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Best Credit Cards for Good Credit May 2018

Posted April 30, 2018 8:06 p.m. EDT

If you’re someone with good credit you should be able to qualify for a variety of credit cards. There are cards if you want to earn cash back, earn travel rewards or complete a balance transfer. MagnifyMoney has reviewed our database of over 2,000 credit cards to find cards you can qualify for with good credit. Here are our favorite cards for people with good credit.

Best cash back credit cards for good credit

  • Best flat-rate cash back: Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
  • Best 5% cash back: Discover it® - Cashback Match™
  • Also consider: Nusenda Credit Union Platinum Rewards Card

Best for big spenders in gas

  • Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa® Platinum Card

Best for big spenders in groceries

  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Best travel rewards credit card for good credit

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Best airline credit cards for good credit

  • Best for Southwest frequent flyers: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Card
  • Best for United frequent flyers: United MileagePlus® Explorer Card
  • Best for American Airlines frequent flyers: Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
  • Best for Delta frequent flyers: Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

Best luxury credit card for good credit

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express

Best 0% intro APR credit cards for balance transfers and purchases for good credit

  • 18 months, 0% intro APR, 3% BT fee: Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever
  • 15 months, 0% intro APR, $0 intro BT fee: Chase Slate®
  • 14 months, 0% intro APR, 3% BT fee: Discover it® - Cashback Match™

Best cash back credit cards for good credit

Cash back credit cards can be great tools to boost your financial position. They basically make your life just a few percentage points cheaper — who wouldn’t want that?

Watch out for the pitfalls with these rewards cards, though. Don’t talk yourself into spending more because you’ll receive cash back. If you opt for a cash back card that offers you up to 5X more points on certain categories, make sure you understand that you often have to activate the bonus categories and set up reminders for yourself if necessary.

Best flat-rate cash back

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Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Annual fee$0*Cashback Rate1% when you buy, 1% when you payRegular Purchase APR14.99%-24.99%

Variable

Credit requiredgood-creditExcellent/Good

Magnify Glass Pros

  • High flat-rate cash back You earn the highest flat-rate cash back amount of any card on the market. This allows you to enjoy high rewards on all your purchases.
  • Simple cash back rewards plan Earn 1% cash back when you make a purchase and then an additional 1% cash back on those credit card payments, as long as you pay the minimum due. No need to deal with changing categories or activation.
  • First late fee waived You won’t have to pay your first late fee. Instead, if you are tardy, use it as a reminder to sign up for autopay

Cons Cons

  • Must pay in full to earn the full reward The only way to enjoy the 1% + 1% cash back is to pay your bill in full. This is a great incentive to pay your bill on time so you earn rewards faster.
  • 3% foreign transaction fee This is one card to leave home if you travel abroad a lot — but it’s great as long as you stay within the borders. The foreign transaction fee will negate any cash back you earn from purchases made abroad.

Bottom line

Bottom line

This is one of the highest flat-rate cash back rewards credit cards on the market. It’s a great choice for those who want peace of mind that they’re getting good rewards without fussing with variable rewards categories.

Read our full review of the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Best 5% cash back

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on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

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Discover it® - Cashback MatchTM

Annual fee$0Cashback Rate5% on certain categories, 1% on everything elseRegular APR13.49%-24.49%

Variable

Credit requiredgood-creditGood / Excellent

Magnify Glass Pros

  • Up to 5% cash back in rotating categories You will earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter, like gas stations, Amazon.com, restaurants, wholesale clubs, and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. All other purchases will earn unlimited 1% cash back automatically.
  • Cash back match your first year Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically. This is a great additional bonus for new cardholders that will significantly increase your cash back.
  • No foreign transaction fee Bring your card with you on your adventures abroad. It won’t cost you anything extra. This is one of the only cash back rewards cards to not charge you for using your card abroad.
  • Free FICO score Your FICO score is the most common credit score used by creditors, and getting your official score helps you keep tabs on your good credit. Monitoring your score can also help alert you of any fraudulent activity on your card.

Cons Cons

  • You need to opt in for bonus categories Bonus rewards aren’t automatic; you’ll need to remember to log in and manually activate them each quarter. Set a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget.
  • $1,500 quarterly cap on 5% cash back rewards You won’t get any extra cash back rewards if you spend more than $30,000 on bonus categories each quarter. It’s a high bar, but one to be aware of nonetheless.

