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If you have a good to excellent credit score, you can maximize it for a great sign-up bonus and other perks of a credit card, like cash back, travel rewards, or discounts on popular services. These credit cards usually come with some of the most valuable credit card offers and flexible rewards that can be used in 2021 and beyond.

It’s not uncommon that the other benefits can be worth more than the annual fee. So what are the best credit cards for people with good credit scores?

best credit cards excellent credit
Credit cards for good credit scores can help you earn rewards while relaxing at places like The Cape Hyatt. Photo by Hyatt

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit

Here are this year’s best credit cards for excellent credit. Use this table to jump to a specific card.

By most standards, a 740 credit score is considered the beginning of having “excellent credit.” Your approval odds for most cards will be high, although, you will have better odds with a score above 800 as it’s closer to a perfect credit score (850 is considered perfect). If you aren’t sure what your credit score is, these are a few of the best places to get a free credit score check.

The following 9 best credit cards for excellent credit in 2021 can help you reap the most rewards for having the diligence to build excellent credit. Note that many of the cards listed below also have added bonus categories or points/miles earning abilities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

It’s hard not to like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It has flexible point redemption options, including a 25% travel redemption bonus and 1:1 airline and hotel transfer partners.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card currently has an offer of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening, worth $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

The annual fee is only $95.

Also, enjoy new Chase Sapphire benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit.

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you will earn:

  • 5x points on travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 5x points on Lyft rides, through March 2022
  • 3x points on dining, takeout, and qualifying food delivery services (previously 2x points)
  • 3x points on select streaming services
  • Also 3x points online grocery purchases (excludes Walmart, Target, and wholesale clubs)

All remaining travel purchases continue to earn 2x Ultimate Rewards if you book directly from the carrier or a non-Chase travel booking site. Non-bonus purchases earn 1x points.

In addition to the many Sapphire Preferred benefits, members also earn a 10% anniversary point bonus (receive 10% of the points you earn each year at your next card anniversary).

Having your points worth 1.25 cents each when booking travel through Chase makes them worth more than most credit card rewards points. But you might find more value from the 1:1 transfer partners like Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, British Airways, and World of Hyatt where you can usually redeem your points for 2 cents each or more.

Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature.

Additional Perks for 2021

Some of the additional exciting perks can save you money for the next few months. Cardholders can get unlimited deliveries with no delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders of $12 or more for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with a DoorDash DashPass subscription (valued at over $100). Activate your card by December 31, 2021, to take advantage of this benefit.

Additionally, cardholders can earn up to $60 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021. Cardholders don’t need a Peloton bike or treadmill to take advantage of the digital membership that includes 1,000s of on-demand or live fitness classes. New Peloton Digital Members are entitled to a 30-day free trial. Visit Onepeloton.com/ChaseSapphire and enroll using your Sapphire Preferred card.

These perks make the Sapphire Preferred one of the best travel credit cards to have in your wallet.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – 2x Miles on Spending

If you prefer a flat-rate rewards card, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is flexible. All purchases earn unlimited 2x miles per $1 spent. You can redeem your miles for 1 cent each for travel statement credits without a minimum redemption requirement. You can also use them to book award flights or transfer them to airline loyalty programs.

Another card benefit you might enjoy is the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit, up to $100.

The annual fee is $95. Capital One Venture vs Chase Sapphire Preferred, is another excellent card to consider for those consumers wanting travel rewards.

New Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card cardholders can earn 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

The information for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Maximizing your dining and entertainment purchases can be easiest with the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card. You can earn an unlimited:

  • 8% back on tickets at Vivid Seats (through January 2023)
  • 4% back on dining, entertainment, and select popular streaming services
  • 3% back at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target)
  • 1% back on all non-bonus purchases

New cardmembers can get $300 bonus cash by spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. The annual fee is $95. Like other Capital One credit cards, there isn’t a foreign transaction fee with the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card.

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express is a perennial top contender for being the best premium travel rewards credit card. You may prefer the Platinum Card if you are a frequent flyer and like complimentary travel benefits including airport lounge access (enrollment required) and up to $200 annually in air travel statement credits for incidental fees at one qualifying airline (in the form of a statement credit; enrollment required). Cardholders also get hotel benefits including upgraded Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Platinum status (enrollment required).

Cardholders earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, and earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

Cardholders can get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when paying with their Platinum Card®.

Also, get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.

If you ride Uber or use Uber Eats, this credit will make you happy. Cardholders can enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Members only.

Plus, American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.

Terms apply. Enrollment may be required.

New The Platinum Card from American Express Benefits

There’s also a new digital entertainment credit. Cardholders can get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with The Platinum Card® from American Express at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.

In addition to enjoying TSA PreCheck or Global Entry access, cardholders can also enjoy CLEAR perks. Cardholders can use their Card and get up to $179 back per year on their CLEAR® membership. Terms apply.

Another exciting new benefit is the ability for cardholders to enjoy up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. This amounts to up to $300 annually. Enrollment required. 

There is also a $155 Walmart+ credit to enjoy. This covers the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.

Get the full details and learn more in our in-depth The Platinum Card from American Express review.

The annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees) but can be offset with the perks, which are valued at over $1,400. 

Welcome Bonus

New The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers can earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $6,000 on purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. New cardholders also earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms apply. 

The annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees) but can be offset with the perks, which are valued at over $1,400.   

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Many consider Chase Ultimate Rewards points as the most valuable credit card rewards points. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the most benefit-rich Ultimate Rewards credit card. You have a 50% travel redemption bonus and the 1:1 Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners.

The reason to get the Sapphire Reserve over the Sapphire Preferred is the annual $300 travel credit, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit, and Priority Pass Select lounge membership.

Plus, earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Cardholders earn:

  • 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when purchasing travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually
  • 3x points on other travel and dining
  • 1x point per $1 spent on all other purchases

All remaining dining and travel purchases continue to earn 3x points (3x points on travel are earned immediately after earning the $300 travel credit). Non-bonus purchases earn 1x points.

Two new benefits launching later this year are:

  • Reserved by Sapphire: Exclusive dining reservations at luxury restaurants in the U.S.
  • Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club: Complimentary airport lounge locations across the world

The Reserved by Sapphire restaurant benefit launches later in 2021, according to Chase. The opening dates for the lounge benefits are not announced yet.

Plus, cardholders earn 10x points on Lyft rides, including bikes and scooters. Complimentary Lyft Pink Membership is also available when activated by March 21, 2022.

Points are worth 50% more when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature.

New Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardmembers can earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, worth $750 towards travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. 

The annual fee is $550 but the benefits can help justify the cost. You will need an excellent credit score for this card.

Additional Sapphire Reserve Perks for 2021

As we aren’t traveling much, Chase is also applying the $300 travel credit for gas and grocery purchases. This is available through Dec. 31, 2021.

Additionally, cardholders can earn up to $120 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021. Cardholders don’t need a Peloton bike or treadmill to take advantage of the digital membership that includes 1,000s of on-demand or live fitness classes. New Peloton Digital Members are entitled to a 30-day free trial, by visiting Onepeloton.com/ChaseSapphire and enrolling using your Sapphire Reserve card.

This is in addition to the complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash that lets cardholders get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees. They also earn up to $120 in statement credits on DoorDash purchases ($60 in statement credits through 2020 and another $60 in statement credits through 2021).

Related: Is Paying Annual Fees on Premium Credit Cards During COVID Worth It?

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

To finalize the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest merger, the Marriott credit card lineup was relaunched in early 2019. The premium Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card is one of the most valuable options as it comes with 1 free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. The Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points) at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program. Note that certain hotels have resort fees.

Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.

Cardholders earn:

  • 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program
  • 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2 points on all other eligible purchases

Although this is a hotel credit card, you also get two air travel benefits. They are Priority Pass Select membership and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit. The Annual Fee is $450 (See Rates & Fees). 

New Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card cardholders can earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after using your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Learn more: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card is a benefit-rich miles credit card. It’s not only a good option if you fly Delta regularly, but also because you can earn a great welcome bonus.

New cardholders can earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $2,000 in purchases on their new Card in their first 3 months. Plus, they can earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with their card within the first 3 months of membership.

Plus, earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.

The annual fee is $250 (See Rates & Fees).

You also get Delta Sky Club access at $39 per person. A Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate is also yours annually upon the renewal of your card. However, payment of the government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.

Cardholders can accelerate their path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost. Plus, through December 31, 2021, they can earn even more bonus MQMs to help cardholders reach Medallion Status. This is one of the best Delta credit cards.

You also earn 3 SkyMiles per $1 on every Delta purchase made directly with Delta and 3x SkyMiles on hotels. Plus, you’ll earn 2 miles at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets. All other eligible purchases earn 1 SkyMiles per $1.

Learn more: Airline Credit Cards

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Maybe you are needing a business credit card. The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is one of the best, but one of the deciding factors is having good to excellent credit. The business version of the Sapphire Preferred has the same annual fee, 25% travel redemption bonus, and 1:1 point transfer partners.

Where the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card differs is how it earns purchase rewards. You will earn 3x points on the first $150,000 spent on combined spending for travel, shipping, internet, phone, and cable services, and advertising on social media and search engines.

The Ink Business also carries the distinction of having the largest ongoing signup bonus of 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points. This bonus is worth $1,250 in award travel and new cardmembers qualify after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months. All of these business perks make this one of the best credit cards for excellent credit.

Cardholders can redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel, and more (points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards). Points don’t expire as long as the account is open. Additionally, cardholders get fraud protection and zero liability. Purchase protection covers new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account. 

Citi Double Cash Card

Sometimes, you appreciate the simplicity of earning cash rewards. The Citi® Double Cash Card earns up to 2% cashback on every purchase. Cardholders earn 1% back when they buy, plus an additional 1% back when they pay. There is no limit to how much cardholders can earn.

While the Double Cash has no annual fee, it has a 3% foreign transaction fee, which doesn’t make this card ideal when traveling abroad. Still, it is one of the best credit cards for good to excellent credit. While stateside, it earns for each purchase you make.

Summary

Having excellent credit lets you qualify for some of the most valuable and exclusive credit cards. Once you decide which benefits and purchase rewards maximize your spending habits, it’s time to enjoy the fruits that other credit cards don’t offer. Which of these best credit cards for excellent credit do you prefer?

Related Articles:

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, please click here.

To learn more about the rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please click here.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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  • 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 Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

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