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The 10 Best Credit Cards For Excellent Credit For 2018

Individuals with great credit scores have access to top-notch credit card offers. If you’ve worked hard to build up your credit history to this point, you will want to make sure that you use the best potential credit card, and maximize the rewards and perks you earn.

The Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit in 2018 Are...

Best Travel Cards for Excellent Credit

Consider one of these cards if you travel at least once or twice a year.

1. Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a favorite of most travelers. The card produces a 2.5% rewards rate when used on dining and travel purchases, and 1.25% on all other spending. There are two things that make this card standout from the rest – the signup bonus and Ultimate Rewards points. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has one of the best welcome offers of any credit card on the market. If you spend at least $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account, you will be awarded 50,000 bonus Ultimate Reward points, the value of which is $625 when redeemed towards travel through the UR portal.

All the rewards you earn with this card are in the form of Chase Ultimate Reward points, which is another major selling point of this card. These points have one of the highest net values of any rewards program. We estimate them to be worth $0.0125 each when used towards travel, but you can get even more out of them by transferring them to any one of the 10 partnered hotel and airline programs. The list includes programs like Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, United MileagePlus®, and Marriott Rewards®. The high value combined with high redemption flexibility is what elevates the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to top card status.

Highlights

  • 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel, and 1.25% on everything else
  • 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Points transferrable to multiple hotel and airline loyalty programs

2. Runner-Up: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Travelers who spend big outside of travel and dining should consider the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card - one of the most rewarding travel credit cards. The card, which Capital One requires excellent credit to apply for, provides accountholders with a fixed 2% rewards rate everywhere they use the card – no matter the vendor. If you spend $7,200 more annually on travel and dining than anything else, you will be better off with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Otherwise, this card will serve most other individuals who want travel rewards. The Venture miles you accumulate with this card are used to pay down travel expense on your card. Therefore, the rewards are always used retroactively to pay for expenses already charged, instead of booking upcoming trips.

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card comes with a decent welcome bonus – 50,000 miles are awarded to those who spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening. The bonus is worth approximately $500 in travel statement credit - enough to cover the cost of a round-trip flight between Los Angeles and New York.

Right now, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is also running a fantastic new promotion. Users get 10x miles on hotels when they pay with their Venture card at hotels.com/Venture. The promotion is running through January 31, 2020.

Highlights

  • 2 miles on every $1 you spend
  • 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening - a $500 value
  • Annual Fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
  • 10x miles on hotels when they pay with their Venture card at hotels.com/Venture

Best Cash Back Cards For Excellent Credit

These cards are best for people who want the best savings on everyday categories, like gas and groceries.

1. Winner: Discover it® Cash Back

The Discover it® Cash Back offers some of the highest cash back rewards – doubly so during the first year of cardmembership. Normally this credit card gives 5% cash back in bonus categories that rotate throughout the year, up to a maximum of $1,500 in purchases each quarter, each time you activate. All other spending earns just 1% cash back. For new cardmembers, however, all the cash back rewards are doubled their first year - essentially making the rewards at least 2% during that first year. For example, if you open an account February 1st, 2017, you will have all the rewards you earned up to February 1st 2018 doubled.

One downside to using Discover is that the network is not accepted as widely by merchants as VISA and Mastercard. If you frequently find yourself traveling abroad, and would like to use your credit card there, we recommend looking at another option.

Highlights

  • 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter like gas, restaurants, wholesale clubs and more - up to the quarterly maximum when you sign up
  • New cardmembers get their cash back rewards doubled at the end of the first year
  • $0 annual fee

2. Runner-Up: Chase Freedom®

The Chase Freedom® ranks among the top cash back credit cards thanks to solid short-term and long-term value potential. Like the Discover it® card, the Chase Freedom® earns its users 5% cash back on categories that rotate quarterly, up to a maximum amount of $1,500 in spending. These categories have to be activated every 3 months, so you’ll want to make sure you’re paying attention to when they do. If you don't opt into the bonus categories, you will earn just 1% cash back. For the second quarter of 2016, the 5% category includes grocery stores and wholesale clubs, such as BJ's and Sam's Club. Unlike other cards of this type, the Chase Freedom® also comes with a signup bonus. Users can earn $150 in statement credit, if they spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

While the Chase Freedom® is marketed as a cash back card, it should be noted that the rewards you earn are Ultimate Reward points. That allows you to combine this card’s rewards with the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®, if you have both in your wallet.

