Credit Cards For Good Credit

Good credit (670-739) opens the door to some fantastic credit card offers. Whether you're looking for cash back or low rates, compare the best offers from our partners and find the right card for you. For even more options be sure to check out our top credit cards of 2019.

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

Summary

CreditCards.com's best credit cards for good credit of 2019

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

See Rates & Fees

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 Discover's Secure Site

See Rates & Fees

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Cashback Match™
?

Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.24% - 25.24% variable

Show Less

Highlights

  • Intro Offer: Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Receive Free Social Security number alerts—Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No annual fee.

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 14 months
Regular APR
14.24% - 25.24% Variable
Intro Balance Transfers APR
0% for 14 months

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Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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
$150
?

Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
17.24% - 25.99% variable

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Highlights

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24-25.99%. Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Regular APR
17.24% - 25.99% Variable
Intro Balance Transfers APR
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months

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Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® 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

See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
$150
?

$150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
15.24% - 26.24% variable

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Highlights

  • Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 15.24% to 26.24%.
  • You spoke, we listened. Over 1.6 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2018.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% on Purchases for 15 months
Regular APR
15.24%-26.24% Variable
Intro Balance Transfers APR
0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months

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Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards 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 Capital One's Secure Site

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
$150
?

$150 after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
16.24% - 26.24% variable

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Highlights

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 16.24%-26.24% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 16.24%-26.24% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Regular APR
16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
Intro Balance Transfers APR
0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® 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
60,000 points
?

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee
$95
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% variable

Show Less

Highlights

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$95
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Intro Balance Transfers APR
N/A

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Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards 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 Capital One's Secure Site

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
20,000 miles
?

20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.24% - 24.24% variable

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Highlights

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 14.24%-24.24% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% intro on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
14.24% - 24.24% (Variable)
Intro Balance Transfers APR
N/A

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Discover it® Miles

Discover it® Miles

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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 Discover's Secure Site

See Rates & Fees

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Discover Match®
?

Discover will match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles. That's $600 towards travel!

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.24% - 25.24% variable

Show Less

Highlights

  • Intro Offer: Discover will match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles. That's $600 towards travel!
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases all with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates – fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Receive Free Social Security number alerts— Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No Annual Fee.

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 14 months
Regular APR
14.24% - 25.24% Variable
Intro Balance Transfers APR
10.99% for 14 months

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HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® 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 HSBC's Secure Site

See Rates & Fees

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
$150
?

$150 Cash Back Intro Bonus for new HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card customers who spend $2,500 or more in new, net card purchases during the first 3 months from credit card account opening.

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
Variable APR of 15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% will be applied

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Highlights

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on all purchases.
  • Earn a $150 cash rewards intro bonus after spending $2,500 in the first 3 months.
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus on all Cash Rewards earned once a year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers, then a 15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable APR.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $0 liability for unauthorized purchases.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
Variable APR of 15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% will be applied
Intro Balance Transfers APR
0% Introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 15 months from account opening

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Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards 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 Capital One's Secure Site

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
50,000 miles
?

50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee
$95, waived first year
Regular APR
17.99% - 25.24% variable

Show Less

Highlights

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
17.99% - 25.24% (Variable)
Intro Balance Transfers APR
N/A

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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 Good Credit

Updated: March 19, 2019

Good credit is your reward for all those months of on-time payments and other terrific credit habits. However, one or two wrong steps can cause your score to drop quickly. That's why it's important to understand the nuances of credit and how good credit can reward all that hard work.

We analyzed more than 1,400 credit cards on where good credit is needed to get approved and evaluated them on such criteria as: rates and fees, rewards, redemption options, customer service, and other benefits. Below are our best cards for good credit along with factors to consider in your decision and tips to improve your credit score even more. Here, we look at:

Learn more about how to build credit and the benefits of good credit.


