5 Best Credit Cards for People With Excellent Credit
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If you have excellent credit (your credit score is around the 720-850 range), the chances are you already know it. You always pay your bills on time, and you are very unlikely to carry a balance on your credit cards. In return for your responsible nature, you are deluged with offers for more credit cards. Overwhelmed and disillusioned with all of these choices, many of you are content to remain loyal to whichever card you had been using for years. It's easy, comfortable, and hassle free to use the same card in perpetuity. But by doing so, are you betraying the sound principals of financial management that earned you your excellent credit score? (See also: Surprising Things That Can Kill Your Credit)
Snap Out of It!
Those with excellent credit are likely to be using their cards simply as a method of payment, and they may be earning some additional rewards. Nevertheless, this practice is akin to storing money in a bank for safekeeping, without concern to the returns being accrued on your investment. The reality is that like savings, credit card spending should also produce a competitive return. Although saving is always a preferable activity to spending, those with excellent credit are leaving money on the table by not attempting to maximize the returns on their credit cards.
The Ways to Earn High Returns on Spending
The best way to compare credit card rewards is through the percentage of value earned per dollar spent. For example, 1% cash back is the bare minimum that you should expect from any reward card. If you are earning that amount or less, it is as unwise as closing on a mortgage with a higher APR that what is available. The two most common ways to earn credit card rewards are in the form of cash back or loyalty points such as frequent flier miles. If you are earning points or miles, you should assign a value to them in order to assure you are receiving the returns you deserve. The more value you earn per dollar spent, the better you are doing. Finally, there are a few cardholders who do have excellent credit, but may carry a balance from time to time. These people should always carry a credit card with the lowest APR on the market.
The Best Cards for People With Excellent Credit
Each of the cards on this list are only offered to those with excellent credit, but they offer very high rates of cash back or points. The exception here is the Simmons First card, which as the card with the lowest interest rate on the market, is a great choice for those who carry a balance. There is no one card that is perfect for everyone, but each has its unique advantages that appeal to different types of cardholders.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Capital One offers this card to applicants with an excellent or good credit rating. Unlike other cards that only award bonuses to specific categories, card holders can earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. Like all of their cards, there are never any foreign transaction fees, and with the 100% free Capital One® Credit Tracker, you can see your monthly credit score at any time and get automatic alerts. There is a $59 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year.
Sign up bonus: 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months — equal to $400 in travel.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express
Want to use your excellent credit to score some sweet cash back? The Blue Cash Preferred® Card offers 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases), 3% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% on other purchases. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. There is a $75 annual fee for this card.
As a sign-up offer, you can get $150 back in the form of statement credit after you make $1,000 in purchases with your new card in the first three months. You also get 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. After that, your APR will be a variable rate, currently 12.99%-21.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors. Terms and limitations apply.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
If you have the excellent credit to qualify for this credit card, then you'll have some great rewards to look forward to as a cardmember. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 2 points for every dollar spent on travel purchases and dining at restaurants, along with 1 point for every dollar spent on all other purchases. Get a 1:1 rate when transferring points to partner programs, or redeem travel directly through Chase and get 20% off. There are no foreign transaction fees on the card. This card has an annual fee of $95 that is waived for the first year.
Sign up offer: 40,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. That's enough points to redeem $500 in travel rewards from the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. You can also earn 5,000 bonus points by adding an authorized user to your account and making a purchase within the first 3 months.
Citi Double Cash Card
The Citi® Double Cash Card rewards you twice. Once when you make the purchase. Then again when you pay for those purchases. You get 1% cash back when you buy, plus 1% cash back when you pay. There are no category restrictions and no caps. It's a simple and straightforward cash back credit card for those who don't want to engage in signing up for rotating categories or carrying different cards for different purchases. As a sign up offer, you can get 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. There is a balance transfer fee of 3%. This card has no annual fee.
Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum
Not everyone with great credit is in a position to pay all of their credit card balances in full each month. Cardholders with near-perfect credit who occasionally carry a balance should do so on the card with the lowest standard interest rate on the market. The Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum card offers an APR equal to the Prime Rate plus 4%, the lowest rate that I am aware of (currently at 7.25%). Even better, there are no balance transfer fees! There is also no annual fee for this card, but there is a foreign transaction fee of 2%.
If you have excellent credit and you are not getting at least 2 cents in value for each dollar spent, or the lowest interest rate on the market, you need take a serious look at the cards on this list. As a smart consumer with excellent credit, you should always be receiving the highest return on not just your savings, but on your spending as well.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any bank, card issuer, airline or hotel chain.