Our Picks: Best Credit Cards for Good Credit
U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card
Why this is one of the best cards for good credit: The U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card offers a 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening. That’s a $500 value redeemable towards travel, gift cards, cash back, merchandise and more. This card earns five points per dollar on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked through the Altitude Rewards Center; four points per dollar on travel, gas station and electric vehicle charging station purchases; and two points per dollar on streaming services, including a $30 annual streaming service credit. Cardholders also get two points per dollar on dining and grocery store and delivery purchases, plus one point per dollar on all other eligible purchases. You will pay an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95. See our full review.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Why this is one of the best cards for good credit: Cardholders with good credit will access hefty rewards with Chase Freedom Unlimited. Add 1.5% cash back rewards and a variety of bonus categories, and this card is a solid earner. Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back. That’s 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases. See our full review.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Why this is one of the best cards for good credit: The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card requires good credit for approval, which means a FICO credit score of at least 670. You can earn an unlimited 2 miles per dollar for all card purchases, plus Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 Miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. This card, which charges a $95 annual fee, also provides a free credit monitoring tool to help you take your score from good to excellent. See our full review.
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Why this is one of the best credit cards for good credit: If you have good credit and are looking for a rewards card with 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate, this is a good choice. Chase Freedom Flex℠ also offers 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% at drugstores and restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and 1% on other purchases year-round. See our full review.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
Why this is one of the best credit cards for good credit: If you have good or excellent credit, you may qualify for Marriott Bonvoy’s no-annual-fee credit card. The Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card earns up to 14 points per dollar at participating Marriott hotels, two points per dollar on select travel expenses and one point per dollar on all other purchases. Cardholders are also eligible for baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and other perks. See our full review.
Discover it® Balance Transfer
Why this is one of the best credit cards for good credit: If you have good to excellent credit, you can qualify for the Discover it Balance Transfer card with no annual fee. Cardholders get a 0% introductory annual percentage rate on balance transfers for 18 months and on purchases for six months. Purchases earn 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories and 1% back after you hit the quarterly limit and on all other spending. See our full review.
Discover it® Cash Back
Why this is one of the best credit cards for good credit: Good credit can score you a Discover it® Cash Back card, which offers 5% cash back each quarter in rotating categories, such as Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. All other purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back. Discover will match your rewards at the end of the first year. There’s a $0 annual fee, and you can take advantage of a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (then a 14.99% to 25.99% variable APR applies). See our full review.
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Why this is one of the best cards for good credit: The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card requires a minimum credit score of 670, and cardholders earn 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase. The card charges a $0 annual fee and foreign transaction fee and includes a new-cardholder bonus of earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. See our full review.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Why this is one of the best cards for good credit: The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card can help cardholders earn miles toward Delta Air Lines flights and other perks with the airline. The card earns 2 miles per dollar on purchases directly from Delta, as well as 2 miles per dollar at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, and 1 mile per dollar on other eligible purchases. Cardholders can also earn 20% back on in-flight purchases and can get their first checked bag for free. Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months. See our full review.
Hilton Honors American Express Card
Why this is one of the best cards for good credit: With good credit, the no-annual-fee Hilton Honors American Express Card can be yours, and you can earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Then, rack up seven points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio, five points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets and at U.S. gas stations, and three points per dollar on all other eligible purchases (See Rates & Fees). See our full review.
U.S. News has been helping consumers make money decisions for decades. For our Best Credit Cards for Good Credit list, we considered overall issuer satisfaction ratings, ease and flexibility of rewards redemption, rewards earning rates, annual fees, APRs, sign-up bonus values, cardholder benefits, foreign transaction fees, and balance transfer fees. Satisfaction data is based on an annual nationwide survey.
A card must require a credit score of between 670 to 850 to be one of the Best Credit Cards for Good Credit. To determine which card is best for you, consider your spending habits as well as the card’s annual fee, rewards rates and benefits.
What Can You Expect From Credit Cards for Good Credit?
Here’s what you should know about credit cards for those with good credit:
Rewards earning: More than 80% of cards for good credit earn at least two points per dollar or 2% cash back on bonus categories.
Sign-up bonus value: Almost 11% of cards for good credit have a sign-up bonus worth more than $500.
Annual fee: You’ll pay no annual fee with 61% of cards for good credit. Only about 9% of cards for good credit have an annual fee of more than $100.
APR: About 16% of cards for good credit have a minimum APR of 14.99% or lower, 70% have a minimum APR between 15 to 18.99%.
Benefits: Cards for good credit often have valuable benefits, with most offering travel accident insurance, travel credits, priority boarding, free checked bags, hotel status and other valuable cardholder perks.
What Is Good Credit?
When you have good credit, lenders will view you as less risky than consumers with fair, poor or very poor credit.
“With a good credit score, you’re likely to get into a credit card with a reasonable limit, lower fees, lower interest rates and possibly better program perks,” says Paul Golden, director of media relations with the National Endowment for Financial Education.
But good credit is not as ideal as very good or excellent credit, so scores in the good credit range are not in the top tier. Where exactly you fall in the range depends on whether lenders use FICO or VantageScore, the two main credit-scoring models.
Scores on the FICO scale fall between 300 and 850. Within that range are different categories:
- Exceptional is 850 to 800.
- Very good is 799 to 740.
- Good is 739 to 670.
- Fair is 669 to 580.
- Very poor is 579 to 300.
