Best for dining and entertainment

Apply now
On Capital One's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 8% Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats
  • 5% Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • 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 offer
$200 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for flexible travel rewards

Apply now
On Capital One's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 5X Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • 1.25X Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day.
Intro offer
20,000 miles 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best overall cash back for families

Apply now
On American Express's secure site
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
See if you're pre‐approved for this card with CardMatch™
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 offer
$300 
Annual fee
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Regular APR
14.74% - 24.74% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for flexible redemption

Apply now
On Chase's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 5% Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more;
  • 3% 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service
  • 1.5% 1.5% on all other purchases
Intro offer
Earn an Additional 1.5% Cash Back 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
15.24% - 23.99% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for up to 2% cash back

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
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 offer
N/A
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)
Apply now
On Capital One's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 5% Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • 1.5% Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
Intro offer
$200 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for rotating cash back categories

Apply now
On Discover's secure site
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 offer
Cashback Match™ 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
12.24% - 23.24% 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
See if you're pre‐approved for this card with CardMatch™
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.
  • 1% 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
Intro offer
$200 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
14.74%-24.74% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for first-year bonus

Apply now
On Discover's secure site
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 offer
Cashback Match™ 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
12.24% - 23.24% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for rewards on small purchases

Apply now
On Citi's secure site
Rewards rate
  • 5X For a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on air travel and hotels up to $6,000 in the first 12 months and then 1 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent thereafter.
  • 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 offer
20,000 points 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
14.24% - 24.24% (Variable)
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)
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The more you know…
The pandemic resulted in financial challenges for many Americans. A survey conducted by Bankrate found that 42 percent of consumers with credit card debt have increased their credit card balances since that start of the pandemic in 2020.


Compare Bankrate’s top cards for excellent credit

Card Name Best for Bankrate Review Score
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card Dining and entertainment 4.4 / 5
(Read full card review)
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card Flexible travel rewards 3.8 / 5
(Read full card review)
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express Overall cash back for families 4.0 / 5
(Read full card review)
Chase Freedom Unlimited Flexible redemption 4.6 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi Double Cash Card Up to 2% cash back 3.5 / 5
(Read full card review)
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card Simple cash back 3.2 / 5
(Read full card review)
Discover it Cash Back Rotating cash back categories 4.0 / 5
(Read full card review)
Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express Families with no annual fee 3.3 / 5
(Read full card review)
Discover it chrome First-year bonus 3.5 / 5
(Read full card review)
Citi Rewards+ Card Rewards on small purchases 3.4 / 5
(Read full card review)

A closer look at Bankrate’s best cards for excellent credit

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for dining and entertainment

  • What we love about the Capital One SavorOne: 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.
  • Who this card is good for: Socialites and social butterflies who will make the most out of the SavorOne’s very generous dining rewards.
  • Alternatives: The Discover it Chrome card is another card that offers competitive rewards rates on dining. It also tacks on gas rewards which is great for people who are often on the go, something that the SavorOne falls a bit short on.

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

  • What we love about the Capital One VentureOne: Transferring miles to travel loyalty programs with Capital One has seen some recent upgrades. New partners include British Airways and Choice Hotels, and the number of programs that offer transfers with no loss in point value has grown.
  • Who this card is good for: Travelers who like a variety of choices in how they can redeem their rewards without being tied to a single airline or hotel chain.
  • Alternatives: The Chase Freedom Unlimited has a few rewards tiers specifically aimed at travel purchases, along with a slightly higher flat rewards rate than the VentureOne. It also still charges no annual fee so if you’re prioritizing travel rewards specifically, you could get more value for your dollar with the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

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

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express: Best overall cash back for families

  • What we love about the Blue Cash Preferred: This card includes a complimentary ShopRunner membership (enrollment required), which offers free two-day shipping at checkout with 100+ online merchants.
  • Who this card is good for: Big families with big grocery budgets as you won’t find many cards that rewards these kinds of purchases more highly.
  • Alternatives: The Blue Cash Everyday card is the sister card to the Blue Cash Preferred and the two offer some of the same benefits. The Blue Cash Everyday has a lower rewards rate and no annual fee, which could be more appealing for budget-conscious families.

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

Chase Freedom Unlimited: Best for flexible redemption

  • What we love about the Chase Freedom Unlimited: 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.
  • Who this card is good for: Chase loyalists who can make a killing when pairing the Chase Freedom Unlimited with other Chase cards to pool rewards and max out earnings in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.
  • Alternatives: Staying in the Chase portfolio, the Chase Freedom Flex offers some competitive rates in several categories and adds in an enrollment category that you can max out in each quarter if strategy is more your style. The Chase Freedom Flex also has a straightforward welcome offer, handing you a pretty easy to earn lump sum of rewards.

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

Citi Double Cash Card: Best for up to 2% cash back

  • What we love about the Citi Double Cash: The Citi Entertainment benefit provides access to presale tickets and a variety of events, including concerts and dining experiences.
  • Who this card is good for: Diligent rewards earners who want to be incentivized for both paying and spending on their card.
  • Alternatives: The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card puts the power of how and where you earn even more into your hands by giving you the highest tier of cash back earnings on your top eligible spending category each billing cycle. You spend, you earn: your way, all the way with this card option. You just need to beware of spending caps.