Summary: CreditCards.com's Best Credit Cards for Good Credit

Best For:CardReward RateAnnual FeeCreditCards.com Rating
Bonus Rewards PointsCiti Rewards+SM Card2X at supermarkets and gas stations*$03.0 / 5
Low InterestDiscover it® Cash Back5% in rotating categories**$04.3 / 5
No Annual FeeChase Freedom Unlimited®1.5%$03.1 / 5
Everyday SpendingBlue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express3% at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year$03.3 / 5
Bonus CashCapital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card Card1.5%$03.4 / 5
Sign-up BonusChase Sapphire Preferred® Card2X on travel and dining$953.9 / 5
Simple Travel RewardsCapital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card1.25X miles$03.6 / 5
Redemption OptionsDiscover it® Miles1.5X miles$04.0 / 5
Anniversary BonusHSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card1.5%$03.7 / 5
HotelsCapital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card10X miles on hotel rooms booked & paid through hotels.com/venture, 2X miles on other purchases$95, $0 in first year4.2 / 5

* 2X points per dollar on the first $6,000 supermarket/gas station purchases per year, 1X point thereafter
** Enroll every quarter to activate 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter

Methodology

Credit cards for good credit analyzed: 1,478

Criteria used: Credit needed, rewards rates, rewards categories, sign-up bonuses, redemptions, customer service, ability to move credit line, credit score tracking, annual fee, other rates and fees, application process, other benefits and features

best credit cards for good credit in 2018

Editor's take on the best credit cards for good credit

Citi Rewards+SM Card

Best for Bonus Rewards Points

This spanking new card doesn't just earn you sign-up points and ongoing rewards, which are good in themselves. You'll also earn 10% back on up to 100,000 points in redemptions and your rewards will be rounded up to the nearest 10 points with every purchase. Add to that, earn 15,000 points after a $1,000 spend within the first 3 months of card membership and 2X points at supermarkets and gas stations up to a $6,000 spend each year (then 1X).

Bottom line: If you want to earn points after every turn, this card is just full of redemption fun.

Discover it® Cash Back

Best for Low Interest

As a credit card with rotating rewards categories that earn 5% cash back, the Discover it Cash Back is perfect for people who find themselves buying a diverse assortment of goods and services throughout the year. Its most distinguishing feature is the cashback match offer – at the end of your first year, Discover will match all the cash back earnings you accumulated. It also works well as a low interest credit card, although it's always best not to carry a balance on your credit cards.

Bottom Line: The Discover it's low APRs and cashback match feature make up for its lack of a sign-up bonus.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Best for No Annual Fee

No fuss, no hassle, no annual fee – that's what you get with the Chase Freedom Unlimited. Offering an easily attainable $150 sign-up bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening, and a constant 1.5% cash back on all purchases, the CFU is ideal for those who want to forego the bother of keeping track of rotating categories. Cardholders will also enjoy the flexibility in redemption from Chase's Ultimate Rewards portal.

Bottom Line: The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a great for easy cash back with no annual fee.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Best for Everyday Spending

The Blue Cash Everyday shines the brightest when it is used as a daily driver – that is on ordinary purchases like gas and groceries. We say this because of its fantastic 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back everywhere else. All that cash back, plus a respectable $150 welcome bonus for spending $1,000 in your first 3 months, is available at an annual fee of $0.

Bottom Line: The BCE is arguably the strongest no-annual-fee option for your "mundane" purchases.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best for Bonus Cash

Another fairly straightforward credit card offer, the Capital One Quicksilver provides easy to understand benefits. Its largest value propositions are 1.5% cash back on all purchases, a $150 sign-up bonus that's easy to hit, and no annual fee. You'll also never have to worry about foreign transaction fees, making it a solid card to take on trips abroad.

Bottom Line: Straightforward and sweet with flat-rate cash back and a nice sign-up bonus.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Best for Sign-up Bonus

This card is very popular with people who have used a few credit cards and want to try a "next level" card. It offers a strong sign-up bonus of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for spending $4,000 in your first 3 months. That's a lot of immediate value considering the relatively low annual fee of $95. Points can also be redeemed for 1.25X value through Chase's travel portal, and you can continue adding to your stash with 2X points per dollar on travel and dining purchases.

Bottom Line: The CSP is a great all-around card with a big sign-up bonus.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Best for Simple Travel Rewards

Similar in name and similar in features, the VentureOne is a "lean" version of the Venture card, also from Capital One. Primarily, the flat rewards rate is lower (1.25 instead of 2 miles per dollar), the sign-up bonus is smaller (20,000 miles instead of 50,000 miles), and the annual fee is lower ($0 instead of $95). Luckily, the VentureOne still retains its big brother's best feature: 10x miles per dollar on hotels booked and paid through hotels.com/venture.

