Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit in 2020

An excellent credit score could help you qualify for low interest rates on some of the best rewards cards available from our partners. Your "best" card will depend on your spending habits and financial goals, but Bankrate's expert advice can help you make an informed decision for 2020.

Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit | Bankrate's Top Offers (April 2020):

Need more information?

Skip down to read our card profiles and expert advice.

Best for flexible redemptions

Chase Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Chase's secure website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel. 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide. 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Welcome Offer:
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Annual Fee:
$95
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
15.99%-22.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for travel with no annual fee

Wells Fargo Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Wells Fargo's secure website

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in Earn 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals Earn 3X points on gas stations, rideshares and transit Earn 3X points on popular streaming services Earn 1X points on other purchases
Welcome Offer:
Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – that’s a $200 cash redemption value
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% for 12 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% for 12 months on qualifying balance transfers
Regular APR:
13.99%-25.99% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – that’s a $200 cash redemption value
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign currency conversion fee
  • Earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in
  • Earn 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
  • Earn 3X points on gas stations, rideshares and transit
  • Earn 3X points on popular streaming services
  • Earn 1X points on other purchases
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions

Best for rewards on small purchases

Citi Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Citi's secure website

Citi Rewards+℠ Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases.
Welcome Offer:
Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% intro for 15 months on Purchases
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% intro for 15 months on Balance Transfers
Regular APR:
13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)

Card Details

  • The Citi Rewards+℠ Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap.
  • Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.49% - 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfer fee — either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.49% - 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.


Author: Barry Bridges | bbridges@bankrate.com


The information about the Capital One Cards has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

Credit cards for consumers with excellent credit

An excellent credit score means you’ll probably have the best chance of scoring some of the market’s premier credit cards. We’ll help you learn everything you need to know about leveraging an excellent credit score to find the right card for you.

Compare Bankrate’s top cards for excellent credit

Card Name Best for Bankrate Review Score
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Flexible redemptions 4.8 / 5
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card Travel with no annual fee 4.5 / 5
Citi Rewards+℠ Card Rewards on small purchases 4.6 / 5
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card (not currently available) No-frills rewards structure 4.7 / 5
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (not currently available) Travel 4.6 / 5
Discover it® Cash Back (not currently available) First-year rewards 4.8 / 5
Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card (not currently available) Dining and entertainment card with no annual fee 4.6 / 5
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card (not currently available) Banking customer bonus 4.4 / 5
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (not currently available) Best for gas and groceries 4.5/5
Chase Freedom Unlimited® (not currently available) No annual fee with everyday spending 4.6 / 5

A closer look at the excellent-credit selections

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Pros: When you look at this popular Chase card, the first thing that should jump out at you is the flexibility built into the rewards redemption process. You can transfer points to about a dozen notable airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 rate, which means no loss in value. This card lets you earn those valuable points with generous rewards on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide.

Cons: The card charges a $95 annual fee. It’s certainly not an excessive amount compared with similar travel cards, but you will need to factor it in when you calculate the card’s potential value.

Bottom line: It seems only natural that travelers who have excellent credit would want an excellent travel card to go along with it. Thanks in large part to its flexibility with rewards redemption, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a compelling choice.

Read our full review and find out how to apply.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

Pros: This card stands out for earning 3X points in a variety of spending categories, not all of them strictly related to travel. In other words, the Wells Fargo Propel makes it easy to earn generous travel rewards even when you’re not boarding a plane or checking into a hotel. The lack of an annual fee is another notable feature.

Cons: One thing you might find less than satisfying doesn’t involve the card itself but Wells Fargo’s Go Far® Rewards. You can’t transfer points to airline or hotel loyalty programs, which is likely to disappoint travelers who’ve vested themselves with certain brands.

Bottom line: Travelers with excellent credit (and an aversion to annual fees) might find a lot to like about the earning potential of the Wells Fargo Propel card.

Read our full review and find out how to apply.

Citi Rewards+ Card

Pros: The Citi Rewards+ Card’s rewards structure can be especially lucrative for your everyday purchases. You can earn 2X ThankYou Points at supermarkets and gas stations (on combined $6,000 in purchases annually, then 1X) and 1X Points on everything else. The card also rounds up every purchase to the nearest 10 points, making your $4 purchase worth 10 points, and so on. You earn 15,000 ThankYou Points if you spend $1,000 within 3 months of account opening, an easily attainable sign-up bonus.

Cons: If you’ve earned a sign-up bonus with Citi or closed a Citi account within the past 2 years, you’ll be ineligible for this card’s bonus. The points you earn with Citi Rewards+ are also considered “basic” within Citi’s rewards program, so you won’t earn their maximum value unless you have another premium Citi card, like the Citi Prestige® Card.

Bottom line: The round-up feature and 2X points categories make it great for everyday purchases and can really increase the value you get out of owning the card. As an excellent-credit consumer, you can use this card to earn rewards easily without trying to rack up a large amount of high-dollar purchases.

