Credit Cards For Excellent Credit

Excellent credit (740-850) means excellent rewards. Browse the best excellent credit offers from our partners with lower rates, better introductory offers, and exclusive perks. Find your perfect match and apply simply and securely. For even more options be sure to check out the top credit cards this month from our partners.

See best credit card offers for people with excellent credit from our partners below.

Summary

2018's best credit cards for excellent credit:

Updated: July 16, 2018

Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply

Excellent Credit Recommended (740-850) ? CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
at American Express's Secure Site

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
10,000 miles
?

Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
17.49% - 26.49% variable

See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply

Show Less

Highlights

  • Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar at US restaurants.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Receive a 20% In-Flight Savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  • Terms Apply.

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
17.49%-26.49% Variable
Intro Balance Transfers APR
N/A

View All Card Details

Show More

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-850) ? CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
at Chase's Secure Site

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
80,000 points
?

Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Annual Fee
$89
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% variable

Show Less

Highlights

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add your first authorized user and make your first purchase in the first three months from account opening
  • Enjoy a Free Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a free reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
  • Earn 10 points per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
  • IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$89
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
Intro Balance Transfers APR
N/A

View All Card Details

Show More

British Airways Visa Signature® Card

British Airways Visa Signature® Card
Excellent Credit Recommended (740-850) ? CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
at Chase's Secure Site

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Up To 100,000 points
?

50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios. Earn a further 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 100,000 bonus Avios.

Annual Fee
$95
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% variable

Show Less

Highlights

  • 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios.
  • Earn a further 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 100,000 bonus Avios.
  • Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
  • In addition to the bonus Avios, you will also get 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
  • Chip Technology allows you to use your card for chip based purchases in Europe & beyond, while still giving you the ability to use your card as you do today at home.

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$95
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
Intro Balance Transfers APR
N/A

View All Card Details

Show More

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply

Excellent Credit Recommended (740-850) ? CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
at American Express's Secure Site

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
No current offer
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
13.99% - 20.99% variable

See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply

Show Less

Highlights

  • Special offer: save on interest with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; after that your APR will be a variable rate, currently 13.99% - 20.99%
  • No annual fee
  • Reinvest in your business with automatic cash back in the form of a monthly statement credit. Plus take control by choosing the 3% category that best fits your business
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $50,000 spent at wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores.
  • Earn 3% cash back on the first $50,000 spent in the category of your choice from a list of eight and 1% cash back on other purchases
  • With Expanded Buying Power you can spend beyond your credit limit* to make bigger purchases for your business plus earn cash back on those purchases too
  • *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us, and other factors
  • Terms apply

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% on Purchases for 15 months
Regular APR
13.99% - 20.99% Variable
Intro Balance Transfers APR
N/A

View All Card Details

Show More

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply

Excellent Credit Recommended (740-850) ? CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
at American Express's Secure Site

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Up To $200
?

Earn a $100 statement credit after you make $1,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn an additional $100 statement credit after your first purchase on the Card at a participating SPG® or Marriott Rewards® hotel within your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee
$95, waived first year
Regular APR
16.99% - 20.99% variable

See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply

Show Less

Highlights

  • Earn a $100 statement credit after you make $1,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn an additional $100 statement credit after your first purchase on the Card at a participating SPG® or Marriott Rewards® hotel within your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • From now through July 31, 2018: Earn 2 Starpoints® for every dollar of eligible purchases on the Card at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other eligible purchases.
  • Note: On August 1, 2018, SPG will convert every one Starpoint in a loyalty member account to three points. In general, corresponding redemption changes will occur. Visit members.marriott.com for details.
  • Effective August 1, 2018: Earn 6 points for every dollar of eligible purchases on the Card at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels.
  • Earn 4 points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. purchases for shipping. Earn 2 points for all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases and $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
16.99% - 20.99% Variable
Intro Balance Transfers APR
N/A

View All Card Details

Show More

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express

See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply

Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-850) ? CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
at American Express's Secure Site

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
No current offer
Annual Fee
No annual fee
Regular APR
12.99% - 20.99% variable

See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply

Show Less

Highlights

  • Get rewarded for business as usual. Earn 2X points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners.
  • 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.
  • Enjoy the flexibility to put more purchases on the Card and earn rewards when you buy above your credit limit*.
  • More buying power for your business* means more opportunities to earn points. That's everyday business with the new Blue Business Plus Card.
  • *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us, and other factors.
  • 0.0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.99%, 16.99% or 20.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
No annual fee
Intro Purchase APR
0% on Purchases for 15 months
Regular APR
12.99% - 20.99% Variable
Intro Balance Transfers APR
0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months

View All Card Details

Show More

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
Excellent Credit Recommended (740-850) ? CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
at Citi's Secure Site

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
50,000 miles
?

Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*

Annual Fee
$450
Regular APR
17.49% - 25.49% variable

Show Less

Highlights

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and guests with you*
  • Complimentary Admirals Club® lounge access for authorized users
  • Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to eight companions traveling with you on the same reservation*

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$450
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
17.49% - 25.49%* (Variable)
Intro Balance Transfers APR
N/A

View All Card Details

Show More

Expedia®+ Card from Citi

Expedia®+ Card from Citi
Excellent Credit Recommended (740-850) ? CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
at Citi's Secure Site

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
15,000 points
?

Earn 15,000 Expedia+ bonus points after $1,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening*

Annual Fee
$0*
Regular APR
16.74% - 24.74% variable

Show Less

Highlights

  • Earn 15,000 Expedia+ bonus points after $1,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening*
  • Points redeemable for $200 towards your stay at a +VIP Access™ hotel*
  • 3 Expedia+ bonus points per $1 spent on eligible Expedia purchases including flights, hotels, activities and travel packages*
  • 1 Expedia+ bonus point per $1 spent on other purchases*
  • Enjoy Expedia+ silver status each year of cardmembership
  • Earn one Elite Qualifying Hotel Night towards Expedia+ gold status for each increment of $2,500 in purchases made on the card between your January and December billing statements*

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0*
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
16.74% - 24.74%* (Variable)
Intro Balance Transfers APR
N/A

View All Card Details

Show More

Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi

Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi
Excellent Credit Recommended (740-850) ? CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
at Citi's Secure Site

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
25,000 points
?

Earn 25,000 Expedia+ bonus points after $2,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening*

Annual Fee
$95*
Regular APR
15.74% - 23.74% variable

Show Less

Highlights

  • Earn 25,000 Expedia+ bonus points after $2,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening*
  • Points redeemable for $350 towards your stay at a +VIP Access™ hotel
  • 4 Expedia+ bonus points per $1 spent on eligible Expedia purchases including flights, hotels, activities and travel packages*
  • 2 Expedia+ bonus points per $1 spent on dining out and entertainment*
  • 1 Expedia+ bonus point per $1 spent on other purchases*
  • Enjoy Expedia+ gold status each year of cardmembership*
  • $100 Annual Air Travel Fee Statement Credit can be used toward airline incidentals or for either the Global Entry or the TSA Pre √® application fees*

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$95*
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
15.74% - 23.74%* (Variable)
Intro Balance Transfers APR
N/A

View All Card Details

Show More

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

2,937 Reviews

Excellent Credit Recommended (740-850) ? CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
at Chase's Secure Site

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
40,000 points
?

Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Annual Fee
$99
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% variable

Show Less

Highlights

  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Earn unlimited points that don't expire as long as your card account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions, Bags fly free® and no change fees
  • Redeem your points for flights, hotel stays, gift cards, access to events and more

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$99
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
Intro Balance Transfers APR
N/A

View All Card Details

Show More


Back to top

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank's website for the most current information.


Comparing Credit Card Offers for Excellent Credit

Updated: July 16, 2018

Cards that require excellent credit can be among the best in the market. They can also be among the most expensive by way of an annual fee (but not always). Travel cards, cash back cards, balance transfer cards – the options are plentiful. We researched over 1,500 credit cards where excellent credit is needed to get approved and used the criteria below to choose the best cards. Want to learn more? Here, we look at:

We'll walk you through each step of the process for deciding the best credit card for you in the excellent credit range. Let us know what other questions you have!


