Credit Cards For Good Credit

Written by: Tracy Stewart | Edited by: Jeanine Skowronski | Reviewed by: Brady Porche
|

July 21, 2021

Our editorial team provides an unbiased analysis of the products we feature. Our comparison service is compensated by our partners, and may influence where or how products are featured on the site. Learn more about our partners and how we make money. Please note: The star-rating system on this page is based on our independent card scoring methodology and is not influenced by advertisers or card issuers.

A good credit score gives you access to better financial products and services, favorable loan and insurance rates, plus a wide range of credit cards that offer valuable rewards and benefits. Good credit can even impact what is available to you in terms of apartment rentals and job opportunities. A FICO score between 670 to 739 is considered good, while 740 to 850 is excellent. With excellent credit, you have a better shot at qualifying for premium credit cards with high-end perks, better rewards and lucrative bonuses.

Those with good to excellent credit have no shortage of options, and there are a number of factors to weigh when choosing a card that best meets your needs. Someone on the hunt for an uncomplicated cash back card that offers rewards on routine transactions might consider the  Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. Cardmembers earn 3% on purchases at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases a year, then 1%), as well as 2% back at U.S. gas stations. For travelers hoping to rack up miles to put towards future flights, your good credit means you may qualify for an airline branded card like the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card or the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. Both offer lucrative welcome bonuses and high reward rates on travel.

Once you’ve selected a card that matches your spending habits and financial goals, it’s important to maintain your good credit by paying your bill on time and, ideally, in full each month. You also want to keep your credit utilization ratio to a minimum as this is a big part of your credit score. It takes a lot of work to keep your credit up but very little to damage it. One late payment or forgotten bill can be a major setback. Below, we detail several steps you can take to improve your score and bump yourself up from good to excellent credit, or even rebuild a lower credit score.

Why trust us? Our team of credit card experts has analyzed over 300 cards and selected the top offers currently available across categories. We assign these cards a one-to-five star rating along with detailed reviews to help you find a hotel credit card that best fits with your spending habits and financial goals. For applicants with good credit, we examine rewards rates and categories, welcome bonuses and redemption values, credit score tracking, plus ancillary perks and amenities, as well as rates and fees. All of our card selections are independently assessed by our editors based on their individual research, opinions, and other factors. Compare these offers from our partners and find a card that makes the most sense for you.

A good credit score gives you access to better financial products and services, favorable loan and insurance rates, plus a wide range of credit cards that offer valuable rewards and benefits. Good credit can even impact what is available to you in terms of apartment rentals and job opportunities. A FICO score between 670 to 739 is considered good, while 740 to 850 is excellent. With excellent credit, you have a better shot at qualifying for premium credit cards with high-end perks, better rewards and lucrative bonuses.

Those with good to excellent credit have no shortage of options, and there are a number of factors to weigh when choosing a card that best meets your needs. Someone on the hunt for an uncomplicated cash back card that offers rewards on routine transactions might consider the  Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. Cardmembers earn 3% on purchases at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases a year, then 1%), as well as 2% back at U.S. gas stations. For travelers hoping to rack up miles to put towards future flights, your good credit means you may qualify for an airline branded card like the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card or the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. Both offer lucrative welcome bonuses and high reward rates on travel.

Once you’ve selected a card that matches your spending habits and financial goals, it’s important to maintain your good credit by paying your bill on time and, ideally, in full each month. You also want to keep your credit utilization ratio to a minimum as this is a big part of your credit score. It takes a lot of work to keep your credit up but very little to damage it. One late payment or forgotten bill can be a major setback. Below, we detail several steps you can take to improve your score and bump yourself up from good to excellent credit, or even rebuild a lower credit score.

Why trust us? Our team of credit card experts has analyzed over 300 cards and selected the top offers currently available across categories. We assign these cards a one-to-five star rating along with detailed reviews to help you find a hotel credit card that best fits with your spending habits and financial goals. For applicants with good credit, we examine rewards rates and categories, welcome bonuses and redemption values, credit score tracking, plus ancillary perks and amenities, as well as rates and fees. All of our card selections are independently assessed by our editors based on their individual research, opinions, and other factors. Compare these offers from our partners and find a card that makes the most sense for you.

Best credit cards for good credit for 2021

  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express – Best for long low intro APR
  • Citi® Double Cash Card – Best for cash back
  • Jasper Cash Back Mastercard® – Best for referral bonus
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card – Best for Southwest rewards
  • Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards – Best for cash rewards
  • Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card – Best for no fees
  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card – Best for Delta Airlines
  • Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® – Best for Walmart purchases
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card – Best for frequent hotel stays
BEST FOR CASH BACK
Citi® Double Cash Card
Our rating:3.5 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

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.

