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Best credit cards for excellent credit (scores above 700)

Got a credit score (aka FICO score) of 700 or higher? Congrats! Your credit score is in the very good to excellent category and qualifies you for the some of the most rewarding credit cards on the market today.

Our pick for the best credit card for excellent credit is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Paying double miles on every purchase, the Venture card offers premium travel benefits for a reasonable annual fee of $95 — much lower than competing cards with lesser benefits. If you want a no annual fee option, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is a great alternative.

Not your credit range? See the best credit cards for credit scores between 650 and 700 instead.

Overview: Best credit cards for excellent credit

Head’s up! We didn’t include premium travel rewards credit cards like Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, or the Amex Platinum Card on our list. Some of these cards have annual fees of over $500. Although they offer some pretty neat benefits like airport lounge access and free TSA Pre-check, the majority of consumers won’t spend enough to justify these cards’ eye-popping annual fees.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

We think the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is the best credit card for excellent credit because it provides generous travel rewards and benefits for a relatively modest annual fee.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Welcome Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Rewards

Earn unlimited 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase; 5 Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel

Annual Fee

$95 annual fee.

Our Thoughts

This is an easy-to-understand popular option that's rightfully among the best travel rewards credit cards. The simple rewards on every purchase, high sign-up bonus for new cardholders, flexible redemption options and cardmember benefits are hard to beat.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card’s sign-up bonus alone is enough to consider trying this card: 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

After snagging all that free travel, you’ll earn 2x miles on every purchase that won’t expire and aren’t subject to blackout dates or other travel restrictions. You’ll also get up to a $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® membership. The $95 is a factor to consider, but the generous sign-up bonus more than pays for this card for several years.

The benefits continue with the ability to earn 5x miles on hotels and rental cards booked through Capital One and the ability to transfer your miles to over 15 airline and hotel loyalty programs.

» MORE: Read our Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card review

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

You can’t go wrong with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card, our pick for the best cash-back credit card for excellent credit.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Apply Now →
  • Intro Offer: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • No annual fee – You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC
Annual Fee Intro APR, Purchases Intro APR, Balance Transfers Regular APR Credit Needed
$0 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months 20.49% - 29.24% Variable Excellent/Good

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® technically earns Chase Ultimate Rewards® points which can be redeemed at one cent each (and converted into airline miles and hotel points for outsized value if you hold an annual fee-incurring Ultimate Rewards® card). Its bonus categories are similar, as well, with 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠ and 3% back on dining and at drugstores (after your first year or $20,000 spent).

What this card doesn’t have is rotating 5% bonus categories. Instead, you’ll earn a minimum of 1.5% back on all purchases.

Despite the resemblance between these cards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® serves a very unique purpose. The card is an ideal choice for all your spending that doesn’t fall into a bonus category. Paying for things like utilities, medical expenses, school tuition, oil changes, etc., with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® will net you 50% more points than had you paid with the Chase Freedom Flex℠. The two cards are an excellent complement to each other.

» MORE: See card details/apply or read our Chase Freedom Unlimited® review

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

If you want to enjoy earning free travel but don’t spend enough each year to justify paying an annual fee, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card needs to be on your list.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Welcome Offer

Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Rewards

Earn an unlimited 1.25 Miles per dollar on every purchase; 5 Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Annual Fee

$0 annual fee.

Our Thoughts

A travel card for beginners that earns flexible rewards but at a low rate compared to similar no-annual-fee credit cards. Cardholders who spend would likely be better off paying the annual fee for the better benefits and sign-up bonus that comes with the Capital One Venture instead.

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is a “light” version of its elder sibling, the Capital One Venture card. Its benefits, earning rate, and sign-up bonus aren’t as flashy. But it also comes with no annual fee. There is a signup bonus: 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

If you’re suspicious of the idea that free travel is even possible, this is a good card for you. There’s absolutely no risk in opening it, and it’s free to keep forever.

The Capital One VentureOne gives you the same options to redeem your points as the Capital One Venture. Once you take your first free flight and experience the initial rush of award travel, you’ll graduate to an annual fee-incurring card that offers better points-earning and travel benefits.

