Best credit cards for excellent credit of April

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If you have a healthy credit score, you’re closer than you may think to making that bucket-list vacation a reality through points and miles. And you can maintain (or even improve) that credit score even if you have a dozen or more travel credit cards in your wallet.

You don’t need to strive for a perfect score of 850 because you can be approved for lots of the top rewards credit cards even with a score around 700. Of course, your credit score isn’t the only factor banks take into consideration, but it’s a great starting point and it’s one thing you can leverage into loads of miles and points.

So let’s take a look at a few of the top cards for people who have excellent credit and what you can do to improve your score to join those ranks.

Summary of the best credit cards for excellent credit

Credit CardIntro bonus offerAnnual fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.$95
Chase Sapphire Reserve®50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.$550
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit CardEarn 40,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.$149
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after making $15,000 in purchases in first three months of account opening.$95
Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card$500 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.$0
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit CardEarn up to 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.$95
The Platinum Card® from American Express60,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $5,000 on purchases with your new card in the first three months. Terms Apply.$550 (see rates & fees)
Turn your excellent credit into a tropical getaway with these cards. (Photo by NadyaEugene/Shutterstock.)

Best credit cards for excellent credit

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Best overall

Current bonus

When you sign up for Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account.

Benefits and perks

Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits and perks including the ability to earn 2x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining and one point per dollar on all other purchases. Also, through March 2022 you’ll earn 5x points on Lyft rides.

This card also comes with primary car rental insurance when you pay for the rental with your card. You’ll even get solid trip delay insurance for up to $500 back per ticket on incidentals like transportation, meals and lodging when your trip is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay. And if your baggage is delayed you’ll be reimbursed up to $100 per day for up to five days for incidental expenses like toiletries and clothing if the delay is longer than 6 hours.

Sapphire Preferred cardmembers are eligible for at least a free year of DashPass, which normally costs $9.99/month and gets you waived delivery fees on DoorDash orders of $12+ at participating restaurants. You must activate this benefit by Dec. 31, 2021 to qualify.

Annual fee

The card has a $95 annual fee.

Why it’s worth it

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the #1 card we recommend for beginners in the miles and points hobby. This card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which you can transfer to airline and hotel partners like Hyatt, Southwest and United Airlines. Or you can quickly redeem points to save on airfare, hotels or car rentals through the Chase travel portal. The sign-up bonus is worth $750 in travel when you book through the Chase portal. Because Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to so many partners, this card gives you more flexibility than even the best airline credit cards.

Total value

The 80,000 point welcome bonus is worth an easy $800 in cash or $1,000 in travel if you book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

(Photo by Wyatt Smith)

Best premium travel credit card

Current bonus

The Sapphire Reserve has an introductory offer of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from opening the account.

Benefits and perks

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is loaded with top-tier benefits. You’ll earn 10x Chase points on Lyft rides (through March 2022), 3x points on travel and dining and one point per dollar everywhere else. You’ll also get up to $300 in travel credits every cardmember year. Cardholders can also enroll to get a complimentary Priority Pass membership, which gets the cardmember and up to two guests unlimited access to airport lounges in the Priority Pass network. And the card comes with a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit.

Reserve cardholders can also register for a free year of Lyft Pink, which gets you 15% off Lyft rides and other perks. You just need to activate the membership by Mar. 31, 2022. If you like to order delivery, you’ll also have access to $60 in DoorDash credit in 2020 and another $60 in credit in 2021. That’s on top of at least a free year of DashPass, which normally costs $9.99/month and gets you waived delivery fees on order of $12+ with participating restaurants. Just be sure to enroll for DashPass by Dec. 31, 2021.

Annual fee

$550

Why it’s worth it

The Sapphire Reserve can be worth it despite the annual fee for quite a few reasons. First off, you can pool the Chase points you earn with other cards onto the Sapphire Reserve and they instantly become more valuable when paying for travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal (1.5 cents per point). The card also has some of the best travel insurance benefits you’ll find on a credit card.

