Tier 2 credit cards require a “good” credit score: 700 to 749 on the standard 300-850 point scale. Tier 1 credit cards are for people with excellent credit (750 and above). And Tier 3 credit cards are for fair credit (640-699). Some people view Tier 2 as starting at 660 and Tier 1 at 720. But if you apply for cards based on that scale, you’ll find yourself more likely to be rejected.
Some of the best Tier 2 credit cards are Capital One Venture, Citi Double Cash, Discover It Cash Back and American Express Blue Cash Everyday. They all offer attractive rewards.
Here are the best Tier 2 credit cards:
Capital One Venture: Initial 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 in the first three months, worth $500 when redeemed for travel. 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases. 10 miles per $1 on hotels booked through hotels.com/venture. $95 annual fee, waived first year.
Citi Double Cash: Earn a combined 2% cash back on all purchases; 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay. 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers. 3% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum). No annual fee.
Discover it Cash Back card: Earn 5% per $1 spent (up to $1,500) on categories that change each quarter. Will match all cash back earned at the end of your first year. 0% APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers. 3% balance transfer fee. No annual fee.
American Express Blue Cash Everyday: $200 statement credit when you spend $1,000 in the first three months. Earn 6% cash back at supermarkets (first $6,000 spent annually), 3% at gas stations and 1% on everything else. 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers. 3% balance transfer fee (minimum $5). No annual fee.
Tier 2 credit cards have some fantastic offers, but Tier 1 credit cards are the most lucrative. You can lower your credit tier by improving your credit score. Make timely payments on all of your credit accounts. Don’t apply for too many credit accounts in a short period of time, and don’t close any unused credit cards. Keep your debt to credit ratio under 30%.
Also, be sure to review your credit report regularly for any discrepancies that might affect your credit score, and report any errors to the credit reporting agencies.