Best Cards for Good or Excellent Credit 2019

Brendan Harkness

Author

Brendan Harkness

Updated September 10, 2019

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Having good or excellent credit can open wide the world of credit cards.

There are some other factors involved in credit decisions, like income. But if you have great credit (a FICO Score 8 of around 670 or above) and make a decent wage, you can generally expect to find good approval odds and interest rates for all kinds of credit products.

Although your high scores will help you qualify for the best credit cards of all kinds, here are our favorites in some popular categories.

Credit isn’t so great? See our top credit card picks for fair or average credit, bad credit, or limited/no credit.

Best Pick For

Flat-Rate Cash Back Rewards

Why we picked this card

What do you pay with when you’re outside your typical bonus categories?

A smart shopper could pull out the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, to earn twice as much as you typically would on non-category purchases (normally just 1%). There’s even an intro APR offer for balance transfers.

Spending Rewards
  • 2% cash back for every purchase you make
    • 1% cash back when you make a purchase
    • 1% cash back when you pay for that purchase
There are quite a few good flat-rate rewards cards these days; check out the runners up below, where you’ll find one-time intro bonuses and bonus cash back in your first year.

Key Features

  • Citi Concierge: Call for non-emergency help whenever you need it, like assistance making travel reservations.
  • ShopRunner membership: Use ShopRunner to get free two-day shipping and returns at participating retailers.
  • Shopping and Travel protections: Including Price Rewind, Purchase Protection, Extended Warranties, and more
  • Free FICO credit score: Check your FICO Bankcard Score 8 for free, based on your Equifax credit report.
  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 18 months, then 15.99% – 25.99% (Variable) (for transfers made during the first four months)
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.

Runners Up

  • 2% cash back for every purchase
  • Annual fee: $0

 

  • 3% cash back for every purchase in the first year, up to $20,000 spent
  • 1.5% cash back for every purchase after that
  • Annual fee: $0

 

  • 1.5% cash back for all purchases
  • $150 cash bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $0

 

American Express Cash Magnet® Card
  • 1.5% cash back for every purchase
  • $150 statement credit for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $0

 

  • 1.5% cash back for every purchase
  • $150 cash bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $0

Best Pick For

General Travel Rewards

Why we picked this card

Occasional travelers can feel right at home using the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, with solid travel features for a reasonable annual fee.

If you travel more often you’ll probably want something bigger and better, to help you get the most out of your trips — check out the premium travel cards below if that sounds like you.

Spending Rewards
  • 2X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Travel
    • Dining
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar for every other purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 60,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $600–$1,200 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 15%–30%

Key Features

  • 25% point bonus: When redeeming for travel expenses through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Point transfer: Transfer points at a 1:1 rate to leading airline and hotel frequent travel loyalty programs, like Marriott Bonvoy and United MileagePlus.
  • 10,000-point referral bonus: Get 10,000 points for every friend you refer who applies for the card and is approved.
  • Luxury Hotel Collection: Book eligible rooms to get perks like daily breakfast for two, complimentary WiFi, room upgrades, early check-in or late checkout, and unique gifts.
  • Shop through Chase/Chase Offers: Earn more points by shopping at participating retailers with the Shop through Chase and Chase Offers shopping portals.
  • Visa Signature Concierge: Call to speak with your Visa Signature Concierge any time, day or night.
  • Primary Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Get primary coverage on eligible rental vehicles so you don’t have to pay for rental insurance and your premiums won’t go up after an accident.
  • Annual fee: $95

Read more in our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Runners Up

  • 2X points per dollar on Travel and Dining
  • 1.5X points per dollar for every other purchase
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 90 days after account opening
  • Annual fee: $95

 

  • 10X miles per dollar on purchases from Hotels.com/venture (until 01/31/20)
  • 2X miles per dollar on all other purchases
  • 50,000 bonus miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • Annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that

 

  • 3X points per dollar on Travel, including gas
  • 2X points per dollar on Dining and Entertainment
  • 60,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • Annual fee: $95

Best Pick For

Premium Travel Rewards

Why we picked this card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of our favorite cards overall, with great perks that should offset the annual fee pretty easily.

