buck. For example: earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership; up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying pre-selected airline; up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue; access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world; and more. Enrollment required for select benefits
Welcome Bonus
80,000 points Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in the first six months
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Rewards
5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year)... 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com, and 1X point on all other eligible purchases.

The Bonus: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership.

The Annual fee: AnnualFees

The Rewards: Earn 5X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year); 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com; and 1X point per dollar spent on other eligible purchases.

PROS:

  • The points-earning for flights with this card is one of the highest on the market with 5X Membership Rewards points earned on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel.
  • As a luxury travel rewards card, it should come as no surprise that the Amex Platinum has some of the best travel benefits on the market, including a $200 annual airline incidentals fee credit with a pre-selected airline.
  • The Membership Rewards points earned with the Platinum Card® are extremely valuable and the new cardmember bonus offer of 80,000 Membership Rewards points earned after spending $6,000 in the first six months can help to get you well on your way to your next redemption.

CONS:

  • If you are someone that prefers to have low or no annual fee cards the Amex Platinum will be a poor fit for you.
  • Unlike typical credit cards, this card allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all. If you are looking to carry a balance from month to month this probably isn’t the card for you.
  • As the card’s features and benefits are heavily skewed towards travel, if you are not a person who frequently travels then it may be difficult to justify the annual fee without taking advantage of the perks.

Read our full CardName.

Current Scores Past Scores
Overall Score 77.8 88.0
Rewards Program Satisfaction 7.7 7.5
Customer Service 8.1 7.6
Website/App Usability 7.8 7.5
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 7.9 7.8
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 7.6 7.3

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: This card gives you a lengthy 0% intro APR on balance transfers and new purchases. After the intro periods expire, a regular APR of RegAPR will apply.
Intro Balance Transfer Offer
0% APR for 21 months from date of first transfer Transfers must be made within the first four months. After the intro period, RegAPR APR applies
Intro Purchase Offer
0% APR for 12 months from account opening After the intro period, RegAPR APR applies
Regular APR
RegAPR
Annual Fee
AnnualFees

The Bonus: There isn't a traditional bonus, but this card really shines with an intro 21 months no interest on balance transfers from date of first transfer (must be made within four months) and 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. A RegAPR APR applies after the intro periods.

The Annual Fee: AnnualFees

Balance Transfer Fee: BalanceTransferFees

PROS:

  • We can't say it enough: 21 months of intro 0% APR on balance transfers is a very solid offer. If you have balances on other cards you need to pay off, and need some more time to make that happen, this card could be a great fit for you.
  • This card doesn't charge annual fees so you can enjoy the intro 0% APR periods without worrying about paying anything extra while you do so.
  • Enjoy pre-sale tickets and VIP packages to concerts, entertainment and sporting events through Citi Entertainment.

CONS:

  • There are no traditional ongoing rewards offered with this card.
  • This card charges foreign transaction fees so it's not the best fit for overseas travel.

Read our full CardName.

Current Scores Past Scores
Features Satisfaction 7.4 7.2
Customer Service 7.8 7.3
Website/App Usability 7.9 7.4
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 8.2 7.8
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 7.6 7.2

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: With its comparatively low RegAPR APR, no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, this is a good card to have on hand if you anticipate needing to carry a balance.
Welcome Offer
N/A
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Credit Score
CreditScoreNeeded

PROS:

  • With its comparatively low RegAPR, the CardName has one of the lowest rates available on the market today.
  • With no annual fee, the card can be used without having to budget for the expense of just owning the card.
  • This card doesn't charge foreign transaction fees so it's a good one to pack for any trips abroad.

CONS:

  • There are no ongoing rewards offered on purchases made with the card.
  • This isn't a flashy card. There aren't a ton of perks to attract new cardholders, however, a low APR could be one of the biggest perks of all depending on your financial situation.
Current Scores Past Scores
Overall Score 80.3 75.5
Features Satisfaction 7.7 7.6
Customer Service 8.3 7.6
Website/App Usability 8.1 7.4
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 8.3 7.8
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 8.2 7.4