Read our full review and find out how to apply.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card (not currently available)

Pros: The Capital One Quicksilver offers an uncomplicated rewards structure with 1.5% cash back on all purchases made. Rather than checking quarterly rewards calendars to see for which categories you could earn cash back, you can rest assured knowing all eligible purchases will fall under this steady rate. This card doesn’t come with foreign transaction and annual fees, and if you spend $500 within the first three months, Capital One will give you a $150 sign-up bonus.

Cons: Sure, there are rewards cards out there with heftier cash back percentages. If you’re looking for a higher rewards rate in a specific category (like travel or dining), this might not be the card for you.

Bottom line: The Capital One Quicksilver can provide you with a low-hassle way to earn rewards on all eligible purchases. It might be especially appealing to those who don’t have an allegiance to a certain spending category.

Read our full review and find out how to apply.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (not currently available)

Pros: If you want a card with great travel rewards value that’s simple and easy to use, look no further. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, which you can redeem using Purchase Eraser (for a statement credit equal to 1 cent per mile) or with the issuer’s transfer partners. The card also has a generous welcome bonus of 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

Cons: For the Venture card’s lucrative travel rewards, you will have to pay an annual $95 fee, but that fee is waived the first year. You’ll also have to be diligent about redeeming your miles after making a travel purchase, as you need to complete the redemption within 90 days.

Bottom line: This card is a great pick for frequent travelers who don’t want to think too much about their rewards redemptions. If you don’t mind the statement credit redemption process or the annual fee, the Venture card’s rewards structure, welcome bonus and added travel perks make it one of the best travel cards on the market, especially as Capital One adds more transfer partners to the program.

Read our full review and find out how to apply.

Discover it® Cash Back (not currently available)

Pros: You’ll earn 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories with the Discover it Cash Back card, ranging from gas stations and grocery stores to restaurants and Amazon.com purchases up to the quarterly maximum of $1,500 after activation, plus 1% cash back on everything else. The best value of this card, though, is Discover’s Cashback Match™ offer, which matches all your cash back earned over the first year of ownership with no limit.

Cons: If you don’t do the majority of your spending within the card’s designated categories, there’s probably a better-targeted cash back option for you. You’ll also have to stay diligent in keeping up with the rotating categories every 3 months.

Bottom line: If you spend big within this card’s quarterly categories, its high cash back rate combined with the Cashback Match offer and see terms makes it an excellent cash back option. Pair it with another cash back card that covers further categories to earn even more strategically.

Read our full review and find out how to apply.

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card (not currently available)

Pros: If you enjoy trips to the movie theater and habitually explore new restaurants, this might be the excellent-credit card for you. The Capital One SavorOne offers 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores and 1% on everything else. There’s no annual fee, and cardholders will enjoy a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months (15.49% – 25.49% variable thereafter). Plus, if you spend $500 within the first three months of opening your account.

Cons: The SavorOne’s rewards structure isn’t quite as robust as its sister card — the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card*, which offers 4% cash back on dining and entertainment and a $300 cash bonus for spending $3,000 within the first three months. But, if you don’t spend as heavily in the dining and entertainment arenas, the SavorOne’s rewards structure is still solid, especially with no annual fee (compared to the Savor’s $95 annual fee after the first year).

Bottom line: The SavorOne is a well-rounded card that provides ample room to earn cash back on dining and entertainment.

Read our full review and find out how to apply.

*The information about the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card (not currently available)

Pros: For a no annual fee card, the rewards are generous with 3 percent cash back on your choice category (out of six)  and 2 percent back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs up to $2,500 in combined category spending per quarter, then 1% on all other purchases. Preferred Rewards clients could see bonus rewards ranging from 25% to 75% more cash back on every purchase.

Cons: Existing members of the Preferred Rewards client program have the most to gain from this card. Unless you’re among that group, the potential for bonus rewards might not be tempting enough to sway you. Other cards not issued by Bank of America offer comparable (and in some cases, more generous) rewards rates in similar categories.

Bottom line: As someone with excellent credit, you’re probably good at recognizing value. The added value of the Preferred Rewards bonuses makes this this card an enticing option for qualifying Bank of America account holders.

Read our full review and find out how to apply.

The information about the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (not currently available)

Pros: If you want a card with high cash back rewards on the purchases you’re already making, this may be the perfect card for you. The Blue Cash Everyday Card is a simple, low-maintenance card that earns generous rewards with no annual fee and no rotating categories to keep track of. You’ll earn 3% cash back at U.S supermarkets, on up to 6,000 a year (1% after that), 2% back at U.S gas stations and select department stores and 1% on everything else. For the shopper with excellent credit that is frequently buying gas and groceries, this card could bring you a lot of value.