Bottom line

Bottom line

The Discover it® – Cashback Match™ offers great rewards-earning potential with no annual fee, making this card a good way to earn rewards. Just remember to opt in to the quarterly-changing cash back programs.

Read our full review of the Discover it® - Cashback MatchTM

Also Consider

Nusenda Credit Union Platinum Rewards

This card is a great choice for forgetful people who want cash back rewards. It’s one of the only cards offering revolving categories each quarter that you don’t have to opt in for; you will get these rewards automatically. This card would also be a great choice for those who want cash back rewards and don’t mind working with a credit union.

Best for big spenders in gas

Commuting can be a huge cost, especially if you live far away from your work and don’t use public transportation. If you spend a lot of money on gas each month, consider getting a cash back rewards card that gives you higher rates of return for these purchases. It’s like having an instant coupon for gas with you all the time.

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on Fort Knox Federal’s secure website

Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa® Platinum Card

Annual fee$0 For First Year$0 OngoingCashback Rate5% back on all gas station spending, 1% on all other purchasesRegular Purchase APR10.50%-18.00%

Variable

Credit requiredgood-credit

Good

Magnify Glass Pros

  • 5% cash back rewards on gas This is one of the best cash back rewards bonuses we’ve seen on any card. It does not change quarterly like with most cash back rewards — you will always earn cash back rewards at this rate.
  • Fair APR If you need to carry a balance from month to month, rest assured: This card comes with a fair interest rate. Although we recommend paying each statement in full, this card can be a good option if you qualify for the lowest APR.
  • No annual fee All these great rewards come with no annual fee. If you pay off your bill in full each month to avoid interest charges, it’ll essentially be free money.

Cons Cons

  • 1% foreign transaction fee This is a great card to have on hand for road trips, but be aware that if you cross the border, your cash back rewards will be reduced.
  • Credit union membership required You don’t need to be a member to apply for the card; however, if you are approved, you’ll need to open and fund a savings account with a minimum of $5.

Bottom line

Bottom line

This card offers great value for big spenders in gas. If you frequent the pump, this card can earn you a nice cash back rate. This card offers other great features such as no annual fee and a fair interest rate. If you don’t mind working with a credit union, this card can benefit your needs.

Best for big spenders in groceries

Groceries can be one of your biggest budget-busters, especially if you have a large family, a specialized diet, or live in certain parts of the country. The good news is there are certain credit cards that offer great rewards for grocery purchases. Here’s our top pick for a credit card to maximize your grocery cash back rewards.

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Annual fee$95Cashback Rate6% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 3% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, 1% on other purchasesRegular Purchase APR14.49%-25.49%

Variable

Magnify Glass Pros

  • 0% intro APR If you make a purchase and can’t pay it off immediately, you have a full year of reprieve from paying any interest.
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets You’ll earn a whopping 6% cash back on supermarket purchases — the highest level of cash back rewards we’ve heard of. Sadly, you’ll only earn this much on the first $6,000 worth of purchases each year. Remaining purchases will still earn 1% cash back.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and certain U.S. department store purchases There’s no limit to the amount of cash back rewards you can earn at U.S. gas stations and at stores like Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Nordstrom. That means you can enjoy the higher cash back rate all year long.

Cons Cons

  • $95 annual fee This card charges an annual fee, but it will still be worth the fee if you buy at least $1,583 in groceries or $3,166 in gas each year.
  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee If you use your card outside of the country, it’ll cost you unless you’re buying gas or groceries — then you’ll either be breaking even or earning 3.3% cash back rewards on groceries. It’s best to leave this card at home if you travel abroad.

Bottom line

Bottom line

This card offers a fantastic cash back rewards program for grocery spenders. By using this card for grocery purchases, you will see the most rewards. Although it carries an annual fee, this card will easily pay for itself with big spenders in groceries.

Best travel rewards credit card for good credit

Travel can seem like a pipe dream to a lot of people. Even if you do have the cash, it still stings to see that much hard-won money leaving your bank account. But with a travel rewards credit card, you can have a sort of de facto savings account specifically for travel. And with a sign-on bonus like the one for our top pick, you can be jet-setting somewhere fun and interesting as soon as a few months from now.