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

CardName discontinued    Winner

EditorRating
 
foreign_fee AnnualFees
Why We Like It: Chase Ultimate Rewards points are flexible, valuable and combine-able, making them especially attractive to business owners. With this card, you can rack up those points with your business' everyday purchases and then combine them with Ultimate Rewards® points you earn through other cards on the system – even your personal cards. Additionally, if you pay your cellular bill with the card, the primary line as well as all phone listed on that account will receive cell phone insurance against covered damage and theft (terms and deductibles apply).
Welcome Bonus
100,000 points Earn 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $15,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee
AnnualFees
Regular APR
RegAPR
Rewards
3X points on travel; shipping costs; Internet, cable, and phone services... and advertising with social media sites and search engines (up to $150K combined spending annually); 1X points on other purchases and on bonus purchases after hitting the $150,000 cap annually

The Bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus points, worth $1,250 in travel when you redeem through the Ultimate Rewards® portal, after spending $15,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. On an ongoing basis, Ultimate Rewards points are worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

The Annual fee: AnnualFees

The Rewards: Cardholders earn three points per $1 spent on the first $150,000 in combined spending each year on travel; shipping costs; Internet, cable, and phone services; and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. You also earn one point per $1 spent on all your other purchases as well as on your bonus purchases after hitting that $150,000 cap annually.

PROS:

  • The welcome bonus of 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening an account is one of the highest on the market. That bonus is worth a whopping $1,250 when redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • At $150,000, the cap on rewards earning spend on bonus categories is quite high so depending on your businesses’ spending habits this card can help you to continue earning bonus rewards as your spending grows.
  • The rewards earning of three points per $1 spent on up to $150,000 combined spending annually on travel expenses; shipping costs; Internet, cable, and phone services; and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines is very good. All other spending earns one point per $1.

CONS:

  • While the $150,000 cap on purchases in bonus categories is quite high for many, if your business may exceed that amount of spend in those categories you may want to look for a card that has a higher limit of bonus rewards earning.
  • There is an annual fee of $95, so if you are looking to keep your business expenses low there may be alternative small business cards on the market that could be a better fit.
  • If your business has varied spend in many different categories that are not covered by the Ink Preferred, a flat rate rewards earning card may be a better fit for your business as this card is geared towards specific kinds of purchases.

Read our full CardName

Current Scores Past Scores
Overall Score 74.3 66.4
Rewards Program Satisfaction 7.4 6.7
Customer Service 7.6 6.8
Website/App Usability 7.3 6.1
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 7.6 7.2
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 7.3 6.4

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

EDITOR'S NOTE

This card pairs quite well with other cards in the Chase Ink family, including the CardNamediscontinued and the CardNamediscontinued. Neither of these cards charges an annual fee, but both offer the opportunity to rack up higher amounts of Chase Ultimate Rewards points in certain categories. A savvy credit card user could carry all three cards, use whichever one earns the most rewards for a given purchase and then combine all those rewards under your CardName, through which you'll receive 25% more value for those rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

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FAQ

This answer truly depends on what your expectations are from your credit card, but some of our favorite options include the CardName for cash back, the CardName for a long 0% intro APR period, and the CardName for travel rewards.

These cards all feature no, or a low annual fee, and plenty of perks to help keep you satisfied. Deciding which card if best for you though will depend on your spending habits and how you plan to use your card. For example, though the CardName is an excellent choice if you need an extended interest-free period to pay off a credit card balance or new purchases, it doesn't earn ongoing rewards, so it's not the best choice for someone wanting to rack up a ton of points on purchases. Opposite of this, the CardName card earns 1.5% cash back on all non-bonus category purchases, but it offers a much shorter intro period for purchases and balance transfers. And then while the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card might be great for those who love to eat out and travel, it's likely not the best choice for someone who rarely leaves home, especially considering the fact that the card carries an annual fee.

As you can see from these examples, while one card could be a perfect fit for one user, it might not do much for the next. It's important to do your research, and choose a card based on what works best for your spending habits, instead of just choosing the first card that sounds appealing to you.

It can be a bummer when a credit card has an annual fee, and it's understandable when somebody thinks, "I'm not paying money to use a credit card."

We completely get that kind of thinking, but if that is your mindset, you may not be looking at the big picture.

Paying an annual fee for a credit card is often like paying a membership fee to a country club - or a membership fee to a bulk discount warehouse store. You pay the fee because the club or store has stuff you want, and there's a fee because the club or store is a business and has to make money somehow. In the country club case, you want to play golf or use the swimming pool or make good contacts. At the bulk warehouse store, which may be a better analogy, you're paying a fee to get access to a lot of great discounts. If you spend a lot at these stores and you get a lot of great discounts, you know that you'll save more money than the membership fee, and maybe a lot more money, making the membership fee worth it. The same idea applies to credit cards.