You can find a lot of value in the rewards, travel and airport security credits, Priority Pass Select membership, and hotel/rental car privileges — and those are just some of the highlights of this useful card.

Spending Rewards
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on:
    • Travel (after using the full $300 travel credit)
    • Dining
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $500–$1,000 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 12.5%–25%

Key Features

  • Point transfer: Transfer your points at a 1:1 rate to a variety of airline and hotel loyalty programs, like United, JetBlue, and Marriott
  • $300 annual travel credit: A $300 travel credit every year that will be automatically applied toward a broad range of travel-related expenses charged to the card
  • Priority Pass Select membership: Enjoy access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide plus a selection of restaurants. The cardholder and two guests can enter for free; additional guests cost $27 each.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: Get a statement credit to offset the cost of applying for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85), once every four years.
  • Elite hotel benefits at Relais & Châteaux: Accelerated progress towards Club 5C member status with Relais & Châteaux luxury hotel and resort properties
  • Visa Infinite Concierge: Call for non-emergency help of all kinds, like making dinner reservations or finding good tickets to a show.
  • Special car rental privileges: Rental upgrades, discounts, and promotional offers at Avis, Silvercar, and National Car Rental
  • Shopping and Travel protections: Purchase Protection, a Primary Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Trip Delay Reimbursement, and more
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $450

Read more in our Review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.

Runners Up

The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • 5X points per dollar on:
    • Flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel
    • Eligible hotels booked with Amex Travel
  • 2X points per dollar on other eligible purchases from Amex Travel
  • 60,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $550 (Rates & Fees)

 

  • 5X points per dollar for Air travel and Restaurants
  • 3X points per dollar for Hotels and Cruise lines
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $495

 

  • 3X points per dollar on Travel and Mobile wallet purchases
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,500 in the first 90 days
  • Annual fee: $400

Best Pick For

Gas Stations

Why we picked this card

The Ducks Unlimited Rewards Visa Signature® Card kinda comes out of left field, but it’s not hard to say that this is an excellent cash back card for gas.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find an unlimited 5% back for gas year-round on other cards. Usually you’ll have a spending limit, or the category will only be available for a few months out of the year.

There isn’t much else to see here, but you can make this your go-to gas card to get a nice discount every time you fill up.

Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back at:
    • Gas stations
    • Sporting goods stores
  • 1% cash back for every other purchase

Key Features

  • Free FICO credit score: Check your FICO Bankcard Score 9 for free, whenever you’d like.
  • Visa Platinum benefits: Basic Visa Platinum protections may include Roadside Dispatch and an Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver.
  • Visa Signature benefits: Upgraded Visa Signature benefits may include Purchase Protection, Return Protection, Trip Delay Reimbursement, and others.
  • Annual fee: $0

 

Runners Up

  • 5X points per dollar for Gas purchases at the pump
  • 3X points per dollar at Grocery stores
  • $100 statement credit for spending $1,500 in the first 90 days
  • Annual fee: $0

 

  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually) and Select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and for Transit
  • $250 statement credit for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $95 (Rates & Fees)

 

  • 30X points per dollar at Hilton (12X points from the card, 18X points from member status)
  • 6X points per dollar at U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets
  • 125,000 bonus points for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $95 (Rates & Fees)

 

  • 3X points per dollar for Gas stations, Restaurants, Travel, Eligible streaming services
  • 30,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $0

 

  • 5% cash back in categories that rotate every three months, often including Gas stations (up to $1,500 spent per quarter)
  • $150 cash bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $0

 

  • 5% cash back in categories that rotate every three months, often including Gas stations (up to $1,500 spent per quarter)
  • Cashback Match: Earn double the cash back in your first year
  • Annual fee: $0

Best Pick For

Groceries

Why we picked this card

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express blows most other cards out of the water when it comes to groceries, and it’s quite good in some other categories too.