Rewards rate

2%
Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
No current offer
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
BEST FOR REFERRAL BONUS
Jasper Cash Back Mastercard®
Our rating:3.8 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Fair to Good

Credit Recommended (580-740)

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.

Rewards rate

Up to 6%
Your cash back rate will be increased by 1% for 12 months for each referred applicant that activates their card, up to a limit of 6% total cash back.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
No current offer
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
15.49% - 24.99% variable
BEST FOR SOUTHWEST REWARDS
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
Our rating:3.8 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

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.

Rewards rate

3X
Earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.
2X
Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases.
1X
Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
40,000 points Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Annual fee
$69
Regular APR
15.99% - 22.99% variable
BEST FOR CASH REWARDS
Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards
Our rating:3.0 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Fair to Good

Credit Recommended (580-740)

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.

Rewards rate

1.5%
Earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on card purchases every time you make a payment

At A Glance

Intro bonus
No current offer
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
8.99% - 29.99% APR
BEST FOR NO FEES
Petal® 2
Our rating:4.2 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

No Credit History

Rewards rate

1.5%
Up to 1.5% cash back after making 12 on-time monthly payments.
1%
1% cash back on eligible purchases right away.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
No current offer
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
12.99% - 26.99% variable
BEST FOR DELTA AIRLINES
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Our rating:3.8 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.
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.

Rewards rate

2X
Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
1X
Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
70,000 Miles Limited Time Offer: Earn 70,000 Bonus Miles after spending $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
Annual fee
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99
Regular APR
15.74% - 24.74% variable
BEST FOR WALMART PURCHASES
Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®
Our rating:4.2 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

Fair to Good

Credit Recommended (580-740)

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.

Rewards rate

5%
Earn 5% cash back on Walmart.com purchases, including pickup and delivery
2%
Earn 2% cash back on purchases in Walmart stores, restaurants and travel purchases
2%
2% cash back in Walmart stores and at Walmart and Murphy USA Fuel Stations
1%
1% cash back on all other purchases everywhere else Mastercard® is accepted

At A Glance

Intro bonus
5% Introductory offer: Earn 5% cash back on purchases in Walmart stores when you use this card with Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
17.99% - 26.99% variable
BEST FOR FREQUENT HOTEL STAYS
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card
Our rating:3.3 Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards.

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.

Rewards rate

14X
Earn up to 14X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™.
2X
2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains).
1X
1X point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

At A Glance

Intro bonus
30,000 Points Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
15.99% - 22.99% variable

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.

All information about The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.


A guide to cards for good credit

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 the impact it has on your overall financial health.

We analyzed more than 300 credit cards where approval is contingent on good credit 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 tips to improve your credit score. Here, we look at:

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


Comparing the best cards for good credit credit

Credit Card:Best ForReward RateAnnual FeeCreditCards.com Rating
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressLong low intro APR2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores$03.9 / 5
Citi® Double Cash CardCash back2% cash back on every purchase 1% when you buy, 1% as you pay for those purchases $03.5 / 5
Jasper Cash Back Mastercard®Referral bonusUp to 6% cash back Up to 6% cash back by referring friends! Start with 1% and get an extra 1% for a full year for every friend you bring on board. $03.8 / 5
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit CardSouthwest rewardsEarn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases Earn 3x points on dining in the first year, earn 1x point on all other purchases. $693.8 / 5
Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash RewardsCash rewards1.5% cash back on card purchases every time you make a payment$03.0 / 5
Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit CardNo fees1.5% cash back after making 12 on-time monthly payments$04.2 / 5
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express CardDelta Airlines2X points on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets 1X points general spending. Terms apply. $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $993.8 / 5
Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®Walmart rewards5% cash back on Walmart.com purchases$04.2 / 5
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit CardFrequent hotel staysUp to 14X points per dollar at Marriott Bonvoy properties 2X points on other travel purchases. 1X point on all other purchases $03.3 / 5

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: Best for long low intro APR

Why we picked it: The Blue Cash Everyday comes with a lengthy intro APR on new purchases – 0% for the first 15 months (then 13.99% to 23.99%, variable). Along with the generous APR window, this card features a great welcome offer where cardholders can receive a $100 statement credit after they spend $2,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership and earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the card in the first six months, up to $150 back.

Pros: Although it doesn’t match all that the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express can do, this card still features great cash back rates without an annual fee, Earn 3% back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases a year (then 1%), and earn 2% back at U.S. gas stations, perfect for the growing family.