The information related to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

on Citibank’s secure website

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Annual fee$95, waived for first 12 Months*Rewards2 AAdvantage® miles on American Airlines purchases, 1 AAdvantage® mile on everything elseRegular Purchase APR17.49%-25.49%

Variable

Credit requiredgood-credit

Good

Magnify Glass Pros

  • Cheaper mile redemptions You’ll pay up to 7,500 fewer miles to fly to certain destinations with America Airlines. This can help you maximize your miles.
  • 10% bonus points each year You’ll get a 10% bonus on all miles you’ve redeemed for flights at the end of each year. This is a great added bonus that will increase your miles earned.
  • First checked bag free You won’t have to leave the things you really want to bring at home in order to save money. First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation.
  • Discount on in-flight purchases You can save money when dining on American Airlines flights. Receive a 25% savings on eligible in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights.
  • Travel protections This card comes with lost baggage protection, travel and emergency assistance, worldwide travel accident insurance, worldwide car rental insurance, trip cancellation and trip protection, and more. These features allow you to save money from taking out additional insurances when traveling.

Cons Cons

  • Limited “oneworld” partner airlines You can only book travel on American Airlines or their partner airlines in the “oneworld alliance.” Other member airlines include British Airways and Qantas, for example.

Bottom line

Bottom line

This card offers solid perks and ways to maximize your mile earnings. It’s an important card in any traveler’s wallet and can be a great benefit to frequent American Airlines flyers. Take advantage of the cheaper miles redemption to maximize your miles.

Best for Delta frequent flyers

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Rates & Fees

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card From American Express

Annual fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.Rewards2 miles on Delta purchases, 1 mile on everything elseRegular Purchase APR17.24%-26.24%

Variable

Magnify Glass Pros

  • Free checked bag Save money and hassle by bringing all the stuff you need with you on your travels in a free checked bag.
  • Priority boarding Be the first on the plane so you don’t have to worry about luggage space or a long line.
  • No foreign transaction fee This card does not charge a fee for purchases made abroad. That means you can fly outside of the U.S. and not be charged additional fees like most other cards.
  • Discounts on Delta purchases You will enjoy several discounts when flying Delta. Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets. Also, you and two traveling companions can enjoy snacks and beverages, Wi-Fi access, satellite TV, newspapers and magazines, personalized flight assistance, private restrooms and more at Delta Sky Club® for a reduced fee of $29 per person.
  • Travel Protections This card comes with Global Assist Hotline, car rental loss and damage insurance, and more. These features are a great way to have an added layer of safety when traveling.

Cons Cons

  • Limited SkyTeam partner airlines You can also use your Delta miles to book travel within the SkyTeam Alliance, a relatively limited network with other members like Air France and Aeroméxico.

Bottom line

Bottom line

This card offers great benefits for those who fly Delta. You will enjoy a wide selection of perks from lounge access to in-flight savings that make traveling more comfortable and cheaper. We recommend this card for frequent Delta flyers who want added discounts when they travel.

Best luxury credit card for good credit

Even though traveling is fun, it can still be a stressful experience. In between fighting throngs of crowds and cramming into airline seats, it can be enough to drive even the most ardent travel-lover insane sometimes.

The good news is you can avoid all of that with a luxury credit card. These credit cards will give you an across-the-board better travel experience, from the moment you arrive at the airport until you make it back home. Here is our top pick for a luxury credit card.

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on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Annual fee$550Rewards5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.comRegular Purchase APR-Credit requiredexcellent-credit

Excellent

Magnify Glass Pros

  • 60,000 Membership Rewards® points bonus : Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first three months.
  • Free access to over 1,000 airport lounges : Get away from the crowds and breathe in premium airport lounges all over the globe. 
  • $200 toward airline fees and incidental purchases each year : Amex will refund you up to $200 per year on purchases from a qualifying airline you select ahead of time. This includes things like meals, checked bag fees, and more.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck : Amex will refund you every four years for TSA Precheck ($85) or Global Entry ($100) fees. 
  • 5X points on eligible airline ticket and hotel purchases : Earn a fantastic rewards rate on airline ticket and hotel stay purchases. It’s more than double what many other travel cards offer. 

Cons Cons

  • High annual fee Luxury doesn’t come cheap. If you spend a lot on travel, though, this card can still pay for itself. Make sure this card is right for your needs.

Bottom line

Bottom line

This card is a stand-out favorite for globetrotting jet-setters who prefer a bit of comfort while traveling. Watch out for the high annual fee, though. If you spend a lot on travel each year, however, this card might actually save you money and will allow you to travel in luxury.