Discover it® Miles

Best for Redemption Options

The Discover it Miles offers consistent rewards, with unlimited 1.5 miles per dollar on all purchases. While there is no traditional sign-up bonus, Discover will match all the miles you've earned at the end of your first year, which is potentially more lucrative.

Bottom Line: With this Discover card, you'll have the ability to rack up a ton of miles which can then be redeemed in a variety of ways.

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

Best for Anniversary Bonus

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard starts with a $150 bonus after a $2,500 spend in the first 3 months, then there's the 1.5% back on all purchases. Here's a fun little feature – a 10% anniversary bonus on all cash back rewards earned each year. Additionally, there is no annual fee.

Bottom Line: Not all cash rewards cards come with no foreign transaction fees, but with this card you can save on foreign travel and spending.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Best for hotels

Not only can you earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 within your first 3 months of card membership and earn 2X miles on all purchases, this card offers a $100 credit on Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, no foreign transaction fees and you can transfer your miles to more than 12 travel partners.

Bottom line: Perfect for the road warrior, now through January 2020 you can earn 10X miles on hotel purchases made through hotels.com/venture. That's by far the best deal for hotel spending out there right now among our cards.

What qualifies as good credit?

A "good credit" FICO score is 670-739 out of a range of 300-850, with 850 as the best. With the same scale, a good VantageScore is 700-749.

With good credit, you can enjoy not only better lending products but lower insurance rates, improved rental options and even better job opportunities. With bad credit, higher interest rates, loan rejections and credit cards with inferior rewards can come your way.

Pay attention to your good credit, because within a month, your score can take a hit because of one misstep. In fact, it can take considerably less time to drop your score than to improve it. By paying on time and in full each month, you are addressing 65% of your FICO score.

Here are the score ranges for FICO, the dominant scoring model, and VantageScore, which you can access for free on creditcards.com.

Credit score ranges...

FICO CategoryFICO ScoreVantageScore CategoryVantageScore
Exceptional800-850Excellent750-850
Very Good740-799Good700-749
Good670-739Fair650-699
Fair580-669Poor550-649
Poor300-579Very Poor300-549

How your credit score can negatively impact your life

There are a surprising number of ways that a bad score can affect your world. From buying a house to renting an apartment, your options can open up or be limited depending on your score. Millennials are particularly vulnerable. When polled, 46% expressed concern that their score is holding them back, according to OppLoans research, a financial technology company.

Millennials who...

  •  27%
  • believe their score prevented them from buying a car
  •  26%
  • applied and were turned down for a loan or line of credit
  •  14%
  • still live with roommates because of bad credit
  •  24%
  • feel they don't have the techniques to properly build credit
  •  15%
  • feel that with a credit card their level of debt is unmanageable

Source: OppLoans 2018 research

Cards for good credit often offer excellent rewards, can have superior balance transfer options and are great for building credit. Although cards for excellent credit offer more options, a variety of cards are available for good credit. Here are 4 types of cards, with cards for good credit and no annual fee.

Benefits and limitations of credit cards for good credit...

Not sure if a card for good credit is right for you? Here are the benefits and limitations of cards with good credit:

Benefits

  • Can qualify for many rewards cards
  • There's no security deposit, as with a secured card
  • Typically fewer fees than a card with bad credit; no annual fee cards usually require good credit
  • You can build credit
  • Rewards are excellent

Limitations

  • You won't qualify for some cards, which require excellent credit
  • You likely won't get a luxury card, which has superior rewards and benefits
  • An annual fee may be required if you want a card with superior rewards

While cards for good credit may be slightly more limited in choice than those for excellent credit, there are still some great options, as you can see.

Rewards by credit ranking...

