The Best Credit Cards for Good Credit | December 2020 Picks

The Best Credit Cards for Good Credit | December 2020 Picks

The best credit cards for good credit let consumers earn rewards and valuable benefits. Find out which cards made our ranking and how to apply.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

The best credit card offers typically go to consumers with good to excellent credit, but what does that mean? Using the scoring method from FICO, a “good” score — or one that is near or slightly above the average for U.S. consumers — is any score between 670 to 739 on a 300 to 850 scale. The higher your score, the better your chance of qualifying for the top credit cards.

Qualifying for a card for good credit can pay off — cardholders can earn valuable cash back or travel rewards, save on interest with a 0% APR card and can enjoy other valuable benefits, such as purchase and travel protections.

We surveyed cards on ValuePenguin and major issuer sites to pinpoint some of the most valuable offers available to applicants with good credit scores. Here are our top picks by category:

Best credit cards for good credit 2020

Recommended cardBest forAnnual fee
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
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Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardTravel$95
Apply Now
  • On Capital One's Secure Website
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unavailable credit card
Discover it® Cash BackCash backSee termsRead Review
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
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Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express CardAirline$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
Apply Now
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Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
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Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® CardHotels$95
Apply Now
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unavailable credit card
Wells Fargo Platinum cardLow APR$0Read Review
unavailable credit card
Capital One Spark Cash for BusinessBusiness$0 intro for first year; $95 after thatRead Review
Recommended cards
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Apply Now
  • On Capital One's Secure Website
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Discover it® Cash BackRead Review
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Apply Now
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Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Apply Now
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Wells Fargo Platinum cardRead Review
Capital One Spark Cash for BusinessRead Review

What is a good credit score? | How to pick a card for good credit | How to get approved | How to go from good to excellent credit | FAQs

Best travel credit card for good credit

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • On Capital One's Secure Website

$95

17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)

Excellent/Good

  • Earn 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 $3000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
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Earn 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 $3000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

ValuePenguin's verdict

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is easily one of the best travel credit cards available, and there are several reasons why. For starters, this card is offering an exceptional sign-up bonus that is worth $1,000 in travel if you can meet the relatively high minimum spending requirement. Not only that, but you’ll earn an unlimited 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, so you don’t have to worry about bonus categories or earning caps.

Miles are a breeze to redeem: You can redeem them at a rate of 1 cent per mile to cover travel purchases charged to your card in the last 90 days, and you can also transfer your miles to an array of popular airline and hotel partners including Flying Blue (Air France/KLM), Wyndham Rewards and JetBlue.

Through Dec. 31, 2020, you can also redeem Capital One miles at a rate of 1 cent per mile for eligible restaurant deliveries, takeout and streaming services purchases from thousands of merchants.

Overall, we believe this card is an excellent choice for consumers who want to travel but need flexibility when it comes to redeeming their rewards.

Benefits

  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Qualify for up to $100 fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership.
  • Redeem rewards for travel, Amazon.com purchases or transfers to Capital One airline and hotel partners.
  • Qualify for auto rental collision damage waiver coverage, travel accident insurance, extended warranties on eligible items and other cardholder perks.

Drawbacks

  • Capital One transfer partner ratios are not that great, with most letting you transfer Capital one miles at a 2:1.5 ratio.
  • Annual fee is not waived the first year.
  • Sign-up bonus requires a high amount of spending on the card.

Best cashback credit card for good credit

Discover it® Cash Back

Matches all your cash back at the end of your first year for new cardholders.

ValuePenguin's verdict

The Discover it® Cash Back is an easy choice for consumers who want to earn cash back on their spending without paying an annual fee. This card lets you 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically Categories frequently include Amazon.com purchases, dining and drugstores. Keep in mind, however, that bonus rewards are limited to $1,500 in spending per quarter. You’ll earn 1% cash back after you reach that threshold, as well as on other purchases you make with your card.

