The Best Credit Cards for Good Credit | September 2020 Picks

The Best Credit Cards for Good Credit | September 2020 Picks

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.

Citi is an advertising partner.

The FICO credit score range is from 300 and 850. Generally, if your credit score falls between 670 and 739, you have "good" credit, according to FICO, and this could help you qualify for a large number of credit cards with enticing rewards programs and introductory offers.

We reviewed our list of cards to find options that excel in specific categories for individuals with good credit. Here are the winners.

The best credit cards for good credit

Recommended Cards

Best ForAnnual Fee
Chase Freedom®
Chase Freedom®Overall Use$0
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit CardTravel$95
Citi Simplicity® Card
Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees EverBalance Transfers$0
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressGroceries$0$0
Apply Now
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Recommended Cards

Chase Freedom®
Chase Freedom®
Discover it® Cash Back
Discover it® Cash Back
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Citi Simplicity® Card
Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Apply Now
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Continue reading below for the benefits and features of the top cards for people with good credit. You can also check out our comparison tool at the bottom of the page to see how each card performs for your spending habits and budget.

Overall: best credit card for good credit: Chase Freedom®

The Chase Freedom® is a solid choice for people with good credit due to its outstanding rewards and long-term value.

Rewards

On the reward front, this card allows users to Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Chase categories include things like grocery stores, ground transportation and gas stations.

If you don't think you'll spend a lot in the 5% back categories Chase offers, you could also opt for the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card, which offers a flat 1.5% back on all purchases but no bonus categories.

Sign-up bonus

On top of the rewards, cardholders can Earn a $200 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. That’s a higher bonus than you can get with most no-annual-fee credit cards.

Most people with good credit will, over time, continue to improve their score. If that’s the case, you’ll be able to use the Chase Freedom® in conjunction with other Ultimate Rewards credit cards to get even higher returns. For example, once you have Excellent credit, you can get the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, and increase the overall value of your Ultimate Rewards points by 25%.

Highlights of the Chase Freedom®

  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Ability to combine points from this card with other Ultimate Rewards credit cards
  • $0 annual fee

Online shopping: The best credit card for good credit: Discover it® Cash Back

Rewards

The Discover it® Cash Back works similarly to the Chase Freedom® in that it awards 5% cash back on rotating categories, up to a quarterly maximum of $1,500 (activation required). For 2020, the categories include grocery stores, Walgreens, and CVS (January-March), gas stations, Uber, Lyft, and wholesale clubs (April-June), restaurants and PayPal (July-September), Amazon.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com (October-December).

First-year bonus

While the Chase Freedom® may end up being the best card in the long run due to the flexibility of Ultimate Rewards points, the Discover it® Cash Back is all about optimizing short-term value. New cardmembers will have all of their cash back doubled at the end of the first year. That boosts this card’s rewards rate for those first 12 months and gives you 2% to 10% back on all your purchases during that period. Very few cards will be able to match those kinds of returns.

Highlights Discover it® Cash Back

  • Double your cash back at the end of your first year

Travel: The best credit card for good credit: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is one of the best travel credit cards available, and people with a credit score above 750 may qualify for it.

2X miles

With the card, you'll earn 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. You'll also get 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. The annual fee is $95.

Other cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, offer the potential for higher rewards but only in certain categories. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card gives you the potential to earn a total of 2 points for all types of purchases, regardless of where you spend.

You can use these miles for a broad range of travel expenses, such as airfare, hotel reservations, car rentals and more. You can also transfer miles to Capital One's 16 travel partners.

Sign-up bonus

Arguably the best benefit of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is its sign-up bonus. You'll get 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. This is an above-average sign-up bonus amount.

Annual fee

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card does come with an annual fee of $95, so it may not be the best choice for people with low to moderate spending. However, since the annual fee is waived for the first year, signing up for one year and taking advantage of the sign-up bonus is a great deal for anyone.

Highlights of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

  • 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • 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
  • $95

Balance transfer credit cards for good credit: Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

If you're currently paying a high interest rate on debt you hold with another credit card, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever may provide some relief.

Long 0% APR period

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever is one of the best credit cards for balance transfers we've seen. It comes with a 0% for 18 months on Purchases, meaning this card could be an excellent tool in helping you save money while you pay off your debt. After the intro period, your APR will be 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable), based on your credit score.

Of course, we don't recommend you take on new debt just because of this introductory period, but you should rather take advantage of the balance transfer offer.

No late fees

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever will never charge you a late fee if you miss your scheduled payment. Most other cards will charge you a $35 fee for the delayed payment.

This is a small perk, but it may come in handy as you try to take control of your debt.

Highlights of the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

  • 0% for 18 months on Purchases, then 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
  • $0 annual fee
  • No rewards rates

Groceries: Best credit card for good credit: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Everyday card review Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is one of the top options for purchases at U.S. supermarkets.

Rewards

If you’re looking for a rewarding card for your everyday purchases, including at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is a great no-annual-fee option. You earn 3% cash back on up to $6,000 in U.S. supermarket purchases each year — that’s a hard rate to beat.

Introductory bonus

Though the card’s introductory bonus isn’t spectacular, it’s a decent offer for no annual fee: Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.

Highlights of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

  • Earn 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • Earn 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, and 1% back on other purchases.
  • Long intro APR: 0% on purchases for 15 months from the date of account opening, then 13.99%-23.99% Variable.

Compare credit cards for good credit based on how you spend

To find the true best credit card for your particular needs, you should consider how you spend your money each month. The list above gives an overview of cards that excel in broad categories. Those who want a more personalized answer should use our calculator below. Input your estimated monthly budget by category, and the tool will give you our estimate for the value of each card based on what you enter.

Note: The tool is limited to reward credit cards only. If you wish to find the best low-interest or balance-transfer credit card, we recommend visiting our separate calculator here.

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Assumptions based on $1,430 monthly spend
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Strategy: How to get 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.

A graph showing the impact different factors have on a FICO credit score.

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 (AAOC). 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. They 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 AAOC will be the toughest to overcome. There is not much you can do outside of patiently waiting.
  • 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 information related to the Chase Freedom® and the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever have been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Joe Resendiz

Joe Resendiz is a former investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs, where he covered public sector and infrastructure financing. During his time on Wall Street, Joe worked closely with the debt capital markets team, which allowed him to gain unique insights into the credit market. Joe is currently a research analyst who covers credit cards and the payments industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in finance.

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.

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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).