CardCredit requiredRewardsAnnual fee
Citi Premier CardExcellent50,000 pts / $4,000 spend in 3 mths; 3X pts on travel, including gas stations; 2X pts at restaurants & entertainment$95, waived first yr
Chase Sapphire PreferredGood to excellent60,000 pts / $4,000 spend in 3 mths; 2X points for worldwide travel & restaurants$95
Capital One QuicksilverOneFair to good1.5% on all spending$39
Capital One Secured MastercardBad to fairNone; refundable deposit required$0

What determines good credit?

Good credit simply means that your score, generated by a scoring model, such as VantageScore or FICO, is high enough that you can benefit from better financial products. The scoring models look at several factors in an effort to ascertain whether you are a good credit risk. The higher your score, the less risk you are for the lender.

Here are the primary factors scoring models look at:

  • Paying on time. The most important aspect of your credit score is on-time payments. It makes up 35% of your FICO score, the score most used by lenders to assess your creditworthiness. One late payment can drop your score to the next range, although the older that late payment gets, the less impact it has. This category is also the most important factor for VantageScore, the scoring model developed by the 3 major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
  • Paying in full. This category makes up 30% of your FICO score. It looks at the amount of credit you have available compared to the amount you owe. That's called your utilization ratio. For example, if you owe $100 and you have $1,000 in available credit, your utilization ratio is 10% -- you want the percentage as close to zero as possible. The amount of credit used is considered highly influential in the VantageScore model.
  • Credit history. How old are your accounts in your credit file with the 3 credit bureaus? This makes up 15% of your FICO credit score and it's highly influential with VantageScore.
  • Recent credit. Avoid applying for multiple credit cards at once, because that can negatively impact your score, although a single pull typically only impacts your score by about 5 points. Recent credit makes up 10% of your FICO score and falls under "less influential" on VantageScore. Note that rate shopping for installment loans within a short amount of time, which can range from 15-45 days, typically only counts as one credit check, because credit score models recognize that rate shopping is a good credit habit.
  • Credit mix. FICO likes it when you have different types of credit, such as revolving credit (cards) and installment credit (car loans and mortgages). It makes up 10% of your FICO score and is highly influential in VantageScore.
  • Available credit. VantageScore also has a category called "available credit" that is considered less influential. There is also a category called "total balances/debt" that falls under moderately influential.

Why should I care about my credit score?

From dating to getting an apartment, it's almost impossible to function in today's world without credit, unless you live off the grid. Here are 7 reasons why you should care about your credit score:

  1. Installment loans. The best known of credit score uses, your credit can impact not only your interest rate but even whether you can get a loan. Credit scores are used by lenders of mortgages, car loans, private student loans and other lending products.
  2. Credit cards. The credit cards with the richest offers typically require good or excellent credit. For example, you can get a rewarding cashback card with no annual fee if your credit is good or excellent.
  3. Apartments. Increasingly, landlords are looking at potential renters' credit before making a call on accepting a lease application. If you have good credit, you are that much more likely to be accepted.
  4. Insurance premiums. An InsuranceQuotes.com study in 2016 shows that if you have poor credit, your home insurance premiums more than double when compared to excellent credit. So, your auto insurance premium can be affected by your credit.
  5. Cellphone. Your cellphone provider may run a background check to ensure you can meet your obligations.
  6. Employment. Employers are increasingly running background credit checks prior to offering a job. Employers access a different report from that of lenders, and they don't have access to your score. Also, they have to have your approval to pull a report.
  7. Dating prospects. When asked if a credit score could make you think twice about dating someone, 35% of men and 50% of women said yes, according to a Bankrate poll commissioned in May 2017.

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

Having good credit unlocks a whole new word of options when it comes to the credit cards you can get. "Consumers with good credit are in an excellent position to earn lucrative credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for ongoing spending. Many of the best cash back cards are targeted at people with good credit," points out Ted Rossman, CreditCards.com industry analyst.

From generous sign-up bonuses to great balance transfer offers, cards for good credit abound. Compare the cards you are interested in to decide which has the best options for you. Look at:

  • Types of cards. With good credit, your options open up tremendously. You can earn 2%, 3%, even 5% back with a cashback card, or earn points or miles in the 10s of thousands in a travel card's sign-up bonus.
  • Sign-up bonus. Compare the sign-up bonuses for the cards you are looking at. But be sure to compare apples with apples. For example, is there an annual fee? And what is the actual valuation of the points or miles?