Cons: The limitations on your 3% categories might hold you back from some much-appreciated earnings late in the year, and rewards can’t be transferred or combined.

Who should apply? Family shoppers might want to take a good look at these high-earning rewards categories. Plus, the intro APR on purchases can come in handy if you want to make a large purchase and carry the balance for a bit.

Who should skip? If you have good credit but your spending typically occurs in other categories, look to other cards here. While this card has a lot to offer, you want to capitalize on your usual spending with an everyday card. Also, American Express isn’t always accepted internationally, so it’s not a great choice for travelers.

Read our Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express review.

Citi® Double Cash Card: Best for cash back

Why we picked it: The Citi Double Cash offers 2% cash back in a unique way: 1% on general purchases (excluding gift cards) and then an additional 1% cash back as you pay off those purchases. With no annual fee, the card boasts one of the most competitive rewards rates of all cash back cards in an affordable way.

Pros: There’s no category restrictions or rules to follow, so earning cash back is simple and easy to track. Plus, your rewards can be converted to ThankYou points, which can be redeemed for travel purchases, gift cards and more for a rate of $1 cash back to 100 ThankYou points. There’s also a lengthy 18-month 0% introductory APR on balance transfers (then variable 13.99% to 23.99%).

Cons: If you decide to take advantage of the balance transfer opportunity, there’s a fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater. Also, there’s no sign-up bonus available.

Who should apply? Thanks to its simplicity, this cash back card is a good fit for someone who values freedom and flexibility, particularly for existing Citi customers already familiar with earning ThankYou points. And if you have credit card debt to combat, the intro APR window on balance transfers could be a godsend.

Who should skip? It’s one of the best credit cards on the market, but anyone on the hunt for bonus rewards, whether they be high-rate categories or a spend-based welcome bonus, should look elsewhere.

Read our Citi® Double Cash Card review.

Jasper Cash Back Mastercard®: Best for referral bonus

Why we picked it: If you have a friend or two in the market for a card, you could net a whole lot of cash back with this option. The Jasper Cash Back Mastercard’s unique rewards program offers up to 6% cash back for a full year on almost all purchases if you successfully refer friends and features no annual fee.

Pros: You can earn extra cash back just by referring friends; starting at 1%, you can get an extra 1% cash back for a full year for each friend you refer. Under the previous promotion, you could have earned 0.5% cash back for each friend you successfully referred.The card also has no foreign transaction fees and low late payment fees.

Cons: Your bonus rates only last for a year, limiting the long-term value here. Also, if you can’t successfully refer friends, your earnings will be extremely limited.

Who should apply? If you consider yourself persuasive enough to take advantage of the friend referral incentives, the 6% cash bonus is very attractive and can be impactful across all categories.

Who should skip? Referring friends for a credit card isn’t everyone’s favorite thing to do, and if you fit the bill you’d probably be better off with a more traditional rewards card like the Citi Double Cash.

Read our Jasper Cash Back Mastercard® review.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card: Best for Southwest rewards

Why we picked it: This card’s Southwest-related rewards are sky high. Earn 2X points on Southwest purchases, 1X points elsewhere, and there’s the 3,000 points earned each annual cardmember anniversary. Plus, if you earn 125,000 points in a year you’ll score one of the most coveted perks in all of travel rewards: the Southwest Companion Pass®. This pass lets you bring a companion with you on any Southwest flight you purchase with cash or points for up to the next two years for free (minus taxes and fees).

Pros: The card features a sign-up bonus of 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 in your first 3 months. You’ll also earn earn 3X points on dining for the first year. Also, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus has no blackout dates and no seat restrictions. And while long a great domestic carrier, Southwest is increasingly expanding to go abroad.

Cons: You can find more generous bonuses with this card’s big brother, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. Also, there’s an annual fee of $69 that isn’t waived the first year.

Who should apply? Frequent flyers with Southwest or someone looking to start getting rewarded by aligning with an airline are a good fit for this card.

Who should skip? Being a Southwest-centric card, there aren’t many uses for it if you don’t travel often. If you don’t frequently “wanna get away”, you’ll be better served by a different travel rewards credit card.

Read our Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card review.

Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards: Best for cash rewards

Why we picked it: This card gives cash back rewards at a 1.5% rate every time you make a payment. It also doesn’t charge an annual fee, penalty fees or foreign transaction fees.

