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Best of, Credit Cards

Best Credit Cards for Good Credit April 2019

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

If you’re someone with good credit you should be able to qualify for a variety of credit cards. There are cards if you want to earn cash back, earn travel rewards or complete a balance transfer. MagnifyMoney has reviewed our database of over 2,000 credit cards to find cards you can qualify for with good credit. Here are our favorite cards for people with good credit.

Best cash back credit cards for good credit

Cash back credit cards can be great tools to boost your financial position. They basically make your life just a few percentage points cheaper — who wouldn’t want that?

Watch out for the pitfalls with these rewards cards, though. Don’t talk yourself into spending more because you’ll receive cash back. If you opt for a cash back card that offers you up to 5X more points on certain categories, make sure you understand that you often have to activate the bonus categories and set up reminders for yourself if necessary.

Best flat-rate cash back

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Annual fee
$0*
Rewards Rate
Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
Regular Purchase APR
15.74% - 25.74%* (Variable)
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent, Good

Magnify Glass Pros

  • High flat-rate cash back You earn the highest flat-rate cash back amount of any card on the market. This allows you to enjoy high rewards on all your purchases.
  • Simple cash back rewards Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay, as long as you pay the minimum due. No need to deal with changing categories or activation.
  • First late fee waived You won’t have to pay your first late fee. Instead, if you are tardy, use it as a reminder to sign up for autopay

Cons Cons

  • Must pay in full to earn the full reward The only way to enjoy the 2% cash back is to pay your bill in full. This is a great incentive to pay your bill on time so you earn rewards faster.
  • 3% foreign transaction fee This is one card to leave home if you travel abroad a lot — but it’s great as long as you stay within the borders. The foreign transaction fee will negate any cash back you earn from purchases made abroad.
Bottom line

Bottom line

This is one of the highest flat-rate cash back rewards credit cards on the market. It’s a great choice for those who want peace of mind that they’re getting good rewards without fussing with variable rewards categories.

Read our full review of the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Best 5% cash back

Discover it® Cash Back

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Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

Discover it® Cash Back

Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
Regular APR
14.24% - 25.24% Variable
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Magnify Glass Pros

  • Up to 5% cash back in rotating categories You will earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter, like gas stations, Amazon.com, restaurants, wholesale clubs, and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. All other purchases will earn unlimited 1% cash back automatically.
  • Cash back match your first year  Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched. This is a great additional bonus for new cardholders that will significantly increase your cash back.
  • No foreign transaction fee Bring your card with you on your adventures abroad. It won’t cost you anything extra. This is one of the only cash back rewards cards to not charge you for using your card abroad.
  • Free FICO® score Your FICO® score is the most common credit score used by creditors, and getting your official score helps you keep tabs on your good credit. Monitoring your score can also help alert you of any fraudulent activity on your card.

Cons Cons

  • You need to opt in for bonus categories Bonus rewards aren’t automatic; you’ll need to remember to log in and manually activate them each quarter. Set a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget.
  • $1,500 quarterly cap on 5% cash back rewards You won’t get any extra cash back rewards if you spend more than $30,000 on bonus categories each quarter. It’s a high bar, but one to be aware of nonetheless.
Bottom line

Bottom line

The Discover it® Cash Back offers great rewards-earning potential with a $0 annual fee, making this card a good way to earn rewards. Just remember to opt in to the quarterly-changing cash back programs.

Read our full review of the Discover it® Cash Back

Also Consider

Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from Nusenda Credit Union

Nusenda Credit Union Platinum Rewards

This card is a great choice for forgetful people who want cash back rewards. It’s one of the only cards offering revolving categories each quarter that you don’t have to opt in for; you will get these rewards automatically. This card would also be a great choice for those who want cash back rewards and don’t mind working with a credit union.

Best for big spenders in gas

Commuting can be a huge cost, especially if you live far away from your work and don’t use public transportation. If you spend a lot of money on gas each month, consider getting a cash back rewards card that gives you higher rates of return for these purchases. It’s like having an instant coupon for gas with you all the time.

Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa® Platinum Card

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on Fort Knox Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa® Platinum Card

Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn an unlimited 5% cash back on gas and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Regular Purchase APR
11.50% - 18.00% Variable
Credit required
good-credit

Good

Magnify Glass Pros

  • 5% cash back rewards on gas This is one of the best cash back rewards bonuses we’ve seen on any card. It does not change quarterly like with most cash back rewards — you will always earn cash back rewards at this rate.
  • Fair APR If you need to carry a balance from month to month, rest assured: This card comes with a fair interest rate. Although we recommend paying each statement in full, this card can be a good option if you qualify for the lowest APR.
  • No annual fee All these great rewards come with no annual fee. If you pay off your bill in full each month to avoid interest charges, it’ll essentially be free money.

Cons Cons

  • 1% foreign transaction fee This is a great card to have on hand for road trips, but be aware that if you cross the border, your cash back rewards will be reduced.
  • Credit union membership required You don’t need to be a member to apply for the card; however, if you are approved, you’ll need to open and fund a savings account with a minimum of $5.
Bottom line

Bottom line

This card offers great value for big spenders in gas. If you frequent the pump, this card can earn you a nice cash back rate. This card offers other great features such as no annual fee and a fair interest rate. If you don’t mind working with a credit union, this card can benefit your needs.

Best for big spenders in groceries

Groceries can be one of your biggest budget-busters, especially if you have a large family, a specialized diet, or live in certain parts of the country. The good news is there are certain credit cards that offer great rewards for grocery purchases. Here’s our top pick for a credit card to maximize your grocery cash back rewards.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Annual fee
$95
Rewards Rate
6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases.
Regular Purchase APR
15.24%-26.24% Variable

Magnify Glass Pros

  • Intro 0% for 12 months (after, 15.24%-26.24% Variable APR) This can come in handy if you make a purchase and can’t pay it off immediately.
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets You’ll earn a whopping 6% cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases — the highest level of cash back rewards we’ve heard of. Sadly, you’ll only earn this much on the first $6,000 worth of purchases each year. Remaining purchases will still earn 1% cash back.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and certain U.S. department store purchases There’s no limit to the amount of cash back rewards you can earn at U.S. gas stations and at stores like Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Nordstrom. That means you can enjoy the higher cash back rate all year long.

Cons Cons

  • $95 annual fee This card charges an annual fee, but it will still be worth the fee if you buy at least $1,583 in groceries or $3,166 in gas each year.
  • Foreign transaction fee  at 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars. If you use your card outside of the country, it’ll cost you unless you’re buying gas or groceries — then you’ll either be breaking even or earning 3.3% cash back rewards on groceries. It’s best to leave this card at home if you travel abroad.
Bottom line

Bottom line

This card offers a fantastic cash back rewards program for grocery spenders. By using this card for grocery purchases, you will see the most rewards. Although it carries a $95 annual fee, this card will easily pay for itself with big spenders in groceries.

Best travel rewards credit card for good credit

Travel can seem like a pipe dream to a lot of people. Even if you do have the cash, it still stings to see that much hard-won money leaving your bank account. But with a travel rewards credit card, you can have a sort of de facto savings account specifically for travel. And with a sign-on bonus like the one for our top pick, you can be jet-setting somewhere fun and interesting as soon as a few months from now.

 Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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The information related to Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Annual fee
$95
Rewards Rate
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Regular Purchase APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Credit required
good-credit

Good/Excellent

Magnify Glass Pros

  • Rewards are worth more when redeemed for travel You will receive 25% more value on points that are redeemed via Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This raises the effective rate of rewards to 1.25 and 2.5 points.
  • Higher rewards for dining and travel You’ll earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. This is great for travelers and foodies.
  • 1:1 point transfer to frequent flyer programs You can transfer points to partner frequent flyer programs at a 1:1 ratio. This is a great way to accumulate points faster at your favorite airline.
  • Travel protections This card comes with trip cancellation/interruption insurance, travel and emergency assistance services, auto rental collision damage waiver and more. These features add a layer of protection when traveling abroad.

Cons Cons

  • Points are worth slightly less when transferred to partners You’ll miss out on 25% more value if you transfer points to travel partners like airlines and hotels. The points will still transfer on a 1-to-1 basis, but they won’t be worth as much as using the Chase Rewards portal.
  • Annual fee There is a $95, which is typical of travel rewards cards. However, if you spend enough on this card, you will come out ahead.
Bottom line

Bottom line

This card is the gold standard for travel junkies. The Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal helps you maximize your rewards even further and get you closer to covering the cost of a flight or hotel stay using rewards. If you’re a frequent traveler, this card will earn you a great rate.

