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The (FOR REAL) Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit

Did you know that when you run a search like, “the best credit cards for excellent credit”, what you’re actually getting is a site’s list of all the cards that bribed their way into the running? In other words, out of a list of 10, there are typically 4 or 5 that shouldn’t be on there at all – their fees are high, the interest rate is terrible, and there’s no sign-on bonus – but they exist on the list because these cards pay the site owner handsomely to get themselves there.

….Annnd I’m disgusted enough by it to write a TRUE listing of the best credit cards for excellent credit.

Related: Why Your High Credit Score Doesn’t Impress Me

The Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit

To be completely honest with you, I’m not even a big fan of credit cards. It just makes borrowing money way too easy. But, in a world where credit is widely used, you’d actually be harming yourself if you didn’t have it:

  • A prospective employer might check your credit as a gauge of your character
  • The car rental company might require it to even give you a car
  • Without credit, getting a mortgage can be quite difficult
  • And, your insurance rates might even go up because of your lack of credit

While I don’t love having something in my pocket that could destroy my finances in a moment of weakness, there’s definitely value in keeping it. And, there are actually some pretty nice perks if you have excellent credit, manage your budget wisely, and never overspend on the card.

So what are the best credit cards for excellent credit?

the best credit cards for excellent credit1) Citi Double Cash Card

  • Earn 1% cash back on all purchases, then earn another one percent when you pay the bill (that’s a 2% bonus on everything! That’s dang good!)
  • No annual fee
  • Balance Transfer at 0% APR for 18 months
  • APR 14.74%-24.74%
  • Initial Bonus: $0, no points

In my opinion, this card is for all the wise spenders out there – and one of the absolute best credit cards for excellent credit. You know you’ll have bills to pay as a necessity (gas, food, utilities etc.) that total somewhere around $10,000 a year. This is a fantastic way to get $200 of your hard-earned money back!

2) Capital One Quicksilver Cash Back Card

  • Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Balance Transfer at 0% APR for 9 months
  • APR 14.24%-24.24%
  • Initial Bonus: $150 when you spend $500 in the first 3 months

Another pretty sweet option here. Get 1.5% cash back on all purchases AND get a $150 cash bonus just for signing up!

3) Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn 1.25 points per dollar spent
  • No annual fee
  • Balance Transfer at 13.24%-23.24%, 0% introductory APR for purchases the first 12 months
  • APR 13.24%-23.24%
  • Initial Bonus: 20,000 points ($200 worth of gift cards) when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months

I personally own this credit card. The initial $200 was awesome, and the regular $100 gas cards I get from the reward center are pretty handy too! It’s always been a no-hassle card and their security is excellent.

Annnd That’s the List – Yup, It’s a Short One

So much for a ‘Top 10 best credit cards for excellent credit’ list.

Instead of finding a ton of cards that make total sense to put into your wallet, what I found was that MOST credit cards either try to:

  1. sneak in an annual fee,
  2. they offer you nothing at sign-up, or
  3. the rewards just aren’t there.

For these reasons, my list of ALL the credit cards you should look into are limited to three.

Credit Cards That Don’t Make My List (and Why)

You may have noticed that I left a few big names off the list – namely Discover and American Express. If you truly want the best credit cards for excellent credit, then I’d avoid them. Here’s why:


My very first credit card was a Discover card. It was okay, but it was always irritating that some purchases earned more money than others.

  • Sometimes it was advantageous for me to buy clothes because I’d get 5% back.
  • Other times, they’d reward me for buying gas.
  • And during another month, I’d earn the most by going out to restaurants.

I felt like my life was being dictated by my credit card. Plus, it was always tough for me to tell if the reward total was right because it got so confusing from month to month.

For the most part, I earned very little and the security was so-so. I had false charges on my card a few times. They were resolved, but it was still a hassle.

From what I can tell, Discover still operates the same way today. If you’re looking to avoid the hassle factor like me, then I’d recommend you just stay away from these cards.

American Express

It’s happened a bazillion times… I walk up to pay for my stuff and the guy ahead of me pulls our a shiny credit card and asks, “Do you accept American Express?” Almost every time, the cashier says, “No”, and then waits for the customer to fish out another card.

Don’t be this person.

Almost every American Express card charges you a yearly fee to have it, AND the fee they charge the retailer for each transaction is so high that they’d just rather not accept it. Owning an American Express card doesn’t make you special. In fact, you pretty much have to be an idiot these days to carry one around.

A bit harsh? Maybe, but I mean really, there are so many better options out there (ie. the three options above for sure!!)

Travel Credit Cards Too

My wife and I just went on a trip to Florida. It was fantastic – so fantastic that it got me thinking about taking distant vacations more often… And that’s about the time that the way-too-energetic pilot came on the radio, “Hi folks, have you ever considered the travel rewards credit card? You get rewards and you could even earn a ‘buy one get one passenger free’ if you book your rental car through us too.


It seriously got me thinking, but then I saw the yearly fee. Turns out that almost every travel credit card has them. Annnd all the other fancy rewards were pretty tough to get too – other than the free complimentary drink, which is obviously not worth paying the annual fee.

Soooo, unless you travel every other week, I’d probably just avoid these cards too.

The Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit

There you have it. If you’ve got excellent credit and want to earn a few extra dollars a month in reward points, start hunting for these cards:

  • Citi Double Cash Card
  • Capital One Quicksilver Cash Back Card
  • Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

At this moment in 2018, all the other credit cards are pretty average and aren’t worth seeking out.

There’s the short list – the best credit cards for excellent credit. What do you think? Am I missing an obvious one?

Credit Cards Money Save Money

AUTHOR Derek Sall

Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially--one email, one article, one person at a time.


  1. Thanks for the info. I currently have 1% cash back card that is just ok, I have been looking for better cash back card!

    • You’re welcome, WTD! I just hate seeing all those crappy cards get promoted. These are the real deal.

  2. I have citi double and Discover. While it is a pain to keep track over the last 10 years I’ve earned well over $13,000 in cash back and paid almost no interest (we had a few bad months in college but the total interest we have ever paid is under $100). Plus the good thing about Discover is you can redeem for gift cards worth more than their cash back value which has saved us diring Christmas season. So I really love Discover but if you want to maximize cash back you really need 2 cards at least!

    • Yeah…I still hate Discover… I’d rather not think about my finances and earn 1.25%-2% on every purchase. Wayyyy better IMO than checking every month to see what’s 5% and what’s not… Appreciate the comment, though! Thanks!!

  3. I’m just curious, the 3 cards you reference appear to be unaffiliated with MC or Visa? Is this the case and if so does this limit their potential use, i.e. most stores I see accept either MC or Visa only. Thanks in advance.

    • Great question WTD. While their site doesn’t specify, typically the Capital One cards are associated with (and show the label of) Visa and Citi cards are associated (and again, show the label of) MasterCard. I personally own the Capital One card and it’s a Visa.

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