Credit cards that require excellent credit tend to come loaded with a lot of perks such as generous cash back rewards, credit card concierge services or travel benefits.

If you tend to not spend all that much, and you don't travel, some credit cards for excellent credit with annual fees may not be worth it for you, in which case you should look for a credit card without an annual fee. But if you do spend a lot on your credit cards every month, and especially if you're frequently traveling, those credit cards for excellent credit that come with annual fees could end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. So, again, when you encounter these credit cards, consider the big picture before making any quick decisions.

When you have excellent credit, you may feel like royalty. The excellent-credit credit cards that once wouldn't give you the time of day are now going to treat you like you're a favorite grandchild. With excellent credit comes excellent benefits, like cash back or rewards points that can be turned into cash or gift cards. You'll also now qualify for some really great welcome bonus opportunities. The CardName, for example, offers new cardholders the opportunity to earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points once spending $4,000 within three months of opening an account– a bonus worth as much as $750 when redeemed for travel!

You may also get some great travel benefits like free checked bags, or even reimburements such as up to $100 back to cover Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application costs, as is offered with the CardName.

Assuming you're smart with your money and pay everything off on your credit card every month, basically, when you have an excellent-credit credit card, you're constantly going to be rewarded with discounts for spending money on things you'd have to spend money on anyway. But there's another excellent benefit that comes with having excellent credit, and that's that your interest rate tends to be lower than the average credit card holder. That can help you spend far less if you do end up having to carry a revolving balance for awhile; or at least you'll likely pay less in interest than a lot of people with credit cards that have higher annual percentage rates. Having excellent credit can also certainly help land the best deals when looking for financing for a house, a car or any sort of loan.

When you have excellent credit, lenders tend to trust that you're going to pay them back, and because of that, they want you as a customer, and so the excellent-credit credit cards will often give you the best deals.

Having a stellar credit score doesn't make choosing the right credit card for you any easier. On the contrary, you probably have a wider selection from which to choose than someone with an average/fair credit score, so compiling your short list can be more time consuming. Here are some key points to remember:

  • Focus on what matters to you. If you always pay down your card balance in full each month, you never pay any interest, so you shouldn't worry about purchase APRs. If, on the other hand, you often carry forward card debt, you definitely want to focus on purchase APRs.
  • The right type of rewards. Earning miles, points or cash back can be a big deal, so make sure your new card maximizes earning opportunities for someone with your spending patterns. It should simultaneously let you redeem the sorts of rewards that fit your lifestyle.
  • The right rewards program. Some cards make you jump through hoops to maximize the rewards you earn; others make earning automatic. Pick the one you're going to get the most from.
  • Remember to protect yourself. If such things are important to you (and why wouldn't they be?), make sure the card you pick provides you with extended warranties, price and purchase protection, travel insurance, and more.
  • Be realistic about annual fees. Don't automatically reject a card just because it has an annual fee. Ask yourself whether the benefits it buys you are worth the cost.
  • On the other hand, don't apply for a credit card just because you can. Make sure you understand the level of financial responsibility you're ready to assume. Remember that having a credit card opens a lot of doors in terms of ease of use, security and, of course, rewards, but it also opens the door to temptation. You've worked hard for that high credit score; don't ruin it with a spending spree you can't afford even if an issuer is willing to approve you for one of these fantastic cards.

If you landed on this article, but you're a bit confused about what a credit score is and when it matter, we understand. There's a lot to keep up with when it comes to the topic. But here's the thing: your credit score will determine not only what credit cards you are most likely to be approved for, but also the interest rates on those cards as well as your likelihood of being approved for other types of loans and their interest rates as well.

Credit scores can even impact your insurance rates and, depending on your industry, whether a company decides to hire you. In other words, you need to understand the importance of credit scores and also have a good grasp of where yours stands (as well as how to improve it).

FICO score credit score range graph

Your individual score is determined by a variety of factors including the length of your credit history, the number and types of credit accounts or loans you have, what percentage of your available credit you're using at any given moment (your credit utilization), the number of times a lender has looked at your credit recently (these are called credit inquiries and they generally happen when you apply for a new loan or credit card) and how consistent you are about paying your bills on time, every time.

