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The Best of the Best: These Cards Are for Folks With Excellent Credit

The Best of the Best: These Cards Are for Folks With Excellent Credit

Joseph HostetlerThe Best of the Best: These Cards Are for Folks With Excellent CreditMillion Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

If you have a credit score above 700, you’re ready to dive into the fairy tale life of miles & points!

You can easily and cheaply achieve your wildest travel dreams with an excellent credit score.  And you can maintain (or even improve!) that credit score no matter how many cards you open!

Your credit score will benefit if you use your credit responsibly.  And pay each bill in full and on time.

Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit

You don’t need to strive for “perfect.”  A score of ~780 is just as good as 800+ to open a new card.  I started in miles & points when my credit score was ~700.  And I was immediately approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred!

My First Award Flight Was to Ireland, Thanks to the Chase Sapphire Preferred

So while you might not reach the elusive 850 credit score, just know if you’re well over 700, your credit is already good enough to qualify for the best travel rewards cards.

Here is a review of the best credit card offers for excellent credit!

Best Credit Card Offers for Excellent Credit

1.   Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Link:   Apply for the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Link:   Our Review of the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

When you open the Chase Ink Business Preferred card, you’ll earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

And when you book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, your points are worth 1.25 cents each.  So 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points is worth $1,000 in paid travel (80,000 points X 1.25 cents per point)!   And you can potentially get a lot more value from your points when you transfer them to valuable airline and hotel partners.

 Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Transfer Partners 
Aer LingusBritish AirwaysFlying Blue (Air France/KLM)
IberiaKorean AirSingapore Airlines
SouthwestUnited AirlinesVirgin Atlantic
 Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners 
HyattIHGMarriott
Ritz-Carlton

Transferring my points to travel partners is my favorite way to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  Because I can usually get a much better value for my points this way.

For example, you can transfer 80,000 points to Hyatt for 4 nights at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa, which can cost $400+ per night!  I transferred Chase Ultimate Rewards points for my stay at this hotel last summer and was NOT disappointed.

The Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa Is a 30-Second Walk From Turquoise Tranquility

You’ll also get:

  • 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 you spend 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)
  • 1X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on all other purchases
  • Up to $600 in cell phone insurance when you pay your cell phone bill with the card
  • 25% bonus when you redeem points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
  • Primary auto rental insurance (CDW) when renting for business purposes, plus purchase and extended warranty protection

The card has a $95 annual fee, which is NOT waived the first year.

This is a small business card, so you’ll need to be a small business owner to qualify.  But you might have a small business without realizing it!  If you earn income for performing a service, or selling goods (Uber driver, Etsy merchant, eBay seller, etc.), you could have a small business.

Bottom Line

If you’re a small business owner, this is my top pick for you.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are insanely valuable, and the welcome bonus is very high.  Because Chase Ultimate Rewards points are so flexible, this is a good card to open if you’re still unsure of your travel goals.  Or if you just like having options!  And with a $95 annual fee, this card is a no-brainer in my mind.

2.   Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Link:   Apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Link:   Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

When you open the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.  Because your points are worth 1.25 cents through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, that’s $625 in paid travel (50,000 points X 1.25 cents per point)!  And again, you can potentially get a lot more value from your points when you transfer them to valuable airline and hotel partners.

For example, I transferred 25,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Korean Air for a round-trip Delta flight between mainland US and Hawaii to spend the 4th of July at Pearl Harbor.  The same ticket would have cost ~$900!  So I received a value of ~3.6 cents per point ($900 ticket / 25,000 points)!

Waiting for the Fireworks Aboard the USS Missouri as the Sun Disappears

This welcome bonus is enough for 2 round-trip flights to Hawaii.  For a potential savings of $1,800!