Best airline credit cards for good credit

One of the biggest travel expenses is airfare. Even if you don’t have specific goals to travel regularly, surprises like cross-country family emergencies or get-togethers can take a big bite out of your budget.

Before signing up for an airline-specific card, it’s helpful to know what airline options you have near you. Different airlines tend to congregate more in different parts of the country; you won’t see any Alaska Airlines planes if you live in Maine, for example.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

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The information related to Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Annual fee
$69
Rewards Rate
2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Regular Purchase APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Credit required
excellent-credit

Excellent

Magnify Glass Pros

  • Flexible points redemption options You can use your points to book hotel stays and car rentals and to buy gift cards or merchandise.
  • 3,000 bonus points every year You’ll get a bonus 3,000 points tacked onto your account each year on your card’s anniversary. This is a great added bonus that makes this card exceptional.
  • Travel protections This card comes with lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver and more. These features add a layer of protection when traveling abroad.

Cons Cons

  • $69 annual fee Many travel credit cards will waive their annual fee for the first year — but not this one. Otherwise, the $69 annual fee is typical and the rewards you earn should outweigh the fee.
  • Foreign transaction fee at 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars It’s ironic that a travel card would charge you for purchases made abroad. If you can, leave this one at home if you travel outside of the country. Also consider other airline cards that don’t charge a foreign transaction fee.
Bottom line

Bottom line

We recommend this card for people who frequently fly on Southwest Airlines and want to earn a higher rewards rate on those purchases. This card will allow you to earn more points on Southwest flights that will allow you to maximize your rewards. If you don’t fly Southwest and often fly abroad, this card isn’t for you.

Best for United frequent flyers

UnitedSM Explorer Card

The information related to UnitedSM Explorer Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

UnitedSM Explorer Card

Annual fee
$0 Intro for First Year, then $95
Rewards Rate
Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, on hotel stays and on purchases from United. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
Regular Purchase APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable

Magnify Glass Pros

  • Priority boarding Snag your seat before everyone else and avoid the rush to get on the plane.
  • Free checked bag You and one companion traveling on the same reservation will each receive their first standard checked bag free. When calculated as a $25 value for the first checked bag, each way, per person, this will save you $100 roundtrip.
  • Hotel Benefits This card comes with luxury hotel and resort collection privileges including room upgrades, complimentary daily breakfast for two, early check-in, late checkout and other amenities at more than 900 luxury hotels and resorts worldwide.
  • Travel protections This card comes with lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, trip delay reimbursement, trip cancellation/interruption insurance and more. These features add peace of mind when traveling.

Cons Cons

  • Annual fee of $0 intro for first year, then $95 Many travel credit cards will waive their annual fee for the first year — but not this one. Otherwise, the fee is typical and the rewards you earn will outweigh the fee.
  • Limited Star Alliance partners You can only use your points to book travel on United Airlines or their partners in the Star Alliance, including such airlines as Lufthansa and Air China. This is a negative if you don’t travel on any of these airlines.
Bottom line

Bottom line

This card offers a good rewards program for United Airlines flyers. You will enjoy more miles on United purchases and will also get nice perks that make flying less stressful. We recommend this card if you’re a frequent United Airlines traveler.

Best for American Airlines frequent flyers

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Annual fee
$99, waived for first 12 months*
Rewards Rate
Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*
Regular Purchase APR
18.24% - 26.24%* (Variable)
Credit required
excellent-credit
Excellent/Good

Magnify Glass Pros

  • Cheaper mile redemptions You’ll pay up to 7,500 fewer miles to fly to certain destinations with America Airlines. This can help you maximize your miles.
  • 10% bonus points each year You’ll get a 10% bonus on all miles you’ve redeemed for flights at the end of each year. This is a great added bonus that will increase your miles earned.
  • First checked bag free You won’t have to leave the things you really want to bring at home in order to save money. First checked bag is free
    on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation.
  • Discount on in-flight purchases You can save money when dining on American Airlines flights. Receive a 25% savings on eligible in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights.
  • Travel protections This card comes with lost baggage protection, travel and emergency assistance, worldwide travel accident insurance, worldwide car rental insurance, trip cancellation and trip protection, and more. These features allow you to save money from taking out additional insurances when traveling.