When you pay for your travel with the card you’ll get trip delay reimbursement coverage, which kicks in after a delay of only 6+ hours. Plus, the card has insurance for baggage delays, lost luggage and rental cars (primary for damage or theft).

Total value

The welcome bonus is worth at least $750 in travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Best for Southwest travelers

Current bonus

With the Southwest Priority card you can earn 40,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Benefits and perks

The Southwest Priority card earns 2x points on Southwest points purchases and one point per dollar on all other purchases. The card is also loaded with other benefits, like an annual $75 Southwest travel credit, four upgraded boardings per year, 20% off inflight purchases (such as drinks and Wi-Fi) and 7,500 bonus points every cardmember anniversary.

All of this card’s perks can easily worth more than the annual fee.

Annual fee

$149

Why it’s worth it

The best deal in travel is the Southwest Companion Pass, which allows you to bring along a companion on your Southwest flight for just the cost of taxes and fees. The best part about the Southwest credit card offers is that the intro bonus counts toward earning a Companion Pass, which requires 125,000 points to be earned in a calendar year (or you can take 100 paid Southwest flight segments).

You can only have a single personal Southwest credit card at a time, but you can pair this card with one of the Southwest business credit cards to earn what you need for a Companion Pass. Both the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card have intro offers big enough to get you the rest of the way to a Companion Pass.

Total value

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Best for small businesses

Current bonus

When you open the Chase Ink Business Preferred card, you’ll earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Benefits and perks

This card earns 3x points on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites, and search engines (up to a maximum of $150,000 in combined purchases per account anniversary year); and one point per dollar on all other purchases.

You’ll also get cell phone insurance when you pay your cell phone bill with the card. The coverage is for up to $600 per claim (and up to three claims per 12 months) with a $100 deductible. Also, when you rent a vehicle for business purposes and pay with your card you’ll get primary rental car coverage for damage or theft.

Annual fee

$95

Why it’s worth it

This card has the biggest bonus offer of any card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which alone makes it a great choice. It also is the best card for earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points because you’ll earn triple points on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each year for common business expenses like shipping, travel, select advertising, internet and phone services.

Having the Ink Business Preferred also allows you to transfer Chase points to Ultimate Rewards travel partners. Plus, you can pool points from other Chase credit cards to the Ink Preferred — and then those points also become transferrable. That makes this a great card to pair with credit cards with no annual fee, like the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card or Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card.

Total value

The intro bonus is worth at least $1,000 in travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal, but can be worth much more when you transfer to Chase’s travel partners.

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Best no-annual-fee business card for everyday purchases

Current bonus

The Ink Business Unlimited has an intro offer of $500 after you spend $3,000 in the first three months from opening the account.

Benefits and perks

The Ink Business Unlimited earns 5% back on Lyft rides (through March 2022) and 1.5% back on all other purchases.

Annual fee

$0

Why it’s worth it

Most business cards earn a flat 1% back on purchases made outside of special bonus categories. But, with the Ink Business Unlimited you’ll be earning 50% more on those purchases because you’ll get 1.5% back no matter what the purchase is. You can also power up your rewards if you pair the Ink Business Unlimited with an Ultimate Rewards card that enables transfers. If you do this, instead of each point being worth one cent, you can get many times the value with travel partners like Hyatt, Virgin Atlantic or United.

Total value

This card’s bonus is worth $500, but if you pair it with an Ultimate Rewards card that enables transfers it can be worth much more.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Best for easy-to-redeem rewards

Current bonus

The Capital One Venture has an intro offer of up to 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

Benefits and perks

The main Capital One Venture benefit is the ability to earn unlimited 2x miles on every purchase – it doesn’t get much simpler than that. You’ll also earn 5x miles on hotel and rental car bookings made via Capital One Travel℠. The card also comes with a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit (up to $100).

You can use Capital One miles to erase eligible travel purchases at a rate of one cent per mile or you can transfer them to 15 different airline partners. The transfer ratio for 13 of the partners is 2:1.5 and the other two transfer at a 2:1 ratio.