The Discover it® Cash Back will double all the rewards you earn after your first year in lieu of a traditional sign-up bonus. This means that, if you Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

Benefits

  • 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically
  • See your rewards doubled after the first 12 months (for new cardholders).
  • Redeem your rewards for cash back, statement credits, gift cards, charitable donations and more.
  • Free FICO Score on your statement each month.
  • You can get prequalified online without a hard inquiry on your credit report.

Drawbacks

  • Bonus rewards are capped on the first $1,500 spent in bonus categories each quarter.
  • No major cardholder benefits or consumer protections to speak of.
  • No traditional sign-up bonus, although Discover's Cash Match offer is potentially much more valuable.
  • For rates and fees of Discover it® Cash Back, please click here.

Best airline credit card for good credit

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.

15.74%-24.74% Variable

Excellent/Good

  • Earn 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn now. Travel when you're ready. After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a calendar year, you will receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit to inspire your next travel.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Terms Apply.
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Earn 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

ValuePenguin's verdict

If you want to earn airline miles so you can travel within the United States or abroad, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card can be a solid choice. Not only do Delta SkyMiles never expire, but you can use them to fly with Delta or a range of SkyTeam alliance partners. Delta doesn’t have a set award chart, but you can often find great deals on select destinations, or by booking one of Delta’s SkyMiles Deals (when available).

The card offers a generous welcome bonus right off the bat, and you also Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets. 1X miles on everything else. The card's checked bag benefit is also quite generous: You get a free checked bag whenever you fly with Delta — this applies to the cardholder and up to eight other people on the same itinerary.

Benefits

  • First checked bag free for you and up to eight companions on your itinerary.
  • $100 Delta flight credit when you spend $10,000 or more on your card within a calendar year.
  • Enjoy a first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
  • 20% back on in-flight purchases when you pay with your credit card.
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Priority boarding when you fly with Delta.
  • Qualify for secondary auto rental coverage and a Global Assist hotline.
  • Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • Must fly Delta Air Lines frequently to use the card's benefits.
  • Charges an annual fee after the first year.
  • Terms apply.

For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here

Best hotel credit card for good credit

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

$95

15.74%-24.74% Variable

Excellent/Good

  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
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Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

ValuePenguin's verdict

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is a good option for hotel rewards enthusiasts who want a big welcome bonus and the ability to earn ongoing rewards on their spending. This card starts you off with a generous welcome bonus, easily worth a few nights in a higher-end Hilton hotel.

The $95 annual fee on this card is very reasonable, and that’s especially true considering you get automatic Hilton Gold status as a cardholder. As a Gold member, you can qualify for elite Hilton Honors perks like free breakfast, complimentary room upgrades and more.

We believe the earning rates on this card are exceptional, and that’s true even if you don’t spend a lot on hotel stays right now, since the earning categories include everyday purchases, like supermarkets and gas. Cardholders Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio. Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations. Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.

Benefits

  • Receive automatic Hilton Honors Gold status as a cardholder.
  • Qualify for a weekend night award when you spend at least $15,000 on your card within a calendar year.
  • Get 10 Priority Pass airport lounge visits per year.
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • Points in the Hilton Honors program have limited redemption options outside of free hotel nights.
  • $95 annual fee applies.
  • Terms apply.

For rates and fees of Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, please click here

Best low APR credit card for good credit

Wells Fargo Platinum card

Intro APR of 0% for 18 months on purchases and 0% for 18 months on qualifying balance transfers, followed by an APR of 16.49%-24.49% (Variable).

ValuePenguin's verdict

The Wells Fargo Platinum card is a very good choice if you want to save money on interest for as long as possible. Not only do you get an intro APR of 0% for 18 months on purchases (followed by an APR of 16.49%-24.49% (Variable)), but you’ll qualify for the same introductory rate for balance transfers you make within 120 days. Note, however, that if you transfer a balance to this card, a 3% balance transfer fee (minimum $5) will apply for the first 120 days. After that, the fee goes up to 3% for 120 days, then 5% of your transferred balances with the same minimum fee of $5.

This card doesn’t charge an annual fee, and you get a free FICO Score on your credit card statement. Just keep in mind that this card doesn’t earn any rewards, so it’s better for consumers who want to save money on interest instead of those who want to earn points or miles.