Cons Cons

  • Limited “oneworld” partner airlines You can only book travel on American Airlines or their partner airlines in the “oneworld alliance.” Other member airlines include British Airways and Qantas, for example.
Bottom line

Bottom line

This card offers solid perks and ways to maximize your mile earnings. It’s an important card in any traveler’s wallet and can be a great benefit to frequent American Airlines flyers. Take advantage of the cheaper miles redemption to maximize your miles.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card From American Express

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on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card From American Express

Annual fee
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Rewards Rate
2 miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta. Earn one mile for every eligible dollar you spend on purchases.
Regular Purchase APR
17.99%-26.99% Variable

Magnify Glass Pros

  • Free checked bag Save money and hassle by bringing all the stuff you need with you on your travels in a free checked bag.
  • Priority boarding Be the first on the plane so you don’t have to worry about luggage space or a long line.
  • No foreign transaction fee This card does not charge a fee for purchases made abroad. That means you can fly outside of the U.S. and not be charged additional fees like most other cards.
  • Discounts on Delta purchases You will enjoy several discounts when flying Delta. Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets. Also, you and two traveling companions can enjoy snacks and beverages, Wi-Fi access, satellite TV, newspapers and magazines, personalized flight assistance, private restrooms and more at Delta Sky Club® for a reduced fee of $29 per person.
  • Travel Protections This card comes with Global Assist Hotline, car rental loss and damage insurance, and more. These features are a great way to have an added layer of safety when traveling.

Cons Cons

  • Limited SkyTeam partner airlines You can also use your Delta miles to book travel within the SkyTeam Alliance, a relatively limited network with other members like Air France and Aeroméxico.
Bottom line

Bottom line

This card offers great benefits for those who fly Delta. You will enjoy a wide selection of perks from lounge access to in-flight savings that make traveling more comfortable and cheaper. We recommend this card for frequent Delta flyers who want added discounts when they travel.

Best luxury credit card for good credit

Even though traveling is fun, it can still be a stressful experience. In between fighting throngs of crowds and cramming into airline seats, it can be enough to drive even the most ardent travel-lover insane sometimes.

The good news is you can avoid all of that with a luxury credit card. These credit cards will give you an across-the-board better travel experience, from the moment you arrive at the airport until you make it back home. Here is our top pick for a luxury credit card.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Annual fee
$550
Rewards
5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
Regular Purchase APR
-
Credit required
excellent-credit

Excellent

Magnify Glass Pros

  • Free access to over 1,000 airport lounges Get away from the crowds in premium airport lounges all over the globe. This is a great feature that will allow you time to decompress before or after flights.
  • $200 toward airline fees and incidental purchases each year Amex will refund you up to $200 per year on purchases from a qualifying airline you select ahead of time. This includes things like meals, checked bag fees, and more.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck : Amex will refund you every four years for TSA Precheck ($85) or Global Entry ($100) fees. If you were thinking of using these services, it’s a great idea to take advantage of this rebate and enjoy a quicker check-in when flying.
  • Great rewards program Earn a fantastic rewards rate of 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. It’s more than double what many other travel cards offer.

Cons Cons

  • High $550 annual fee Luxury doesn’t come cheap. If you spend a lot on travel, though, this card can still pay for itself. Make sure this card is right for your needs.
Bottom line

Bottom line

This card is a stand-out favorite for globetrotting jet-setters who prefer a bit of comfort while traveling. Watch out for the $550 annual fee, though. If you spend a lot on travel each year, however, this card might actually save you money and will allow you to travel in luxury.

Best 0% APR credit cards for good credit

If you really need to buy something moderately expensive but don’t have the cash for it yet, 0% APR purchase cards can be a great way to go. They’re basically like free short-term loans. These cards are similar to 0% balance transfer cards, but not all of them also offer you the ability to make new purchases with the free promo rates.

It’s recommended to only use these cards to buy things that you absolutely need rather than a new big-screen TV. For example, I used a 0% APR card to purchase the very computer I’m typing this on. I didn’t have $800 to spend at the time, but within a couple of months I had made enough money to pay it off in full — without having to pay a penny of interest. These cards offer great opportunities to better your life, without the extra cost — if you can pay off the card before the promo period is over.