» MORE: Check out our Capital One VentureOne Credit Card review

The competition

When you have excellent credit, you have a lot of choice when selecting a new credit card. The following cards are all excellent, but fell just shy of making our top three picks.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a strong contender to the Capital One Venture card, our top pick. Although we feel the Venture card offers a better overall value, savvy travelers can use this card in conjunction with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® to earn additional rewards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply Now →
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Travel℠. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC
Annual Fee Intro APR, Purchases Intro APR, Balance Transfers Regular APR Credit Needed
$95 N/A N/A 21.49% - 28.49% Variable Excellent/Good

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is another excellent choice for anyone beginning their travel hacking career. That’s not to say this is a stepping-stone card, however. I’ve had my Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for over six years, and I have no intention of canceling it.

Similar to the Capital One Venture card, the card earns points that can be redeemed toward travel in two key ways:

  • Book things like airfare, rental cars, and hotels through Chase Travel℠ at a rate of 1.25 cents per point.
  • Transfer points to valuable airline and hotel partners like Hyatt, United Airlines, and Southwest for potentially much greater value.

You can also redeem your points for cash at a rate of 1 cent per point — though if cashback is your main objective, there are other cards you should examine over the travel-centric Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

The area in which this card pulls far ahead of the Capital One Venture is travel insurance. You’ll get coverage like:

  • Primary rental car insurance (saving you from having to pay for the rental agency’s in-house insurance)
  • Baggage delay insurance (receive up to $500 if your bag is delayed)
  • Trip delay insurance (receive up to $500 if your trip is delayed by at least 12 hours or requires an overnight stay)

These insurances are the reason I’ll never cancel my Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It’s saved my family literally thousands of dollars over the years.

» MORE: See card details/apply or read our Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Welcome Offer

Spend $1,500 on purchases within the first six months of opening an account and you’ll receive 20,000 ThankYou Points, worth $200 in cash back.

Rewards

Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent (1% cash back thereafter) - there are no category enrollments to worry about or no need to juggle reward tiers. Eligible 5% categories include: restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, fitness clubs, live entertainment, drugstores, and home improvement stores. You’ll get 1% cash back on everything else you purchase.

Annual Fee

$0

Our Thoughts

Earn bonus 5% cash-back on the category of purchases you make most, up to $500 spent per billing cycle.

Offer details accurate as of 9/6/23

The Citi Custom Cash® Card offers 0% intro APR for both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (then a variable APR applies after, based on creditworthiness).

It’s admittedly not the best balance transfer offer on the market, as some cards offer up to 21 months of 0% intro APR — but those cards don’t typically earn rewards.

The reason this card stands out is its solid 0% intro APR window along with its potent earning rates. You’ll earn 5% cash back on up to $500 in spending for your most used spending category (then 1%) on restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, select streaming services, drugstores, fitness clubs, home improvement stores, live entertainment, select travel and transit.

You’ll earn 1% back on all other purchases.

Your 5% bonus category will trigger automatically at the end of each month when Citi tallies up where you’ve done most of your spending. It’s convenient that you don’t have to change it manually, as some other cards require.

Card info has been independently collected by MoneyUnder30 to help consumers better compare cards. The financial institution did not provide or approve card details.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card delivers amazing rewards value: You’ll earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, certain streaming services and at grocery stores (unfortunately not including Walmart and Target). After that, you’ll still get 1% on all other purchases.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Welcome Offer

Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Rewards

Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding Walmart & Target); 10% cash back on Uber and Uber Eats (through November 14, 2024); 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases; 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; and 1% cash back all other purchases.

Annual Fee

$0 annual fee.

Our Thoughts

A top cash back credit card for those who want to earn rewards on food (both at restaurants and grocery stores), entertainment and streaming while avoiding the cost of an annual fee. The welcome offer and 0% intro APR period are attractive upfront incentives for those who can qualify with excellent credit.

