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The point of having excellent credit is not to sit there and stare at your credit score. It's to take advantage of the opportunities available to those who have shown they can handle credit responsibly. People with excellent credit get the best terms on financial products — the lowest interest rates, the richest rewards, the nicest perks. That's especially true with credit cards.
If you've got a credit score of 720 or better, every credit card you carry should reward you for using it. Whether you want straight cash back or points or miles you can use for travel, there are great options for those with excellent credit. Many of these cards don't even have an annual fee — and those that do have a fee more than make up for it with a jumbo sign-up bonus, generous ongoing rewards or, often, both.
Got excellent credit? Give these cards a look.
TRAVEL REWARDS CREDIT CARDS
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Rewards: 5 points per $1 spent on travel booked through Chase; 3 points per $1 spent on dining at restaurants, select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs); 2 points per $1 spent on all other travel; 1 point per $1 spent elsewhere. Annual fee: $95. Sign-up bonus: 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®. Our take: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card gets thumbs up for flexibility. Points are worth 1.25 cents apiece when you use them to book travel through Chase's online tool. You can also transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to several popular airline and hotel loyalty programs, including United, Southwest, Hyatt and Marriott.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Rewards: 2 miles per $1 on all purchases, except for hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, which earn 5 miles per $1. Annual fee: $95. Sign-up bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel. Our take: It's extremely easy to redeem rewards with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, relieving one of the biggest headaches of travel credit cards. Just book travel as usual, pay with your card, and then redeem your miles for a credit against travel expenses. Travel on any airline, stay at any hotel — no restrictions.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Rewards: 1.5 points per $1 spent on everything. Annual fee: $0. Sign-up bonus: 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.. Our take: The rewards rate on the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is lower than for comparable cards, but so is the annual fee — in fact, it's $0, so it won't cost you anything to park this card for a while. In addition, you can get a points bonus of 25% to 75% if you also have a Merrill account through Bank of America's Preferred Rewards program.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Rewards: 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on travel and 5X points for flights and hotels booked through American Express; 1 point per $1 spent elsewhere (see rates and fees). Annual fee: $695. Welcome bonus: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. Our take: If you prefer to travel in style, the steep annual fee on The Platinum Card® from American Express gets you a lot: free access to numerous airport lounges and studios; up to $200 a year in credit for airline fees such as checked bags; $200 back in statement credits annually for prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel; up to $179 back annually on your CLEAR® membership; and more.
CASH-BACK CREDIT CARDS
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Rewards: 1% cash back on every purchase, plus another 1% when you pay it off. Annual fee: $0. Our take: The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer makes almost every list of NerdWallet's favorite credit cards because its 1% + 1% structure adds up to the best flat cash-back rate around.
Even without a sign-up bonus, this is a first-rate everyday credit card.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Rewards: 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 a year in spending (then 1%); 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including such things as taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, trains and buses); and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Terms apply (see rates and fees). Annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $95. Welcome bonus: Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms Apply. Our take: The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is ideal for families with its rich rewards on gas and groceries. Spend just $31 a week at U.S. supermarkets, and you'll cover the annual fee. Or go for the $0-annual-fee version, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, which offers lower rewards and a smaller welcome offer (see rates and fees).
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Rewards: 1.5% cash back on every purchase. Annual fee: $0. Sign-up bonus: One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. Our take: Simplicity is the story with the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. You get unlimited cash back at a decent rate. You can redeem for any amount (many cash-back cards have minimum redemptions), and if you travel abroad, there's no foreign transaction fee.
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined quarterly spending on bonus categories that rotate every three months (activation required); 5% on travel purchased through Chase; 3% on dining at restaurants and purchases at drugstores; and 1% on all other purchases. Annual fee: $0. Sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Our take: The permanent bonus categories and the 5% rotating bonus categories on the Chase Freedom Flex℠ make this a potentially valuable addition to any wallet.