21 months, 0% intro APR, 3% BT fee

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Intro BT APR
0%* for 21 months on Balance Transfers*
Balance Transfer Fee
5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum
Regular Purchase APR
16.24% - 26.24%* (Variable)
Duration
0%* for 21 months on Balance Transfers*
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Magnify Glass Pros

  • Intro 0%* for 12 months on Purchases*Enjoy a free pass from any interest charges for nearly two years in a row — that’s one of the longest 0% APR intro periods in the business. The intro period also applies to balance transfers. After, 16.24% - 26.24%* (Variable) APR.
  • No late fees Citi offers one of the most unique perks in the credit card world — no late fees. Of course, it isn’t a free pass; you still need to pay your bill on time or risk a huge credit score drop from the negative mark on your credit report.
  • Choose your bill due date To make it as easy as possible on your finances, you can choose your own due date. Get paid in the middle of the month? No problem. Prefer to pay it right away? Pay it at the beginning of the month.

Cons Cons

  • 3% foreign transaction fee If you’ll be traveling abroad, leave this card at home — otherwise it’ll end up making your trip 3% more expensive.
Bottom line

Bottom line

This is one of the longest 0% APR intro periods in the credit card market and offers a fantastic opportunity for those who need to finance a large purchase — as long as you pay it off before the period expires. Use this card as a means to rid yourself of high interest charges while you pay off your bills.

Read our full review of the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Learn more

You don’t need a perfect credit score to qualify for the best financial products. You’ll still get access to virtually all of the things an 850 credit score would unlock as long as you have a credit score of at least 760.

Good credit scores don’t happen by accident. Whether you deliberately aimed for your score or not, you have good financial management skills. However, this isn’t enough to guarantee your approval for a large number of financial products.

It’s actually possible to have a good credit score yet still be a high financial risk. For example, your credit score doesn’t take your salary into account. You could have a perfect credit score yet be unemployed with no income, in some cases.

When you apply for financial products, banks will look at your entire situation beyond just your credit score. Each bank will have their own approval criteria, and you might not pass one of them even if you have a good credit score.

Take heart, however; in general, you will be approved for most good financial products and services if you have a good credit score. But if the bank is very picky or something uncommon has happened to you (such as a recent job loss), it’s not surprising to be rejected.

Potential creditors don’t like to see a string of recent credit inquiries on your report because it might be a sign that you’re going on an out-of-control credit binge. Your score will be docked a few points per credit inquiry. This is a relatively small cut compared to more major transgressions like late payments and foreclosures, however.

When you have a poor credit score (600-648), you need every point you can get. The difference between a poor and a fair credit score is just 48 points; you need to do everything you can to gain those points and move up into the next bracket. Having a hard credit pull on your credit report will set you back even longer.

If you’ve got good credit, though, you don’t need to worry as much. You have 150 points between 700 and the maximum score of 850. That’s plenty of room to pay for small dings on your credit. You can have a hard inquiry on your credit report and still have a good credit score, unless you’re starting with a borderline good score of 700-705.

You’ve worked hard getting your score to this point, now how do you keep it there? Luckily, it’s not hard; basically, continue doing the good things you’re already doing.

Paying all of your statements on time and in full is one of the best things you can do to maintain your high credit score. A single late payment on your mortgage could set you back 60 points or more, downgrading you from good credit to average. Make sure all of your debt accounts are set up on autopay to avoid this potentially costly error.

Credit utilization (the percentage of available credit you’re using) is also one of the biggest factors in determining your credit score. The less available credit you’re using, the better. In general, a credit utilization ratio of 10% or less will boost your score the most. This means that you’ll have a credit card balance of $1,000 or less for each $10,000 of credit you have available to you.

A few minor factors will also boost your credit score, but not as much as having a good payment history and a low credit utilization ratio. Keep credit inquiries to a minimum. In order to avoid a slew of inquiries that will be reflected in your credit score, make sure companies use soft pulls if you need to shop around for the best interest rates.

Also consider keeping your oldest credit cards open and closing any newer ones you’re not using. This will increase your average credit age. In general, an average credit age of five years or more is considered best and will boost your credit score.