As Rossman advises: "When comparing options, think about how you spend most of your money and how you want to redeem your rewards. Look to maximize key categories like groceries, travel and dining out."

Comparing sign-up bonuses...

CardAnnual feeSign-up bonusPoint valuation
Capital One Venture Rewards$95, waived first year50,000 miles/$3,000 spend in 3 mths1:1
Capital One VentureOne Rewards$020,000 miles/$1,000 spend in 3 mths1:1
  • Ongoing rewards. Study the points, cash back or miles you would earn when you make purchases on your card.
  • Benefits. Cards that require good or excellent credit often offer benefits such as rental car insurance, free luggage and even annual airline credits.
  • Interest rates. If your priority for your next credit card is a low interest rate, your good credit will help with that. There are a few low-interest cards out there and a number of 0% intro APR offers.
  • Balance transfer. If you need to transfer a balance to a 0% intro APR, look at the length of the offer, and see if you can pay off the debt before the offer ends. Here are 2 that require good credit and have no annual fee:

Comparing interest rates...

CardOfferGo-to rateFeatures
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express0% intro APR for 15 months, BT & purchases15.24%-26.24%, variable10,000 points bonus/$1,000 spend in 3 mths; no BT fee within first 60 days; 2X points at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000
Discover it Cash Back0% intro APR for 14 months, BT & purchases14.24%-25.24%, variableEnroll every quarter to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases made in rotating categories throughout the year; match cash back at end of first year

How many people have good credit?

Credit bureau Experian studied data from scoring model FICO and looked at the percentage of people with each scoring range and what that score means for them, including their likelihood of getting better rates or reneging on their obligations:

But what do those scores mean for you? Here, we look at the percentage of people with each scoring range and what that score means for them.

Percentages of consumers by credit range...

Credit ScoreRating% of PeopleImpact
300-579Poor17%Credit applicants may be required to pay a fee or deposit, and applicants with this rating may not be approved for credit at all.
580-669Fair20.2%Applicants with scores in this range are considered to be subprime borrowers.
670-739Good21.5%Only 8% of applicants in this score range are likely to become seriously delinquent in the future.
740-799Very Good18.2%Applicants with scores here are likely to receive better than average rates from lenders.
800-850Exceptional19.9%Applicants with scores in this range are at the top of the list for the best rates from lenders.

Source: FICO data, from Experian

How to build and maintain a good credit score

A surprising number of Americans misunderstand what it takes to build a good credit score. In one Bankrate poll, consumers were asked some key questions about their beliefs regarding credit building, and many didn't realize that high card balances can negatively impact your score; you want as close to 0% as possible in your debt-to-balance ratio; and you want to keep the account active with a charge that you pay off each month.

Consumers' misconceptions of building credit...

  •  51%
  • Believe accounts with high balances help credit
  •  37%
  • Believe you have to carry a balance to improve credit
  •  13%
  • Believe having a short credit history helps your score

Source: Bankrate Money Pulse survey

How to build good credit

Building good credit takes patience and determination, but even the thinnest of files can be improved within a few months.

The easiest and fastest way to build credit is with a credit card – but it's important to make sure you use it responsibly. That means paying in full and on time each month. Here are some tips on how to build good credit:

  • Check your credit score. You'll need this for the next step.
  • Apply for a credit card. Only apply for one, and make sure it's one that you have a good chance of getting. You may need to get a secured card, which means you pay a refundable deposit in exchange for a credit limit. Make sure the card issuer will share your credit habits with the credit bureaus.
  • Pay in full and on time. This is 65% of your FICO score.
  • Become an authorized user. If your credit is too poor for landing a card or you don't trust yourself with one, look into being an authorized user with a cardholder who is responsible with credit. You won't have to use the card to build credit, and you won't be responsible for the debt. Eventually, you'll want to get your own card, though, so that you can withdraw from being an authorized user without losing credit ground. Keep in mind that when you withdraw, the authorized card's good habits are withdrawn from your credit accounts. That's why you'll want to get your own card at some point.
  • Take out a credit-builder loan. To give your score that extra little boost, take out an installment loan, such as a car loan or a credit-builder loan. Don't take out more than you can afford.