The signup bonus on the Capital One SavorOne card is attractive if you don’t want to spend several thousand dollars to qualify (as you need to do with some of our top picks). You can earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

» MORE: Read our Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card review

How we came up with our list of the top credit cards for excellent credit

Ever peeked behind the scenes of a movie set? Well, consider this your backstage pass to our curated credit card list-making process. Spoiler alert: it’s as riveting as a Hollywood blockbuster (well, almost).

In-depth research and data gathering

Our journey began by diving deep into the vast ocean of credit cards. We scoured websites, brochures, and even the sneaky fine print. Basically, we became credit card detectives, ensuring we knew every detail.

Talking to the actual users

Who better to dish out the real scoop than cardholders themselves? We chatted, interviewed, and got the lowdown from people who swipe these cards daily. Their candid feedback was invaluable.

Analyzing reward structures

“Rewards” is a buzzword, but what does it truly entail? We broke down each card’s reward system, understanding the ease of earning and redeeming points. Plus, we checked if there were sneaky expiration dates hiding in the shadows.

Annual fees vs. benefits analysis

Some cards flaunt an annual fee, but are the perks worth it? We played matchmaker, comparing fees with the benefits they offered. It was all about getting you the best bang for your buck.

Interest rates and introductory offers

Teaser rates can be alluring, but what happens when the intro phase fades? We dissected these offers, keeping a keen eye on post-introductory periods and their implications.

Flexibility in redemption options

Earned those precious points? Great! Now, how easily can you spend them? We dived into the nitty-gritty, looking at how versatile these points were. After all, freedom in spending is truly priceless.

Security features

Safety first! We took a magnifying glass to each card’s security protocols. From fraud alerts to purchase protections, we ensured you’d be sleeping soundly at night.

Customer service reputation

Great customer service can be the cherry on top. So, we became secret shoppers, testing response times and assistance quality. No one’s got time for long holds and unhelpful reps!

Additional perks and features

Beyond the typical offerings, what added spice does each card bring? We looked for exclusive perks like lounge access or event tickets. After all, life’s too short for basic.

Global acceptance and foreign transaction fees

For our wanderlust-driven folks, this was crucial. We investigated each card’s global acceptance and its behavior overseas. Because nothing should come between you and your world explorations.

Feedback from financial experts

Last but certainly not least, we sought wisdom from financial wizards. Their insights added another layer of credibility, ensuring our list was both user and expert-approved.

What is good/excellent credit?

According to the FICO Score range, good credit is between 670 to 739, while VantageScore puts good credit at 661 to 780. Once you get into the 800 area, you’re in excellent credit territory.

Your credit score is comprised of five factors:

  1. Payment history
  2. Amounts owed
  3. Length of credit history
  4. New credit
  5. Credit mix

If your FICO Score is between 700 and 749, you’re probably perfect or near-perfect in the payment history category. In this credit score range, your credit utilization ratio is likely to be a bigger factor. It’s the amount you owe on your credit cards, divided by your total credit card limits.

For example, if you owe $5,000 in credit card debt, and you have $20,000 in credit card limits, your credit utilization ratio is 25%. Any number below 30% is considered good — though it’s best to keep it below 10%.

Interestingly, having a credit utilization of 0% is not good; credit bureaus want to see that you’re using your credit responsibly (instead of not using it at all).

The perks of having excellent credit

It’s not just a number on a sheet. Having a 700+ credit score opens up a world of advantages that go beyond the immediate. We’re diving deep into the plethora of benefits and perks that come with having an excellent credit score.

The door to better interest rates

When you think credit scores, interest rates might not be the first thing that pops into your mind. But here’s a nugget of truth: they’re deeply connected.

Credit card companies, lenders, and banks are all in the trust business. They’re always on the lookout for reliable clients who handle their finances well. A 700+ score tells them you’re just the person they’re looking for. In the financial world, trust translates into tangible rewards. One of the most significant? Better interest rates.

Having an excellent credit score positions you as a low-risk borrower. And this status usually means better rates for loans and credit cards. Whether it’s a dream home, a new car, or just your everyday credit card, securing a lower interest rate can be a game-changer. Think about it: lower rates mean more savings, making your financial journey smoother and more profitable.