It is possible to get a better return on your grocery spending than 6%, using some of the runners up below. But in those cases you’ll have to do some work (transferring rewards and redeeming for travel), whereas the Blue Cash Preferred gives you easy cash back with no further effort.

Spending Rewards
  • 6% cash back for:
    • U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually)
    • Select U.S. streaming services
  • 3% cash back for:
    • U.S. gas stations
    • Transit
  • 1% cash back for every other purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $250 statement credit for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Return on spend: 25%

Key Features

  • Amex Offers: Find significant discounts at a changing selection of merchants and websites.
  • ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 months, then 14.99–25.99% Variable (for transfers made during the first 60 days) (Rates & Fees)
  • Annual fee: $95

Read more in our Review of the American Express Blue Cash Everyday® and Blue Cash Preferred® Cards.

Runners Up

  • 4X points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 spent annually) and Restaurants
  • 3X points per dollar on Flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel
  • 35,000 bonus points for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $250 (Rates & Fees)

 

  • 30X points per dollar at Hilton (12X points from the card, 18X points from member status)
  • 6X points per dollar at U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets
  • 125,000 bonus points for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $95 (Rates & Fees)

 

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually)
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
  • $150 cash back for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $0

 

  • 5% cash back in rotating categories, often including groceries (up to $1,500 spent per quarter)
  • Cashback Match: New cardmembers get double the cash back earned in the first year (awarded at the end of the first year).
  • Annual fee: $0

 

  • 5% cash back in rotating reward categories, often including groceries (up to $1,500 spent per quarter)
  • $150 cash bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $0

Best Pick For

Balance Transfers

Why we picked this card

When transferring a balance you typically want the longest possible 0% introductory APR period, and that’s what you’ll get from the Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever.

You’ll get a shorter intro period for purchases, and there isn’t much else to this card. But if you want to pay down a large existing balance over time at no interest, you should look no further. If you’re more interested in transferring a balance at no fee, see the runners up below.

Balance Transfer APR Balance Transfer Fee

0% for 21 months (for transfers completed in the first 4 months), then 16.74% - 26.74%* (Variable)

5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

Key Features

  • Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months, then 16.74% - 26.74%* (Variable)
  • Annual fee: $0*

 

Runners Up

Amex EveryDay Credit Card
  • 2X points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually)
  • 20% point bonus: Earn 20% more points if you make 20 or more purchases per month
  • 10,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months, for transfers requested in the first 60 days, then 15.24%–26.24% Variable
  • Balance transfer fee: None
  • Annual fee: $0

 

  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 billing cycles, for transfers made within 60 days, then 15.24%–25.24% Variable
  • Balance transfer fee: $0 for first 60 days, then 3%, $10 minimum
  • Annual fee: $0

 

  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months, 17.24%–25.99% Variable
  • Balance transfer fee: $0 for the first 60 days, then 5%, $5 minimum
  • Annual fee: $0

 

  • 2% cash back for every purchase
  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 18 months, for transfers completed within 4 months, then 15.99% – 25.99% (Variable)
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
  • Purchase APR: 15.99% – 25.99% (Variable)
  • Annual fee: $0

Best Pick For

Business Rewards

Why we picked this card

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Review) is a business travel powerhouse, thanks to its unparalleled airport lounge access and hotel benefits. There are also some specific business perks like Dell credits and WeWork access, so explore the card to see if your company can actually use the major features.

Take note that you’ll earn 5X points on flights booked with airlines, but you’ll need to book through Amex Travel to earn that rewards rate on hotels. Some other cards are a bit more generous with their travel categories, like some of the runners up below and premium travel cards above.