Benefits

  • Intro APR of 0% for 18 months on purchases and 0% for 18 months on qualifying balance transfers, followed by an APR of 16.49%-24.49% (Variable); balance transfers must be made within 120 days to qualify for the introductory rate.
  • $0 annual fee.
  • Free FICO Score.
  • Money-saving introductory 0% APR offer.
  • $0 annual fee.
  • Cellphone protection worth up to $600, less a $25 deductible, when you pay your cell phone bill with your credit card.

Drawbacks

  • No rewards.
  • This card doesn’t have many meaningful perks or benefits.
  • For rates and fees of Wells Fargo Platinum card, please click here.

Best business credit card for good credit

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

ValuePenguin's verdict

The Capital One Spark Cash for Business is an excellent option for business owners or self-employed individuals who want to earn cashback rewards on their business spending. You can earn an unlimited 2% Cash Back for your business on every purchase, everywhere. This means you can rack up rewards fast, and that doesn’t even include the generous bonus offer you can receive within the first three months.

When it comes to redeeming your rewards, the Capital One Spark Cash for Business lets you redeem for cash back in any amount. You’ll also get free employee cards, so you can earn rewards on business-related purchases your employees make.

Benefits

  • Earn unlimited rewards that won’t expire as long as your account is open.
  • annual fee $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Free cards for your employees.
  • Qualify for roadside assistance.

Drawbacks

  • An annual fee applies after the first year.
  • Rewards can only be used for cash back or statement credits.

What is a good credit score?

A "good" credit score depends on the credit-scoring model that you're using. There are several different types of credit-scoring models, including FICO, VantageScore and more. A good score can fall between 670 to 739 on the FICO scale, or between 661 to 780 on the VantageScore scale.

The scoring models rates use the following ranges:

FICO Score ranges

Credit scoreRating
580Poor
580-669Fair
670-739Good
740-799Very good
800+Excellent

VantageScore ranges

Credit scoreRating
300-499Very poor
500-600Poor
601-660Fair
661-780Good
781-850Excellent

How to pick a card for good credit

If you feel overwhelmed by the credit cards for good credit we’ve highlighted above, you should take the time to think over the cardholder benefits you want the most. You should also consider factors that could affect your ability to maximize the benefits of your card, as well as how long you plan to keep your credit card in the first place. Considerations to keep in mind as you pick a new credit card include the following:

How will you use the card?

How do you see yourself using your credit card, and which types of rewards or benefits do you want the most? If you want to earn flexible cash back you can redeem however you want, then a cashback credit card is probably your best bet. But if you want to travel, you’ll have to compare travel credit cards to find one that lets you earn points you can redeem for travel.

If your goal is saving money on interest, then you’re better off comparing balance transfer credit cards and cards that offer 0% APR on purchases for a limited time.

Before you pick a card, it can help to think about what you hope to accomplish and how a credit card could help.

What do you spend the most on?

If your goal is earning rewards, then it’s smart to figure out which cards might give you the most bang for your buck. If you spend a lot on groceries each month, for example, a grocery credit card with superior rewards in this category could be the best choice. If you spend a lot on travel or dining, on the other hand, a credit card that offers bonus rewards on restaurant spending, flights and hotels could leave you significantly better off.

However, if you don't like juggling cards or tracking spending categories, you might consider a card that offers flat-rate rewards. Flat-rate rewards credit cards offer a high rate of rewards on every purchase, rather than a bonus in particular spending categories.

Sign-up bonus

If your goal is earning as much as possible with your new credit card in the first year, then you’ll want to seek out cards with a significant welcome bonus. Many cards let you earn a bonus worth $500 or more just for meeting a minimum spending requirement within the first few months. This bonus is doled out on top of the rewards you earn on regular spending.

Annual fee vs. no annual fee

If you don’t spend a lot on your credit card each year, then a card with no annual fee may be a better choice. You don’t want to pay to carry a card if you’re not going to earn enough in rewards to at least cover the fee.