Review Summary: Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit of 2018

Excellent Credit CardTop BenefitsCreditCards.com RatingAnnual Fee
Chase Freedom® UnlimitedCash Back, Sign-up Bonus3.4 / 5$0
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit CardRewards on Gas, Groceries3.8 / 5$0
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® CardHigh Rewards Value, No Annual Fee3.7 / 5$0
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit CardHotel Booking, Large Miles Bonus4.4 / 5$0 intro for first year, then $95
Discover it® Cash BackOnline Shopping, Rotating Rewards4.1 / 5$0
Chase Freedom®Rotating Rewards, Sign-up Bonus3.4 / 5$0
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardFlexible Travel Rewards, Large Sign-up Bonus4.2 / 5$0 intro for first year, then $95
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® CardCash Bonus, Mobile Pay3.5 / 5$0
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressU.S. Supermarkets, U.S. Gas Stations3.3 / 5$0
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit CardBonus Miles, No Foreign Transaction Fee3.6 / 5$0

Applicants with excellent credit are eligible for top credit card offers from issuers like Capital One, Chase, and American Express. One of our favorites is the Chase Freedom Unlimited - which gets you 1.5% cash back on all purchases all the time (and you can pair it with a Chase Sapphire card to earn valuable Ultimate Rewards points). Explore a wide array of superb cards right here on CreditCards.com; compare offers and apply today to begin earning rewards.

Methodology: how we got to the best cards

Credit cards for excellent credit analyzed: 1,526

Criteria used: Credit needed, rewards rates, rewards categories, sign-up bonus, point values (if any), redemption options and flexibility, annual fee, other rates and fees, customer service, application process, miscellaneous benefits

Details on our top picks: the best credit cards for excellent credit

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

With 1.5% back on all purchases and a $150 sign-up bonus after a $500 spend in the first 3 months of account opening, the Freedom Unlimited is a good set-it-and-forget it card. It may not have the sign-up bonus of the Wells Fargo Cash Wise or the tiered rewards of the Blue Cash Everyday, but this card is a good card for earning rewards without having to think about spending.

Bottom line – In addition to the sign-up bonus, you can earn 2,500 bonus points which can be redeemed for $25 cash back after you add your first authorized user and make your first purchase within your first 3 months from opening your account. That $175 bonus and the fact that you can get a 25%-50% boost when you transfer the Freedom Unlimited bonus to a Sapphire card, then use it toward travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards, make this card one of a kind.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

With tiered categories, this card offers 3% on gas and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on up to $2,500 a quarter on combined purchases in each category. It's 1% back on everything else. There's also a $150 online cash rewards bonus after a $500 spend within the first 90 days of account opening, which is comparable to the Freedom Unlimited.

Bottom line – If you do a fair amount of shuttling the family in your SUV, this card can be a good option, with its competitive cash back offer on gas. The 2% back on groceries and wholesale clubs also beats the Freedom Unlimited in that respect. Also, you can earn up to 75% bonus on cash back when you are a Preferred Rewards client.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

If you have the requisite credit, the recently relaunched Propel is a strong contender for the next card you should get. Going toe-to-toe with the established giants, the Propel offers an extraodinary 3x points per dollar spent on travel, dining, and certain streaming services. Its 30,000-point sign-up bonus, attainable by spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, is sure to turn heads.

Bottom line – The rewards and intro bonus combined with a $0 annual fee puts this card in truly rarefied air. A credit card with no annual fee that go this far is a refreshing addition for avid card users.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

This card keeps tacking on good benefits, starting with 10X miles on hotels booked through hotels.com/Venture, and then $100 credit on TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry. Add to that, the Venture Rewards offers 50,000 miles after a $3,000 spend within the first 3 months of card membership and 2X miles on all purchases.

Bottom line – Although this card carries a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year, you can easily earn rewards above and beyond the fee after the first year with hotel bookings and other purchases.

Discover it® Cash Back

This card has a bit of a twist with no sign-up bonus, but double your cash back. Here's how it works: Earn 5% back on rotating categories ranging from restaurants to wholesale clubs and more. Then at the end of your first year, earn double your cash back at the end of your first year.

Bottom line – With this offer, you could earn up to $300 a year (with a spend of up to $1,500 a quarter on rotating categories), then another $300 at year-end. There's no annual fee, so this cash back is free and clear provided you pay in full each month.

Chase Freedom®

Like the Discover it Cash Back, the Chase Freedom offers 5% back on rotating categories up to the quarterly limit each quarter you activate, but instead of double your cash back, the Freedom offers a $150 sign-up bonus after a $500 spend within your first 3 months of account opening. That means you get your bonus considerably sooner with the Freedom.

Bottom line – Like the Freedom Unlimited, this card can be partnered with the Sapphire cards for travel, which can give up to a 50% boost on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

A tiered card for the world traveler, the Sapphire Preferred offers 2X points on worldwide travel and restaurants in addition to its 50,000-point sign-up bonus after a $4,000 spend within 3 months of account opening.

