The best credit cards for excellent credit of 2022

Women talking together on city street, wondering what kind of credit cards they can get with their excellent credit.Image: Women talking together on city street, wondering what kind of credit cards they can get with their excellent credit.
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Hear from our editors: The best credit cards for excellent credit of January 2022

Updated December 22, 2021

This date may not reflect recent changes in individual terms.

Editorial note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our third-party advertisers don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted.

Written by: Ben Luthi

The best credit cards for excellent credit provide some solid rewards and perks that can enhance your experience as a cardholder.

If you have excellent credit — typically considered to be a VantageScore above 780 or a FICO® score of 800 or higher — you’ll have a chance to qualify for some of the best credit cards available on the market. That includes premium rewards and benefits, strong cash back offers, top-tier business credit cards and more.

Here’s our take on the best options.



Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Best for premium rewards

Here’s why: This travel card offers a large sign-up bonus plus triple the rewards on travel and dining. What’s more, all your points are worth 1.5 cents apiece when you redeem them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.

First, you’ll earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months after account opening. Plus, you’ll earn 10 points per $1 spent on Lyft rides (through March 2022) and three points per $1 on travel and dining worldwide. You’ll also get bonus points for specific purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards®: five points per $1 spent on flights, 10 points per $1 spent on hotels and car rentals, and 10 points per $1 spent on Chase Dining purchases. Then, you’ll earn one point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, your points are worth 50% more when you use them to book travel through Chase, which means the sign-up bonus offer is worth $750 when redeemed in that way. If you want more flexibility and the potential for better value, you can also transfer your rewards to one of Chase’s several airline and hotel partners.

Here are some other benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select airport lounge access
  • Lyft Pink membership for one year, when you activate by March 31, 2022
  • DoorDash DashPass membership for at least one year, when you activate by March 31, 2022
  • Application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck

The major downside is the card’s annual fee: $550. But if you can take full advantage of its rewards program and benefits, it can be worth it.

Read Credit Karma’s review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® to learn more.

Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for luxury perks

Here’s why: The luxury benefits that you get with the Platinum Card® from American Express can provide more than enough value to make up for its steep $695 annual fee.

You’ll earn five points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines and through Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 spent per calendar year, then one point per $1), as well as on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel. But all other purchases will net you just one point per $1.

You can redeem rewards directly with Amex for up to 1 cent per point, or you can transfer your points to one of the card issuer’s airline and hotel transfer partners to potentially get more value.

But the Platinum Card® from American Express’ real value is in its benefits, which include the following:

  • A $200 annual airline fee credit
  • Up to $200 in annual Uber credits
  • Up to $100 in annual Saks Fifth Avenue credits
  • Complimentary airport lounge access with The Centurion Lounge, Priority Pass Select, Delta Sky Club, and more
  • Application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Elite hotel status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy
  • Luxury hotel benefits with select brands
  • Premium rental car benefits with select brands

Depending on how (and how often) you travel, you can squeeze much more value out of this card every year than what you pay for it.

Get more details in our Platinum Card® from American Express review.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best for straightforward travel rewards

Here’s why: You’ll earn five miles per $1 spent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, and two miles per $1 spent on every other purchase.

You’ll also get a bonus of 60,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months after opening your account.

Miles are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed for travel, and you’ll have a lot of flexibility with how you can book. You can redeem directly through Capital One or use your card to book travel elsewhere, and then request a statement credit against the purchase after it posts to your account.

The card also offers an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and it has an annual fee of $95.

Read the full review of Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card for more information.

Citi® Double Cash Card: Best for a high cash back rewards rate

Here’s why: You’ll earn a flat 2% cash back with the Citi® Double Cash Card — 1% back when you make a purchase and 1% back as you pay it off.

You can redeem your cash back as a statement credit, direct deposit or paper check, or you can convert it into points, which can open up a lot more redemption options.

The annual fee is $0, but there’s one more thing to consider: There’s no sign-up bonus.

Learn more about the Citi® Double Cash Card in our full review.

Chase Freedom Flex℠: Best for cash back bonuses

Here’s why: This card offers a lot of opportunities to earn cash back.

You can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in rotating bonus categories each quarter. Once you hit the quarterly cap, the rate drops to 1%. Also, you’ll need to remember to activate the bonus categories each quarter in order to qualify for the 5% cash back rate. Check out this article for more on Chase’s rotating cash back categories.

You can also earn cash back on the following purchases:

  • 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart) on up to $12,000 spent during your first year with the card
  • 3% on drugstores and dining at restaurants
  • 1% back on all other purchases

You can also earn $200 after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

You get all of this with a $0 annual fee.

Learn more about the Chase Freedom Flex℠ in our full review.

How we picked these cards

If you have an excellent credit score, you’re likely to be able to choose from a lot of credit card options. With that in mind, we wanted to pick a wide variety of rewards credit cards that could suit your needs. And while many of these cards have annual fees, cardholders can find ways to cover them with points and perks.


About the author: Ben Luthi is a personal finance freelance writer and credit cards expert. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and finance from Brigham Young University. In addition to Credit Karma, you can find his wo… Read more.