Best 0% APR credit cards for good credit

If you really need to buy something moderately expensive but don’t have the cash for it yet, 0% APR purchase cards can be a great way to go. They’re basically like free short-term loans. These cards are similar to 0% balance transfer cards, but not all of them also offer you the ability to make new purchases with the free promo rates.

It’s recommended to only use these cards to buy things that you absolutely need rather than a new big-screen TV. For example, I used a 0% APR card to purchase the very computer I’m typing this on. I didn’t have $800 to spend at the time, but within a couple of months I had made enough money to pay it off in full — without having to pay a penny of interest. These cards offer great opportunities to better your life, without the extra cost — if you can pay off the card before the promo period is over.

18 months, 0% intro APR, 3% BT fee

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Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Intro BT APR0%

promotional rate

Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 5% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greaterRegular Purchase APR15.49%-25.49%

Variable

Duration18 monthsCredit requiredgood-creditExcellent/Good

Magnify Glass Pros

  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 18 months Enjoy a free pass from any interest charges for nearly two years in a row — that’s one of the longest 0% APR intro periods in the business. The intro period also applies to balance transfers.
  • No late fees Citi offers one of the most unique perks in the credit card world — no late fees. Of course, it isn’t a free pass; you still need to pay your bill on time or risk a huge credit score drop from the negative mark on your credit report.
  • Choose your bill due date To make it as easy as possible on your finances, you can choose your own due date. Get paid in the middle of the month? No problem. Prefer to pay it right away? Pay it at the beginning of the month.

Cons Cons

  • 3% foreign transaction fee If you’ll be traveling abroad, leave this card at home — otherwise it’ll end up making your trip 3% more expensive.

Bottom line

Bottom line

This is one of the longest 0% APR intro periods in the credit card market and offers a fantastic opportunity for those who need to finance a large purchase — as long as you pay it off before the period expires. Use this card as a means to rid yourself of high interest charges while you pay off your bills.

Read our full review of the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

15 months, 0% intro APR, $0 intro BT fee

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Chase Slate®

Intro BT APR0%

Introductory rate

Balance Transfer Fee$0 intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open. After 5% of the amount transferred, with a minimum of $5.Regular Purchase APR16.49%-25.24%

Variable

Duration15 monthsCredit requiredfair-credit

Average

Magnify Glass Pros

  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 15 months This is a good offer for an intro 0% APR period, but if you need more, there are other cards available with longer 0% APR intro periods. The intro period also applies to balance transfers.
  • $0 Intro balance transfer fee This card also offers a good balance transfer option. Make sure to transfer your existing balance during the first 60 days your account is open to avoid a balance transfer fee. Doing a balance transfer is a great way to save interest while you pay your balance.
  • Free monthly FICO® score and Credit Dashboard Most lenders use your FICO score when determining your creditworthiness. Keep track with this card to monitor your score’s progress.

Cons Cons

  • 3% foreign transaction fee This card might save you money if you have a revolving balance for the first 15 months, but not if you take it out of the country.

Bottom line

Bottom line

This card offers a good 0% APR intro period that will help if you need to make a large purchase or even complete a balance transfer. Free access to your FICO® score and Credit Dashboard allows you to keep track of your credit on a monthly basis. If you need a longer intro period, check other cards to see what is best for your needs.

Read our full review of the Chase Slate®

14 months, 0% intro APR, 3% BT fee

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on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

Discover it® - Cashback MatchTM

Intro BT APR0%

promotional rate

Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 3% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greaterRegular APR13.49%-24.49%

Variable

Duration14 monthsCredit requiredgood-creditGood / Excellent

Magnify Glass Pros

  • 14-month 0% intro purchase APR You’ll get just over a year to pay your debt back before your balance starts accumulating any interest. Depending on the size of your debt, this can be plenty of time to pay it off. The intro period also applies to balance transfers. The intro period also applies to balance transfers.
  • Free FICO Score Get monthly updates on the progress of your credit score as you work to pay off your debt. Monitoring your FICO Score is a great way to stay abreast of any changes to your score and allows you to practice responsible credit behavior.
  • Great cash back rewards potential Earn 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Just remember to set a reminder to activate the 5% categories each quarter.

Cons Cons

  • 3% balance transfer fee Even though you won’t be charged any interest for 14 months, you’ll pay a 3% fee up front to transfer over your existing balance. Still, it’s cheaper than paying interest each month for 14 months.