Bottom line – Even with its $95 annual fee (waived the first year), this card gives a generous boost of 25% on rewards when redeemed for travel at Chase Ultimate Rewards. However, other spending is only 1X point (plus the 25% for travel), so you might want to weigh whether the Venture Rewards is a better choice.

Comparison of Sapphire Preferred vs. Venture Rewards...

CardSign-up bonusTravel and restaurantsOther ongoing rewardsHotelsAnnual feeTotal end of first year
Chase Sapphire Preferred50,000 pts*125%=$625$500*2X pts*12 mths*125%=$150$500*1X pts*12 mths*125%=$75$2,000*2X pts*125%=$50$95, waived first yr$900
Capital One Venture Rewards50,000 miles=$500$500*2X pts*12 mths=$120$500*2X pts*12 mths=$120$2,000*10X miles=$200$95, waived first yr$940

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

The Cash Wise's strongest feature is the $200 sign-up bonus, which comes to you after a $1,000 spend within the first 3 months of card membership, beating out the Chase Freedom Unlimited. Like the Freedom Unlimited, the Cash Wise has ongoing rewards of a flat 1.5% back on all purchases.

Bottom line – The Cash Wise is a good option for the millennial on the go – earn 1.8% back on mobile wallet purchases your first 12 months from account opening. Also, get up to $600 in protection on your cellphone (with $25 deductible) on covered damage or theft when you pay your cell bill with the Cash Wise each month.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

This card's tiered categories reward the fast-moving mom or dad, with 3% back on U.S. grocery stores (up to $6,000 a year, then 1%); 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores; and 1% on all other purchases. You'll also earn $150 after a $1,000 spend on your new card within 3 months.

Bottom line – If you spend $500 a month on groceries each month, that alone will bring you $180 cash back at year-end. And if you spend another $200 a month on gas, that's another $48 back, although that is less than the $72 you would get for gas with the Bank of America Cash Rewards. In the end, you need to assess whether groceries or gas are the bigger expenditure for you.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Like the Venture Rewards, this card has a 10X-mile bonus for hotels booked through hotels.com/Venture, but with no annual fee. The sign-up bonus is 20,000 miles after a $1,000 spend within 3 months of account opening, and the ongoing rewards is 1.25X miles for all purchases.

Bottom line – While there's no annual fee on this card, the ongoing rewards are weaker than that of Venture Rewards and even the Cash Wise, which has a similar sign-up to the VentureOne Rewards. But because of the hotels offer, which rivals that of Venture Rewards, this card might be your best choice, depending on your spending, particularly going into your second year.

Comparing Venture Rewards vs. VentureOne Rewards in second year...

CardOngoing rewardsHotelsAnnual feeTotal end of second year
Venture Rewards$1,000*12*2X miles=$240$2,000*10X miles=$200$95$345
VentureOne Rewards$1,000*12*1.25X miles=$150$2,000*10X miles=$200$0$350

What is excellent credit

The answer to this question varies from lender to lender. Each lender decides what an “excellent” credit score range is and what constitutes a risk. Lenders depend on credit scoring agencies to assign scores to potential customers. The scores from FICO and VantageScore are the most frequently used, and each has their own ranges and threshold for excellent credit. A FICO score above 800 or a VantageScore above 750 is considered excellent:

FICO score ranges

300-579Very poor
580-669Fair
670-739Good
740-799Very good
800-850Exceptional

VantageScore ranges

300-549Very poor
550-649Poor
650-699Fair
740-749Good
750-850Excellent

What determines an excellent credit score?

Your credit score is based on information in your credit report. Lenders assign the highest scores to consumers who pose the lowest risks – that is, consumers who consistently pay their bills on time and carry small amounts of debt compared to their overall borrowing capacities. Here’s a breakdown of their credit scoring criteria and the weight placed on each factor for FICO and VantageScore (see below for an explanation of each factor):

FICO scoring criteriaVantageScore scoring criteria
Payment history (35%)Payment history (extremely influential)
Credit utilization and total debt owed (30%)Credit utilization (highly influential)
Length of credit history (15%)Length of credit history and type of credit (highly influential)
Type of credit (10%)Total debt owed (moderately influential)
New credit accounts and recent credit inquiries (10%)Recent credit inquiries (less influential)

Available credit (less influential)

Payment history

Making payments on time is the most important aspect of a credit score. This portion of your score factors in the frequency of late or missed payments and the length of each delinquency. The more severe, recent and frequent your late payments, the larger the impact on your score. You need to be scrupulous about paying your bills by the due date if you want to push your score into the excellent range – your credit history should show no recent late payments. Seriously delinquent payments stay on your credit report for seven years, so one serious mistake is enough to keep you out of the “excellent” credit category.