It also comes with:

  • 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on travel and dining at restaurants
  • 1X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on all other purchases worldwide
  • 5,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase within the first 3 months of opening your account
  • Primary car rental insurance – Covers damage due to theft or collision to your rental car, when you pay for the rental with your card
  • Trip delay reimbursement – Get up to $500 back per ticket when your trip is delayed more than 12 hours
  • NO foreign transaction fees

The annual fee is $95, waived the first year.  This makes it easy to evaluate the card for ~10 months without a fee to see how you like it.

That said, this is one of the cards I keep year after year.  Because Chase Ultimate Rewards points are my favorite kind of pointsAnd the benefits have saved me thousands over the years.

Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the top card we recommend if you’re new to miles and points.  Its annual fee is waived the first year, so you can test the card’s benefits without having to shell out a single dollar.  If you’re unsure about your travel goals, it’s a good idea to go with a card that earns rewards that give you lots of options.

3.   The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

Link:   Apply for The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

Link:   Our Review of The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

When you apply for the AMEX Business Platinum card by August 8, 2018, you’ll earn:

After you meet the minimum spending requirement, you’ll have 125,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points (100,000 point welcome bonus + 25,000 from spending).  You can do quite a lot with 125,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points.  That’s because you get flexibility to redeem points for award travel with any of the 19 AMEX airline or hotel partners.  You can also use points to buy gift cards to popular stores and restaurants.

125,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points is enough for things like 1 round-trip Business Class flight to Europe with Air Canada miles, or 3 round-trip coach flights from anywhere in the mainland US to Hawaii with Flying Blue miles.

And if you have the AMEX Business Platinum card, you can redeem AMEX Membership Rewards points for ANY Business Class ticket through the AMEX travel portal and get 35% of your points back.  Booking JetBlue Mint with AMEX Membership Rewards points is one of the best ways you can use your AMEX Business Platinum welcome bonus!

JetBlue Mint
JetBlue Mint Suite Seats Have a Door You Can Close for Extra Privacy!

You’ll also get:

This card has a $450 annual fee, which is NOT waived the first year.  But the statement credits, airport lounge access, and savings from AMEX Offers can easily offset the fee.

Bottom Line

Small business owners who generate a lot of spending can do well with the AMEX Business Platinum.  The $450 annual fee might be a little daunting for some folks, but if you’re a frequent traveler, you’ll get MUCH more value from the card than $450.  The lounge access alone could save you $450 per year, depending on which airports you frequent.

4.   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

Link:   Apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

Link:   Our Review of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card comes with a 60,000 Southwest point welcome bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

That’s the highest offer we have seen for this card!  And it’s 20,000 points more than the current offers on 2 personal Southwest cards, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.

You can usually get a value of ~1.6 cents per Southwest point.  So 60,000 Southwest points are worth ~$960 in flights!  And if you have the Southwest Companion passthis welcome offer could be worth double that!

I Flew Round-Trip From Cincinnati to Chicago With a Friend Last Year for ~6,000 Southwest Points Each

The card also comes with:

  • 2X points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases
  • 1X points on all other purchases
  • 6,000 bonus points each account anniversary year
  • Free employee cards
  • NO foreign transaction fees

The card has a $99 annual fee, NOT waived the first year.

Bottom Line

Small business owners who fly domestically, or who enjoy vacations to the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico will get fantastic use from the Chase Southwest Premier Small Business Card.  Especially if they have the Southwest Companion Pass, which allows them to take a travel buddy for nearly free as often as they fly Southwest!

5.   Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Link:   Apply for the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Link:   Our Review of the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

With the Ink Business Cash, you’ll earn $500 cash back (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.

That’s the highest bonus I’ve ever seen on this card.  A welcome offer of $500 cash back is astonishing for a card with no annual fee.

And if you have cards like the Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred, the points you earn can be worth a LOT more than $500.  That’s because you can get Big Travel by transferring points to valuable hotel and airline partners, like Hyatt, Southwest, and United Airlines.

For example, you can transfer 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines for a round-trip coach flight from the US to Peru!

I Transferred Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to United Airlines for a Flight to Lima, so I Could Visit the Ancient Ruins of Machu Picchu

The card also comes with:

  • 5% cash back (5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on phone, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year
  • 2% cash back (2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • 1% cash back (1X Chase Ultimate Rewards point) on all other purchases
  • Primary car rental insurance (CDW) when renting for business purposes, covering damage or theft to your rental car when you pay with your Chase Ink Business Cash card.  Secondary coverage when renting for personal reasons
  • NO annual fee
Bottom Line

A $500 welcome bonus for a card with NO annual fee is too good to last.  If you already have the Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred, this card is a must.

6.   Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Link:   Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Link:   Our Review of the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

With the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card, you’ll earn a $500 bonus (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.  That’s an excellent bonus for a no-annual-fee credit card!

The Ink Business Unlimited earns 1.5% cash back on every purchase.  So if you don’t like the hassle of keeping track of bonus spending categories, it’s the card for you!

Similar to the Ink Business Cash, this intro bonus can be worth much more than $500!  That’s because the cash back you earn with the card is in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  So if you have cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer them to awesome airline and hotel partners!

And you can redeem them through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal for a value of between 1.25 cents and 1.5 cents (depending on which Chase credit cards you have).

You Can Use Points to Book Airfare, Hotels, Rental Cars, and More Through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal
Bottom Line

Because the Ink Business Unlimited earns a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases, it’s a great card for folks who don’t like juggling bonus categories.  And the $500 welcome bonus is GIGANTIC for a card with no annual fee!

7.   Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Link:   Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Link:   Our Review of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture card now comes with 50,000 Venture miles (worth $500 in travel) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.

Capital One Venture miles are worth 1 cent each.  You can use your miles for nearly any travel purchase, like taxi rides, hotels, room service, and free flights.  Without having to worry about searching for available award seats or hotel nights!

To redeem your miles for travel, just buy travel like you normally would with your card.  Then, you have 90 days to sign-in to your online account, find the travel purchase, and “erase” it with your miles!

There’s NO minimum redemption increment when redeeming miles, unless you’re using miles to partially pay for a travel purchase (in which case the minimum is 2,500 miles).

As long as the transaction codes as a travel purchase, you can redeem Venture miles for it.  For example, a couple years ago I had Afternoon Tea at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai.  Because the restaurant was inside a hotel, I was able to redeem miles for the purchase.  And got a ~$160 meal for FREE.

Afternoon Tea at the Burj Al Arab Must Have Been at LEAST 7 Courses

Check out our post on smart ways to use Capital One Venture miles for Big Travel!

In addition to the valuable bonus, you’ll get:

If you don’t already have Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, you don’t know what you’re missing!  You’ll save hours at the airport, not to mention a lot of hassle.  For example, with TSA PreCheck, you won’t have to take off your shoes or remove your laptop from your bag at domestic security checkpoints.

The card’s annual fee is $95, waived the first year.

The card also comes with Visa Signature Benefits, which include:

  • Rental car insurance – Secondary protection against collision or theft
  • Travel accident insurance – Up to $250,000 insurance for accidental loss of life, limb, sight, speech or hearing
  • Lost luggage insurance – Up to $3,000 per trip, provided the luggage was lost from theft or misdirection by the airline, cruise, etc.
Bottom Line

Capital One Venture miles are the simplest rewards to use.  There’s no transferring to travel partners and searching for available awards.  You don’t even have to buy your travel through a special portal!  Just purchase your travel like you normally would, and erase the purchase from your statement later.

If you want minimum hassle, the Capital One Venture might be the best card out there.

8.   Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business or Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Link:   Apply for the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Link:   Our Review of the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Link:   Apply for the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Link:   Our Review of the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

With the Capital One Spark Cash for Business, you can earn a $500 welcome bonus after spending $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

You’ll also get unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases.  And redeeming your cash back is easy.  You can request a check or statement credit, any time, with no minimum redemption amount.

The Capital One Spark Miles card is similar, except it earns rewards that you can only use toward travel.   You’ll earn 50,000 Spark miles ($500 in travel) after spending $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.  And 2X Spark miles on all purchases.

