Best overall cash back for families

Apply now
On American Express's secure site
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 6% 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
  • 3% 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations
  • 1% 1% Cash Back on other purchases
Intro bonus
$300 
Annual fee
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Regular APR
13.99%-23.99% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for up to 2% cash back

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 2% Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
Intro bonus
N/A
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for cash back in multiple categories

Apply now
On Chase's secure site
Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 5% 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • 5% 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 3% 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services and on drugstore purchases.
  • 1.5% Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
Intro bonus
$200 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
14.99% - 24.74% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for rotating cash back categories

Apply now
On Discover's secure site
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 5% Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • 1% Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
Intro bonus
Cashback Match™ 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
11.99% - 22.99% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Cash back for families with no annual fee

Apply now
On American Express's secure site
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 3% 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
  • 1% 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
Intro bonus
$200 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
13.99%-23.99% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)
Apply now
On Capital One's secure site
Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 1.5% Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
Intro bonus
$200 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
14.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for dining and entertainment

Apply now
On Capital One's secure site
Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 8% Earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through January 2023.
  • 3% Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®).
  • 1% Earn 1% on all other purchases.
Intro bonus
$200 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
14.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for flexible travel rewards

Apply now
On Capital One's secure site
Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 5X Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get our best prices on thousands of trip options
  • 1.25X Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day.
Intro bonus
20,000 miles 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
14.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for first-year bonus

Apply now
On Discover's secure site
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 2% Earn cash back on your next road trip with 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.
  • 1% Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
Intro bonus
Cashback Match™ 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
11.99% - 22.99% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for rewards on small purchases

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 2X Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter.
  • 1X Earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.
Intro bonus
20,000 points 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Credit cards for consumers with excellent credit

An excellent credit score means you’ll have access to some of the top credit cards available, from cash back to travel rewards. We’ll help you learn everything you need to know about leveraging an excellent credit score to find the right card for you.

The more you know…
The pandemic has resulted in financial challenges for many Americans. According to our study, 33 percent of cardholders did something that could hurt their credit score during COVID-19.


Compare Bankrate’s top cards for excellent credit

Card Name Best for Bankrate Review Score
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Overall cash back for families 4.0 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi® Double Cash Card Up to 2% cash back 3.6 / 5
(Read full card review)
Chase Freedom Unlimited® Cash back in multiple categories 4.6 / 5
(Read full card review)
Discover it® Cash Back Rotating cash back categories 4.2 / 5
(Read full card review)
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Families with no annual fee 3.9 / 5
(Read full card review)
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card Simple cash back 3.2 / 5
(Read full card review)
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card Dining and entertainment 4.5 / 5
(Read full card review)
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card Flexible travel rewards 3.6 / 5
(Read full card review)
Discover it® chrome First-year bonus 3.9 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi Rewards+® Card Rewards on small purchases 3.2 / 5
(Read full card review)

A closer look at the excellent-credit selections

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Best overall cash back for families

  • This card is best for: People with big, on-the-go families who can get the maximum benefit from the rewards rates at U.S. supermarkets at U.S. gas stations, on select U.S. subscriptions services and on transit.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Anyone who dislikes annual fees. There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, but after the introductory period, the annual fee jumps up to $95 a year. You’ll need to maximize the rewards categories to offset the yearly cost.
  • What makes this card unique? It includes complimentary ShopRunner membership (enrollment required), which offers free two-day shipping at checkout with 100+ online merchants.
  • Is the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express worth it? If you’re looking for excellent cash back returns to go with your excellent credit, this family-friendly card is one of the top choices on the market.

Read our full Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express review.
Jump back to offer details.

Citi Double Cash Card

Best for up to 2% cash back

  • This card is best for: People who appreciate being rewarded for their diligence. You’ll earn 1 percent cash back when you make purchases and an additional 1 percent when you pay for them on your credit card bill.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Anyone who prefers a more direct path to rewards. If you already have excellent credit, making regular credit card payments is probably an ingrained habit already.
  • What makes this card unique? The Citi Entertainment benefit provides access to presale tickets and a variety of events, including concerts and dining experiences.
  • Is the Citi Double Cash Card worth it? Although it might lack flash, this no-annual-fee card can provide a reliable inflow of cash back while encouraging responsible credit behavior.

