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Find the best credit card to match your good credit score
Having a good credit score is something you should take pride in. Bankrate can help you choose a credit card you’ll be proud to carry.
A credit score usually refers to someone’s FICO score, which uses predictive analysis based on your financial history to measure your overall creditworthiness. The score relies on information taken from one or more of the three big credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
However, a credit score represents more than a single number. Good credit is important because it can also send a signal to credit card issuers (and other types of lenders) that you’re trustworthy and reliable. With a good credit score, you have access to a broad range of high-quality credit cards for cash back, travel rewards and more.
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.
Check out our analysis of the best credit cards for good credit and make an informed decision today.
In this guide:
Best credit cards for good credit: Bankrate’s top picks
A closer look at the top credit cards for good credit
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Best for gas & groceries
- This card is best for: Busy families looking to earn exceptional rewards rates for spending at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores without paying an annual fee.
- This card is not a great choice for: People who do a lot of their grocery shopping at places like Costco and Walmart. American Express doesn’t include wholesale clubs and superstores in its definition of U.S. supermarkets, so you won’t benefit from the generous rewards rates at those establishments.
- What makes this card unique? The dual welcome offer. You earn $100 back after spending $2,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership and 20% cash back on Amazon.com purchases during the same six-month period (up to $150 back.) You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
- Is the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express worth it? This card is a great match for families with lots of places to go and meals to prepare.
Read our full Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express review.
Jasper Cash Back Mastercard®
Best for cash back referral bonus
- This card is best for: People with fair-to-good credit scores who want a card that can help them turn connections into cash back through its referral bonus program.
- This card is not a great choice for: Anyone who wants to earn high cash back rates on a regular basis.
- What makes this card unique? Successfully referring friends to the Jasper card can increase your cash back rates substantially, although the proportional period lasts only one year.
- Is the Jasper Cash Back Mastercard® worth it? The card has considerable appeal for the short term, but several competitors offer similar long-term features and benefits.
Read our full Jasper Cash Back Mastercard® review.
Discover it® chrome
Best for gas stations and restaurants
- This card is best for: People with good-to-excellent credit scores who consistently make a lot of purchases at the pump and from the menu.
- This card is not a great choice for: Those whose spending habits don’t match up with the $1,000 quarterly limit in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants. People who spend much less in those categories might be better off with an unlimited flat-rate card, while those who spend much more might prefer a card with higher rates and/or higher earning limits.
- What makes this card unique? Discover’s Cashback Match™ feature will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of year first year as a cardholder.
- Is the Discover it® chrome worth it? You might think you need a towering credit score for a cash back card that earns more than a basic 1-percent rate, but this card suggests otherwise.
Read our full Discover it® chrome review.
Credit One Bank® Platinum Rewards Visa
Best for rewards on internet, TV and cellphone service
- This card is best for: Anyone looking to earn high cash back rates on purchases that keep your household connected, informed, fueled and fed.
- This card is not a great choice for: Those who take issue with the $95 annual fee and those who aren’t committed to paying their credit card bill in full every month. The 23.99% variable APR could make carrying a balance quite expensive.
- What makes this card unique? Many cards earn generous cash back on gas and groceries, but this card covers those categories plus internet, cable TV, satellite TV and mobile phone service.
- Is the Credit One Bank® Platinum Rewards Visa worth it? If you have a large family that hasn’t cut the cord or dumped the dish, the cash back rewards on cable TV and satellite TV could be a difference-maker. Cash back on internet, cellphone service, gas and groceries should come in equally handy.
Read our full Credit One Bank® Platinum Rewards Visa review.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Best for travel redemptions
- This card is best for: Travelers with good credit scores who want an easy way to earn miles and flexible ways to redeem them.
- This card is not a great choice for: Travelers loyal to a single airline or hotel chain. Many co-branded airline and hotel cards offer higher rewards rates and perks tailored to their respective brands.
- What makes this card unique? The Capital One travel portal is a handy gateway to booking travel, transferring miles to travel loyalty programs associated with Capital One, redeeming miles for recent travel purchases and more.