Premium rewards and elite benefits

Ever dreamt of being on the VIP list? With excellent credit, you’re there. Credit card companies go the extra mile to woo top-tier credit score holders.

This isn’t just about a few extra points here and there. It’s about maximizing every dollar spent. With a stellar score, you’re looking at higher cashback percentages, membership rewards points and more generous points systems. Frequent flyer? Get ready to rack up miles faster than ever.

But the perks don’t end with points and cashback. We’re talking real, tangible benefits. Think exclusive event invitations, priority boarding on flights, or even complimentary hotel upgrades. Essentially, it’s like having an all-access pass to the best the financial world has to offer.

Access to exclusive offers

Your credit score isn’t a secret. And it’s not just credit card companies that are paying attention. Retailers, airlines, and various other businesses are all ears.

A score north of 700 can mean a plethora of exclusive offers coming your way. It could be early-bird access to sales, a preview of a new collection, or even exclusive discounts. Picture it: browsing through your emails and finding an offer that’s been tailor-made for you.

It’s not just about feeling special. These exclusive offers can lead to genuine savings and unique experiences. Whether it’s getting the best seats at a concert or enjoying a discount on a luxury product, excellent credit often has hidden perks that many overlook.

Understanding credit card categories

Different cards cater to different needs, and understanding these categories will guide you to the best fit for your lifestyle and preferences. Let’s unpack these categories and get you one step closer to your perfect plastic companion.

Travel rewards cards

Ah, the siren call of distant shores and new horizons! Travel rewards cards are designed for the wanderlust in all of us. These cards help you earn points or miles for every purchase, which can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, and other travel-related expenses.

But it’s not just about collecting miles. Many of these cards come with perks like complimentary airport lounge access, free checked bags, or even travel insurance. Consider your travel habits: Are you a frequent flyer or a once-a-year vacationer? Different cards cater to different traveler types, so it’s essential to choose one that aligns with your travel pace.

Cash back cards

For those who love simplicity and tangible rewards, cash back cards are a dream come true. Instead of points or miles, these cards reward you with cold, hard cash (well, often as a statement credit, but you get the idea).

With every purchase, you earn a percentage back. Some cards offer a flat rate for all purchases, while others give higher percentages for specific categories like groceries or gas. It’s like having a mini-discount on everything you buy! Think about where you spend most of your money, and look for a card that rewards those areas the most.

Business cards

Entrepreneurs, freelancers, and business moguls, this one’s for you! Business credit cards are designed to cater to the unique needs of business operations. From managing cash flow to tracking expenses, these premium credit cards are equipped with tools to simplify business finances.

Beyond just facilitating transactions, business cards often offer rewards that align with common business expenses. Whether it’s cash back on office supplies or bonus points for travel, these cards have got your business needs covered. Plus, they’re an excellent way to separate personal and business finances, making tax time a breeze.

Luxury cards

Stepping into the world of luxury cards feels a bit like entering an exclusive club. With a hefty annual fee, these aren’t for the faint of heart, but oh, the perks they bring! From 24/7 concierge services to exclusive event access, luxury cards are all about the experience.

Think of them as your ticket to the finer things in life: upscale dining, priority boarding, or even personal shopping services. But remember, luxury comes at a price. These cards often require higher spending to justify the benefits. If you’re someone who values exclusivity and top-tier service, and you’re comfortable with the associated costs, a luxury card could be your perfect match.

How to choose the best credit card for a 700+ credit score

Anyone with a score above 700 can pretty well qualify for any publicly available credit card. We’re talking the good stuff — rewards credit cards, travel credit cards, cash back credit cards. The kind that can give you potentially thousands of dollars in value per year if you know how to use them.

Here are a few things to consider when hunting for the best credit card for a FICO score between 700 and 749.

Weigh the annual fee

There are loads of great credit cards that don’t charge an annual fee. Who would pay a fee just for the privilege of holding a certain card?

