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Congratulations! you’re on the top tier of U.S. credit scores. If you’re shopping for the best credit cards for very good to excellent credit, you’ll have every option open to you, and you’ll qualify for the best terms on every card.

In reality, of course, you’ll be choosing from the same menu of options as many individuals with scores in the “good” range. You’ll get the same cards – and many of them are very good ones – but your interest rate offers will be at the low end of the range instead of the high end.

Low rates are a good thing, but remember that if you’re paying your balance in full on or before the due date, the APR on your card won’t matter because you won’t pay interest at all!

The Cards We Looked At

If you are looking at credit cards for very good to excellent credit, you will come across offers for cards positioned as elite or super-premium products. Some of these cards are invitation-only and available only to the very rich. Others are open to anyone who meets the credit requirements.

These cards tend to have astronomical fees. The invitation-only Centurion Card from American Express has a $10,000 initiation fee and a $5000 annual fee! If you don’t get invited, you can apply for the Mastercard Gold Card – it’s literally plated with gold – which has an annual fee of a mere $995.

These cards might give you a huge ego rush when you whip one out at the end of a business dinner, but they rarely make financial sense. Many have attractive rewards packages, but you’d have to spend enormous amounts to generate enough rewards to cover the fee.

You don’t have to be a millionaire to have good to excellent credit. Your credit score doesn’t depend on your income at all. We’ll be looking at cards that are suited to ordinary folks who manage their finances well and have very good to excellent credit.

The Best Credit Cards for Very Good to Excellent Credit

Here are some of the top credit cards for very good to excellent credit.

BEST BASIC CARD

Citi Simplicity

Citi Simplicity

Citi Simplicity is a great fee-free option for people who just want a basic credit card for day-to-day spending. If your spending is too low to make rewards an issue, consider this card. Learn more

Fees: No annual fee, late fee, or penalty APR
APR: 14.74% to 24.74%
Introductory promo: 0% purchase APR for 12 months, 0% balance transfer APR for 21 months
Rewards: None

Apply Now

BEST REWARDS FOR EVERYDAY SPENDING

Credit One Bank Platinum Rewards Visa

Credit One Bank Platinum Rewards Visa

The Credit One Bank Platinum Rewards Visa card has a top reward package aimed at day-to-day spending. Learn more

Fees: Annual fee up to $95 plus other fees.
APR: 23.99%
Introductory promo: None
Rewards: 5% cash back on first $5000 spent on many basic needs, plus more*

Apply Now

*See review below for details.

BEST NO-FEE REWARDS CARD

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited

You like rewards. You don’t like fees. The Chase Freedom Unlimited card has your back. Learn more

Fees: No annual fee.
APR: 14.99% – 23.74%
Introductory promo: Bonus, 0% purchase APR, 0% balance transfer APR
Rewards: Four-part cash back rewards plan

Apply Now

CARD FOR ROAD TRAVEL

Discover it Chrome

Discover it Chrome

Road travel means gas and restaurants. This card gives you 2% cash back on both, along with other rewards, and one of the lowest minimum APRs we surveyed. Learn more

Fees: No annual fee.
APR: 11.99% to 22.99%
Introductory Promo: 2x rewards in your first year, 0% APR for 18 months.
Rewards: 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, 1% cash back on other purchases.

Apply Now

REWARDS FOR GROCERIES AND GAS

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

This is just what it says: a card for everyday purchases. If you need a card focused on gas and groceries, take a closer look. Learn more

Fees: No annual fee
APR: 14.24% to 24.24%
Introductory promo: $250 back on $2000 in purchases in the first 6 months, Intro APR.
Rewards: 3% on groceries, 2% on gas, 2% at select department stores.

Apply Now

BEST BALANCE TRANSFER CARD

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card

This card gives you 20 months to pay off those balances without interest, but with no rewards, you may not want to keep using it when you’re done. Learn more

Fees: No annual fee
APR: 14.74% to 24.74%
Introductory promo: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles.
Rewards: None

Apply Now

BEST TRAVEL CARD

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the best cards for general travel use. Learn more

Fees: $95 Annual Fee
APR: 15.99% to 22.99%
Introductory Promo: 60,000 points ($750 for travel) if you spend $4000 in the first 3 months.
Rewards: Package of travel-focused rewards*

Apply Now

*See review below for details.