You don’t want to be juggling around a ton of cards you’re not using. Closing old cards sounds like a good idea until you consider one factor: It may ding your credit score.

Creditors like to see that you can effectively handle credit accounts over long periods of time. That’s why average credit age is one factor included in credit scoring models.
If you close out an old card, your average credit age might drop. This would cause a corresponding dip in your score. The effect wouldn’t be huge (not as large as a late payment, for example), but it could be there nonetheless, especially if your average credit age is five years or less (over five years is the optimal average credit age).

That’s why most experts recommend keeping your oldest credit card open. If you want to juggle fewer accounts, close any newer ones that you’re not using. Of course, if your oldest credit card charges an annual fee and you’re not using it, then go ahead and close it anyway. Paying an annual fee for a card you’re not using likely outweighs any benefits from keeping the card open for the sake of boosting your average credit age.

Furthermore, if you close your old credit card before you apply for a new card, it’s possible that your credit score will drop enough that your application will be rejected, especially if you have a borderline good credit score. In this case, it’s better to wait until after you’ve applied and been approved for the new credit card before closing your old card, if you decide to do so.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Best of

The Best 5-Year CD Rates in 2019

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Five-year CDs offer some of the highest savings interest rates available. In exchange for keeping your money on deposit for half a decade, banks are willing to dole out higher returns on these long-term accounts. For example, in April, the average 1-year CD interest rate is 1.37% APY and the average 3-year CD rate is 1.86% APY, compared to the average 5-year CD rate of 2.25% APY.

Longer-term CDs do exist, but even their yields don’t often exceed 5-year CD rates these days. The highest yield on a CD of six or more years is 3.45% APY, though the next best rate comes in at 3.25% APY. 5-year CDs are also useful components to a CD ladder. When you build a ladder with CDs maturing a year apart, you can renew each one into a 5-year CD at maturity. This locks in the higher long-term rates for years to come.

To make sure you’re getting the best CD rates, MagnifyMoney has uncovered the highest 5-year CD rates available nationwide. Using data from DepositAccounts.com, similar to MagnifyMoney, a LendingTree owned company, we found that the best 5-year CD rates earned well above the national average interest rate for 5-year CDs. We also took minimum deposit requirements into consideration, to check for wider customer availability.

The 10 best 5-year CD rates in 2019

InstitutionAPYMinimum deposit amount

The Federal Savings Bank

3.30%$10,000

Alabama Credit Union

3.03%$500

Affinity Plus FCU

3.25%$500

Main Street Bank

3.25%$500

Sun East FCU

3.25%$500

Tampa Bay FCU

3.25%$500

Presidential Bank

3.25%
$1,000

Service Credit Union

3.25%$1,000

Superior Choice Credit Union

3.25%$10,000

Georgia Banking Company

3.20%$500

The Federal Savings Bank, 3.30% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit

To earn the highest rate on this list, you’ll need at least $10,000 to spare, as this is the minimum opening deposit required to open a Federal Savings Bank 5-year CD. The penalty for an early withdrawal from this account equals one year of interest.

Established in 2000, the Federal Savings Bank is veteran-owned and focuses heavily on mortgage lending throughout all 50 U.S. states. It has two retail banking branches in the Chicago area.

learn more Secured

on The Federal Savings Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Alabama Credit Union, 3.03% APY, $500 minimum deposit

The 60-month CD from Alabama Credit Union works better for those who have a lower minimum deposit starting point than the top-ranked CD. Plus, the rate is still competitive — only nominally lower than our top pick. Alabama Credit Union will assess a penalty equal to 360 days’ worth of interest for any early withdrawals you make from a 60-month CD.

Alabama CU was founded in 1956 to serve the University Of Alabama community, and is based in the school’s hometown of Tuscaloosa, Ala. Alabama Credit Union membership is available to employees of Value Partners (its name for the businesses and organizations it works with) and some members of their families, residents of select local communities and members of select associations.

learn more Secured

on Alabama Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Affinity Plus FCU, 3.25% APY, $500 minimum deposit

To start earning at Affinity Plus FCU’s competitive rate on a 60-month basic certificate, you’ll need an opening deposit of at least $500. Early withdrawals from this account may trigger a penalty of 365 days’ worth of dividends.