Bottom line

Bottom line

This card is a great option if you’re looking to pay off high-interest credit card debt while also earning cash back rewards on new purchases. Just don’t use this as an excuse to keep racking up debt — make sure you pay off any new charges you make each month when the bill is due to avoid racking up a balance.

Read our full review of the Discover it® - Cashback MatchTM

Learn more

The myth of the perfect 850 score

You don’t need a perfect credit score to qualify for the best financial products. You’ll still get access to virtually all of the things an 850 credit score would unlock as long as you have a credit score of at least 760.

You can still be rejected even with a good credit score

Good credit scores don’t happen by accident. Whether you deliberately aimed for your score or not, you have good financial management skills. However, this isn’t enough to guarantee your approval for a large number of financial products.

It’s actually possible to have a good credit score yet still be a high financial risk. For example, your credit score doesn’t take your salary into account. You could have a perfect credit score yet be unemployed with no income, in some cases.

When you apply for financial products, banks will look at your entire situation beyond just your credit score. Each bank will have their own approval criteria, and you might not pass one of them even if you have a good credit score.

Take heart, however; in general, you will be approved for most good financial products and services if you have a good credit score. But if the bank is very picky or something uncommon has happened to you (such as a recent job loss), it’s not surprising to be rejected.

Should you worry about inquiries? If you’ve got a 700+ score, not so much.

Potential creditors don’t like to see a string of recent credit inquiries on your report because it might be a sign that you’re going on an out-of-control credit binge. Your score will be docked a few points per credit inquiry. This is a relatively small cut compared to more major transgressions like late payments and foreclosures, however.

When you have a poor credit score (600-648), you need every point you can get. The difference between a poor and a fair credit score is just 48 points; you need to do everything you can to gain those points and move up into the next bracket. Having a hard credit pull on your credit report will set you back even longer.

If you’ve got good credit, though, you don’t need to worry as much. You have 150 points between 700 and the maximum score of 850. That’s plenty of room to pay for small dings on your credit. You can have a hard inquiry on your credit report and still have a good credit score, unless you’re starting with a borderline good score of 700-705.

How to maintain your high credit

You’ve worked hard getting your score to this point, now how do you keep it there? Luckily, it’s not hard; basically, continue doing the good things you’re already doing.

Paying all of your statements on time and in full is one of the best things you can do to maintain your high credit score. A single late payment on your mortgage could set you back 60 points or more, downgrading you from good credit to average. Make sure all of your debt accounts are set up on autopay to avoid this potentially costly error.

Credit utilization (the percentage of available credit you’re using) is also one of the biggest factors in determining your credit score. The less available credit you’re using, the better. In general, a credit utilization ratio of 10% or less will boost your score the most. This means that you’ll have a credit card balance of $1,000 or less for each $10,000 of credit you have available to you.

A few minor factors will also boost your credit score, but not as much as having a good payment history and a low credit utilization ratio. Keep credit inquiries to a minimum. In order to avoid a slew of inquiries that will be reflected in your credit score, make sure companies use soft pulls if you need to shop around for the best interest rates.

Also consider keeping your oldest credit cards open and closing any newer ones you’re not using. This will increase your average credit age. In general, an average credit age of five years or more is considered best and will boost your credit score.

Should I close my old card before I open a new one?

You don’t want to be juggling around a ton of cards you’re not using. Closing old cards sounds like a good idea until you consider one factor: It may ding your credit score.

Creditors like to see that you can effectively handle credit accounts over long periods of time. That’s why average credit age is one factor included in credit scoring models. If you close out an old card, your average credit age might drop. This would cause a corresponding dip in your score. The effect wouldn’t be huge (not as large as a late payment, for example), but it could be there nonetheless, especially if your average credit age is five years or less (over five years is the optimal average credit age).

That’s why most experts recommend keeping your oldest credit card open. If you want to juggle fewer accounts, close any newer ones that you’re not using. Of course, if your oldest credit card charges an annual fee and you’re not using it, then go ahead and close it anyway. Paying an annual fee for a card you’re not using likely outweighs any benefits from keeping the card open for the sake of boosting your average credit age.

Furthermore, if you close your old credit card before you apply for a new card, it’s possible that your credit score will drop enough that your application will be rejected, especially if you have a borderline good credit score. In this case, it’s better to wait until after you’ve applied and been approved for the new credit card before closing your old card, if you decide to do so.

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