Some of these things, like the length of your credit history, you can't do much about besides wait for time to pass. But most of the factors are under your control. You can certainly control whether you'r paying your bills on time, keeping your overall utilization low (under 30% is the suggested amount) and only applying for cards/loans you truly need so as to avoid unnecessary credit inquiries.

There are two major credit scoring systems used to evaluate your creditworthiness, and depending on which system you use, what qualifies as an excellent credit score can vary. These two systems, FICO and VantageScore, calculate credit scores based on the following factors:

FICO Score

A FICO score is based on data from the three major credit bureaus– Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion– which track people's credit information to generate a three-digit score ranging from 300 to 850 based on a person’s payment activities; the higher the score, the better.

how fico calculates credit scores pie chart

  • Payment history (counts as 35% of the score)
  • Credit utilization (30%)
  • Credit history length (15%)
  • New credit obtained (10%)
  • Mix of credit accounts (10%)

VantageScore

The VantageScore credit scoring model was developed in 2006 by the TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian credit bureaus in order to offer an alternative to FICO scores. Although it is not as widespread as the FICO scoring system, VantageScore has gained popularity in recent year as it is thought to provide a wider picture of a person’s credit history rather than just a snapshot. Scoring criteria is based on:

  • People's payment history (extremely influential)
  • The age and type of credit used (highly influential
  • Percentage of credit limit used (highly influential)
  • Total balances and debt people owe (moderately influential)
  • Recent credit behavior and inquiries made (less influential)
  • Amount of available credit (less influential)

VantageScore is similar to FICO in that it works on a 300 to 850 scale.

Credit score ranges:

According to the FICO score model, an excellent credit score is anything above 800 points. According the the VantageScore model, and excellent credit score is anywhere within the 750-850 range.

FICO Score vs VantageScore comparison chart

>>Learn more about FICO vs. VantageScore

Unfortunately, there's no one easy answer where we can say: "It'll take you four months and 11 days to reach a level of excellent credit."

Excellent credit is a little like snowflakes and fingerprints in that everybody's financial situation is a little different. If you're starting off from ground zero, where you've never had a credit card, you might find that you have an easier time building excellent credit than somebody who has spent the last decade wearing a wig, taking on an assumed name and hiding from debt collectors.

Wherever you're starting off, it could take years before you have excellent credit. That said, don't get discouraged– you can often see improvement with your credit score within months. So if you're trying to establish good financial habits, it may not take long before you go from, say, poor credit to fair credit, or fair credit to good credit, or good credit to excellent credit– but you probably won't go from poor to excellent credit in four or five months.

Lenders like to see a pattern of good behavior, and so three months of on time payments and not carrying revolving debt will make a difference, but it probably won't knock the socks of a lender. But an extended period of excellent financial habits should make a lender sit up and take notice.

DON’T HAVE EXCELLENT CREDIT? DON’T GIVE UP ON A CREDIT CARD!

CardRatings.com recommends that you do not apply for credit cards that require excellent credit if you don’t have excellent credit. If you apply for multiple cards and are denied repeatedly, these multiple credit card inquiries can end up lowering your credit. If you don’t know your credit score, sign up for a free credit score, credit report card, as well as a personal credit analysis with our preferred partner, Credit Sesame. And if your credit score isn’t strong, fret not – there are cards suited for every credit tier. Click the links on below to find a card that matches your credit.


CardRatings commissioned Op4G in September and October 2022 to conduct surveys among 1,554 cardholders nationwide. CardRatings website analytics from Jan. 1, 2022-Aug. 31, 2022 were used to determine a selection of the most popular cards and additional cards were included to add survey breadth. Responses to each of nine questions were given on a scale of 1-10 and respondents’ scores were then averaged under broad topics. To determine the overall score, responses from questions 1-8 were summed and the answer to “How likely are you to recommend this card to a friend, coworker or family member?” was double weighted. “Current Scores” reflect scores from the most recent survey (2022); “Past Scores” reflect scores from the 2021 survey.

CardRatings experts review the fine print, details, perks, rewards and features of hundreds of cards and compare them side-by-side with similar cards. A card that makes an excellent balance transfer card may not make a great cash-back rewards card even though it offers those rewards. While the Best of the Year list is announced annually, that list – and all other “best of” lists on CardRatings – are regularly reviewed and updated as issuers change the terms and features of each card often.

To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: CardName (See Rates and Fees); CardName (See Rates and Fees)

Disclaimer:

The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. CardRatings.com does not review every company or every offer available on the market.

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