Highlights

  • Rewards rate between 1% and 5%
  • $150 bonus after spending $500 in purchases within 3 months of account opening
  • Part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards family of cards

Best Fixed Rate Cash Back Cards for Excellent Credit

Consider these credit cards if you don't mind sacrificing total potential savings for simplicity and ease of use.

1. Winner: Citi® Double Cash Card

For those with excellent credit, the Citi® Double Cash Card gives the best all-around rewards. Users earn 1% cash back at the time of purchase, and another 1% when that purchase is paid off. As of 2018, few other credit cards deliver that kind of high rewards rate at all stores and types of purchases. The Citi® Double Cash Card comes with no annual fee, meaning that the card can be all profit – provided you always pay your bill in full and you don’t miss payments.

The Citi® Double Cash Card excels for individuals with varied spending. Most credit cards tend to specialize in one or two areas – groceries, gas, dining, travel, etc. For people whose budget doesn’t conform to one particular credit cards rewards structure, or who don’t want to bother with optimizing how they use their card, the Citi® Double Cash Card provides one of the simplest solutions.

Highlights

  • 1% cash back on all purchases, plus another 1% when those purchases are paid off
  • No annual fee

2. Runner-Up: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

There are few cards that can beat the high cash back rates offered by the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express for the typical household budget—especially if you're a parent or guardian that can qualify with excellent credit. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express earns users an excellent 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets. While that's limited to $6,000 per year in purchases (earning you 1% back after), that's good enough for $360 back every year assuming you hit the $6,000 spending mark. The card also rewards users with 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select department stores and 1% back on other purchases.

The card comes with a $95 annual fee, but it can be one of the better cards that's available to those with excellent credit if you spend heavily at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets. It also awards cardholders with a $200 statement credit if they spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within the first three months. That statement credit can help offset the card's annual fee for two years. Furthermore, the value of the statement credit is comparable to the sign-up bonuses offered by other top cash back credit cards.

Highlights

  • $95 annual fee.
  • $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three months.

Best Luxury Travel Card For Excellent Credit

These are credit cards you should consider if you call the airport your second home. They focus on providing you with luxury treatment on your travels, and generally making your life easier.

1. Winner: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

If you’re looking for a card with a long list of perks and features that’ll make your life easier, there are few cards—if any—that’ll come close to matching the benefits that the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers. While the card has a $450 annual fee, anyone who takes advantage of the Annual Travel Credit, lounge access, and application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ can easily breakeven.

The card gives users access to Chase Ultimate Rewards, which is one of the best rewards programs around. The value of one point earned with this card has the potential to be worth $0.015 when utilizing the 50% bonus for redeeming for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. This means that the cards sign up bonus can be worth $750. Points can also be transferred to the card’s participating partners:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
  • Iberia Plus
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards
  • World of Hyatt

Beyond high rewards, the cards plethora of perks allow cardholders to enjoy a seamless travel experience. The card offers complimentary airport lounge access, trip interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, and more. If you’re interested in a specific travel perk, this card has it.

Highlights

  • 3x points per dollar spent on travel and dining at restaurants & 1x point per dollar spent on all other purchases (3 points on travel after you earn the $300 travel credit)
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit automatically applied to your account for travel purchases charged to your card
  • Complimentary Airport Lounge Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide
  • 1:1 Point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® Review

2. Runner-Up: Citi Prestige® Card

The Citi Prestige® Card is a hybrid, offering both fantastic travel rewards as well as luxury perks. Most other luxury travel credit cards focus solely on perks. The Citi Prestige® Card, on the other hand, also comes with a stellar rewards rate. Cardmembers receive 3.75% when making air travel and hotel purchases, 2.5% on dining and entertainment, and 1.25% on everything else.

This card has an expensive annual fee. Users must pay $450 annually. In return accountholders get the aforementioned Priority Pass access, $250 air travel credit, and Global Entry fee reimbursement. Priority Pass on its own can be worth around $399 by our estimates.

Highlights

  • $250 air travel credit each year
  • 3.75% rewards rate on airline and hotel purchases, and 2.5% on dining and entertainment

Best Airline Miles Cards For People With Excellent Credit

If you want to earn airline miles to pay for vacations, these are some of the best credit cards to consider.

1. Winner: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card is one of the best airline mile credit cards to have if you are a domestic traveler. The card is co-branded with Southwest Airlines, which flies to 97 destinations across the United States. On top of all the miles you earn by using the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card for day-to-day purchases, accountholders receive 3,000 bonus points each cardmember anniversary. The short-term value of this card tends to fluctuate. The signup bonus varies between 25k and 60k points throughout the year. If you aren’t in a hurry to signup for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, we recommend waiting for the bonus to hit the higher end of the spectrum so that you maximize your rewards.

