Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit of August 2021

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 of August 2021

Best Overall, Best for Cash-Back Rewards : HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard®


Our Rating Among Credit Cards for Excellent Credit
4.8
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:
  • Pros & Cons:
  • Highlights:
Why We Chose This Card:

It might be simple, but this card packs a punch. The HSBC Cash Rewards card boasts a solid rewards scheme: You’ll get double cash-back (3%, instead of the normal but competitive 1.5%) on every purchase for one year, up to $10,000 spent on purchases. After that, you’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% back on everything, so there are no bonus categories or earning limitations to keep track of. There’s also a nice 12-month-long 0% APR offer that could help you finance a large purchase or two. All in all, this is a well-rounded, no-annual-fee card that can be a good stand-alone card, or supplement other rewards cards in your wallet.

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.

Read the full HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® review

Best No-Annual-Fee Travel Card : Discover it Miles


Our Rating Among Credit Cards for Excellent Credit
4.8
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:
  • Pros & Cons:
  • Highlights:
Why We Chose This Card:

Not everyone wants to commit to a travel card with an 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 (no travel credits, loyalty-program status, etc.) 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 a new-cardholder bonus that doubles all the miles you earn 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.

Read the full Discover it Miles review

Best Cash-Back Sign-Up Bonus : Discover it Cash Back


Our Rating Among Credit Cards for Excellent Credit
4.3
Discover it® Cash Back
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 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 14 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • Why We Chose This Card:
  • Pros & Cons:
  • Highlights:
Why We Chose This Card:

Instead of offering a specified dollar amount of cash back for meeting a spending requirement shortly after opening your account, Discover will match all the rewards you earn during the first year you own the card. There’s no limit on how much Discover will double, either. Based on our calculations using average household spending, we estimate you’ll earn about $376 in rewards each year. That means your first-year bonus would be worth $376, which is well above what other no-annual-fee cash-back cards are offering right now. 

Pros & Cons:
Pros
  • Excellent rewards-earning rate for quarterly bonus categories

  • Great welcome bonus matches all cash back earned at the end of your first year

  • Rewards can be redeemed any time for any amount

Cons
  • Limits on how much cash back you can earn in bonus categories each quarter

  • Enrollment required to earn extra cash back each quarter

  • No travel insurance, extended warranties, or other perks

Highlights:
  • Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.
  • Earn 5% cash back on your everday purchases at different places each quarter, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • No annual fee.
  • See if you're pre-approved – with no harm to your credit to check.

Read the full Discover it Cash Back review

Best Cash-Back Earning Potential : Citi Double Cash Card


Our Rating Among Credit Cards for Excellent Credit
4.3
Citi® Double Cash 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 (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2% unlimited cash back on every purchase you make: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
  • Why We Chose This Card:
  • Pros & Cons:
  • Highlights:
Why We Chose This Card:

A 2% cash-back earning rate on all purchases is nearly unheard of. This no-annual-fee card offers unlimited 1% back on your purchases, and then another 1% back when you pay off those purchases. That’s a nice little incentive for practicing smart card use, and while this card doesn’t offer extra rewards on some types of purchases like other cards on this list, there aren’t any categories or earning limits to keep track of, which makes it super simple to use.

Pros & Cons:
Pros
  • High rewards earning rate among flat-rate cash-back cards

  • Generous introductory 0% APR balance transfer deal

  • No annual fee

Cons
  • Must pay off purchases to earn full 2% cash back

  • Few perks such as extended warranties

Highlights:
  • Earn cash back twice. Earn an unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, with an additional 1% when you pay for those purchases.
  • No spending categories, rewards caps, or annual fee.
  • Enjoy a 0% introductory APR for 18 months on balance transfers. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99% based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening, and a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of each transfer (whichever is greater) will apply.

Read the full Citi Double Cash Card review

Best for Luxury Travel, Best Travel Rewards Sign-Up Bonus : Chase Sapphire Reserve


Our Rating Among Credit Cards for Excellent Credit
3.8
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Current Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 total 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
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:
  • Pros & Cons:
  • Highlights:
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 60,000-point bonus for new cardholders (worth $900 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 60,000 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.

Read the full Chase Sapphire Reserve review

Best for Financing Large Purchases, Best for Balance Transfers : U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card


Our Rating Among Credit Cards for Excellent Credit
3.6
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum 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 (%) 14.49% - 24.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Balance Transfer Fee Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater.
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 20 Billing Cycles
  • Why We Chose This Card:
  • Pros & Cons:
  • Highlights:
Why We Chose This Card:

The 0% APR deals offered by this card are the longest available on the market right now, and incredibly generous. If you want to use this card to spread out the cost of a big purchase or save money on high-interest debt you transfer from another card, this is the card for you. You’ll enjoy no interest for 20 months on both purchases and balance transfers. It’s pretty bare-bones aside from the APR promotions, but it’s excellent for those specific use cases. 

Pros & Cons:
Pros
  • Long 0% APR offers

  • Cellphone protection

Cons
  • Few perks or bonuses

  • Limited value after the intro period ends

Highlights:
  • 0% APR for 20 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee

Read the full U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card review

Compare the Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit

Credit Card Annual Fee
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard
Best Overall, Best for Cash-Back Rewards
 $0
Discover it Miles
Best No-Annual-Fee Travel Card
 $0
Discover it Cash Back
Best Cash-Back Sign-Up Bonus
 $0
Citi Double Cash Card
Best Cash-Back Earning Potential
 $0
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Best for Luxury Travel, Best Travel Rewards Sign-Up Bonus
$550
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card
Best for Financing Large Purchases, Best for Balance Transfers
$0

FAQs

What Is Excellent Credit?

Qualifying for the best credit cards generally requires you to have great credit. Credit scores of 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:

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 of 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.