A CARD FOR FREQUENT HOTEL USERS

Mariott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

This is a hotel-focused travel card. It’s aimed at a fairly narrow audience, but if you’re in that audience it’s well worth a look. Learn more

Fees: $95 annual fee
APR: 15.99% to 22.99%
Introductory promo: 3 free nights + 10x total points on $3000 in purchases in the first 3 months, plus more
Rewards: Extensive package of hotel-focused rewards

Apply Now

THE FOODIE CARD

Capital One SavorOne Rewards Credit Card

This is a hotel-focused travel card. It’s aimed at a fairly narrow audience, but if you’re in that audience it’s well worth a look. Learn more

Fees: No annual fee
APR: 14.99% to 24.99%
Introductory promo: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, $200 reward if you spend $500 in the first 3 months.
Rewards: 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and groceries.

Apply Now

CUSTOM CASH BACK

Citi Custom Cash Card

The Citi Custom Cash Card has a uniquely flexible rewards program. It may not be right for everyone, but it might be right for you. Learn more

Fees: No annual fee
APR: 13.99% to 23.99%
Introductory promo: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
Rewards: 5% back on the first $500 in your highest spending category each month.

Apply Now

The Reviews

Let’s look at those cards in more detail.


Citi Simplicity

πŸ† Best Basic Card

πŸ‘‰ Summary: This is a great choice if you don’t spend a lot on your card and you’re looking for a solid basic credit card for day-to-day spending.

βœ”οΈ Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • No late fees
  • No penalty APR
  • 0% APR on purchases for your first 12 months
  • Solid balance transfer option

❌ Cons: 

  • The lowest APR is not as low as those of some competitors
  • Paying full balance has no advantage

Description:

If you’re looking for a straightforward card with no bells and whistles, the Citi Simplicity Card is there for you. There’s no annual fee, no late fees, no penalty APR. The regular APR is 14.74% to 24.74%. With very good to excellent credit, you’ll be at the low end of that range. There’s a 0% APR on purchases for your first 12 months. There are no rewards.

This is also a solid balance transfer option. The 21-month 0% APR window is also valid for balance transfers made within 4 months of opening the account. You’ll pay a balance transfer fee of 5% of the transfer or $5, whichever is greater.

You can set up alerts for balance levels, payments due, or being over your credit limit, and you can choose your payment due date.

This is a great choice if you don’t spend a lot on your card and you’re looking for a solid basic credit card for day-to-day spending.

πŸ‘Ž The downside: the lowest APR is not as low as those of some competitors. If you pay your balance in full every month, it won’t matter!


Rewards for Everyday Spending: Credit One Bank Platinum Rewards Visa

πŸ† Rewards for Everyday Spending

πŸ‘‰ Summary: This is a card for day-to-day use, not travel: there is a foreign transaction fee of $1 or 3% of each purchase. There’s also a cash advance fee.

Credit-One-Bank-Platinum-Rewards-Visa

βœ”οΈ Pros:

  • 5% cash back on groceries up to $5000/year
  • 1% cash back after $5000.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Up to 10% cash back at selected retailers.

❌ Cons:

  • High APR
  • High annual fee
  • You’ll have to spend around $1900 per year in the 5% categories to make up for that annual fee

The Credit One Bank Platinum Rewards Visa has a $95 annual fee, but the rewards package is comprehensive enough that you’re likely to come out ahead. This is a great choice for people who use theirs primarily for local day to day spending. Here are the rewards.

  • 5% cash back on groceries, gas, internet, mobile phone services, and cable or satellite TV, up to $5000/year. 1% cash back after $5000.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Up to 10% cash back at selected retailers.

The 5% category covers a wide range of regular spending needs, and if you make the $5000 limit, you’ll get $250 back. The cash back is credited to your statement automatically, and there’s no limit to the rewards you can earn. You’ll also get a free Experian credit score.

This is a card for day-to-day use, not travel: there is a foreign transaction fee of $1 or 3% of each purchase. There’s also a cash advance fee.