Credit utilization

The amount of credit that you are currently using is the next greatest factor in your credit score. Lenders look at the total amount that you owe on each of your accounts compared to your credit limit, and the total that you owe overall compared to your overall credit limit. Revolving debt, including credit cards, is an especially important consideration in this portion of your score. The general guideline is to keep your revolving balances under 30 percent of your available credit limit. The lower, the better.

Length of credit history

The age of your accounts is a less-important, but still significant factor in your score. This portion of the score factors in the age of your oldest account, the average age of your accounts and the age of specific types of accounts such as credit card accounts, car loans and mortgages. To achieve an excellent score, you need to be especially careful about shutting down long-standing accounts, and you shouldn’t open too many new accounts at once, since this can drag down the average age of your accounts.

Types of credit

The types of accounts under your name (also referred to as your “credit mix”) gets a smaller amount of weighting in your score. FICO and VantageScore give higher scores to consumers who have a diversity of credit, including credit cards, installment loans and mortgages. To get your score into excellent rage, you should make sure you have multiple types of credit in your credit history, including a couple of credit cards, a mortgage or an installment loan (e.g., a loan for a car or furniture purchase).

Recent credit inquiries

Your number of recent credit inquiries is a small factor in both your FICO score and VantageScore. You should be careful about applying for new credit cards. Make sure you can qualify before you apply and try not to apply for a lot of cards all at once, as this can cause your score to drop. Note, this part of the score only looks at “hard inquiries” on your credit report. “Soft” inquiries (inquiries you did not initiate by a credit application) do not count. Also, the impact to your score from a hard inquiry tends to be temporary – it usually bounces back quickly.

New credit accounts (FICO only)

FICO factors in the number of new accounts that you’ve opened recently as a small part of your score. To nudge your score up, you should be careful not to open too many new accounts in a brief period.

Total debt owed (VantageScore only)

The total debt that you owe isn’t nearly as important as how much of your credit you are utilizing, but lenders do look at the total amount that you owe on all your accounts. In general, you should try to minimize your account balances to increase your credit score.

Available credit (VantageScore only)

For VantageScore in specific, having too much available credit can negatively impact your score. You should avoid taking out more credit than you need, but, you should also weigh this factor against other factors, including credit utilization and account age, which have a much larger impact on your score. Having a lot of available credit also works to improve your credit utilization ratio. Furthermore, older accounts – though you may no longer need them – add to the length of your credit history, so you should think twice before closing them in attempt to reduce your available credit.

Why should I care about my credit score?

Simply put, you should care about your credit score because it’s worth a lot of money – an excellent credit score can save you thousands upon thousands of dollars over time.

Lenders use your credit score to determine your creditworthiness, as well as the conditions of your loan, including the interest rate. A good credit score can help you finance valuable purchases – such as a home – which you can use to build wealth. An excellent credit score can help you get a prime interest rate on the mortgage for that home, which can save you thousands of dollars over 30 years, compared to a merely good interest rate.

Also, credit card issuers will offer you special perks and bonuses based on your credit score to encourage you to apply for their products. If you have an excellent credit score, you can qualify for sign-up bonuses worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. You can use your credit card rewards to finance vacations and hotel stays at sharply reduced or even no cost.

What should I look for in a credit card if I have excellent credit?

If you are a cardholder with excellent credit, you are a coveted customer for credit card issuers. Credit card companies will ply you with generous offers and may even target you with special offers that can amount to twice the value of their publicly advertised offers. You can use your credit score to your advantage to score hundreds of dollars of rewards or 0-percent financing. Here are some hallmarks of a great credit card offer:

