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What Are the Best Credit Cards for People with Good Credit? (2018)

We examined offers among the nation’s ten largest credit card issuers to find the best deals available to consumers with good credit. Once your FICO score hits the low to mid 700s, hundreds of credit card options become available to you and it's easy to be overwhelmed with all the choices. We distilled our list to offers that fit certain categories of consumers. These credit cards excel for individuals with average/good credit and hold up even as one's FICO score continues to climb.

2018's Best Credit Cards for Individuals with Good Credit

Here are this year's picks of outstanding credit cards for people with good credit scores. Look below the table for a detailed look at each card.

Card

Best For…Best FeatureAnnual Fee

Chase Freedom®

Overall Use5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter$0

Discover it® Cash Back

ShoppingNew cardmembers have their cash back doubled at the end of the first year$0

Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard®

International Travel2 miles per dollar spent on travel and dining$0

JetBlue Plus Card

Domestic TravelAnnual anniversary gift of 5,000 TrueBlue miles$99

Chase Slate®

Balance Transfers0% APR on balance transfers for the first 15 months$0

Overall: Chase Freedom®

The Chase Freedom® is a solid choice for people with good credit due to its outstanding rewards and longevity. 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. On top of that, cardholders can also get $150 extra cash back after they spend at least $500 on purchases within the first 3 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

  • 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

Shopping: Discover it® Cash Back

The Discover it® Cash Back works similarly to the Chase Freedom® in that it awards 5% cash back on categories that rotate, up to a quarterly maximum when you sign up. Whereas the Chase Freedom® ends up being the best card for the long-run due to its combo potential, the Discover it® Cash Back is all about optimizing short-term value. New cardmembers have all 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 at least 2% back on everything during that period. Very few cards will be able to match those kinds of returns.

The Discover it® Cash Back is also geared more heavily towards online shoppers.

Highlights

  • 5% cash back on categories that rotate, up to a quarterly maximum when you sign up
  • New cardmembers get their cash back doubled at the end of their first year

International Travel: Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard®

Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

The Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard® has no annual fee and an above-average rewards rate on things like travel and dining. Users get 2 miles per $1 in those two categories, and 1 mile per dollar everywhere else. These miles can then be redeemed for travel statement credit. Once your credit improves from good to excellent, you can also apply for the upgraded version of this card – the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®. This version awards 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, making it one of the best fixed-rate reward cards.

This is one of the few U.S. credit cards to come with Chip & Pin technology, instead of the more widespread Chip & Signature. That comes with some major advantages for those who frequently travel to Europe. Chip & Pin is the standard in countries like England. While you can get away with using Chip & Signature at some establishments there, you may run into problems at unmanned point of sale terminals that require pin entry – this is common at railway stations. With Chip & Pin EMV-tech embedded on it, the Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard® is one of the best cards you get if you’re a globetrotter.

Highlights

  • 2.1% rewards rate on travel and dining, and 1.05% on everything else.
  • Chip & Pin technology
  • 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days

Domestic Travel: JetBlue Plus Card (Offer Currently Unavailable)

JetBlue Plus Card
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

The JetBlue Plus Card is a fantastic addition to the wallet of anyone who flies around the country with its affiliated airline. Beyond having a generous rewards rate on restaurant, grocery store and JetBlue purchases, as a cardmembers you get to enjoy a slew of other features. These include 50% saving on inflight purchases, 5,000 anniversary bonus points and free first checked bag.

We value TrueBlue points at $0.012, which gives this card a 7.2% rewards rate on JetBlue purchases, 2.4% at grocery store and restaurants, and 1.2% everywhere else. That’s competitive with the top travel and airline credit cards on the market.

Highlights

  • 6 TrueBlue points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 on grocery stores & restaurants, and 1 point everywhere else
  • 5,000 anniversary points
  • 50% discount on inflight purchases

Balance Transfer: Chase Slate®

Chase Slate®
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

The Chase Slate® is one of the top offers available to those who want to quickly pay down their existing credit card debt. The card comes with 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for the first 15 months. Additionally, those who move their balance to this card within the first 60 days of account opening will have their transfer fee waived. Otherwise, you pay $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. Waiving the fee can help you pay down your debt faster, since you eliminate another needless charge.

The average indebted consumer can save approximately $1,700 on their credit card debt with the Chase Slate®. This number is based on the mean U.S. card debt for indebted households which currently stands at approximately $15,000, an average APR of about 17%. The calculation assumed the cardholder paid $1,000 towards the balance every month without tacking on any new purchases. The fee waived in this scenario would have come out to $750.

Highlights

  • $0 Intro Fee on Transfers made within 60 days of Account Opening. After that: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
  • No Annual Fee

Compare Credit Cards for Good Credit Based on How You Spend

To find the true best credit card for your particular needs, one needs to consider how they spend their money. 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 approximation 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.

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.

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

Strategy: How to Get From Good to Excellent Credit?

The key to moving from a good credit rating (FICO: 700 – 750) to an excellent one (750+) 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 payments. Frequently, the two things holding people back from moving to the “excellent” bracket are average age of credit and types of credit. Here is how you can tackle both:

  • Average age of credit (AAOC). The older the average age of all your credit and loan accounts is, 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 amount of accounts you open, and not close down any old accounts if you can void it. 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.

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.