How to maintain good credit

In some ways, maintaining good credit is more difficult than building because one false step can drive your score down to the next tier. Here are a few tips for maintaining your credit:

  • Make reminders. You know you need to pay on time and in full each month. Now, set up a reminder so that you remember to pay by the due dates each and every month.
  • Make a small payment. Even if you don't use a card much, make a small payment each month to keep the account active.
  • Don't close accounts. There are a few exceptions to this, but typically it's a good idea to keep accounts open and active because available credit with a low balance helps your score, and when you close an account, your aggregate available credit goes down.
  • Keep a budget. Allowing for saving and fun, maintain a workable budget to ensure you don't overspend on your credit card.

How long does it take to build good credit?

It typically takes at least 6 months of credit activity before a credit score can be calculated, according to credit scoring expert Barry Paperno.

You need at least one credit account to have a credit file. When you don't have much credit to speak of, that's called having a thin file. With good habits (pay on time and in full each month), you can build your credit score within months.

Rebuilding? It can take anywhere from a few months to years, depending on what's on your credit file. Large debts, collections, bankruptcies – all of those weigh more heavily than one or two late payments.

Here's how to rebuild good credit:

  1. Check your credit files. Look for collections, unpaid bills and other issues that can be cleared up. Contact the credit bureaus to correct any inaccuracies. Quickly resolve any problems with creditors, and get in writing that they will contact the credit bureaus with the resolution.
  2. Catch up. Your payment history is your most important aspect of your credit, so it's critical to catch up with any payments and stay on top of them.
  3. Reduce your card balances. The second most important aspect of your credit score is the debt-to-balance ratio, called your utilization ratio. That's why it's so important to keep your balances low.

How to improve from good credit to excellent credit

The difference between good and excellent credit can be the difference between good and great rewards, nice and amazing balance transfer offers, and pretty great and outstanding benefits. You can also get better interest rates, lower insurance rates and other financial advantages.

Once your score hits about 750, know that things start to slow down in terms of score improvement. But there are a few tricks to help your score achieve its best. Here, we look at a few quick tips for maximizing your score and landing an 800 or better.

  • Pay on time. If you have good credit, you are likely already paying in full and on time. Keep it up!
  • Don't close your old cards. This allows you to continue to have high available credit and to keep building your long-term credit. Put a small charge on them each month, paying them off each month.
  • Take out an installment loan. Installment loans include mortgages, car loans and some credit-builder loans. While you don't want to incur unnecessary debt, a small installment loan can give your credit score a little nudge.
  • Avoid taking out multiple cards at once. Stay steady and don't apply for multiple credit cards at once. While a small part of your credit score, applications can drop it to the next tier in a worst-case scenario. One card application can affect your score by about 5 points, whether you are accepted or not.
  • Plan taking out credit. If you know you want to, say, apply for a mortgage soon, keep things low key for several months by not suddenly taking out a card or incurring new debt. Lenders can see sudden changes in your financial habits as a warning sign that you are desperate.
  • Be patient. One element of credit building is time spent building that credit. That's a big reason why a cardholder with great credit habits might have a lower score than a consumer with great credit habits and more years as a card user.

What to do when you have excellent credit

Superior credit opens up the possibilities in terms of better rates and saved money. Once you have excellent credit, there are a few things you'll want to take care of:

  1. Ask for lower rates, higher credit limits. A CreditCards.com poll found that of those who asked, 85% of consumers who asked got an improved credit limit. Of those asking for a lower interest rate, 56% received one. So, it's worth a try.
  2. Upgrade to better credit cards. With excellent credit, you can get improved benefits and richer rewards.
  3. Do a loan and insurance premium checkup. Have your loan officer and insurance agent run the numbers again, because chances are, you qualify for a better rate.

All information about The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express is no longer available through CreditCards.com.


Laura is an editor and writer at CreditCards.com. She has written extensively on all things credit cards and works to bring you the most up-to-date analysis and advice. Laura's work has been cited in such publications as the New York Times and Associated Press. You can reach her by e-mail at laura.mohammad@creditcards.com and on Twitter @creditcards_lm.


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