Spending Rewards
  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Flights booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel
    • Prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar on other eligible travel expenses booked through Amex Travel
  • 1.5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on purchases over $5,000, up to 1 million additional points per year (then 1X)
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar for every other purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $10,000 in the first 3 months of card membership (expires 12/4/19)
    • Value: $500–$1,000 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 5%–10%
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending an additional $15,000 in the first 3 months of card membership (expires 12/4/19)
    • Value: $500–$1,000 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 3.33%–6.67%

Key Features

  • Global Lounge Collection: Complimentary access to Priority Pass, Centurion, American Express International, Delta Sky Club, Escape, Airspace, Lufthansa, and Plaza Premium Lounges
  • $200 annual airline fee credit: Good for incidental costs like checked bags and inflight food, not tickets, at your selected airline
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: A statement credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100 every four years) or TSA PreCheck ($85 every four-and-a-half years)
  • Elite hotel statuses: Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • $200 Dell statement credit: Enroll to get an annual $200 statement credit for U.S. purchases with Dell: $100 from January through June, and $100 from July through December.
  • Platinum Global Access from WeWork: Get a year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork and gain access to over 300 premium, select workspaces in over 75 cities.
  • The Hotel Collection: A $100 hotel credit and room upgrades when available for every eligible two-night stay
  • Point transfer: To a selection of airline and hotel partners
  • No foreign transaction fees (Rates & Fees)
  • Annual fee: $595
  • Charge card: You must pay your balance in full each month.

Read more in our Review of the Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Is it worth the $595 annual fee?

Runners Up

  • 3X points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent per year on Travel, Shipping, Internet, cable, and phone services, and Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
  • 80,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $95

 

  • 4X points per dollar in the two categories you spend the most in each month out of six, up to $150,000 spent annually
  • $500 back for eligible FedEx purchases in the first 3 months
  • No foreign transaction fees (Rates & Fees)
  • Annual fee: $295

 

  • 2X miles per dollar for every purchase
  • 50,000 bonus miles for spending $4,500 in the first 3 months
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that

 

  • 2% cash back for every purchase
  • $500 cash back for spending $4,500 in the first 3 months
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Is a Credit Card for Good or Excellent Credit Right for You?

If you’ve got good or excellent credit scores, with a FICO Score 8 of around 670 or better, you can freely browse the credit card market, knowing you’ll have a good shot at pretty much everything you see. Approval is never guaranteed, and there are other factors involved in application decisions, but you can rest assured that your credit won’t usually stand in the way.

That’s about it — having a good credit history makes finding that new card relatively easy, because you won’t have to worry about limiting yourself to cards designed for fair credit, bad credit, or no credit. You’ll be more attractive to credit card issuers, and you can focus on the card features you want, rather than what you can hope to qualify for.

When you find something you like, there won’t be much holding you back. Just make sure there isn’t a better offer available, which you can do by browsing our selection of top card credit offers.

Selection Criteria: What Makes a Great Credit Card for Good or Excellent Credit?

You should aim for the best if you’ve got great credit; no need to settle for a poor value, especially if you’ll be paying any fees. Depending on the type of card you’re looking for, think about:

  • High reward rates: Simply enough, the best reward cards offer the most points or cash back, and they typically have valuable signup bonus offers too. Think about your typical shopping habits, and find a rewards program that fits.
  • Point transfers: Having flexible redemption options can help you get even more out of your rewards; transfers to airline and hotel loyalty programs provide some of the best opportunities.
  • Top-of-the-line benefits: Some premium credit card benefits include travel credits that can knock down annual fees, airport lounge access, free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, elite hotel statuses, primary auto rental coverage, and more.
  • Low interest rates: In general, with better credit comes lower interest rates. If you’re looking for zero percent APR offers for purchases or balance transfers, even no-fee balance transfers, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding good credit cards.
  • A reasonable annual fee, and no extra fees: You shouldn’t have to pay an outsized fee to get valuable credit card rewards and benefits (even if you don’t have the best credit). And you definitely shouldn’t have to deal with tomfoolery like initiation fees or standard-mail card replacement fees.
We’ve covered most of the bases above, but if you have good or excellent credit you shouldn’t stop looking until you find the card (or cards) you need. Find more options in our picks for the Best Credit Cards of all kinds.
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