Well, cards that charge an annual fee (almost) always give you benefits worth exponentially more than you’re paying — if you’ll use them.

As a quick example, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card charges a $395 annual fee. That’s scary-sounding to the casual credit card user. But take a look at a few of its annual benefits:

  • Up to $300 in statement credits when booking travel via Capital One Travel
  • 10,000 bonus miles after your account anniversary (worth potentially $100+)
  • Access to airport lounges (including Priority Pass Select membership, which sells for $400+ per year)

As you can see, just a few card benefits can easily give you around $800 per year in value — well over than what you’ll pay for the annual fee.

Find benefits that match your lifestyle

If you’re not a frequent traveler, it will make little sense to get a card that provides generous travel insurance. If you don’t regularly go out to eat, don’t open a card whose feature benefit is bonus points on dining.

Be sure to pick a card that will best suit how you’ll optimize the rewards earned or perks offered.

Choose the right rewards currency

Rewards come in three flavors:

  • Cashback
  • Points
  • Miles

Points and miles are typically associated with travel rewards.

Depending on the currency, you could get a redemption value above 2 cents each for these rewards toward airfare and hotel stays. However, you can sometimes cash them out at varying rates (generally between 0.5 cents and 1 cent each).

Cash rewards are best for someone who has no burning travel aspirations. You can use them for legit anything — rent payments, utilities, oil changes — and if you so desire, travel.

The big downfall with cash is that you’re guaranteed to receive a flat value from it, whereas points and miles values will fluctuate greatly depending on how you use them.

Note the annual percentage rate (APR)

APR is the interest you’ll pay on your card when you carry a balance month-to-month. The better your credit, the lower your APR rate (allegedly) should be. Still, you’ll find that the best rewards credit cards can carry interest rates well above 20%.

Here’s the thing, though: APR shouldn’t matter one lick. Even if a credit card charged 80% APR, you should never be paying it, because you pay your credit cards off in full each month, right?

If you don’t, you’ll want to note the APR before signing up for any credit card.

Some cards offer a 0% introductory APR for anywhere from 6 to 21 months. It usually applies to balance transfers, but may also include purchases.

This offer will be more attractive to someone who has high interest credit card balances they want to transfer. If you don’t, it may not offer much incentive to take the card.

Consider the sign-up bonus

Credit card issuers use sign-up bonuses as an initial incentive to give their cards a try. Some sign-up bonuses can be worth $1,000 or more.

Generous bonuses are often enticing enough to give a card a try, even if you’re not completely sold on its benefits. If you decide in a year or two that it doesn’t fit your lifestyle, you can cancel or downgrade it — no harm done.

How to properly use a credit card for good/excellent credit

As the old saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Let’s waltz through some top-notch advice to use your credit card effectively and keep that score shining bright

Embrace the benefits, but always read the fine print

These high-end cards come packed with perks like travel rewards, cash back, and premium services. They’re like the VIP passes of the financial world. But a quick heads up: always skim through the fine print. Know the ins and outs of your rewards so you can truly relish them.

Pay off your balance quickly and regularly

Imagine earning fabulous rewards and then watching them get overshadowed by interest expenses. Ouch! The trick? Pay your balance in full each month. By doing this, you’ll dodge interest charges entirely, letting those rewards truly shine.

Beware of the annual fee

It’s not uncommon for premium cards to have an annual fee. While the benefits often outweigh the cost, it’s worth doing a quick cost-benefit analysis. If you’re shelling out a fee but not diving deep into the benefits, it might be time for a rethink.

Stay below the credit limit

Having a generous credit limit is undoubtedly a perk. But remember, it’s not an all-you-can-spend buffet. Experts often recommend using below 30% of your limit. It’s a good balance that keeps your credit report looking sharp and leaves room for unexpected expenses.

Monitor your credit score like a hawk

Make it a monthly ritual. Keep an eye on that score. Monitoring regularly can be your early warning system, alerting you to any irregularities or sudden changes. Plus, it’s super satisfying watching that number grow!