Pros: The way this card works is a bit unique: Visa combines elements of a credit card with elements of a personal loan, where cardholders make purchases which are automatically rolled into an installment plan with a fixed monthly payment. You’re expected to pay the full balance back within a 12 to 60-month period at an interest rate between 8.99% to 29.99% (depending on your terms). Designed to help get into a routine, this structure could spare you from overspending or underpaying your balance each month.

Cons: Some cardholders might enjoy a low APR, but some may not, given the high-end of the variable APR range is 29.99%. There’s also limited additional benefits, so if you don’t have a hard time keeping balances under control, you’re likely better served by a traditional cash back credit card.

Who should apply? This personal loan/credit card hybrid could be an extremely helpful tool to learn responsible use if you’ve struggled with making proper payments in the past. Those looking to rebuild will appreciate the ability to earn consistent cash back.

Who should skip? Most consumers with good credit have the hang of managing their payments, so you may be best suited for a more common credit card with widespread rewards and traditional benefits.

Read our Upgrade Visa Card with Cash Rewards review.

Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card: Best for no fees

Why we picked it: This card avoids fees of all kinds: no foreign transaction fees, no late payment fees, no penalty APR, no annual fee and no returned payment fee.

Pros: Right off the bat you’ll get 1% cash back on eligible purchases, and after making 12 on-time monthly payments, your rate increases up to 1.5%. Also, with this card you have the ability to earn 2% – 10% cash back at select merchants.

Cons: Carrying a balance isn’t ideal with this card’s high APR on purchases, which is 12.99% to 26.99%, variable. If you can’t pay in full each month, you’ll do better to find a credit card with a low interest rate. Also, there’s no sign-up bonus.

Who should apply? With solid cash back, no fees and perks that reward payment behavior, this is a great well-rounded card for anyone getting used to good habits. Credit newcomers, students and those looking to avoid surprise fees fit well with this option.

Who should skip? Even though there’s no international fees, if you’re looking to capitalize on earning rewards to use towards travel, this card’s cash back structure isn’t a great fit for you.

Read our Petal 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card review.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card: Best for Delta airlines

Why we picked it: Anyone frequently flying with Delta should take a long look at where this card can take you. Earn 2X miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets.

Pros: In addition to Delta, travelers have its large network of airline partners to choose from, plus no blackout dates and miles don’t expire. For a limited time earn 70,000 miles after spending $2,000 in purchases on your new in your first three months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase within your first three months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.

Cons: There’s a $25 fee for booking travel over the phone and a $35 fee for Ticket Office bookings. You also can’t book flights with layovers and there’s a $99 annual fee (waived first year).

Who should apply? This card offers a lot to Delta flyers. They can boost their SkyMiles through common-purchase categories while also saving on Delta flights, checked bags, and lounge access.

Who should skip? If you don’t often fly Delta or if you’re not a frequent traveler in general, there are better choices for you.

Read our Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card review.

Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®: Best for Walmart rewards

Why we picked it: This card comes with a whole lot of cash back. Earn 5% on Walmart.com purchases (including pickup and delivery orders), 2% on in-store Walmart purchases and Walmart fuel stations, 2% on restaurants and travel purchases and 1% cash back elsewhere.

Pros: As a sign-up bonus, you’ll get 5% cash back on any Walmart purchase you make in-store when using Walmart Pay for the first 12 months. Also, there’s no minimum to redeem rewards, no foreign transaction fee and your rewards don’t expire. And to ease the application process, you can get instant approval via the Walmart App.

Cons: The card carries a high APR range at 17.99% to 26.99% variable. Also, there’s no spend-related sign-up bonus or introductory APR.

Who should apply? If Walmart is your go-to for groceries, gas or any other need, this card can pack a punch with its high-yielding cash back offers for no annual fee.

Who should skip? Unless your typical shopping routine consists of trips to Walmart, you’d better benefit from another cash back option, such as the Blue Cash Everyday.

Read our Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® review.

Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card: Best for frequent hotel stays

Why we picked it: Those looking for nice stays through a hotel card will be welcomed with open arms: Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first month. Also, Marriott loyalists can rack up Bonvoy points via 3X points at Marriott Bonvoy properties, 2X points on other travel purchases and 1X points elsewhere.

Pros: Your earnings from the sign-up bonus are worthwhile, with estimated value around $240 in Marriott stays. Also, for no annual fee your rewards can bring you the ability to transfer points to 40+ airline partners as well as access to the world’s largest hotel network. Plus, earning status with Marriott can take your earnings to new levels, with rates as high as up to 14X points per dollar.

Cons: This card comes with a variable APR range of 15.99% to 22.99%, which is a bit high. Also, the available redemption options outside of room awards generally have poor value and this card’s overall rate for earning points is comparatively low.