πŸ‘Ž The downside: The APR is high at 23.99%, so you’ll want to pay off your balance in full each month. You’ll have to spend around $1900 per year in the 5% categories to make up for that annual fee, so this is a card for regular use, not occasional use.


Best No-Fee Rewards Card: Chase Freedom Unlimited

πŸ† Best No-Fee Rewards Card

πŸ‘‰ Summary: You’ll get a 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers. The regular APR is from 14.99% to 23.74%. There will be a balance transfer fee.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

βœ”οΈ Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • 5% cash back on gas station purchases

❌ Cons:

  • Late payment fee of $40
  • A penalty APR of up to 29.99%
  • Balance transfer fee

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card has no annual fee and a solid range of initial rewards.

  • If you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months you’ll get a $200 reward.
  • You get 5% cash back on gas station purchases up to $6000 in your first year

The rewards hold up after the first year.

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased at Chase.
  • 3% cash back on dining, takeout, and drugstores.
  • 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

The rewards don’t expire, and there’s no minimum to redeem rewards.

You’ll get a 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers. The regular APR is from 14.99% to 23.74%. There will be a balance transfer fee.

πŸ‘Ž The downside: There’s a late payment fee of $40 and a penalty APR of up to 29.99%, which could be imposed indefinitely. Pay on time!


The Card for Road Travel: Discover it Chrome

πŸ† Best Card for Road Travel

πŸ‘‰ Summary: Road travel means gas and restaurants. This card gives you 2% cash back on both, along with other rewards, and one of the lowest minimum APRs we surveyed.

Discover it Chrome

βœ”οΈ Pros:

  • 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations
  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR

❌ Cons:

  • Only good for gas and restaurants

If travel by car is a big part of your life, Discover It Chrome Credit Card could be your credit card. Look at the rewards:

  • 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations, up to $1000 per quarter in combined purchases. That’s up to $800 a year!
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases, with no limit.
  • Discover will match your rewards at the end of your first year.

There’s no annual fee, so the rewards are pure gain. There’s also no penalty APR, but there is a cash advance fee of $10 or 5% of the cash advance, whichever is larger. The first late payment is free, but after that, you’ll pay up to $40 per late payment.

There’s a 0% intro APR for 18 months, applied to purchases and balance transfers. The regular APR is 11.99% to 22.99%. You’ll also have access to an app for paying your bill, monitoring your account, tracking and redeeming rewards, and viewing your lovely FICO score.

πŸ‘Ž The downside: if gas and restaurants aren’t high on your spending list, look for a different card!


Rewards for Groceries and Gas: Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

πŸ† Best Rewards for Groceries and Gas

πŸ‘‰ Summary: This is just what it says: a card for everyday purchases. If you need a card focused on gas and groceries, take a closer look.

βœ”οΈ Pros:

  • 3% cash back at US supermarkets
  • No annual fee
  • Cash advance fee of $10 or 5%

❌ Cons:

  • Not attractive for low spenders
  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee.

The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express has a rewards program focused on some of the most basic and common spending categories.

  • 3% cash back at US supermarkets up to $6000 per year, 1% after you pass the $6000 mark.
  • 2% cash back at US gas stations and at select department stores.
  • 1% on all other purchases.

There’s a 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases. The regular APR is from 14.24% to 24.24%.

There’s no annual fee. There’s a cash advance fee of $10 or 5% of the amount, whichever is greater, and a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.

πŸ‘Ž The downside: This is a great family card, but if you live alone you may not spend enough on groceries to make the rewards attractive.


Best Balance Transfer Card: U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card

πŸ† Best Balance Transfer Card

πŸ‘‰ Summary: This card gives you 20 months to pay off those balances without interest, but with no rewards, you may not want to keep using it when you’re done.

βœ”οΈ Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • 0% APR on purchase
  • Balance transfer fee lower than competition

❌ Cons:

  • No rewards
  • Cash advance fee
  • Foreign transaction fee
  • Late and returned payment fees

If you want to consolidate credit card debt with a balance transfer card, the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card could be the card you’re looking for. The 20-month 0% intro APR for both purchases and balance transfers is one of the longest in the industry. That gives you enough time to pay any balances you transfer. The balance transfer fee is 3% of the balance, lower than the 5% offered by many competitors.