Read our full Citi Double Cash Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Best for cash back in multiple categories

  • This card is best for: People who want to earn cash back at outstanding rates in categories that include grocery store purchases, dining, drugstores and travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • This card is not a great choice for: People who don’t spend a lot on travel and dining. Homebodies might find it challenging to enjoy the card’s maximum value in those categories.
  • What makes this card unique? At one time, the Chase Freedom Unlimited was a straightforward cash back card that earned 1.5 percent on all eligible purchases. The 2020 upgrade kept that original system but also added the higher-rate categories, all without introducing an annual fee.
  • Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited worth it? If your spending habits match up with the categories, this highly rated cash back card is hard to beat.

Read our full Chase Freedom Unlimited review.
Jump back to offer details.

Discover it Cash Back

Best for rotating cash back categories

  • This card is best for: Shoppers who can commit to tracking quarterly categories and adjusting their spending habits for a chance at bonus-rate rewards.
  • This card is not a great choice for: People who have no objection to earning cash back at a fixed rate without all the strategizing. This card requires some effort on your part (including remembering to activate the bonus categories each quarter).
  • What makes this card unique? You can use your cash back to Shop with Points at checkout at Amazon.com.
  • Is the Discover it Cash Back worth it? For those willing to put in the work and stick to their cash back strategy, the rewards could be considerable.

Read our full Discover it Cash Back review.
Jump back to offer details.

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

Best cash back for families with no annual fee

  • This card is best for: Family-first shoppers who want to earn cash back for their frequent stops at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores but don’t want to add an annual credit card fee to their budget.
  • This card is not a great choice for: International shoppers, whether they’re making purchases while traveling outside the U.S. or online purchases from overseas merchants. A 2.7 percent foreign transaction fee (see rates and fees) limits the card’s usefulness.
  • What makes this card unique? The American Express brand often brings to mind premier travel credit cards with steep annual fees. The Blue Cash Everyday provides an option for people who are more gas-and-groceries than wining-and-dining.
  • Is the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express worth it? This no-annual-fee card offers an economical way for the frequent family shopper to earn cash back rewards on everyday purchases.

Read our full Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express review.
Jump back to offer details.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best for simple cash back

  • This card is best for: People who want cash back to be a layup, not a trick shot. You won’t have to keep track of rotating categories, activations or earning limits.
  • This card is not a great choice for: People who regularly spend a lot on specific types of purchases such as groceries, gas or dining. Some alternatives offer higher rewards rates in certain categories without requiring a lot of maintenance (like the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, for dining and entertainment).
  • What makes this card unique? The sign-up bonus is easily obtainable and proportional to the spending requirement. You’ll earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after spending just $500 on purchases within three months of opening your account.
  • Is the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card worth it? This card offers a way to earn unlimited cash back with minimal hassle. It might be especially appealing to those who don’t pour a ton of money into particular spending categories.

Read our full Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best for dining and entertainment

  • This card is best for: People with good to excellent credit who want to earn cash rewards for purchases related to food and fun.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Grocery shoppers who regularly fill up their carts at places like Walmart and Target. The 3 percent cash back rate at grocery stores doesn’t apply to purchases at many superstores.
  • What makes this card unique? It’s rare for a no annual fee card to earn such robust rewards rates in these particular categories in dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and grocery store categories.
  • Is the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card worth it? Some cards might have higher rewards rates and bigger sign-up bonuses, but they’re usually accompanied by annual fees. The well-rounded SavorOne shouldn’t feel like a consolation prize.

Read our full Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Best for flexible travel rewards

  • This card is best for: Travelers who like having a range of choices in how they can redeem their rewards without being tied to a single airline or hotel chain.
  • This card is not a great choice for: People with travel budgets big enough to justify a premium card that offers better rewards rates and richer perks even if it has an annual fee.
  • What makes this card unique? Transferring miles to travel loyalty programs with Capital One has seen some recent upgrades. New partners include British Airways and Choice Hotels (coming in late 2021), and the number of programs that offer transfers with no loss in point value has grown.
  • Is the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card worth it? If you’re a casual traveler who wants flexible options for using your travel miles without paying an annual fee, this card can help you reach that destination.

Read our full Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Discover it chrome

Best for first-year bonus

  • This card is best for: On-the-go people who spend a fair amount of money at gas stations and restaurants. You can earn 2 percent in those categories on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, then 1 percent.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Those who think the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Some other cards offer higher rewards rates in similar purchase categories.
  • What makes this card unique? Discover automatically matches the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year as a cardholder, a one-time bonus that effectively doubles the cash back you can earn during your first year.
  • Is the Discover it chrome worth it? People who regularly make gas station and restaurant purchases have the best chance to maximize this card’s value, and they’re certain to appreciate the first-year bonus.

