Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit of September 2020

These cards reward excellent financial habits with low interest and perks

We publish unbiased reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payments we receive from our advertising partners. Learn about our independent review process and partners in our advertiser disclosure.

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

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Best Overall

,

Best for Luxury Travelers

Our Rating Among Credit Cards for Excellent Credit
4.8
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Current Offer

50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

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
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $550
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3x points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit, 3X points on dining at restaurants, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    This card started out as the quintessential card for luxury travelers, and it still does not disappoint in that department. With a $300 annual travel credit, a generous 50,000-point bonus for new cardholders (worth $750 when redeemed for travel through Chase), and airport lounge access, frequent travelers will love this card. You’ll earn extra points on many different travel purchases at restaurants, plus the redemption options are stellar. Book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and each point is worth 1.5 cents, or transfer points to an eligible airline or hotel loyalty program to boost their value even more.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Earn extra points for travel and dining purchases
    • Many different purchases count as travel spending, which makes earning rewards easier
    • Several valuable ways to use points, including transfers to partner loyalty programs
    • Jam-packed with valuable travel credit and travel insurance benefits

    Cons

    • Massive annual fee
    • High ongoing APR
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Receive 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • Get an annual $300 travel credit for eligible purchases charged to your card each anniversary year.
    • Earn 3 points on travel (excluding purchases eligible for the travel credit), restaurants, and dining. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases.
    • Points are worth 50% more when you redeem them for travel through Chase's Ultimate Rewards portal.
    • Transfer points 1:1 to eligible Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partner programs.

Discover it® Miles

Best No-Annual-Fee Travel Card

Our Rating Among Credit Cards for Excellent Credit
4.4
Discover it® Miles
Current Offer

Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.

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 (%) 11.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1.5 miles for every dollar spent.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 14 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    Not everyone wants to commit to a travel card with a mega-annual fee, and if that’s the case for you, we recommend this card. You won’t get the full suite of travel perks the big-name cards offer, but you also won’t sacrifice functionality or value. Using miles is super easy, too. Just request a statement credit for travel purchases made with this card, or get cash back in a bank account. With an “Unlimited Bonus” that doubles all the miles earned in your first year, this card is great for cost-conscious travelers gearing up for a big adventure. Just remember, it’s best-suited for wandering within the U.S. because Discover cards aren’t as widely accepted abroad as other cards.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • No annual fee
    • Miles can be redeemed as travel statement credits or cash back
    • Generous, unconventional bonus doubles your first year earnings
    • Competitive 0% purchase APR offer

    Cons

    • Miles can’t be transferred to airline loyalty programs
    • No travel insurance benefits
    • Card acceptance may vary compared to Visa or Mastercard
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn unlimited 1.5 Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases.
    • Only Discover automatically matches all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year.
    • Use your card to pay for airfare, hotels, rideshares, and more with no blackout dates. Then easily redeem miles as a statement credit for travel or get cash.
    • No annual fee.

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard®

Best Cash-Back Sign-Up Bonus

Our Rating Among Credit Cards for Excellent Credit
4.4
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard®
Current Offer

Earn an Introductory 3% Cash Back on all purchases in the first 12 months from Account opening, up to the first $10,000 in purchases. 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

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 (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn an introductory 3% cash back on $10,000 in purchases made during the first 12 months of account opening. 1.5% cash back thereafter.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    This card packs in a ton of value, especially for new cardholders. For starters, every purchase you make in the first 12 months (up to $10,000) will earn 3% back—double the standard 1.5% earning rate. That’s a bonus worth up to $300 that beats out many competing card offers. Plus, you get 12 months with a 0% APR intro rate on purchases and balance transfers, which is a decent deal for those looking to cut interest costs. And it all comes with no annual fee.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Superb bonus that doubles the already-solid rewards earning rate on eligible purchases during the first year
    • 0% APR deals give you a full year to pay off purchases and balance transfers
    • Includes cellphone insurance coverage, which is uncommon

    Cons

    • No short-term new cardholder bonus for those seeking a quick stash of cash back
    • Above-average balance transfer fee can chip away at the cost savings of moving large balances to this card
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • 1.5% Unlimited Cash Back – on all purchases after the intro period
    • No Annual Fee
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Best Travel Rewards Sign-Up Bonus

Our Rating Among Credit Cards for Excellent Credit
4.5
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Current Offer

Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when redeeming points for eligible purchases with the new Pay Yourself Back tool (currently, groceries, dining, home improvement and select charities), or for travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

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 (%) 15.99% - 22.99% 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 a great travel card all around, starting with the stellar bonus for new cardholders. Spend $4,000 within your first three months and you'll get 80,000 points worth $1,000 when you redeem them through the Chase travel portal—and possibly even more if you take advantage of the many options for transferring your points to popular hotel or airline programs. What's more, there's no foreign transaction fee, and you’ll get valuable travel benefits such as primary rental car insurance, all for a reasonable annual fee.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Good bonus compared to other travel cards with similar annual fees
    • Option to transfer points to eligible airline and hotel programs, often at a 1-to-1 ratio
    • Points are pretty valuable when redeemed for travel
    • Some premium travel insurance benefits

    Cons

    • No credits to cover incidental airline fees or other travel-related costs
    • Few everyday purchase categories earn extra points
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
    • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022.
    • Transfer points 1:1 to eligible Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partner programs.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Best for Cash-Back Rewards

,

Best for Financing Large Purchases

Our Rating Among Credit Cards for Excellent Credit
4.2
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Current Offer

$200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

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 (%) 14.99% - 23.74% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    This card is like your steady best friend. You can rely on it to help you with every purchase because it offers unlimited 1.5% cash back. It won’t be there for bits and spurts like an ever-changing cash-back card with rotating categories. You can redeem your rewards at any time for a variety of things, including cash deposits in your bank account, as well as travel. This card will even give you a boost at the beginning of the relationship, with a competitive 0% APR intro offer for a full 15 months. In return, it doesn’t demand much, as there’s no annual fee and a below-average interest rate for those who qualify.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Easy-to-earn and competitive welcome bonus
    • Good 0% APR intro offer for purchases
    • No annual fee
    • Several ways to redeem points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, including for travel

    Cons

    • Unlike comparable cards, this card still charges a foreign transaction fee
    • APR may be above average, depending on your credit
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus earn 5% cash back on the first $12,000 of grocery spending your first year.
    • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases.
    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
    • Earn 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2022.
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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Your Results

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.

Here’s another overview of the credit cards we think are best for people with excellent credit:

Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit
Credit Card Category Annual Fee
Chase Sapphire Reserve Best Overall $550
Chase Sapphire Reserve Best for Luxury Travelers $550
Discover it Miles Best No-Annual-Fee Travel Card $0
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard Best Cash-Back Sign-Up Bonus $0
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Best Travel Rewards Sign-Up Bonus $95
Chase Freedom Unlimited Best for Cash-Back Rewards $0
Chase Freedom Unlimited Best for Financing Large Purchases $0

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.