All the miles you earn through this card count towards the Southwest Companion pass – one of the most sought after frequent flyer benefits. If you reach 110,000 miles within one year, you will earn this pass. Doing so will allow you to designate a travelling companion, who will fly with you for free (other than airport taxes) for the duration of the year in which you earned the pass, and the following calendar year.

Highlights

  • 3,000 bonus miles each year you remain a cardmember
  • Miles earned through this card can help qualify for the Southwest companion pass
  • Rewards rate between 1.5% and 3%

Compare Credit Cards For People with Excellent Credit

Choosing the right credit card typically comes down to how and where you shop. People with the best credit scores should, therefore, use the tool below to be matched with the right credit card for them. Once you enter your estimated monthly budget, the calculator will order the difference credit card options from most to least valuable – based on the value of rewards earned net any annual fee.

Assumptions Based On Monthly Spend of: $1,430 Edit
General:
U.S. Gas Stations:
U.S. Supermarkets:
Airlines:
Hotel:
U.S. Restaurants:
Office:
Utilities:
Computing:
Card Annual Fee 2-yr Net Rewards Rate

The Net Rewards Rate is equal to the Rewards Value over two years divided by the total spending. The total spending is equal to the values entered into the tool and multiplied by 24 months. See the rewards Value note to see details on how it is calculated.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. All estimates are based on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

Bonus Value

The bonus field shows our estimate for the value of the card’s welcome bonus. If the bonus is point or mile based, we multiply the total bonus points/miles by our estimate for their value to arrive at a dollar equivalent. We display $0 if there is no bonus or if the user doesn’t qualify for the bonus based on the current spending entered into the tool. All estimates are based on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

2-yr Rewards Value

The Rewards value is calculated by adding together the rewards earned from charging purchases to the card over two years and any welcome bonuses (if applicable). They are then multiplied by our estimated point/mile value, with any annual fees (if applicable) subtracted. All values are based on our own estimates for the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using a card and on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
$69 3.43%
$731
Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in first 3 months of opening your account
$1,176
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.017 = $583
Bonuses
40,000 x $0.017 = $680
3,000 x $0.017 = $51
Less Annual Fees -$138
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,176

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $69
APR 17.74% - 24.74% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • 3,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Earn unlimited points that don't expire as long as your card account is open
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • Bags fly free® and no change fees
  • Redeem your points for flights, hotel stays, gift cards, access to events and more
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95 3.00%
$625
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
$1,028
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 39,840 x $0.013 = $498
Bonuses
50,000 x $0.013 = $625
Less Annual Fees -$95
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,028

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
APR 17.74% - 24.74% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that 3.18%
$500
Receive 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months
$1,091
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 68,640 x $0.01 = $686
Bonuses
50,000 x $0.01 = $500
Less Annual Fees -$95
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,091

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
APR 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

Note: The information in this box was provided by Capital One® and is not part of our independent analysis.

Citi® Double Cash Card
$0* 2.00%
$0
$686
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 686 x $1 = $686
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 686

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0*
APR 15.24% - 25.24%* (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.24% - 25.24% based on your creditworthiness*
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*
Discover it® Cash Back
$0 1.50%
$171
INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
$514
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 343 x $1 = $343
Bonuses
171 x $1 = $171
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 514

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0
APR 13.74% - 24.74% Variable

Card Details

  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Chase Freedom®
$0 1.44%
$150
Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
$493
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 343 x $1 = $343
Bonuses
0 x $1 = $150
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 493

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0
APR 16.74% - 25.49% Variable

Card Details

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee
Citi Prestige® Card
$450 0.47%
$532
Earn 40,000 bonus ThankYou points after you spend $3000
$162
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 39,840 x $0.013 = $530
Bonuses
0 x $0.013 = $0
40,000 x $0.013 = $532
Less Annual Fees -$900
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 162

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $450
APR 15.24%

Card Details

  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Complimentary 4th night at luxury hotels when booked through Carlson Wagonlit Travel
  • Unlimited access to 400+ airport lounges
  • $100 global entry fee credit
  • Chip technology
  • 24/7 concierge
  • Lost baggage coverage

Comments and Questions

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer's Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers see our disclosure page

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Info about the following cards: American Express® Gold Card, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, and Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products. For more information please see our Advertiser Disclosure.