The regular APR is 14.74% – 24.74% There’s a cash advance fee, a foreign transaction fee, and late and returned payment fees.

πŸ‘Ž The downside: There are no rewards, so this probably isn’t a card you’ll want to use for anything but balance transfers.


Best Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred

πŸ† Best Travel Card

πŸ‘‰ Summary: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the best cards for general travel use.

βœ”οΈ Pros:

  • Travel-focused rewards
  • No foreign transaction fee

❌ Cons:

  • High annual fees
  • Penalty APR of 29.99%

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the best cards for general travel use. Here’s a summary of the rewards.

  • Spend $4000 using the card in your first 4 months and get 60,000 bonus points.
  • Up to $50 in statement credits for hotel stays purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 2x total points on other travel purchases.
  • 3x points on dining, takeout, and eligible delivery services.
  • 3x points on online grocery purchases (not including Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs).
  • 3x points on selected streaming services.
  • Other purchases get 1 point per dollar spent.
  • You get 25% more value if you redeem your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. 60,000 points are worth $750.
  • Anniversary bonus points of 10% of the previous year’s purchases.
  • Points are worth 25% more if redeemed against existing purchases as statement credit.
  • There’s a 1 to 1 points transfer program with many hotel and airline loyalty programs. That lets you combine points from different programs.

The APR is 15.99-22.99% and there’s no foreign transaction fee. There is a $40 late payment fee and a cash advance fee of $10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater. There’s a penalty APR of 29.99%, which can be applied indefinitely if you make a late payment or a payment is returned.

πŸ‘Ž The downside: You have to travel regularly and spend plenty to justify the $95 annual fee.


A Card for Frequent Hotel Users: Mariott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

πŸ† Best Card for Hotels and Travel

πŸ‘‰ Summary: This is a hotel-focused travel card. It’s aimed at a fairly narrow audience, but if you’re in that audience it’s well worth a look.

βœ”οΈ Pros:

  • Great for hotel and travel
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Great ongoing travel rewards

❌ Cons:

  • High annual fees
  • Cash advance fees
  • High penalty fees

If hotels are more familiar than your bedroom, consider the Mariott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card. Here’s what you get as an introductory bonus:

  • If you spend $3000 in your first 3 months you’ll get 3 free night awards plus 10x total points.
  • 3x total points for every $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants.

The ongoing rewards are pretty good too if you’re a regular hotel user (especially if you like Mariott).

  • 6x points for every dollar spent at 7,000 participating hotels.
  • 10x points from Mariott.
  • Other purchases earn 2 points for every dollar spent.
  • Every anniversary of your first day with the card gets you a free night award.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees.

The APR is from 15.99% to 22.99%. There’s a cash advance fee, a late/returned payment penalty, and a potentially indefinite penalty APR if you make a late or returned payment.

πŸ‘Ž The downside: there’s a $95 annual fee. It’s only worth it if you’re a heavy spender on hotels and travel.


The Foodie Card: Capital One SavorOne Rewards Credit Card

πŸ† Best foodie card

πŸ‘‰ Summary: This is a hotel-focused travel card. It’s aimed at a fairly narrow audience, but if you’re in that audience it’s well worth a look.

βœ”οΈ Pros:

  • No annual fees
  • Great rewards for dining out
  • 0% intro APR

❌ Cons:

  • Requires excellent credit to gain approval

If you eat out more than you eat in, try the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. The food-focused reward package includes.

  • 3% unlimited cash back on dining, groceries, entertainment, and some streaming services.
  • 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • If you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months you’ll get a $200 bonus.

There’s no limit on the rewards you can earn, so if you put a lot of spending on your card and you spend a lot on restaurants and groceries, you could do well with this one.

There’s a 0% intro APR on purchases for 18 months and a 14.99% – 24.99% APR after that. The card has no annual fee or international transaction fee. There’s a late payment fee and a penalty APR if you make late or returned payments.