I love using the rewards I earn with Capital One cards toward travel expenses many other miles & points can’t cover.  Like boutique hotels with no loyalty program!  I stayed at the Hotel Villas Arqueológicas Chichén Itzá in Mexico last year, and it obliterated my expectations!

The Hotel Villas Arqueológicas Chichén Itzá in Mexico Cost Me ~$50 per Night.  So You Could Get 10 Nights Here With 50,000 Capital One Spark Miles!

Both cards have NO foreign transaction fees.  And the $95 annual fee is waived the first year.

Bottom Line

Small business owners who like a straightforward earning system and a straightforward redemption system will love these cards.  However, the points they earn will NEVER be worth more than 1 cent per point.  So they aren’t as valuable as other points, like Chase Ultimate Rewards points or AMEX Membership Rewards points.  That’s the trade-off for simplicity!

9.   Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Link:   Apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Link:   Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®

When you apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.  

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the points you earn are worth 1.5 cents each when you book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.  So this welcome offer is worth $750 in travel (50,000 points X 1.5).

Again, you can potentially get a lot more value from your points when you transfer them to valuable airline and hotel partners, like United Airlines and Hyatt.

Transfer 30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to United Airlines for a One-Way Coach Flight to Switzerland

You’ll also get:

The card has a $450 annual fee, NOT waived for the first year.  But the annual travel credit and airport lounge access can more than offset the annual fee!

Bottom Line

If you do a lot of traveling and eating out, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is probably your best bet.  Especially if you value things like airport lounge access and TSA PreCheck.

10.   The Platinum Card® from American Express

Link:   Apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express

Link:   Our Review of The Platinum Card® from American Express

With The Platinum Card® from American Expressyou can earn 60,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account.  That’s enough for 3 round-trip flights to South America from Miami with British Airways Avios points.  Or 2 round-trip coach flights from anywhere in the mainland US to Hawaii with Flying Blue miles!  Which could easily save you ~$1,500+.

You’ll also get:

The AMEX Platinum Cards Give You the Most Comprehensive Airport Lounge Access (By Far!).  You’ll Get Into Lounges With Delicious Meals, Like This One in Abu Dhabi

The card comes with a $550 annual fee.  But if you’re able to use all the benefits, you’ll get MUCH more value than that each year!

You can also use AMEX Membership Rewards points to fly to:

Some of those flights could cost thousands of dollars otherwise!  In that case, your bonus could definitely make the annual fee worth paying!

Bottom Line

If you fly to airports with AMEX Centurion Lounges, if you fly Delta often, if you use Uber regularly, or if you value low-level Hilton, Starwood, or Marriott elite status, pick up the AMEX Platinum card!

Bottom Line

Now’s a great time to join the miles & points hobby!  There are PLENTY of incredible cards to choose from for folks with credit scores above 700.

For example, if you aren’t sure of your travel goals, you should apply for a card like the Ink Business Preferred.  It has flexible points that you can transfer to lots of travel partners.  Or your can “buy” travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal for 1.25 cents each.

Or if you want the easiest points to redeem, the Capital One Venture might be better.  You don’t have to worry about bonus categories or buying travel through a portal.  Just purchase your travel like normal, and erase the transaction from your statement later!

It’s important to know that banks do NOT look solely at a credit score when approving you for a card.  They can choose any number of reasons to deny you.  So having an excellent credit score doesn’t mean you’re a shoo-in for any card you want!  Though it does give you an excellent chance.

If your credit score isn’t quite above 700 yet, that’s okay!  Take some time to build your credit by making sure you pay your bills on time and in full.  And you’ll be ready to get Big Travel with Small Money in no time!

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The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.†
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 11/2017
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

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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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Chase Sapphire Preferred. I think I was around 790 then.

Chase Sappire Reserve

Chase sapphire preferred, 824

Chase Sappire Reserve is the one from the list, but I do not have the exact score from the application date

I do not have a card on the list

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