Read our full Discover it chrome review.
Jump back to offer details.

Citi Rewards+ Card

Best for rewards on small purchases

  • This card is best for: Frequent supermarket and gas station shoppers who want to earn cash back rewards easily without big spending habits. You can earn 2X ThankYou points at supermarkets and gas stations (on a combined $6,000 in purchases annually, then 1X) and 1X points on everything else.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Anyone interested in a simple method of using their rewards for travel instead of cash back. You would also need to have a premium Citi card to get maximum value out of the ThankYou Points you earn with the Citi Rewards+, which are basic-level points.
  • What makes this card unique? Thanks to the Citi Rewards+ Round Up feature, every purchase you make will be rounded up to the nearest 10 points. For example, a $4 coffee would be worth 10 points.
  • Is the Citi Rewards+ Card worth it? Even modest spenders can get a lot of value from this card, and the rounding-up feature can be especially lucrative for everyday purchases.

Read our full Citi Rewards+ Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

What is an excellent credit score?

Credit scores are one of the most important indicators of financial health, but they’re also one of the least understood. Your credit score is calculated using a series of factors pulled from your overall credit report. The most commonly used scoring systems are developed by FICO (FICO Score 8) and VantageScore (VantageScore 3.0).

Both methods score in a range from 300 (the lowest) to 850 (the highest), with most people falling between 600 and 750. FICO deems 740 to 799 “very good” and 800 to 850 “exceptional,” while VantageScore is a bit more lenient in considering “excellent” anywhere from 750 to 850.

Scoring systems use predictive analysis based on the individual financial history found in your credit report (pulled from one or more of the three big credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) to generate your score. VantageScore and FICO both use data from the credit bureaus but their scores are generated with different mathematical models. Despite their differences, if you have excellent credit, it will generally be reflected in both.

You should be aware that there are other, less common scoring systems with different scales. For instance, the FICO Auto Score 8 ranges between 250 and 900. If your lender uses a score with a different range than the standard 300 to 850, it may impact what constitutes a “good” versus “excellent” score.

Why should you aim for an excellent score?

Lenders use your score to estimate the likelihood that you will pay back and not default on the loan from your lender. Lenders and creditors all have their own thresholds for what makes a score fair, good or excellent and who will have the best chances of qualifying for the lowest rates on mortgages, credit cards, auto loans and most other types of loans.

An excellent score can save you thousands of dollars in interest charges over the life of a loan and make a top-tier credit card a realistic option for the everyday cardholder.

Bankrate Insight
Is having excellent credit today a reliable indicator of your finances tomorrow? According to Experian, less than 1 percent of people who have Exceptional FICO Scores (800 to 850) are likely to become seriously delinquent in the future.

The difference between excellent and good credit

According to Experian, a good credit score is 700 or higher while a score of 800 or above is in the excellent range. However, the difference between good credit and excellent credit means more than a 100-point gap between FICO scores. Here are some of the ways you can benefit from having excellent credit:

Credit cards

People with higher credit scores tend to get more favorable interest rates when they borrow money, which includes credit cards. A lower credit card APR can save you money if you ever have to carry a balance. Let’s say you had a $5,000 balance that took you three months to pay off. According to Bankrate’s Credit Card Payoff Calculator, you’d pay $125 in interest at 15 percent APR compared with $167 at 20 percent APR .

There are more credit card benefits to having an excellent credit score. You can qualify for a solid credit card with a good score, but many of the cards with premier benefits and higher rewards rates require excellent credit. Be prepared to pay the high annual fees that often accompany those premium cards, though, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

Mortgages

Consider the types of loans you might take out over your lifetime, like mortgages. According to FICO data, a person who takes out a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a FICO Score of 760 or better could get a 2.54 percent interest rate while someone with a 620 score could get a 4.13 percent interest rate. With a $216,000 mortgage, the person with excellent credit would save about $2,268 a year.

Auto loans

It’s possible to take out a car loan with subprime credit, but those loans often come with high-interest rates. If you have excellent credit, though, you’ll probably qualify for better loan terms and possibly even 0 percent financing.

Working on your financial health to obtain excellent credit will ultimately help you save on many of these big purchases and allow you to pay less over each loan’s lifetime, freeing up your money for other goals.

