(MP) Top credit cards are for those individuals with excellent credit. This means the lenders view your credit (usually a credit score is in the 720-850 range) as spotless. Lenders love you since you always pay your bills on time, and you’re most unlikely to carry a balance on your credit cards. And so you often receive the lowest rates and best rewards in the marketplace. Your excellent credit also helps decrease interest costs on existing debt, pay down a future big-ticket purchase interest-free or help you effectively cut costs on every purchase you make.
You’re a responsible candidate and in return for that financial responsibility the lenders want to offer you the best of the top credit cards available. But these offers can become overwhelming. Many become content to stay loyal to whichever card they have used for years. It’s easy, comfortable, and hassle-free to use the same credit cards forever. But in doing so, you might be betraying the sound principles of financial management that earned you your excellent credit score to begin with. And so I’ve compiled a list of the top credit cards for anyone with excellent credit as a way to get the most for your money. Below are my picks.
Top credit cards for excellent credit
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
American Express Blue Cash is a great cash back card. Cardholders earn a spectacular 6% cash back at supermarkets (on about $6K in purchases annually), 3% on gas and at retailers like JCP, Kohl’s and Macy’s, and 1% on any other item. Plus you’ll get a $150 intro bonus having spent $1,000 to make purchases on your new Card in the initial three months – that’s definitely a 15% cash back bonus toward the first $1,000 you use! Moreover you’ll enjoy a 0% 15-month intro APR on purchases and balance transfers. There’s a $75 annual fee, but based on your spending patterns this card should easily pick up the bill for itself and more. If you want an equal card which has no annual fee, explore Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express, that features the very same 15-month 0% APR but lower cash back rates plus a slightly lesser intro bonus.
The Citi Simiplicity card allows you to buy big items then carry that balance into 2016 without paying a dime of interest. Simplicity features a remarkably lengthy 18-month 0% introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers. And there’s no late fees, convenient if you sometimes forget to pay your bill on time, along with no annual fee. The mixture makes this card ideal for anyone looking to make a large purchase (or several purchases) or who is interested in transferring balances from multiple high-interest credit cards. In either case it’s actually a smart choice.
This card was created with credit card balance consolidation goal. This is the only card I’ve found having both a lengthy 0% introductory APR and no balance transfer fee. Its 15-month, 0% introductory APR on both balance transfers and purchases translates to interest-free payments until 2016. Plus, there exist no balance transfer fees through the first 60 days of card membership. This is definitely a real deal, as based on the volume of you intend to transfer, balance transfer fees can certainly add up. As a matter of fact, a $0 intro balance transfer fee will save you hundreds of dollars in fees, and the $0 annual fee is also a money-saver. Therefore if you have excellent credit, you positively shouldn’t be paying interest on any of your credit cards. Obtain this card and transfer your balances.
Barclay Arrival Plus
If you are a frequent traveler the Barclay Arrival Plus may be your care. You earn 2 miles per dollar for each purchase, and a bonus 40,000 miles – equal to $400 in travel – after spending $3,000 in the initial 90 days of card membership. To make use of your miles, just book your travel and redeem your miles for a statement credit. You can also make your travel arrangements however you want (by phone, online, using an agent, etc), fly any airline to any destination, and revel in no blackout dates.
Another perk of this card is that if you use your miles to pay for travel you’ll receive 10% of those miles back. So redeeming 10,000 miles will actually earn you a 1,000 mile bonus that will be deposited into your awards bank! That means if you take the 40,000 bonus miles and redeem them for travel they’ll actually be worth 44,000 miles or $440. That’s a pretty nice bonus just for signing up and using the card. Plus there are no foreign transaction fees, so you’ll save money when you travel outside the US. There is a $89 annual fee, but it’s waived the first year. Overall this is a fabulous travel card and we highly recommend it.
BankAmericard Cash Rewards
In case you are out there for a great cash back rewards cards that also has a 12-month 0% APR, this is a smart pick. Not only can you transfer over balances from your high-interest cards to the BankAmericard Cash Rewards card and pay zero interest for a full year, but you’ll get the same 0% intro APR on new card purchases. Plus you’ll earn 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back on grocery stores (for the first $1,500 in joint grocery and gas purchases each quarter) and 1% cash back on everything else. And the cherry on top is you’ll earn an extra $100 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months. This card really does have it all – cash back, an extra cash back bonus, a lengthy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers AND no annual fee.
Citi Double Cash Card
The CDCC is a very straight-forward card. You will earn 1% cash back on all of your spend. If you pay your bill on time every month, then your cash back will be doubled, meaning that you will earn 2% cash back. There is no annual fee and no sign-on bonus. There is a 0% purchase promo period of 15 months. That means that you would not be charged interest on any purchases for the first 15 months. There is also a balance transfer offer: 15 months at 0% with a 3% fee. There are better offers out there, including from Citi on other cards. Once you earn $25 of cash back, then you can receive a statement credit, gift card or check. If you want a no-gimmick way to earn a good reward rate, than this card delivers. There are no bonus categories, no requirements to opt in to rotating categories and a very simple reward structure.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
This is a rewards cards with lots of flexibility. On earning rewards, the card is structured to favor travel and restaurant related spending with double points on both. On all other purchases the rewards are average with a point for each dollar. Where cardholders have additional flexibility for amplifying their rewards is through the use of Chase Ultimate Rewards, where airfare and hotel accommodations will give you three total points (the double points on travel plus an additional point for using UR). The only other cards that give you additional points for using a specific service are usually tied to a single hotel chain or airline. Shopping with Ultimate Rewards is a little more flexible.
The best part is that you can transfer your points 1:1 to many frequent travel programs with no transfer fees, including United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Hyatt Gold Passport and Marriot Rewards. That means 1,000 points are equal to 1,000 partner miles/points, straightforward and simple. This feature is likely to appeal to road warriors who are members of various partner programs, as users aren’t limited to spending their points via Chase’s rewards program. There is a $95 annual fee, but it is waived the first year.
See CreditCards.com. I haven’t used some of credit cards they’ve reviewed but you should check them out anyway.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site is not compensated through the credit card issuers’ Affiliate Programs.