As you consider their favorites below, bear in mind that you don’t have to pick just one. Using the Island Approach (i.e., opening a few different cards for each of your biggest needs) is a great way to maximize your savings if you think you can manage multiple accounts at the same time. Just don’t apply for them all at once.
Here Are 2018's Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit
|Best For…||Card Name||Annual Fee||Editors’ Rating|
|Big Rewards Bonus||Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||$0 Intro for the First Year, $95 after||4.5 / 5|
|Everyday Cash Back||Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer||$0*||5.0 / 5|
|Free Travel||Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®||None 1st yr, $89 after||5.0 / 5|
|Getting Out Of Debt||Chase Slate®||$0||5.0 / 5|
|Big-Ticket Purchases||Citi Simplicity® Card||None||4.5 / 5|
If you’d rather come to your own conclusions about which card best meets your needs, taking the following tips into account will lead to the best results.
How to Find the Best Credit Card for Excellent Credit – 5 Tips
- Cut your options in half. Do you want rewards or financing? It’s as simple as choosing between paper and plastic at the grocery store, and this decision will split the universe of credit cards for excellent credit into an even smaller segment. It all comes down to whether you plan to pay your bill in full each month. If you do, go with rewards. If you don’t, focus on 0% cards.
From there, you can reduce your list of viable options even further by choosing between cash back and travel rewards or 0% purchases and 0% balance transfers.
- Be realistic about your travel habits. A lot of people want travel rewards credit cards but don’t really need them. If you’re in the market for rewards, as opposed to 0% rates, you need to consider what type of card will allow you to earn the most value and redeem often enough to actually enjoy the fruits of your labor. So leave the travel cards to frequent travelers, not the folks who take a trip or two per year.
- Use the Island Approach. No credit card is perfect, offering the best possible terms in every category, from fees to rewards to interest rates. So don’t go looking for a single card to meet all of your needs. Instead, consider using a few different cards, each of which is designated for a specific type of transactions. For example, one card could be for gas rewards, another for everyday cash back and another still for paying down a big-ticket purchase over time. That’s called the Island Approach.
- Don’t be scared of annual fees. Paying an annual fee isn’t necessarily a bad thing when you have excellent credit. If doing so enables you to get far better terms than are available from no annual fee credit cards and thus save more money overall, then it’s money well spent. You just have to factor such fixed costs into your calculations.
- Understand excellent credit won’t always cut it. Excellent credit doesn’t guarantee you approval for an excellent-credit credit card. A number of other factors are in play, too, including your income and existing debt obligations. So if you want to maximize your chances of getting your top credit-card choice, focus on improving your complete financial picture.
Finally, if you’d prefer not to do the legwork, you can simply sign up for a free WalletHub account to get customized card recommendations as well as free credit scores, reports and 24/7 monitoring.