How to get an excellent credit score

Achieving excellent credit requires a combination of good financial habits and patience. An essential component is checking your credit score periodically to see how you’re doing.

Next, familiarize yourself with the factors that make up your credit score: credit utilization, the age of accounts, payment history, credit mix and new credit.

Improving your score takes time, but there are ways you can begin working toward better credit now:

  • Dispute any errors you find on your credit report (which is not the same as your credit score). Your credit report is a compilation of your entire history as a credit user, while the credit score can be thought of as a current-day snapshot. You can remove negative items from your credit report by reaching out directly to the credit bureau in question.
  • Work to pay down any outstanding balances on your credit cards and keep your credit utilization ratio below 20 percent. That means if your credit card has a limit of $10,000, you should try to keep your balance under $2,000. Different scoring methods have different ideal utilization ratios, but staying in the 20 percent range should cover you.
  • Pay all of your bills in full and on time every month. Doing this consistently will have a major positive impact on your credit score.
  • Avoid opening several new lines of credit in a short time period, as this can indicate risk to lenders and temporarily lower your score.

Perhaps most importantly, you need to have patience. You likely won’t achieve an excellent score within months of opening your first credit card.

Also, remember that you don’t need to strive for a perfect 850 credit score. Anyone with a score within the “exceptional” range, which FICO considers 800 and above, should be able to enjoy the same benefits as someone with a perfect score.

Bankrate Insight
Only 1.2 percent of Americans have a “perfect” FICO Score of 850. However, an exceptional FICO Score of 800 or above means you already enjoy virtually all the benefits of a perfect score.

How to keep your credit score from going down

If you’ve obtained an excellent credit score, you’ve likely already established the good habits that it takes to maintain that score, like on-time payments and low utilization. The best way to keep it from dropping is simply to maintain these good habits.

You can monitor your credit report every few months to keep track of any changes or practices that may be impacting your score negatively. Keep in mind that there are factors, like opening or inquiring about a new account, that can make your score drop temporarily, but you should focus on long-term maintenance rather than short-term fluctuations.

Also, remember that you don’t need to strive for a perfect 850 credit score. Anyone with a score within the “exceptional” range, which FICO considers 800 and above, can obtain the same perks and rates as someone with a perfect score. Ultimately, if you pay your bills in full and on time, your credit score will remain strong.

How many people have excellent credit?

According to Experian, an excellent credit score isn’t as uncommon as you may think. The credit bureau’s data show that the majority of U.S. consumers are at least in the good credit range, with 21 percent of people qualifying for the excellent tier.

Experian also found that the average credit score in the U.S. has seen a steady climb for years, all the way up to 711 in 2020.

FICO credits an increase in credit responsibility, reduced negative histories and consumer education for the improvement.

How we rate cards for consumers with excellent credit

Bankrate's 5-star scoring system evaluates features that offer maximum value and first-rate user experience. For cards in the excellent credit category, we refine the method to focus on a set of particular factors including:

Rewards value

By matching lifestyle categories with the cards most likely to maximize returns, we've made it easy for you to find the card that will offer the best value — points, miles or cash back.

APR

Annual percentage rate (APR) represents interest charges you would face if you didn't pay your balance fully. With excellent credit, you're more likely to qualify for a low APR.

Extras and discounts

On top of earning rewards, each credit card on this list offers features that raise its overall value. Perks like statement credits on travel, access to travel lounges, and free credit score monitoring allow cardholders to maximize the benefits of achieving a strong credit score.

Cost of ownership

Some of these cards come with an annual fee, but in those cases, the earnings potential should outweigh the cost. The travel cards frequently waive foreign transaction fees.

More research for excellent credit consumers

If you have excellent credit, you can qualify for some of the best cards on the market. Here are some resources to help you get more information about credit cards and credit scores:


Have more questions for our credit cards editors? Feel free to send us an email, find us on Facebook, or Tweet us @Bankrate.

Frequently Asked Questions

about the author
Former Senior Editor Barry Bridges has been writing about credit cards, personal loans, mortgages and other personal finance products since 2017. Before joining Bankrate, he was an award-winning newspaper journalist in his native North Carolina.
about the editor
Mariah Ackary is a personal finance writer who specializes in credit card rewards and small business credit. Mariah is a lifelong writer, but she began writing about finance in 2018. She joined the Bankrate team in 2019, excited by the opportunity to directly help people make good financial decisions. Send your questions to mackary@bankrate.com ...

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.