Dispute any errors pronto

Spotted an error on your report? Jump into action. Open a dispute, gather your documentation, and ensure you get written confirmation of any corrections. And here’s a pro tip: always ask the creditor to report the fixed information to all three major credit bureaus.

Pay ALL your bills on time

Remember, your credit card isn’t the only bill that affects your score. A single late payment, whether it’s for your credit card, utilities, or that gym membership you swore you’d use, can ding your score. Setting up automatic payments can be a lifesaver, ensuring every bill is paid punctually.

Dive into those rewards, but spend wisely

We get it. Chasing rewards can be exhilarating. But remember to spend only what you can pay back. The real reward? Enjoying those perks without any financial strain.

Security first: guard against fraud

Having a premium card is fantastic, but it can also be a magnet for fraudsters. Keep an eye on your statements and set up any available security alerts. If something looks fishy, don’t hesitate to report it.

Seek advice when you hit crossroads

If you’re ever unsure about your card’s features or come across a term that sounds like gibberish, reach out. Whether it’s your card provider, a financial buddy, or a trusted online community, there’s always help at hand.

Evolve with your card

Life changes, and so might your credit card needs. Regularly assessing ensures your card aligns with your lifestyle. The credit card world constantly evolves, and staying in the loop ensures you’re always getting the best.

How many of these cards should I apply for at once?

If you’re like many credit enthusiasts, you’ve probably gazed at those tantalizing sign-up bonuses and thought, “What if I could grab them all?” Well, slow down there, friend. While the idea is tempting, there’s an art to navigating this space without dinging your credit. Let’s chat about some golden rules, including the famous 5/24 one, and how to master the game without tripping.

Chase’s 5/24 rule explained

For those new to the credit game, the 5/24 rule by Chase can seem like jargon. In simple terms: If you’ve opened 5 or more credit card accounts (from any bank) in the past 24 months, Chase will likely decline your application for a new card. They’ve become pretty strict about this rule, mainly because they want to deter folks who are just hopping around for bonuses.

Hacking credit card rewards responsibly

  • Understand the landscape: Each bank has its own set of unwritten rules (like Chase’s 5/24). Familiarize yourself with them to strategize your applications effectively.
  • Space out applications: Timing is everything. While you might be itching to get your hands on multiple cards, spreading out your applications can be gentler on your credit score.
  • Mind your credit utilization: Opening several accounts might give you a higher overall credit limit, but remember to keep the credit utilization low. This ratio plays a significant role in your credit score.
  • Never bite off more than you can chew: Those sign-up bonuses can be alluring, but often they come with spending requirements. Ensure you can naturally meet these without stretching your budget.
  • Always, always pay in full: This one’s non-negotiable. Those rewards quickly lose their shine if you’re paying interest on carried-over balances. Aim to pay your statement in full every month.
  • Diversify card types: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Diversifying across banks and card types can give you a mix of rewards, and it might also keep you under the radar of stringent rules like 5/24.

Being savvy without harming your credit

Your credit score is a delicate thing. Each time you apply for a new credit card, there’s a ‘hard inquiry’ on your report. While one or two might not make a dent, multiple in quick succession can.

Also, remember that length of credit history matters. If you’re frequently opening and closing accounts, your average account age drops, which isn’t great for your score.

In essence, while it’s absolutely possible to “hack” credit card rewards and make the most of those juicy sign-up bonuses, it’s a dance. Learn the steps, be patient, and always keep an eye on the bigger picture: your long-term financial health.

What if I get declined for a top-tier credit card and I still have excellent credit?

It sounds like a riddle, doesn’t it? You’ve worked hard for that pristine credit score, yet you’re staring at a declined credit card application. First things first: deep breaths. This happens to the best of us. Let’s demystify the why’s and chart a path forward.

Why might this happen?