Your Affinity Plus FCU membership eligibility depends on the organization where you’re employed or volunteer, your school or place of residence, work or worship or through eligible/current members; you can also easily join by making a one-time $25 donation to the Affinity Plus Foundation. Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union was founded in 1930 and is currently headquartered in St. Paul, Minn.

learn more Secured

on Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Main Street Bank, 3.25% APY, $500 minimum deposit

Main Street Bank offers a great rate on its 60-month CD (and its 3-year CD) for a low minimum deposit of $500. An early withdrawal from this account will land you a penalty of 180 days’ worth of interest.

Founded in 2005, Main Street Bank is headquartered in Bingham Farms, Mich., and has a few branches in the Detroit area.

learn more Secured

on Main Street Bank (MI)’s secure website

Member FDIC

Sun East FCU, 3.25% APY, $500 minimum deposit

At Sun East FCU, you only need $500 to start saving through a 60-month certificate of deposit. Plus, Sun East insures your deposits up to $500,000. The penalty for early withdrawals will depend on when during the term you make your withdrawal, according to Sun East FCU customer service.

Founded in 1949 by Sun Oil Company employees, Sun East serves members throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Sun East FCU membership depends on your place of residence, family members, employer or community, though you can also join with a $10 donation to the Sun East Charitable Foundation.

learn more Secured

on Sun East Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Tampa Bay FCU, 3.25% APY, $500 minimum deposit

You can earn Tampa Bay FCU’s high 60-month share certificate rate on all balances starting at $500. The penalty for making an early withdrawal from this account will be six months of last dividends earned.

Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union was founded in 1935 by City of Tampa workers and was originally called Tampa City Employees Credit Union. Today, membership at Tampa Bay FCU is open to employees at select companies, select association members and members/residents of certain areas and organizations. You may also qualify through a current member or by joining Prime Time Club with a one-time, non-refundable $5 fee.

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on Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Presidential Bank, 3.25% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

You’ll need a slightly higher minimum deposit to open a Presidential Bank CD which requires at least $1,000. The bank will assess a penalty of 24 months’ worth of interest on any early withdrawal you make from its 5-year CD — the largest penalty listed here.

Presidential Bank was founded in 1985. Its main office is located in Bethesda, Md., with a handful of branches in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

learn more Secured

on Presidential Bank (MD)’s secure website

Member FDIC

Service Credit Union, 3.25% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

Another great high-rate 60-month CD comes from Service Credit Union. It requires at least $1,000 to open an account and start earning interest. The penalty for early withdrawals equals one year’s worth of dividends, according to Service Credit Union customer service.

Service Credit Union membership is available to residents or those employed in select areas of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, as well as active duty military, veterans and their families and Department of Defense employees and their families.

Service Credit Union was founded in 1957. It has branch and ATM locations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Germany and at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. You can also access to 5,000 shared branches and 30,000 fee-free ATMs within the SUM and CO-OP networks.

learn more Secured

on Service Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Superior Choice Credit Union, 3.25% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit

While you only need $2,500 to open a Superior Choice Credit Union 5-year share certificate, you’ll need at least $10,000 to earn at its most competitive rate. All other balances will earn at a lower APY. According to Superior Choice Credit Union customer service, making an early withdrawal from this account will result in a percentage of your balance being charged as a penalty, including accrued interest.

Superior Choice Credit Union was established in 1932. It has a handful of branches in near its Superior, Wisc., headquarters, including one in nearby Duluth, Minn. You can also access over 30,000 fee-free ATMs and 5,000 branches nationwide and in Canada through the CO-OP Network.

learn more Secured

on Superior Choice Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Georgia Banking Company, 3.20% APY, $500 minimum deposit

Georgia Banking Company’s 5-year certificate closes out our list. You’ll need a $500 minimum deposit to start earning at the given interest rate. The bank’s early withdrawal penalty equals six months interest.

Georgia Banking Company was established in 1998, and currently has two branches in the Atlanta metro area.

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on Georgia Banking Company’s secure website

Member FDIC

5-year CDs vs. savings accounts

If you’re simply looking for the highest rates available, 5-year CDs are going to seem much more appealing than a savings account. Even the best savings accounts can’t quite reach the 5-year CD rates you’ll find above. Plus, 5-year CDs lock in their rates at opening for the term of the investment, guaranteeing your rate of return. This can make for a great savings vehicle for conservative investors, who don’t want to ride the waves of an ever-changing economy.