However, for cardholders who spend significantly on their cards each year, a credit card with a higher rewards rate that charges an annual fee could make a lot of sense. The rewards and benefits offered by annual fee cards can be worth multiple times the annual fee.

Other benefits

As you compare cards, keep your eye out for cardholder benefits that could be useful in your everyday life. These might include travel insurance benefits, consumer protections like extended warranties or purchase protection against damage or theft, and cardholder perks like airport lounge access or free checked bags when you fly.

How to get approved for a credit card for good credit

When it comes to getting approved for a credit card, there are plenty of steps you can take right away. Here are some tips to boost your odds of approval:

  • Pay down existing debt you have in order to reduce your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio.
  • Make sure you’re paying all of your bills early or on time since your payment history is the most important factor that makes up your FICO Score.
  • List household income on your credit card application, and not just your own.
  • If you don’t have a credit card yet, become an authorized user on another person’s credit card, which will help you build valuable credit history.

How to go from good to excellent credit

The key to moving from a good credit rating to an excellent one is identifying areas where you’ve been lacking. To start, familiarize yourself with the components that make up a credit score. For the purpose of credit cards, you’ll want to focus on the FICO 8 Score, which is the one used most frequently in bank card decisions.

Those who have good credit are most likely doing a few things right, such as never missing their monthly payments. Frequently, the two things holding people back from moving to the “excellent” bracket are the average age of their credit and the types of credit they hold. Here is how you can tackle both:

  • Average age of credit. The older the average age is of all of your credit and loan accounts, the better it is for your credit rating. Every time you open up a new line of credit, your average age goes down. The key to improving this factor is to minimize the number of accounts you open and to avoid closing any old accounts. There is no reason to shut down old accounts unless they are inactive and are having a negative impact on your finances — such as charging you an annual fee. For those who are new to credit, the average age of credit will be the toughest to overcome. There is not much you can do outside of patiently waiting (or have yourself added as an authorized user to an older account).
  • Types of credit. Having a mix of different credit lines helps build a better credit score. For example, an individual with only two credit card accounts could have a better credit score if they also paid down a student loan or mortgage under their name. Users looking to diversify their loan portfolio can also seek credit-building loans from local credit unions. These are made with the explicit purpose of helping an individual add more accounts to their credit report.

The following questions and answers can help you learn more about the best credit cards for good credit and how to get one.

How do you get a good credit score?

The factors that make up your credit score include your payment history, how much debt you have, the average length of your credit history, the types of debt you have and how much new credit you have. To boost your credit score into the “good” range, you’ll want to pay your bills early or on time, pay down debt, keep your credit utilization low and refrain from opening or closing too many accounts.

How many credit cards should you have for good credit?

The number of credit cards you have will not affect whether you have good credit or not. Instead, the way you use your credit cards will have the greatest impact.

Which credit cards for good credit offer instant approval?

Some credit cards are easier to get than others, and some offer instant approval or virtual card numbers. However, you should note that “instant approval” does not necessarily mean a card is easy to qualify for. It only means you can find out if you’re approved within a few minutes of applying online.

With all of this in mind, any of the cards that made our ranking could be considered instant approval cards. You can apply for each of them online, and you may find out you’re approved within a matter of minutes.

What are credit card points?

Credit card points are a form of rewards that can be used to book travel, redeem for cash back or other options. Most rewards credit cards earn a base number of points per dollar spent, with bonus points earned for specific categories that vary from card to card. The value of these points depends upon which program they're in and how you plan on redeeming them.

Why do credit cards give rewards?

Banks give rewards when you spend on your credit card because they charge the merchant a percentage of the transaction every time you swipe your card. The bank gives you a portion of this fee and keeps the rest for itself to pay expenses and make a profit.

Although many people pay their credit cards off in full each month, not everyone does. The bank also makes money by charging interest to people who carry a balance from month-to-month.

The information related to Discover it® Cash Back, Wells Fargo Platinum card and Capital One Spark Cash for Business has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

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.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).