  • Sign-up bonus
    A credit card’s sign-up bonus is the card issuer’s biggest maneuver for getting your business, and can be one of the most valuable features on the card, worth hundreds of dollars, or even more than $1,000. For a points- or miles-based rewards card, keep an eye out for offers of 50,000 points or more. For cash back cards, you should be able to land a sign-up bonus of at least $150.
  • Ongoing rewards
    You will also be offered generous rewards on your ongoing purchases. In today’s market, you should qualify for a card that offers at least at an average of 1.5 percent back on every dollar (when you combine all the bonus categories), and you should be on the lookout for cards with 2 percent rewards rates. If you’re savvy on how you earn and use your rewards, you can push your earning rate even higher.
  • 0-percent financing
    You should also be able to find some plum deals for financing a balance transfer or a new purchase at 0-percent. While the average introductory period lasts for 12 months, you may qualify for introductory periods of 18 months or even longer.
  • Perks and benefits
    On top of rewards and 0-percent financing, your list of benefits should extend beyond the standard list of Mastercard or Visa benefits. Depending on the type of card and whether it charges an annual fee, you should expect to have a full list of travel and purchase protections, special perks such as concierge services and presale tickets for events and – for luxury cards – lounge access and hundreds of dollars in travel credits.
  • Interest rates
    You should qualify for the lowest interest rate on the card. “Lowest,” of course, depends on the type of card. A true low interest card might start at 8 or 11 percent. Rewards cards, which tend to be pricier, start around 14 to 16 percent.

How many of people have excellent credit?

According to data from Experian, only 20 to 30 percent of cardholders fall with the excellent credit range (depending on the scoring system). 19.9 percent of cardholders have a FICO score above 800, and 30.3 percent of cardholders have a Vantage score above 750:

Cardholder score ranges

FICO scorePercent of cardholdersVantageScorePercent of cardholders
300-579 (very poor)17%300-549 (very poor)16.7%
580-669 (fair)20.2%550-649 (poor)34.1%
670-739 (good)21.5%650-699 (fair)18.3%
740-799 (very good)18.2%700-749 (good)12.6%
800-850 (exceptional)19.9%750-850 (excellent)30.3%

Types of rewards that excellent credit consumers are typically eligible for

If you have a credit score that falls within the excellent range, you are eligible for your pick of rewards. You should be able to qualify for almost any rewards card, including travel, airline, hotel and cash back cards. You should also qualify for high-end luxury cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Platinum, Citi Prestige or Mastercard Black card.

How to build and maintain an excellent credit score

With time, patience and responsible use of credit, you can easily take your credit score from good to great. Here are some suggestions for tipping your score over the excellent mark:

Pay your bills on time

Since payment history is the biggest factor in your credit score, you need to be especially careful about paying your bills on time – especially the balances on your credit cards or loans, since lenders report your account balances and payments monthly. Pay your bills early to make sure you meet the due date and set up automatic payments to ensure you at least pay the minimum amount by the due date.

Keep your credit utilization low

Credit utilization is the next biggest factor in your credit score, so you need to keep the balances on your accounts low. The lower your balances, the better. If you make a large purchase, pay your bill off immediately. Pay your bill in full at the end of the month and try to send in your payment before the statement closing date.

Sign up for credit cards and use them

Credit cards, when used responsibly, can be a great tool for building and maintaining a credit history. If you sign up for a card and maintain a low balance on it, you can improve your overall debt to credit ratio. And, if you use your card and pay it off each month, you can create a history of timely payments.

Don’t apply for too many cards at once

That said, don’t go wild with your credit card applications, since each application results in a hard inquiry to your account, which can temporarily lower your credit score. Be selective in which cards you apply for and make sure you can qualify for a card before you apply.

Sign up for a mix of credit products

Applying for different types of credit products can help boost your score. Make sure you have at least a couple credit cards to your name, and, in addition to credit cards, consider applying for an installment loan (if you have a student loan, it counts as an installment loan). When you purchase a new car or a piece furniture, finance a portion of the purchase and pay it off over a few months. Or, you can take out a credit building loan – a small bank loan specifically designed to build credit history – to pad your credit report.

Become an authorized user

Becoming an authorized user on another cardholder’s account can be the fastest track to an excellent credit score. Once you’re added to a card, the entire history for the account becomes part of your credit report. If the primary cardholder has a long history of on-time payments and low credit utilization, it could jump-start your credit history.

A couple of caveats: You should make sure that the card has a clean record, since you will also inherit any negative marks on the account. And, if you are cardholder thinking of adding an authorized user to your account, you should be extremely careful about handing out cards to additional users, since you will be responsible for any balances they put on the cards.

Keep a close eye on your credit

Check your credit card accounts and check your credit report often to map your progress and to keep an eye out for any problems or inaccuracies. For instance, if you find that you are using more than 30 percent of your available credit in one month, you should try to scale back your card use the next month.

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, we ask that you do not disclose confidential or personal information such as your bank account number, phone number, or email address. Keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by the card issuers or advertisers. Additionally, the card issuer or advertiser does not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.