How to get a credit card with excellent credit
Credit cards for excellent credit can have some of the most attractive offers on the market. With a FICO score of 800 - 850, you’ll have no issue with qualifying for the majority of credit cards.
The best credit cards for 800+ credit scores can come with 0% APR, premium travel rewards, $0 annual fees, and other luxury benefits such as VIP status when you check-in to a hotel. You’ll also have access to other financial products and more options for borrowing money with better terms and rates.
Comparing credit card offers for excellent credit is fast and easy:
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Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit
✔ Annual fee: $0
✔ Best for: Travel, Airlines
✔ Welcome bonus: 10,000 AAdvantage® reward bonus and a $50 statement credit when you spend $500 in first 3 months
✔ Annual fee: $0
✔ Best for: 0% Intro APR, Cash back
✔ Welcome bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus rewards after spending $1500 on your card within the first 3 months (that's $200!), 0% Intro APR for the first 15 months
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What is considered excellent credit?
Your credit score is determined by two main scoring systems, FICO and VantageScore. The scores range between 300 – 850, where 800 - 850 is considered excellent on the FICO scale. As your credit profile can change month to month, your score can fluctuate, going up or down over time.
It is estimated that roughly 1.6% of Americans have a perfect credit score of 850 and 21% of the U.S. population have an excellent credit score of 800 – 850. While a perfect score isn’t required to get some of the best borrowing rates, it can help you to qualify for lower interest rates on your credit card balance as well as receive approval easily.
How do I build and maintain an excellent credit score?
An excellent credit score indicates that you have a strong credit history where you have regularly made your payments on time and you are likely to continue in the future, with a less than 1% chance that you’ll default. In addition, credit card issuers and lenders are likely to offer you the best borrowing terms.
If you’re looking to improve your credit score to excellent, here are a few things you can do:
- Low utilization ratio: It’s estimated that the average utilization rate for people who have an excellent credit score is 11.5%. This indicates that 11.5% of the total credit limit is being used. If you’re maxing out your credit cards every month this can harm your score as it can indicate that you are under financial distress. Typically, it’s best to keep your utilization ratio at 10% - 20% or lower.
- Make payments on time: Your payment history makes up 35% of your FICO score and is the most important factor determining your creditworthiness. People who have an 800 score or higher, generally do not have a late payment on their credit report.
- Credit history: It takes time, discipline, and consistent effort to build up your credit history. Keep your existing accounts active as the longevity of your accounts forms a significant part of your FICO score.
- Check your credit reports: Check your credit reports regularly for any inaccuracies that are hurting your credit score and correct them as soon as possible.
- Limit new credit inquiries: When you apply for a loan or a credit card, the lender will perform a hard credit inquiry. This can temporarily lower your credit score. Assuming you continue to make payments on time your credit score should rebound within a few months.
How long does it usually take to build an excellent credit score?
There’s no concrete answer to the length of time it can take to build an excellent credit score. It can take several years with consistent positive payment history and a credit mix of different credit cards and loans to show that you can responsibly manage different types of debt.
What are the benefits for credit card applicants with excellent credit?
Is an 800 credit score something you should aim for? What are the long-term implications of having a high credit score? Here are some benefits for credit card applicants with excellent credit:
- Easy approval process: When applying for new credit, you’re likely to experience a seamless approval process as lenders will see you as a less risky borrower.
- Lower borrowing cost: As a lower risk borrower you’re more likely to make repayments on time, lenders are likely to offer you the best borrowing terms and interest rates.
- Access to more exclusive credit cards: Whether you’re looking for 0% APR over several months or luxury travel benefits, you’ll qualify for the majority of credit cards with the best offers on the market.
- Higher credit limits: Having excellent credit can help you qualify for higher credit limits. Keep in mind that the credit limit affects your credit utilization ratio, this can help you lower your utilization rate assuming you keep your balances the same or lower.
What to look for in credit cards for excellent credit?
If you have excellent credit, here are a few things to consider before you submit your credit card application:
- Rewards: One of the biggest advantages that come with credit cards for excellent credit is the reward programs. These include travel rewards, cashback, welcome bonuses, and luxury perks. Depending on your lifestyle and spending habits, certain credit cards could help you save money and accumulate rewards.
- Annual fees: Annual fees can range from $0 to over $600 a credit card. Typically, credit cards with high annual fees also have an extensive rewards program to offset the cost. If you’re unlikely to offset the annual fees, then it’s best to look for a credit card with zero fees.
- Interest rate: Rates tend to be low for excellent credit users, however, if you carry balances over from month to month, a 0% APR credit card may be more beneficial to you.
What are the best credit cards for excellent credit?
No one credit card is best for everyone as each has its advantages and disadvantages. With an excellent credit score, you’re likely to be approved for the majority of credit cards in the market. Here are a few credit cards for you to consider:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Popular amongst globe trotters, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers luxury perks for frequent travelers, with 5x points on travel booked with Chase. With a $95 annual fee, you’ll also receive an introductory 60,000 bonus points.
- Citi Simplicity Card: There are no late payment fees, no annual fees, and no penalties. You’ll receive an introductory 0% APR for the first 21 months on balance transfers, with a variable APR between 14.74% - 24.74% thereafter.
- Citi Diamond Preferred Card: With an introductory 0% APR for the first 21 months on balance transfers, after that the APR will be 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable). You’ll need to pay a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5%, whichever is greater and there’s no annual fee. However, there are no rewards and late fees are charged for overdue payments.
- Luxury Card Mastercard Black Card: There’s no invitation required for this credit card, with luxury perks, lounge memberships, and an introductory APR period for the first fifteen billing cycles, you’ll receive luxury rewards and travel benefits. There’s an annual fee of $495 and you’ll receive $100 in annual airline credit.
- Credit One Bank Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee: You can earn 2% cashback on gas and grocery purchases, as well as for certain phone and internet services.
- Chase Freedom Flex: With numerous cashback offers, you can earn a $200 bonus, after spending $500 in the first 6 months. There’s no annual fee and there are various bonus categories where you can earn your cashback rewards.
How many credit cards should I have for excellent credit?
There’s no right answer to how many credit cards you should take out. With responsible use, having multiple credit cards can help you maximize the various rewards and offers on the market. It can also help to keep your credit utilization ratio low, maintaining or improving your credit score.
How to get a credit card with excellent credit?
When shopping around for a credit card it’s important to consider your spending habits and look at multiple providers to find the best rewards and interest rates. For instance, if you travel frequently, a credit card that has air travel bonuses and hotel rewards may be more beneficial. Alternatively, if you prefer to maximize your household spending, a cashback program could be more advantageous.
Be mindful to consider your circumstances so that you can maximize the rewards and benefits as much as possible.
Are credit cards worth it if you have excellent credit?
With excellent credit, it’s unlikely that you’re looking for a new credit card to improve your credit score. Plus, many lenders don’t add any extra advantages for a credit score above 760, where you’re likely to receive the same terms and benefits as someone who has an 800+ score.
However, with an excellent rating, you’ll be eligible for very lucrative rewards that can be cost-saving. Continued responsible use of your credit card can also help maintain your credit rating as the age of your accounts will increase, lengthening your credit history.
With continued discipline, you can benefit from the best interest rates and terms in the market, and take advantage of the opportunities offered by lenders you’ve worked hard to earn.
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