Who should apply? Marriott enthusiasts looking to earn some perks with the brand while skipping an annual fee should consider this card. True Marriott loyalists might even benefit from upgrading one of their pricier options.

Who should skip? If you don’t want hotel stays as your prize for redeeming rewards, another credit card is a better choice.

Read our Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card review.

What is a good credit score?

A good credit FICO score is 670 to 739 out of a range of 300 to 850, with 850 being the best. With the same scale, a good VantageScore is 661 to 780.

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 and inferior rewards are often all you qualify for.

Pay attention to your good credit because a single misstep can damage your score in no time. 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.

What is the best credit score?

The best credit score you can have will fall into the excellent credit range. According to FICO, that means your credit score will fall between 800 and 850. With the Vantage scale, an excellent VantageScore is between 781 and 850. Having an excellent credit score means that you may have a better chance for approval when applying for loans or credit increases, and can put you in a more favorable position when applying for a luxury card, which offers superior benefits and rewards. Much like having a good credit score, being in the excellent range requires upkeep. It’s imperative that you pay your balance off in full each month and make your payments on time in order to keep your score high.

Credit score ranges…

FICO CategoryFICO ScoreVantageScore CategoryVantageScore
Exceptional800-850Excellent781-850
Very Good740-799Good661-780
Good670-739Fair601-660
Fair580-669Poor500-600
Poor300-579Very Poor300-499

How your credit score can negatively impact your life

A low credit score can be a burden in many ways. It can make life’s requirements more difficult, potentially holding you back when trying to find a place to live or becoming an obstacle in the job application process. Bad credit practices can also result in a worse deal when applying for a loan and will keep you away from high-end credit cards with forgivable rates, strong rewards and easy ways to improve your score.

If you have good credit, keep up the good work. It’s much easier to maintain a solid score than having to take the time to rebuild after a blip, so continue to manage your budget to make sufficient payments. A card for good credit can be a useful tool to continue to build your score, as well as its other capabilities.

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 for bad credit; no annual fee cards usually require good credit
  • You can build credit
  • 0% introductory APR offers
  • Generous welcome bonuses
  • Rewards are excellent

Limitations

  • You can find superior rewards rates and benefits with cards that require excellent credit
  • 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 to select from.

How to choose a credit card for good credit

Having good credit unlocks a whole new world of options when it comes to the credit cards you can get, but all the new choices can be overwhelming. “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.

Whether you’re looking for generous sign-up bonuses or great balance transfer offers, a card for good credit can come through for you. An easy way to get started is with our CardMatch™ tool to check if you have any personalized offers available to you. Once you have a selection, comparing the cards you’re interested in gets easier when you break it down by factors. 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 Credit Card$9560,000 miles*/$3,000 spend in 3 months1:1
Capital One VentureOne Rewards$020,000 miles/$500 spend in 3 months1:1
  • 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 checked baggage 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 ExpressIntro 0% on purchases for 15 months and N/A13.99%-23.99% Variable10,000 points bonus/$1,000 spend in 3 months; no BT fee within first 60 days; 2X points at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000
Discover it® Cash BackIntro 0% for 14 months, BT & purchases11.99% - 22.99% VariableEnroll every quarter to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases made in rotating categories throughout the year (before moving to 1%); match cash back at end of first year

What determines good credit?

Good credit simply means that your score 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 three 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 five 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 to 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.

How many people have good credit?

According to FICO data from credit bureau Experian, 21% of consumers have good credit, while 34% have bad or fair and 45% have very good or exceptional credit.

Why your credit score matters

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 seven 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: According to Insurance.com,homeowners with bad credit pay 122% more than people with good credit. So, your home 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.

How to build and maintain a good credit score

A surprising number of Americans misunderstand what it takes to build and keep a good credit score. A recent Bankrate survey asked consumers 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 when it comes to your debt-to-balance ratio (or credit utilization), and you want to keep the account active with a charge that you pay off each month. Read on to see all of the most popular misconceptions about building credit.

Consumers’ misconceptions of building credit…

  • Believe carrying a credit card balance can raise your credit score
  • 44%
  • Believe enrolling in a lender’s hardship program can lower your credit score
  • 28%
  • Believe canceling a credit card won’t lower your score
  • 26%

Source: Bankrate

How to build good credit

Building good credit takes patience and determination. 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. 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 six 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 the 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: While a small part of your credit score, multiple card 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.

Methodology: How we chose the best credit cards for good credit

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


More information on credit cards

For more information on all things credit cards, continue reading content from our credit card experts: