It's human nature to want "good" score - no matter what we're being judged on. Problem is, "good" doesn't really say much. Nowhere is this more clear than with credit scores.
If you see that you have a good credit score, that's great. But do you know what that means? Do you know why your credit score is good and if it should be better?
A good credit score can be any FICO credit score that falls within the range of 700 to 749. The FICO credit score is the one most commonly used by lenders. It's a numeric way for them to understand their level of risk in lending to you. If your score falls in the range of 700-749, lenders will consider you to be a fairly low lending risk.
If you have a good credit score, then you have a lot more options available to you for future credit. You'll also be able to secure credit at lower interest rates than you would if you had a lower credit score. In other words, if you have a good credit score, you have more options and cheaper options for credit.
So why not use that flexibility to find the perfect credit card for you? Below are some of the top credit card options for people with good credit scores.
1. The Best Card for Everyday Spending
Discover it® Has a 5% Cash Back Program
And when it comes to rewarding you for your everyday spending, Discover it® is one of the best cards out there.
For starters, Discover it® doesn't charge an annual fee. It also gives you 1-5% cash back on your purchases. (The percentage you get back varies based on the types of purchases you make - the categories change quarterly). Other great benefits of this card include free monthly FICO credit scores, no penalty APR, no late-payment fee for the first late payment, and no foreign transaction fees.
How Cash Back Programs Work
Cash back credit cards allow you to earn money back on your spending. How it works is you receive a small percentage of your purchase as cash back. Then you accumulate this cash back until you’re ready to redeem it.
How the cash back works will vary from credit card to credit card. Some programs allow you to earn higher cash back rates on specific types of purchases. Others offer a flat cash back rate on every single purchase. The categories that earn the highest amounts of cash back may change from time to time. These changes often align with the trends of the season.
When choosing the best cash back credit card for you, analyze your spending habits. The goal is to understand where most of your money goes. That way you can get a card that rewards you for the places you most often spend. The easiest way to do this is to review your bank or credit card statement. Then identify your most frequent spending categories. From there, you should be able to find a card that offers rewards for those categories.
What to Redeem Cash Back For
There are various ways to redeem your cash back. All these ways depend on what your credit card issuer prefers. You could receive your cash back via check, direct deposit, or statement credit. (A statement credit more or less amounts to a reduction in your credit card balance.)
Some card issuers may even give you the option to exchange your cash for merchandise or gift cards. In that case, your credit card issuer may partner directly with retailers. If you have a retailer you love, find a card that partners with them to maximize your rewards.
Runner-up Credit Cards for Shopping
The Discover it® card is a great option for cash back on everyday purchases, but it's not the only option. There are plenty of credit cards that seek to reward you for the spending you're already doing. Below are just a few more options to review before you make your final decision.
As you look through your options, read more about the specifics of rewards credit cards. That way you can learn even more strategies for using these cards to earn the most rewards possible.
2. The Best Travel Card for Airlines and Hotels
Capital One Venture Rewards Offers Simple Travel Rewards
The Capital One Venture Rewards card is for people who have good credit. It also offers generous travel rewards on all kinds of spending. With this card, you earn 2 miles per dollar spent on every single purchase. Most notably, you can redeem each mile at the value of 1 mile per cent for a statement credit on a travel purchase. What that means is you don't have to go through their rewards portal to book travel. You can book through your preferred websites - then get reimbursed by Capital One later.
The Capital One Venture Rewards card has an annual fee of $59 that's waived for the first year. You also get an introductory bonus of 40,000 miles if you spend $3,000 within the first three months. How much does that signup bonus equate to? $400 worth of travel - not bad for just signing up.
How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Work
When it comes to rewards, travel rewards credit cards are some of the most sought after cards out there. These cards provide you with free or low-cost travel options as a reward for your spending. (These travel rewards are also a great incentive for you to sign up.)
Like with many frequent traveler programs, travel rewards cards usually track rewards by "miles." The value of each mile varies per credit card. That's why it's important to find out what kind of travel rewards you can redeem with your miles.
Credit Cards from Major Brands
Do you find yourself frequently traveling with one airline? Do you always stay at the same hotel? If so, you probably already know of their branded rewards credit cards. With cards such as these, the rewards can be limited. Though you get rewarded for using these brands, they don't give you much room to try other brands.
That's why these branded credit cards can be great if you do tend to stick with one airline or hotel. However, if you like to shop around, then these types of credit cards may be too limiting for you. But, it is possible that the card you want partners with other brands. If that's the case, you may be able to get the flexibility and specific rewards you're looking for.
Bonus Offers on Travel Rewards Credit Cards
Travel rewards credit cards often come with sign-up offers. These offers can include hundreds of dollars worth of free travel. However, these offers usually mandate a certain amount of spending to get the bonus.
This could be an issue if you think you’ll have trouble meeting the spending requirement with your regular spending. In that case, only let the bonus be your deciding factor if you're planning a major purchase you can use it for.
Watch for Annual Fees
In addition to requiring good credit, travel credit cards often charge annual fees. These fees are due to the perks you get with the card and are usually somewhere between $40-$500. The good news is that most annual fees are waived for the first year.
Before signing up for a credit card with an annual fee, estimate your likelihood of recouping the cost. You can project the value of the rewards that you’ll earn with your current spending pattern. Or you can consider how much value you’ll get from the card’s perks (e.g., free checked bags on flights). If the perks exceed the fee, then that particular card could be a good one for you.