Measuring with the FICO scale, 21% of Americans have a good credit score, which is considered average risk. About 8% of them will become seriously delinquent.
As with FICO, VantageScore 3.0 – the most recent version of the scoring model – assigns numerical credit ratings between 300 and 850. But the categories break down a bit differently:
- Excellent is 850 to 781.
- Good is 780 to 661.
- Fair is 660 to 601.
- Poor is 600 to 500.
- Very poor is 499 to 300.
Although your FICO score can be as low as 670 and still qualify as good, 661 is the VantageScore cutoff. Note that even though FICO and VantageScore 3.0 both have scores that range from 300-850, there are differences in the way each score weighs the factors that make up the scores. So it’s best to avoid direct comparisons.
How Can You Get Good Credit?
Good credit, unlike excellent credit, doesn’t call for a long credit history or an exceptionally low credit utilization ratio – the amount of available credit you use. If you pay your bills on time and keep within your credit limits, good credit is possible.
While VantageScore determines whether your credit score is good based on six factors, FICO looks at five factors. VantageScore 3.0 assesses, in order of importance, payment history, age and type of credit, percentage of credit limit used, total debt, recent credit behavior, and available credit.
FICO weighs payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, credit mix and new credit, in that order. In the U.S., FICO scores are used in more than 90% of lending decisions, according to the credit scorer FICO research.
Both FICO and VantageScore consider payment history to be the most important factor. Good credit, then, means you make most or all payments to creditors on time.
It means you don’t max out your credit cards, either. As a general rule, good credit requires using less than 30% of your available credit. Exceeding this level indicates that you may be charging more than you can easily pay off.
On a credit card with a $5,000 credit limit, aim to have a balance of no more than $1,500 reported to the credit bureaus each statement period. Achieving excellent credit may require even lower use, about 7%.
The length of your credit history also can separate good from excellent credit. You might have good credit with a short credit history. However, you’ll need to demonstrate a history of on-time bill payments to reassure lenders that you’re a low credit risk and earn an excellent score.
Credit mix only makes up 10% of your FICO credit score, but showing creditors you can successfully maintain different types of credit is helpful to establish and maintain good credit. Ideally, you can demonstrate an ability to stay in good standing on installment accounts, such as a mortgage, an auto loan or a student loan, and on revolving accounts, including credit cards, and to open credit lines for cellphones or utilities.
Similarly, new credit is not a major factor with either FICO or VantageScore, but managing it properly can be helpful for good credit. If you’re shopping for new credit, multiple card inquiries may temporarily ding your credit score. Limit credit applications to products you will use and are reasonably confident in your likelihood of approval.
Overall, if you have good credit, focus on maintaining your score. “It doesn’t take much for it to fall,” Golden says. “Even one late payment can be significantly derogatory.”
What Do Cards for Good Credit Offer?
Cards for good credit provide many features of cards for excellent credit. Here is what’s in the cards for you if you have good credit:
Rewards. Because good credit offers access to most cards, expect to choose from credit cards with rewards that include cash, travel and points that can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise and more. Cards for good credit commonly offer at least one point per dollar on all purchases.
Depending on the card, you may be able to earn rewards at a higher rate, such as 5% cash back on quarterly rotating bonus categories.
Other cards may earn two or more points per dollar on all purchases, or in bonus categories year-round.
About 63% of cards in the U.S. News database available to consumers with good credit offer sign-up bonuses worth at least $150, but some offer sign-up bonuses worth $500 or more.
Benefits. Often, cards for good credit come with useful cardholder benefits. Some cards offer travel credits or perks, such as free checked bags. Frequently, cards for good credit provide some form of travel insurance, whether it’s trip cancellation and accident insurance or coverage for rental cars. And almost all offer purchase protection benefits, such as extended warranty coverage or cellphone insurance.
Some credit cards offer top-notch benefits, such as annual travel credits and airport lounge access. Benefits available with The Platinum Card from American Express include a $200 annual airline fee credit; access to the Global Lounge Collection, which allows cardholders to use a variety of airport lounges; and Uber VIP status with $15 in free rides each month.
Interest rates. Typically, cards available to consumers with good credit are rated for good to excellent credit. That means if you have good but not excellent credit, you might be approved for a card, but you shouldn’t expect to qualify for the lowest available APR.
Fees. Annual fees aren’t unusual with cards for good credit, but there are some available without an annual fee. Usually, cards for good credit have an annual fee of no more than $100.
How Can You Get Approved for a Credit Card for Good Credit?
Despite your good credit, you may not always be approved for the credit card you want. As with excellent credit, card approval depends on more than your credit rating, although it is an important factor.
In addition to your credit rating, card issuers want to see that you have the income and room in your budget to support at least the standard credit line for the account. They’ll consider your debt-to-income ratio, how many other credit card accounts you’ve recently opened and other factors.
“I recommend applying for credit cards for which you are likely to qualify,” says Gerri Detweiler, education director for Nav, which helps business owners build credit. “Not only is it discouraging to get a rejection, but there will be an inquiry on your credit report.”
Check whether the card issuer offers preapprovals before you apply. A preapproval can tell you whether you’re likely to be approved for the card with a soft inquiry, which has no effect on your credit rating.
When you’re confident you’ll be approved, you can submit an application, which will involve a hard credit check. A hard credit check can have a negative effect on your credit score, although it is typically small and temporary. If your application is rejected, consider a different card, or try again in a few months, after you’ve improved your credit score or other factors considered for approval.