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What Are the Best Credit Cards for Good Credit? (2019)

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

Your FICO credit score falls somewhere between 300 and 850. Lenders, insurers and other companies will use this number to evaluate your creditworthiness and decide whether you pose a risk to their firm. Generally, if your credit score falls between 700 and 799, you have "good" credit, 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.

Recommended Cards

Best ForAnnual Fee
Chase Freedom®
Chase Freedom®Overall Use$0
Discover it® Cash Back
Discover it® Cash BackShopping$0
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®Travel$89 ($0 First Year)
Citi Simplicity® Card
Citi Simplicity® CardBalance Transfers$0

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.

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

Rewards

On the reward front, this card allows users to earn 5% back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter. These 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 get a $150 bonus after they spend at least $500 on purchases within the first three months of card membership. That’s a higher bonus than you can get with most no-annual-fee credit cards.

Most people with good credit will probably, 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 UR points by 25%.

Highlights of the Chase Freedom®

  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter and 1% back on everything else
  • Ability to combine points from this card with other Ultimate Rewards credit cards
  • No annual fee

Online Shopping: The Best Credit Card for Good Credit Discover it® Cash Back

On Discover's Secure Website

Discover it® Cash Back

On Discover's Secure Website
Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • 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 and more 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.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
  • 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 and more 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.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.24% - 25.24% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent, Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

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 2019, the categories include grocery stores (January-March), gas stations, Uber & Lyft (April-June), restaurants and PayPal (July-September), Amazon.com, Target, 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
  • No annual fee

Travel: The Best Credit Card for Good Credit

On Barclays' Secure Website

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

On Barclays' Secure Website
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase
  • New - Control Your Card - Instantly secure your accounts by locking your cards with Barclays SecurHold™, plus set transaction limits and block certain purchase categories for you or your authorized users. Available only on the Barclays mobile app.
  • Book travel your way—no airline, seat or hotel restrictions—and redeem your miles for travel statement credits
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • International Chip and PIN for use at self-service chip terminals around the world
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase
  • New - Control Your Card - Instantly secure your accounts by locking your cards with Barclays SecurHold™, plus set transaction limits and block certain purchase categories for you or your authorized users. Available only on the Barclays mobile app.
  • Book travel your way—no airline, seat or hotel restrictions—and redeem your miles for travel statement credits
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • International Chip and PIN for use at self-service chip terminals around the world
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$89 (waived first year)
Regular APR
18.24%, 22.24% or 25.24% variable based on your creditworthiness
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Good/Excellent
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is one of the best travel credit cards available, and people with a good credit score above 750 may qualify for it.

2X Miles

With the card, you'll earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend, and you'll get 5% of those miles back every time you redeem them for travel credits through Barclays' site. Other cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, offer the potential for higher rewards but only in certain categories. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® gives you the potential to earn a total of 2.1 miles (after the redemption bonus), 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.

Sign-Up Bonus

Arguably the best benefit of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is its sign-up bonus. You'll get 70,000 bonus miles credited to your account after you spend $5,000 with the card within 90 days of opening your account. This is an above-average sign-up bonus amount.

Annual Fee

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® does come with an annual fee of $89, 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 70,000-mile bonus is a great deal for anyone.

Highlights of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

  • Up to 2.1 miles per $1 on all purchases
  • 700,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • $89 annual fee (waived first year)

Balance Transfer Credit Cards for Good Credit

On Citi's Secure Website

Citi Simplicity® Card

On Citi's Secure Website
  • The only card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day — just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month
  • The only card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day — just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month
Annual Fee
$0*
Regular APR
16.24% - 26.24%* (Variable)
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Excellent, Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

If you're currently paying interest on debt you hold with another credit card, the Citi Simplicity® Card may be a great option for you.

Long 0% APR Period

The Citi Simplicity® Card is one of the best credit cards for balance transfers we've seen. It comes with a 21-month 0% APR period on balance transfers and a 12-month 0% APR period on new 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 16.24% - 26.24%* (Variable), based on your credit score.

Of course, we don't recommend you take on new debt just because of this introductory period.

No Late Fees

The Citi Simplicity® Card 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

  • 0% APR on balance transfers for 21 months
  • No annual fee
  • No rewards rates

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 $1,430 monthly spend
Monthly spending:
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$
$
$
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{"cardCategory":"rewards","cardIds":"35,65,195,58","initialResultsLimit":5,"endpoint":"https:\/\/creditcards.valuepenguin.com\/api\/creditcards\/models\/rewards","onCurrent":true}

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.
Daniel Caughill

Daniel is a Staff Writer at ValuePenguin, covering insurance, retirement and other personal finance topics. He previously wrote about compliance and best practices for K-12 school districts at Frontline Education.

Comments and Questions

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.

Info about the following cards: American Express® Gold Card, Delta Reserve® 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.

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).