Cons: This card has a 2.7% foreign transaction fee (see rates and fees), so if you often travel outside of the U.S, this is something to keep in mind. Also, American Express doesn’t have much of a presence abroad.

Bottom line: The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is a great tool for the frequent family shopper to earn cash back rewards on everyday purchases.

Read our full review and find out how to apply.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® (not currently available)

Pros: This easy-to-use card offers a flat 1.5% unlimited cash back on eligible purchases, all with no annual fee. It’s also a great choice for balance transfers, with a 0% APR for the first 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers (then variable 14.99% – 23.74%).

Cons: There isn’t much to dislike about this card, but with a 3% foreign transaction fee, it isn’t optimal for purchases made outside the United States.

Bottom line: This is a solid no annual fee cash back option. If you have other Chase premium cards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited becomes even more lucrative, since you can transfer rewards and redeem them as points with added value using Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Read our full review and find out how to apply.

The information about the Chase Freedom Unlimited has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

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 740-799 “very good” and 800-850 “excellent,” 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.

The difference between ‘excellent’ and ‘good’ credit

The difference between an excellent credit score and a good credit score may seem like only a few points, but it can make a big difference for your wallet.

Credit cards

If you’re applying for a credit card that offers a variable APR, the issuer will assign a more favorable interest rate if you have better credit, which can save you money. For instance, if you are assigned a 17% interest rate, the amount you owe on any balance carried would increase by .046575% each day. With a 25% interest rate, you would accumulate an additional .068493% daily until your next billing cycle. According to Bankrate’s Credit Card Payoff Calculator, if you carry a $5,000 balance and make $200 monthly payments, the difference between 17% and 25% interest is worth $920 in extra interest payments.

There are more credit card benefits to having an excellent credit score as well. You can qualify for a great credit card with a good score, but many of the most premium cards, those with exclusive benefits and higher rewards earning, 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’ll take out over your lifetime, too, like mortgages, which can take decades to repay. According to recent data from FICO, a person who takes out a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a credit score of 760 or better could get a 3.37% interest rate while someone with a 660 score could get a 3.99% interest rate. For a mortgage of $216,000, the person with excellent credit would have a monthly payment about $400 lower.

Auto loans

It’s possible to take out a car loan with subprime credit, but those loans often come with high interest rates and subpar terms. If you have excellent credit, though, you’ll qualify not only for a wider selection of cars on the market but also better loan terms and possibly even 0% financing.

Working on your financial health to attain 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 step in improving your score is checking your credit report. You can find out where your score stands now and evaluate your report for any errors. Next, familiarize yourself with the factors that make up your credit score: debt 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 towards better credit now:

  • Dispute any errors you find on your credit report. Reach out directly to the credit bureau reporting the error.
  • Work to pay down any outstanding balances on your credit cards and keep your credit utilization ratio around 10%. That means, if your credit card has a limit of $10,000 try to keep your balance around $1,000. Some experts recommend a utilization ratio of 30%, but different scoring methods have different ideal utilization ratios and staying around 10% should cover you under them all.
  • Pay all of your bills in full and on time every month.
  • Avoid opening several new lines of credit in a short time period, as this can indicate risk to lenders and temporarily lower your score.
  • Once you’ve paid off a loan or no longer use a card, don’t remove it from your report. Bankruptcies, late payments and other bad debts are removed automatically after seven years, but your good debt history can improve your score through factors like age and responsible payment history, until it drops off as well, typically after 10 years.

Perhaps most importantly, you need to have patience. You likely won’t achieve an excellent score within months of opening your first credit card. All of the major factors are improved over a long period of time: your history of on-time payments, your available credit, your mix of accounts and the age of all your accounts.

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.

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 “excellent” 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 FICO, an excellent credit score isn’t as uncommon as you may think. In 2019, 22.3% of consumers had an excellent FICO score (between 800 and 850). The excellent credit group has seen a steady increase since April 2010, when 17.9% of consumers had an excellent FICO score.

What’s more, FICO data shows that the average credit score in the U.S. sits at 706, a new high. If trends continue, more and more Americans may find an excellent rating within their grasp.

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. 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 stand a better chance of qualifying for a lower rate (even for cards whose variable APRs are already on the low side).

Extras and discounts. On top of delivering earnings with every swipe, each credit card on this list has a laundry list of additional features that raises the overall value of the card along with our evaluation. Perks like statement credit on travel, access to travel lounges, and free credit score monitoring allow cardholders to reap the unsung benefits of achieving a strong credit score.

Your credit score shows that you have a knack for making good financial decisions. Our expertise can help you make a wise choice in credit cards as well.

More research for excellent credit consumers

If you have excellent credit, you can qualify for some of the best cards on the market right now. Here are some popular categories that can help narrow down your search:


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. Send your questions about credit cards (and fantasy baseball) to bbridges@bankrate.com.

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

* 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.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.