- Is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card worth it? This card is great for offering flexibility in how you use your travel rewards, and you don’t need excellent credit to apply.
Read our full Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card review.
Credit One Bank® Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee
Best for boosted rewards on select categories
- This card is best for: People who like the rewards categories of its Credit One counterpart but are willing to earn lower rewards rates in exchange for no annual fee (for qualified applicants; terms apply).
- This card is not a great choice for: Anyone who doesn’t qualify for a favorable credit limit (the minimum is $300) or is alarmed by the 23.99% variable APR, which is quite high. Those factors would directly affect the card’s value and usefulness.
- What makes this card unique? It offers the option of choosing your monthly payment due date (terms apply), a feature that’s uncommon for a rewards card.
- Is the Credit One Bank® Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee worth it? The rewards rate in the select categories make this card a potentially lucrative source of cash back. Practicing good credit habits will make it easier to enjoy the returns.
Read our full Credit One Bank® Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee review.
Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card
Best for credit-building with cash back
- This card is best for: Anyone who could benefit from some extra incentive to start building a good credit score as they earn cash back.
- This card is not a great choice for: Established credit users. If you already have a good credit score and disciplined spending habits, you could find a card with a more rewarding cash back program pretty easily.
- What makes this card unique? You automatically earn 1 percent cash back on eligible purchases, but the rate rises to 1.25 percent after six on-time monthly payments and 1.5 percent after 12 on-time monthly payments.
- Is Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card worth it? For beginners, this card’s credit-building capabilities and incentive-based cash back program could be a useful way to navigate an early stage of the personal finance journey.
Read our full Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card review.
Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards
Best for low interest and low cost
- This card is best for: People interested in an innovative financial product that combines elements of a cash back credit card and a loan, designed to help limit the cost of owning and using it.
- This card is not a great choice for: People who don’t have trouble with the standard method of making monthly payments on their credit card bill and would rather use a 0% intro APR card to finance a large purchase. Unlike the Upgrade Card, a 0% intro APR card can help you temporarily avoid interest charges altogether rather than minimizing them.
- What makes this card unique? Instead of paying a monthly balance that typically fluctuates, you’ll pay off your card purchases in steady installments.
- Is the Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards worth it? The Upgrade Card could prove useful to a particular kind of cardholder who favors the payment plan method and the opportunity to earn cash back.
Read our full Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards review.
What does good credit mean?
A FICO Score between 670 and 739 generally qualifies as a “good” score. The “good” credit range for VantageScore, another credit scoring model, goes from 661 to 780.
But what does a good credit score mean, beyond the numbers?
Lenders use credit scores and other financial information to determine what kind of interest rates you qualify for. If your financial history shows that you consistently pay your bills in full and on time, you’re considered less of a risk and you’ll probably get better interest rates.
Good credit can make it easier to get approved for credit cards and to secure a mortgage or car loan. It also improves your chances of qualifying for more favorable interest rates, which can save you money on interest charges over the life of your loan.
Of course, people with excellent credit usually get the lowest rates. You’re still likely to fare better than someone who has a fair or poor credit score. So, when it comes to your credit score, aim high.
Which state has the highest average credit score
? It’s Minnesota (739), which is firmly in FICO’s “Good” range and 1 point away from “Very Good.”
What’s the difference between good credit and fair credit?
If you have a fair credit score, the distance between you and a good score could be as little as 1 point or as many as 90. It depends on whether your score lies on the low end or the high end of the fair credit spectrum (580-669 for FICO or 650-699 for VantageScore).
Regardless of the distance, being one level below good credit can make a huge difference when you apply for credit. You could miss out on access to great credit card offers on rewards, cash back and 0% interest cards. You could also end up paying higher interest when you borrow money.
Consider this hypothetical example involving two credit card applicants and the APR (annual percentage rate) they might pay depending on their credit scores.
Source: Bankrate Credit Card Payoff Calculator
In this example, just a 5-point difference in your FICO score could cost you $399 over two years.
The difference doesn’t end at credit card APR. Paying a higher interest rate on long-term loans (a mortgage, student loan or car loan) can mean the difference of thousands of dollars over time.