Runner-up Travel Credit Cards
There are many different types of travel rewards credit cards. Choosing the best one for you could make a huge difference in the rewards you can earn. Read more about of travel credit cards here. Then learn some of the strategies for using these cards to maximize your travel perks. Check out some more card options below:
3. The Best Card With Low Interest
Barclaycard® Ring MasterCard® Features Unlimited Balance Transfers
The Barclaycard® Ring MasterCard® is the best low-interest credit card you can get with a credit score in the "good" range. This card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. Even better, you can transfer balances from other credit cards to this one for free. That means you can move high-interest debt to this card so you can pay the debt off faster.
Interest Accrues Differently for Balance Transfers
If you use a balance transfer credit card, understand how the interest accrues. Interest on a balance transfer will accrue differently than purchases - on the same card. For purchases, interest starts to accrue on the remaining balance after the end of the billing cycle. On a balance transfer, the interest begins accruing immediately.
Because of this, making a purchase on a balance transfer card could appear to skew your interest rate. View the table below to see an illustration of this.
|Credit Card Interest Rates||15.99% APR on Purchases, 0% APR on Balance Transfers||0% APR on Purchases, 15.99% APR on Balance Transfers||15.99% APR on Purchases, 4.99% APR on Balance Transfers||15.99% APR on Purchases, 15.99% APR on Balance Transfers|
|Interest Charged on Purchase Principal||$65.71||$0||$65.71||$65.71|
|Balance Transfer APR||0%||15.99%||4.99%||15.99%|
|Balance Transfer Principal||$5000||$5000||$5000||$5000|
|Interest Charged on Balance Transfer Principal||$0||$65.71||$20.51||$65.71|
|End of Month Principal Owed||$10,000.00||$10,000.00||$10,000.00||$10,000.00|
|Total Interest Charged on End of Month Principal||$65.71||$65.71||$86.22||$131.42|
|End of Month Balance Owed||$10,065.71||$10,065.71||$10,086.22||$10,131.42|
|Total Monthly Payment||$500||$500||$500||$500|
|- Portion of Monthly Payment Toward Lowest-APR Balance||$165.71||$165.71||$186.22||$231.42|
|- Portion of Monthly Payment Toward Highest-APR Balance||$334.29||$334.29||$313.78||$268.58|
|New Purchase Principal||$4,731.42||$4,834.29||$4,751.93||$4,815.71|
|New Balance Transfer Principal||$4,834.29||$4,731.42||$4,834.29||$4,815.71|
|New Total Balance||$9,565.71||$9,565.71||$9,586.22||$9,631.42|
What is Considered to Be a Low Interest Rate
Everyone wants a low interest rate. But with credit cards, what would that even be? Generally speaking, an interest rate of less than 10% on a credit card would be considered quite low. On the higher end, credit card interest rates can reach as high as 30%.
There are many ways to decrease your interest rate. Doing so means more of your payments will go to your balance and less to interest. The first and easiest way is to call your credit card company and ask for an interest rate decrease. If you have a positive history with them, they are likely to consider your request seriously.
If that doesn't work - or if you need that interest rate to go as low as 0%, then a balance transfer could be the answer. Balance transfers are often used as a way to consolidate debt. In fact, these cards are specifically offered for that reason. You can even transfer multiple credit cards onto one balance transfer credit card. (If you're approved for a high enough credit limit to do so, that is.)
There is often a fee associated with balance transfer credit cards of about 3% of the total balance. If this can help decrease your interest enough so you can pay the card off faster, the fee may be well worth it. However, there are no fee balance-transfer credit cards. If you can get approved for that, then you're in really good shape to pay off your debt.
Runner-up Low Interest Credit Cards
Don't stop your search at just one low interest credit card, read on below to find even more. This is a great option to help you get out (and stay out) of debt, so choose carefully.
Credit Is a Long-Term Game, Don't Lose Sight of Your Progress
If you currently have a good credit score, you're probably feeling great about it. And you should! But you should never use that as a reason to take your eye off the ball. As long as you have a good or excellent credit score, you'll more options in front of you when you need to borrow. (And you'll have better, lower cost options.)
As long as you have a good or excellent credit score, you'll more options in front of you when you need to borrow. (And you'll have better, lower cost options.) This just doesn't refer to credit cards. A high credit score can help you qualify for auto loans, mortgages, and more.
So how much of a difference can this make? Think about it this way: if your credit score helps you qualify for a lower rate, you could save hundreds of dollars per month on your loan. You could also pay off any line of credit or loan much faster. This means more of your hard-earned money in your pocket, not the lender's.
That's why it's important to keep an eye on your score. Know where you stand. Always keep an eye on improving your credit. That way you can have the best of all options in front of you whenever you need them. Do that and you'll never have to fret when you need to borrow.
|Credit Card||Notable Feature||Who It's Best For|
|Discover it||Earn 5% cash back on certain categories that change every quarter.||People who want to earn high amounts of cash back on season-appropriate items.|
|Chase Freedom®||Earn 5% cash back on categories that change every quarter.||People whose shopping patterns changed based on the season and prefer to earn high cash back on those purchases.|
|U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature||Customize your 5% cash back categories||Shoppers who want to personalize their cash back program.|
|Capital One Venture Rewards||Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on all purchases.||People who travel often and don't want to restrict their rewards to a particular airline or hotel.|
|Bank Americard Travel Rewards||Earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases.||People who want to earn travel rewards without any annual fee.|
|Discover it® Miles||Earn 1.5% miles on all spending and miles can be used to redeem for travel statement credit.||People who want to earn travel rewards without any annual fee.|
|Barclaycard Ring||A very low regular APR combined with free balance transfers.||People who want to avoid paying as much interest as possible.|
|PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature||High rewards rates on gas and grocery purchases.||Frequent commuters who drive and shop at supermarkets.|
|Citi Simplicity||Lengthy 0% APR intro period on purchases and balance transfers.||People who need to finance a major purchase or consolidate debt.|