Annual fee

The Capital One Venture’s annual fee is $95.

Why it’s worth it

The strength of this card has always been its simplicity. You don’t have to worry about managing bonus spending categories and you can always redeem the miles you earn for at least one cent apiece toward eligible travel purchases. It’s really hard to go wrong with this card.

Now Capital One has added the ability to convert your miles into airline miles, which adds an element of flexibility to the card that only makes it more valuable.

Total value

The intro offer is worth at least $500 toward travel, and potentially more if you take advantage of the right transfer partner.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Best card for airport lounge access

Current bonus

With Amex Platinum, you can earn 60,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. At times, it’s possible to get targeted for a bonus as big as 100,000 points with CardMatch (offer subject to change at any time).

Benefits and perks

The American Express Platinum benefits include 5x Amex points per on airline tickets purchased directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and on hotels booked on the Amex Travel site. You’ll earn one point per dollar on all other purchases.

The Amex Platinum is also loaded with statement credits. You can earn up to $200 in annual airline incidental fee credits, up to $200 in Uber credits per year ($15 per month through November and $35 in December), and up to $100 in credit at Saks Fifth Ave. (up to $50 from January to June and up to $50 from July to December). The card also has a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit.

The Amex Platinum has some of the best airport lounge access of any card. With it you’ll have access to Priority Pass, Airspace, Escape, Delta SkyClub, Plaza Premium and Centurion lounges. In addition, cardholders are eligible for Marriott Bonvoy Gold status and Hilton Gold status.

Annual fee

$550 (see rates and fees)

Why it’s worth it

If you take full advantage of the Amex Platinum’s Uber credits, airline fee credits and Saks Fifth Ave. credits you’ll effectively reduce the out-of-pocket costs of the annual fee to $50, making the Amex Platinum worth it for just about anyone. And this card has been improved recently with the addition of  trip cancellation/interruption insurance and trip delay insurance.

Total value

It’s not hard to get a value of at least two cents per Amex point when you transfer them to travel partners, so this bonus is worth a cool $1,200 in travel.

What is considered an excellent credit score?

When we talk about your credit score we are generally referring to what is know as your FICO score, which is based on your credit history including factors like payment history, new credit inquiries, debt, and length of credit history. There is also an UltraFICO score, which takes into account checking balance, checking transaction history, and overdraft history, but isn’t nearly as popular.

Credit scores range from 300 to 850 points and most lenders consider a score of 760 or higher to be “excellent.” It’s possible to be approved for many of the cards on this list with an even lower score, but you’ll want a score of at least 700+.

Just having a high enough score isn’t a guarantee that you’ll be approved for one of the cards on this list. Banks also take into consideration a variety of  other factors, such as your income. And many banks have specific rules that only impact their cards. For example, Chase has what is known as the 5/24 rule, which means you won’t be approved for any Chase credit card if you’ve opened five or more credit cards from any bank in the past 24 months. Amex has a lifetime restriction on earning a welcome bonus, so if you currently have or have ever had a specific American Express card, you aren’t eligible for that card’s intro bonus again.

How to improve your credit score

If you want to pump up your score or know someone who is trying to, you need to know that improving your credit score can take some time. Although it can be as simple as disputing a mistake on your credit report, often it’s takes more time than that.

The best way to boost your credit score is to consistently pay off your bills in full and on time. If you currently have credit card debt, you’ll want to get a plan together to pay it off not only because the interest is expensive, but also because it will negatively impact your credit utilization ratio. Your credit utilization ratio is a big part of your credit score and is calculated based on how much of your total available credit you are using. In fact, you can pay off your card balance by your due date and it will still show up on your credit report. One strategy to solve this problem is to pay off your balance before your statement closes.

You’ll also want to start building your credit history as early as possible. You can build a credit history as a student by opening a card gearing toward students or one of the best credit cards for beginners. An even better option is to get added as an authorized user on an existing account. I used that trick to help increase the age of my wife’s accounts by adding her as an authorized user to my two oldest credit cards.

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For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here.

Meghan Hunter is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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