You might also consider the Savor Rewards from Capital One card. It has higher rewards and a larger introductory bonus. It also has a $95 annual fee and no 0% intro APR. You’ll have to eat out a lot for the extra rewards to be worth the $95 annual fee.

πŸ‘Ž The downside: You’ll need excellent credit to get approved.


Custom Cash Back: Citi Custom Cash Card

πŸ† Best Custom Cash Card

πŸ‘‰ Summary: The Citi Custom Cash Card has a uniquely flexible rewards program. It may not be right for everyone, but it might be right for you.

βœ”οΈ Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • Self customizing program
  • 0% intro APR

❌ Cons:

  • Needs heavy spending to take full advantage of the rewards

No annual fee and a self-customizing rewards program make the Citi Custom Cash Card stand out. Your spending is divided into categories: restaurants, gas stations, groceries, selected travel & transit, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness, and live entertainment. Whatever category you spend most on in a given billing cycle gets 5% cash back, up to $500. You’ll get 1% cash back on spending over in that category and on all other purchases. The card adjusts to your spending, you don’t have to select a category:

There are multiple options for redeeming rewards: direct deposit, a statement credit, a check, or other redemption options, including gift cards, travel, and Amazon shopping.

There’s a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from the date of your first transfer and on purchases for your first 15 months with the card. There is a foreign transaction fee, and you will pay a penalty APR if you make a late or returned payment.

πŸ‘Ž The downside: If your spending is low you may not take full advantage of the rewards.


Choosing the Right Credit Card for Very Good to Excellent Credit

With very good to excellent credit, you’ll have no shortage of choices. When applicants with those credit scores come around, issuers roll out the red carpet and offer their most persuasive perks and bonuses.

Many of these cards have a lot to offer, but none is “best” for everyone. You’ll have to choose the card that best fits your needs and your spending patterns.

Almost all of these cards offer customized alerts, apps to monitor your account, fraud protection, and other features.

All of these cards have variable APRs: your interest may change with the overall interest rate environment.

Most of the best credit cards for very good to excellent credit come with rewards. Rewards can be attractive and many people use them to their advantage. That doesn’t mean you should automatically leap on the card with the highest rewards.

The Other side of Rewards

Credit card companies don’t offer rewards because they are nice and generous. Rewards are designed to encourage you to spend more money on your cards, carry balances, and pay interest.

Before applying for a rewards card, consider these questions.

  • Is there an annual fee? If it does, how high is the fee? How much will you have to charge on your card to earn enough rewards to cover the annual fee?
  • Do the rewards fit the way you spend? Many cards offer rewards designed to fit specific types of spending. Look for rewards that fit your spending style.
  • Will you have to up your spending to maximize rewards? If you’re not a big spender you might not charge enough to maximize rewards. That can be an incentive to spend more, which may not be good for you.

Rewards are most productive if you do a lot of spending on your card. That’s fine if you would have done a lot of spending on your card anyway. If you end up putting more spending on your card just to maximize the rewards, you may not be helping yourself.

Upping your card spending has two risks.

  • You may end up carrying a balance from month to month. If you do, your interest payments will quickly cancel out your rewards.
  • Boosting your credit card spending could raise your credit utilization and harm your credit.

πŸ‘‰ Make sure you are controlling the rewards, rather than the rewards controlling you. If you are not going to spend big on your card, you might want to look for a simple zero-fee card rather than going for the best rewards.

Customize Your Card Holdings

The average American has between three and four cards. If you don’t need that many cards there’s no need to keep up with that average. If you do decide to carry multiple cards, make sure you have a specific purpose for each card.

Many of the best credit cards for very good to excellent credit are specialized. You might choose to use one card for everyday gas and groceries and another for travel, or set up any other combination that suits your needs.

Just be sure that each card has a purpose. You should know exactly when to reach for each card and why, and you should always keep an eye on those fees!

Enjoy Your Credit

We won’t lecture you on the importance of credit utilization and on-time payments, or the need to monitor and understand your credit reports. If you’re looking for credit cards for very good to excellent credit, you’ve figured that out already!

You’ve earned your privileges, so pick the card that best suits your needs and enjoy it! Using it well will help you push that score even higher!

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