The same principles apply to the difference between good credit and exceptional credit, which FICO defines as any score over 800. People with excellent credit scores generally have the best shot at premier credit cards and low interest rates on everything from car loans to mortgages.
How to get a good credit score
If you have fair credit or poor credit, it may be easier to improve your credit score than you think. Follow these tips to get your credit score closer to good:
Check your credit report
Check your credit report at least once a year. (Note that your credit report reflects your full credit history, as opposed to the moment-in-time snapshot provided by your credit score.) When you check your report, look for errors and inaccuracies that could be holding you back.
Correct any errors on your credit report
Some credit report errors can be as simple as a misspelled name or incorrect address, while others may involve outdated information (loans that you’ve paid off still listed as open, and so on). Disputing errors on your credit report involves two steps:
- Contacting the credit bureau or bureaus in question (such as Experian, TransUnion or Equifax)
- Contacting the person, company or organization that provided the information you believe to be inaccurate to the credit bureau
Uncertain about what to say? Don’t worry. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sample letters for contacting credit bureaus and information providers.
You’ll need to provide documentation to address the errors, such as balance statements, receipts, etc. Be sure to send copies of your documents, not the originals.
How common are errors on a credit report? A recent Consumer Reports study asked 5,858 volunteers to check their credit reports for errors, and more than a third
found at least one.
Pay on time across the board
Pay all your bills on time, if at all possible. In addition to your credit card, your financial behavior with any other loan also plays a part in building credit. If you miss a mortgage payment or car payment, you’ll also do damage to your credit score.
Watch your credit utilization
Your credit utilization — how much of your available credit you’re using — is one of the key components in determining your credit score. Using more than 30 percent of your available credit could drive your score down.
Let an older card age gracefully
If you have an old credit card, think about keeping it instead of closing it out. An account held for a long period of time says “experienced credit user” to potential lenders.
You can keep the account active by making a small charge (automatic payment on your monthly cloud storage, for example) and paying in full and on time each month.
Things to consider before you apply
Any time you apply for a loan or credit line, from mortgages to credit cards, the lender will request a copy of your credit history from one or more of the three major credit bureaus. It’s part of how lenders separate qualified candidates for credit from applicants who may be more of a risk.
This request is called a hard inquiry or “hard pull.” It can lower your credit score, but usually the effect is temporary. “Soft pulls” involve the kind of credit checks that don’t require your consent, such as pre-approved credit card offers, and they don’t affect your credit score.
The lesson here is to limit the number of times you apply for credit, triggering a hard inquiry that can cause a short-term dip in your credit score.
Exceptions apply in some cases. If you’re “rate-shopping” for a student loan, car loan or mortgage, for instance, some FICO models treat multiple hard inquiries for the same type of credit within a short period as a single inquiry.
However, the rate-shopping exception doesn’t mean your credit score will escape unscathed if you submit applications for multiple types of credit in a short window — say, a mortgage and a car loan in the same week.
How Bankrate scores credit cards for good credit
Bankrate uses a 5-star scoring system to evaluate today’s top credit cards. To choose the best cards in this category, we paid particular attention to features and benefits for people with good credit scores, including:
The best cards for cash back, miles or points offer competitive rewards rates, useful spending categories and easy-to-understand redemption policies.
APR (annual percentage rate) represents the interest charges you pay if you carry a balance. Top credit cards offer affordable APRs, especially for those who have good or excellent credit scores.
Also known as welcome offers, sign-up bonuses give you the opportunity to earn cash back, points, statement credits and other types of rewards for meeting a spending requirement within a specified time. Bonuses with a good ratio of spending-to-value get high marks.
For each card that charges an annual fee, we ask the same question as you — is it worth it? We measure the annual fee against each card’s features and benefits to estimate the overall value.
More reviews and research
If you don’t have enough information to make a decision just yet, you’ve come to the right place. Bankrate can help you analyze the facts and sift through the statistics.
Have more questions for our credit cards editors? Feel free to send us an email, find us on Facebook, or Tweet us @Bankrate.