This article was updated on June 24, 2018.

People who have excellent credit can extract more value from their credit cards in the form of sign-up bonuses, 0% intro APRs, and rewards they earn each and every time they rent a car, book a flight, or make a major purchase. Below, we'll detail some of the top offers from cards that score the best in's rankings.

1. Sign-up bonuses

Let's get the big one out of the way first: Cardholders who have excellent credit can really clean up through new cardholder bonuses earned by meeting minimum spending requirements. The three cards below offer $1,325 in combined travel value for cardholders who qualify for their new cardholder bonus offers.

Credit card

New Cardholder Bonus


Chase Sapphire Preferred®

50,000 points ($625 in travel)

Spend $4,000 in the first 90 days.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard®

50,000 miles ($500 in travel)

Spend $3,000 in the first 90 days.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards

20,000 bonus points ($200 in travel)

Spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.

Source: Card issuers.

Cards with the largest sign-up bonuses frequently require excellent credit scores to qualify. That's because the most premier offerings are targeted to higher-income, higher-spending card users who are likely to swipe for every purchase and pay off their cards on time and in full. Each card above is only available to cardholders with excellent credit, but the rewards are monstrous. One could easily pay for a weekend getaway with the new cardholder bonus on any of the cards listed above, making the ongoing rewards accumulated on every swipe icing on the cake.

Photo of dollar bils in jar

If you have excellent credit, your card could be paying you in the form of rewards, 0% intro APRs, and extra benefits reserved for the most creditworthy cardholders. Image source: Getty Images.

2. 0% intro APRs

Having good credit has its advantages, particularly when it comes to low-cost financing. These 0% APR cards come in two forms: balance transfer credit cards and 0% purchase credit cards. (Technically, these cards only require "good" credit, but excellent credit can help secure larger credit lines to save more on interest.)

Credit Card

Best For

Key Perk

BankAmericard® Credit Card  Balance transfers 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers made within 60 days for 15 billing cycles. No balance transfer fee on transfers within the first 60 days of account opening.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card  Purchases 0% intro APR for the first 21 billing cycles on purchases made in the first four months after account opening.

Source: Card issuers.

Low intro APRs are often undervalued by consumers because the benefit isn't as obvious as a sign-up bonus or fat cash-back rewards. The BankAmericard® Credit Card can save cardholders as much as $620 in interest on a qualifying balance transfer of $5,000 compared to a standard credit card APR of 18%. The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is a beast for purchases, offering as much as $866 in interest savings on $5,000 worth of qualifying purchases compared to a card with an 18% APR. Note that both cards offer more value in the form of interest savings on a $5,000 balance than most of the sign-up bonus cards above offer in new cardholder bonuses.

3. Overlooked extras

Hidden deep in the fine print of many premier credit card benefits are valuable protections that are only afforded to high-end cards for people with excellent credit. Here are the three benefits that I find most valuable, with a brief explanation of each.

Credit Card

Big Extra


Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Auto rental collision damage waiver

Primary rental car coverage steps in before your auto insurance in the event a rental car is returned with damage.*

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Purchase protection

When a product you purchase is stolen, damaged, or lost within 120 days of purchase, you can be reimbursed for your purchase up to $500.*

All Citi® Credit Cards

Automatic price protection

The Citi® Price Rewind tool automatically looks for lower advertised prices on your recent purchases and refunds the difference if it finds a lower advertised price within 60 days of purchase.*

Source: Card issuers. *See Guide to Benefits for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® and Guide to Citi® Price Rewind Benefit for a complete explanation.

These incremental extras can add up to big savings. Auto rental damage waivers frequently cost $10 to $15 per day if purchased through an auto rental company, but Chase offers that service free of charge to Chase Sapphire Preferred® cardholders who use their card to pay for a rental. Likewise, Citi® Price Rewind currently has a maximum benefit of $500 for each purchase, or $2,500 per year, which can add up to big savings when you make a major purchase that is later advertised at a lower price.

The key takeaway is that credit cards offer more value than many people realize. A top-tier rewards card can easily pay out $500 or more in travel bonuses for new cardholders, while 0% intro APRs can save indebted cardholders hundreds of dollars in interest compared to balances at the standard rate. The key is to use cards responsibly and avoid carrying balances from month to month at double-digit interest rates. Play the game wisely, and the credit card companies will be paying you -- not the other way around.


Jordan Wathen has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Mastercard. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. The statements above are The Motley Fool's alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. Review The Motley Fool’s ratings methodology to uncover how we pick the best credit cards.