Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit of January 2020

These cards reward excellent financial habits with low interest and perks

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The best cards for people with excellent credit offer low interest rates, high rewards, and excellent perks. Consider it a reward for your smart financial habits. Because you essentially have your pick of any card, we've highlighted ones with the best combination of rewards and value for any fees they charge, making them great cards all around.

Best Credit Cards For Excellent Credit

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best Overall

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Best for Financing Large Purchases

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Best for Cash-Back Rewards

Our Rating Among Excellent Credit Cards
4.6
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.49% - 25.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%

Why We Chose This Card

With a perfect mix of rewards and low fees, this card is easily our overall winner. The flat 1.5% cash back rewards rate on all purchases is about as uncomplicated as it gets. Plus, the $500 minimum spending requirement makes the $150 sign-up bonus fairly easy to earn, giving you a quick cash infusion. This card is also our winner for financing large purchases. The introductory offer of a 0% APR for 15 months helps you spread out the cost of a big purchase over time. 

Discover it® Balance Transfer

Best for Balance Transfers

Our Rating Among Excellent Credit Cards
4.4
Discover it® Balance Transfer
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.49% - 24.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Balance Transfer Fee 3% if completed by April 10, 2020, and up to 5% for transfers made thereafter.
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 18 Months

Why We Chose This Card

On top of getting 18 months to pay off balance transfers with no interest, new cardholders get a discounted balance transfer fee (3% instead of the normal 5%) for transfers made by April 10, 2020. The Discover it Balance Transfer card also has longer-term value. For up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter, you can get 5% cash back on rotating spending categories.

United℠ Explorer Card

Best Travel Rewards Sign-Up Bonus

Our Rating Among Excellent Credit Cards
3.9
United℠ Explorer Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.99% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $0 for the first year, then $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, on hotel stays and on purchases from United. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%

Why We Chose This Card

There’s a great two-part bonus for new cardholders who can spend a lot relatively quickly. You’ll earn 40,000 miles if you spend $2,000 within your first three months, and then another 25,000 miles if you spend a total of $10,000 within six months. The maximum 65,000-mile bonus is worth more than $1,400, thanks to United’s valuable miles. (They’re worth an average 2.16 cents each, based on our research.) You can rack up rewards with a number of types of spending too: Restaurant, hotel, and United purchases all earn 2 miles per $1 spent. And we love that the annual fee is waived for the first year.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Best No-Annual-Fee Travel Card

Our Rating Among Excellent Credit Cards
4.4
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.49% - 23.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%

Why We Chose This Card

If you’re a cost-conscious traveler, you’ll love that this rewards card doesn't charge an annual fee or a foreign transaction fee. Earning miles is simple and straightforward, too. This card offers 1.25 miles per $1 on each purchase, and there’s no limit on how many you can earn. You can use miles to book trips through Capital One or you can find them on your own and get reimbursed. You can even transfer miles to several eligible frequent flyer programs, such as JetBlue and Air Canada. To top it off, you’ll get some nice travel insurance benefits.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Best Cash-Back Sign-Up Bonus

Our Rating Among Excellent Credit Cards
4.3
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.49% - 27.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in, gas stations, rideshares, transit, and for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals. Earn 1X points on other purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%

Why We Chose This Card

If you spend $1,000 within three months of opening a new account, you’ll earn 20,000 bonus points that are worth $200 when redeemed for cash—a generous offer for a card with no annual fee. Plus, this card pays an impressive 3 points per $1 spent (the equivalent of 3% cash back) on travel as well as many of your everyday spending categories, such as takeout and transit expenses. And there's no cap on the rewards you can earn.   

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Best for International Travelers

Our Rating Among Excellent Credit Cards
4.2
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.49% - 24.49% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%

Why We Chose This Card

This is our favorite card for globetrotters. On top of not being charged a foreign transaction fee, you’ll get valuable travel benefits such as primary rental car insurance, all for a reasonable annual fee. There’s also a stellar sign-up bonus (60,000 points for spending $4,000 within your first three months), and many ways to redeem those points for travel. Whether you book trips through Chase or take advantage of the many options for transferring your points to a popular hotel or airline program, this card makes it easy to get on the road.

Find Your Credit Card Match We believe it's most important to consider annual fee, interest rate, and rewards when you choose a credit card for everyday use, but we know you might have different priorities. See what suits you best.
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What Is Excellent Credit?

Qualifying for the best credit cards generally requires you to have great credit. Credit scores 740 or better, on a scale of 300 to 850, are typically considered very good. Excellent scores are 800 or higher on the FICO 8 scale. An excellent credit score not only helps you qualify for better credit cards, but you’ll also likely have access to better interest rates on credit cards and loans.

Credit scores measure your creditworthiness. That is the likelihood that you’ll repay a balance on time. 

How Do I Use My Card to Maintain an Excellent Score?

Making all your monthly payments on time is the best thing you can do to maintain your excellent credit score because payment history is the biggest factor in your credit score.

Keeping your credit card balance low also helps maintain your score, as the amount of debt you’re carrying is the next biggest factor in your credit score. Leave your oldest credit card open to establish a long credit history, and minimize the number of new credit applications you make to avoid excessive inquiries.

How Do I Pick the Best Card for Excellent Credit?

With so many great options, narrowing it down to just one credit card can be tough. Consider your typical spending habits, whether you travel internationally, and what you want to get out of the credit card. Here are some basic guidelines to help you:

  • If you don’t have time for anything but simple no-fuss rewards on your purchases, consider a cash-back card with no annual fee.
  • If you carry a balance, your main goal should be reducing your finance charges. A card that offers a limited-time 0% APR on balance transfers or new purchases can help. 
  • If you travel frequently, but want your choice of airlines or hotel chains, a flexible travel card is probably your best bet. However, if your job or lifestyle takes you to the same airport hubs or hotel properties regularly, a co-branded card with a particular airline or hotel may offer you the most value. 
  • If you’re not a frequent traveler (or someone who cares much about travel benefits like airport lounge access) a card with an annual fee is probably not worth the cost.
  • If you often take international trips, make sure you choose a card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee.

How Do I Apply for a Credit Card?

You can apply for your credit card pick directly online. The application will ask for some personal and basic financial information to confirm your identity and determine whether you qualify. You’ll typically find out right away if your application is approved, but it sometimes takes a few days or weeks to get an answer.

While having excellent credit dramatically improves your chances at getting approved, it’s not a guarantee. Even with excellent credit, your application can be denied if your income isn’t high enough, you have too many open credit cards, your balances are too high, or if you’ve made too many applications recently.

Methodology

We collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances. We do this because it's our mission to give you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews.

Our reviews are always impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive.

About This List

We start by filtering our database of more than 200 cards for products that require a minimum credit score of 670 or higher on the FICO 8 scale. We do this because very few credit cards are limited to people with an excellent credit score (800 or higher), and even fewer require a minimum credit score of 740 (very good). Given that having an excellent credit score gives you a good chance of qualifying for the credit card of your choice, the pool of cards we considered for this list includes cards that accept applicants with good credit.

What We Score

Rewards, annual fee, and regular APR are the most important things people consider when choosing a credit card, so we weigh those features most heavily. Beyond limiting this list to cards that accept a minimum of good credit, we applied the same methodology we use to determine our best overall credit cards. For full details on how we evaluate credit card attributes, check out our full methodology.