In a sea of credit card offers that boast endless rewards and low interest rates, it can be difficult to reel in the perfect card for your needs. Sometimes the best way to decide is to let your credit score choose for you.
People with great credit can get better interest rates and the best offerings when it comes to rewards if they apply for cards aimed at those with excellent credit. On the other hand, it is important for those with less-than-stellar credit to apply for credit cards they have the best chance of being approved for, as applying for multiple credit cards can lower your credit score even further.
While all credit scoring models differ, a “great” or “excellent” credit score is usually above 750 and “good” credit scores are around 700. An “average” credit score is considered to be around 650, and anything below a 600 credit score usually falls in the “bad”category.
Note that even if your credit score falls in the desired credit score range for the credit cards cited below, this does not necessarily mean you will be approved. Your chances of being approved are still very good, however it is important to keep in mind that factors besides credit score go into approval decisions and each issuer may use different scoring models.
Not sure what your credit score is? You can get your credit scores for free by signing up for a credit report monitoring service here. Though most of these credit report monitoring services provide scores from the CreditXpert model, we found that these are a close approximation of the FICO scores that many credit card issuers often use.
Whether you have excellent credit or your score is hovering at the end of the spectrum, here are the best credit cards for your credit score:
Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit:
Citi Simplicity® Card
The Citi Simpilicity Card is one of our overall top choices for credit cards thanks to its 18 month 0% intro APR, which is the longest interest-free period for both purchases and balance transfers that we’ve seen in a card. This credit card has no late fees or penalty rates, plus there is no annual fee. People with excellent credit looking to make large purchases or complete a balance transfer will really benefit from the long interest-free period on the card. In general, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard
If you have great credit and love to travel, this credit card has the best travel rewards around. Cardholders can earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases with no mileage caps or foreign transaction fees. Plus, you will earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days, which is equivalent to $400 worth of travel. As if that weren’t enough, when you use your earned miles to pay for travel, you will get 10% of the miles back. For those who want to keep an eye on their credit score and make sure it stays in good-standing, this card also provides complimentary FICO scores. There is an annual fee of $89, but it’s waived the first year.
Best Credit Cards for Good Credit:
Usually cards with perks like these are reserved for those with excellent credit, but not the Chase Freedom card. This card features a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months, a $150 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months and no annual fee. In addition, cardholders will earn unlimited 5% cash back in categories that rotate quarterly and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Not only will this card help you save money on interest, but you can essentially earn money while you shop.
Slate® from Chase
Chase Slate is the best-rated balance transfer card for people with good or excellent credit. Unlike most credit cards, there is no balance transfer fee, and cardholders will get 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for a whopping 15 months. There is no annual fee either, so you can start saving money on interest for free!
Best Credit Card for Average Credit
Barclay Rewards Mastercard® – Average Credit
Just because you have average credit doesn’t mean you have to miss out on earning rewards while you shop. The Barclay Rewards Mastercard for average credit earns users 2 points per $1 on gas, grocery, and utility purchases and 1 point per $1 everywhere else. This card reports to all three major credit bureaus monthly, which provides a great opportunity to rebuild your credit score, and you will also get complimentary FICO scores so you can see how your credit is doing. Plus, there is no annual fee.
Best Credit Card for Bad Credit:
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
This secured credit card gives those with bad credit an opportunity to fix their credit score dilemma. With secured credit cards, users put down a security deposit when they are approved for the card, so it is hard to be turned down for a secured card, regardless of your credit score. Don’t let the name “secured credit card” fool you – it looks and works like any other credit card so no one but you needs to know it’s a secured card. The Capital One Secured Mastercard reports to the three credit bureaus, so if you make your payments on time, you can help improve your credit score with good payment behavior. After using the card responsibly and boosting your credit score, you may eventually be eligible for an unsecured credit card.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.