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

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for simple cash back

  • What we love about the Capital One Quicksilver: An unlimited flat-rate of rewards is always fairly valuable, as you won’t be limited on where you can earn rewards and how much of them you can rack up.
  • Who this card is good for: No frills rewards seekers who want to get their rewards and go without having to chase bonus categories or enrollment dates.
  • Alternatives: If you want a direct line to specific kinds of rewards, some of the tiered cards available on the market can be much more lucrative than the Quicksilver. The Capital One VentureOne Rewards card, for example, lets you earn specifically towards travel with both travel-related purchases and everyday spending.

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

Discover it Cash Back: Best for rotating cash back categories

  • What we love about the Discover it Cash Back: The generous welcome offer and the opportunity to save on interest if you carry a balance because of the card’s intro APR offers on both purchases and balance transfers.
  • Who this card is good for: Credit strategists who don’t mind keeping tabs on enrollment calendars and rotating bonus categories.
  • Alternatives: If you need a card that will earn you a lot with a bit less work, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is one of the best flat-rate cash back cards available and the rewards are unlimited, so no need to worry about hitting any quarterly spending caps..

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

  • What we love about the Blue Cash Everyday: 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 oriented than wining-and-dining.
  • Who this card is good 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.
  • Alternatives: Families who want to expand their earnings even further outside of gas and groceries but still can’t stomach an annual fee could find a match in the Citi Double Cash, as you earn unlimited rewards when you spend and when you pay and those purchases can be on anything your family needs most.

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

Discover it chrome: Best for first-year bonus

  • What we love about the Discover it Chrome: The rewards categories on this card are some of the most popular spending categories for most consumers so if you play your cards right (pun intended) you’ll have a nice stack of rewards in your cash back match in your first year.
  • Who this card is good 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.
  • Alternatives: The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards card out paces the Discover it Chrome by a lot if your main squeeze is getting the most out of dining rewards.

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

Citi Rewards+ Card: Best for rewards on small purchases

  • What we love about the Citi Rewards+: 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.
  • Who this card is good for: Frequent supermarket and gas station shoppers who want to earn cash back rewards easily without big spending habits.
  • Alternatives: If you want to expand beyond the Citi ThankYou® Points program, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card offers unlimited flat-rate rewards on all purchases, casting a wide net on your earning opportunities outside of a designated points program.

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

What is an excellent credit score?

An excellent credit score is usually considered an 800 to 850 on the FICO scale. VantageScore is a bit more lenient in considering “excellent” to fall anywhere between 750 and 850. VantageScore and FICO both incorporate data from 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.

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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.

How to get an excellent credit score

Achieving excellent credit requires a combination of good financial habits and patience. A great way to get started is with the following key steps.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the factors that make up your credit score. Things like your credit utilization ratio, the age of your accounts, your payment history, credit mix and new credit are all major facets that make up your credit score. Understanding these factors and the effects they have on your score is a key part of making sure you know how to build it up.
  2. 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 your 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, and getting rid of these items that are hindering your score can be a game changer when building credit.
  3. Pay off debts regularly and keep your credit utilization ratio low. Overspending on the amount of credit available to you sends signals of financial instability to lenders. Paying your bills on time and in full each month and building a positive payment history is one of the best ways to see steady growth in your credit score.
  4. Avoid opening several new lines of credit in a short time period. Doing so can signal to lenders that you are a higher risk candidate. Also, each card application you submit will result in a hard credit check, which will temporarily drive down your credit score.
  5. 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.
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Bankrate Insight
An excellent credit score—qualified as 800 and up according to FICO—isn’t as uncommon as you may think. 21 percent of all consumers credit scores fall into the excellent category. On the other hand 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 maintain an excellent credit score

  • Keep up with the positive credit habits you’ve established. If you have excellent credit, odds are you’re already paying your credit card bills on time and in full and keeping your credit utilization low. Continuing with these and other positive credit habits is a solid way to make sure you maintain your excellent score.
  • Dive into a credit card strategy. Having excellent credit affords you access to some of the best credit cards on the market. Put your responsibility skills to good use and develop a strategy to use these top tier cards to reap the highest returns on your most popular purchases, while still putting your good credit habits at the forefront to keep you on top.
  • Focus on long-term maintenance over short-term fluctuations. As you continue to build your credit portfolio, you may find yourself applying for new cards or upgrading to better versions of the ones you already have. New credit inquiries of any kind may cause small score dips here and there, but as long as you continue to make smart credit choices, you should be able to maintain your excellent score.

How to choose a credit card when you have excellent credit

Reaching an excellent credit score isn’t an easy feat, and it doesn’t happen overnight. When you have excellent credit there are so many options available to you when you’re choosing a credit card that it might be difficult to narrow your choices. Determining what’s important to you will help hone in on the right choice when choosing a credit card. Ask yourself:

How we chose our best cards for excellent credit scores

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 credit cards for excellent credit scores

about the author
As a staff writer for Bankrate.com, Sarah offers sound advice that will improve your financial life and help simplify topics like travel hacking and credit card rewards.
about the editor
Courtney Mihocik is an editor at Bankrate Credit Cards and CreditCards.com specializing in credit card news and personal finance advice. Previously, she led insurance content at Reviews.com and worked as the loans editor at The Simple Dollar.

* 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.