  • High current balances: Sure, you’ve been great with repayments, but if you’re nearing your credit limit across cards, lenders might get jittery. To them, it may hint that you’re about to bite off more than you can chew.
  • Recent large purchases or applications: Made a significant financial move lately or tried applying for multiple credit lines? Lenders could see this as a sign that you’re gearing up to amass debt.
  • Inconsistent income proof: High-end cards often peek at your income. An erratic income, even a large one, might give them pause.
  • History with the bank: Got some old beef with the bank? Past skirmishes, even minor ones, can sometimes boomerang back.
  • Too many credit inquiries: Each credit application triggers an inquiry on your report. Stack them up, and it might look like you’re credit-hungry.

So, what should you do next?

  • Stay calm and get the details: First, don’t spiral. Lenders need to tell you the decline reasons. It’s not a breakup text, but that letter will give you closure and clarity.
  • Check your credit report: Secure a fresh copy of your credit report. Scour it for errors or signs of any mischievous activity. If there’s something amiss, it wasn’t you – but you might be bearing the brunt.
  • Reduce current balances: If you’re riding high on your credit utilization, try to whittle it down. Not just for the application, but for your credit score’s sake.
  • Space out applications: Been a tad too enthusiastic with credit applications? Put a pin in it for a while. Let the inquiries on your report simmer down.
  • Build a relationship with the bank: Eyeing a card from a specific bank? Maybe start with another account type there. Sometimes, rapport can move mountains (or credit decisions).
  • Consider alternative cards: Maybe the universe is nudging you to a card that’s a better fit. Reflect on your needs and spending. The top-tier card might dazzle, but another could be your soul-card.
  • Reapply when ready: Given the issues a once-over? Waited a few months? Now, with renewed optimism and a spruced-up financial profile, you can think about reapplying.

It’s crucial to remember: a declined application isn’t a reflection of your worth or financial acumen. It’s just a momentary mismatch. So chin up, address the possible blips, and you’ll soon be swiping a card that aligns with your stellar credit standing.

Tips to maintain excellent credit

First off, a virtual high-five for achieving that excellent credit score! But as any top scorer will tell you, getting there is half the battle. Keeping that score glowing requires continuous effort, much like maintaining a lush garden or mastering a musical instrument. Let’s dive into some friendly advice on ensuring your credit remains in the top tier.

Regularly check your credit reports

Think of your credit report as a school report card but for adults. Regularly checking in ensures you’re in the know about any potential hiccups or discrepancies. The good news? You’re entitled to a free report annually from each of the major credit bureaus. It’s like a yearly financial health check-up!

Keep those balances low

Credit utilization, or the percentage of your credit limit that you use, plays a massive role in your credit score. Experts often recommend keeping it below 30%. It’s a bit like dieting – just because you have a high calorie limit doesn’t mean you should consume it all. If your credit limit is 3,000.

Pay bills on time, every time

This one might sound obvious, but it’s worth emphasizing. Late payments can put a dent in your credit score faster than you can say “whoops.” Consider setting up automatic payments or reminders to ensure you never miss a due date.

Don’t be hasty in closing old accounts

You know that old credit card you got in college and rarely use now? It might be tempting to close it, but think twice. Older accounts can benefit your credit score by increasing the length of your credit history. It’s like a testament to your long-standing relationship with credit. Unless there’s a compelling reason (like high fees), consider keeping it open.

Limit hard inquiries

Every time you apply for a new line of credit, the lender makes a hard inquiry into your report. Too many of these in a short time can raise red flags. It’s like having too many people peeking into your room—it gets suspicious! If you’re shopping for loans, do so within a short window, as multiple inquiries within a fortnight usually count as one.

Diversify your credit mix

Having a mix of credit types—like credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, or mortgages—can favorably impact your score. It shows lenders you can handle various credit types responsibly. But remember, don’t take on new credit just for the sake of it. Ensure it aligns with your financial goals.

Stay informed and adapt

The credit world is always evolving, and so are the factors affecting scores. Keep yourself updated about any changes in credit scoring models or best practices. Knowledge is power, and staying informed ensures you’re always ahead of the game.

Summary

While your credit score isn’t the only factor that credit card issuers examine when deciding if you’re a good candidate, it is one of the most important.

If your credit score is above 700, the credit card world is open to you. You should have little trouble getting some of the best cards on the market.

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