Looking at the numbers, a $5,000 deposit into a 5-year CD at 3.25% APY (the most common rate in our list) would result in $882 of extra savings at maturity. Meanwhile, making a $5,000 deposit into one of the best savings accounts at 2.25% APY lands you with nearly $595 in savings after five years.

Savings accounts do provide easier access to your money, though. If you find yourself in a pinch suddenly, you can make a quick ACH transfer online or a withdrawal at a branch or ATM. Withdrawing from CDs isn’t as easy, especially when you account for the money you’ll lose to early withdrawal penalties. As you can see from the accounts above, early withdrawals from a 5-year CD can result in the loss of six months’ to two years’ worth of interest.

5-year CDs vs. other investment options

Investing in individual bonds — Treasury, municipal, or corporate — can be a solid alternative to saving with 5-year CDs. Non-Treasury bonds do have some risk by default as they don’t have the FDIC/NCUA insurance coverage limits. You can use these bonds to build a ladder similar to a CD ladder, so each bond matures a year or so apart.

An alternative to creating a bond ladder is to invest in a mutual fund or ETF of bonds. Unlike a ladder, however, the value of a bond mutual fund or ETF does fluctuate with interest rates. So when interest rates go up, the value of those investments will drop and vice versa.

The best way to maximize your 5-year CD investment

If you’re putting away money for five years, you’re going to want to make it worthwhile. For starters, CDs are best for those who have already maxed out their other savings accounts and have their emergency savings in a liquid savings account for easy access. They’re also better if you have a higher deposit to stash away. That will earn more interest in the long term for more tangible savings.

For example, placing $1,000 in a 5 year CD with a 3.25% APY will yield about $176 in savings by the end. Making a $10,000 deposit, on the other hand, lands you with a little over $1,764 in interest. That $176 is a good chunk of change, but you should make sure it’s enough to justify stashing away $1,000 now instead of perhaps waiting to make a larger deposit.

A great way to utilize a 5-year CD is to include it in a CD ladder. A 5-year, five-CD ladder is a standard and easy-to-track method of saving. You open five CDs, each maturing a year apart. Once a CD matures, you renew it as a new 5-year CD. Eventually, all your CDs will be 5-year accounts, maturing a year apart. You can also choose to withdraw your money whenever an account matures if you need to use those funds. This allows you to take advantage of the longer terms’ higher rates and bigger savings.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lauren Perez
Lauren Perez |

Lauren Perez is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lauren here

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Best of

The Best 3-Year CD Rates in April 2019

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Three-year CDs are a great choice for your mid-term savings goals. They offer higher APYs than 1-year certificates, while avoiding the time commitment of a longer 5-year CD term. To make sure you give your account the best chance to grow your money, you’ll want to find the best CD rates available.

MagnifyMoney can help you find the right 3-year CD for your savings. Using data from DepositAccounts.com, similar to Magnify Money, a LendingTree-owned site, we’ve found the highest 3-year CD rates available nationwide. We also looked at each account minimum deposit and each bank’s relative health to ensure top picks.

The 10 best 3-year CD rates in April 2019

InstitutionAPYMinimum deposit amount

WebBank

3.00%$2,500

CD Bank

3.07%$10,000

Veridian Credit Union

3.05%$1,000

North American Savings Bank

3.05%$5,000

Citizens Access

2.90%$5,000

BankDirect

3.05%$10,000

M.Y. Safra Bank

3.01%$1,000

Main Street Bank

3.00%$500

Sun East FCU

3.00%$500

USALLIANCE Financial

3.00%$500

WebBank — 3.00% APY, $2,500 minimum deposit

WebBank offers five Time Deposits, or CDs. Its 3-Year Time Deposit offers a competitive rate on balances of $2,500 and over. WebBank compounds interest daily, which can grow your savings a little faster. An early withdrawal from a 3-Year Time Deposit will trigger a penalty equal to nine months’ simple interest.

WebBank, founded in 1997, is headquartered in Salt Lake City. It holds an industrial bank charter and maintains Strategic Partnerships in order to provide its customers with a variety of financial products beyond its savings and CD accounts.

learn more Secured

on WebBank’s secure website

Member FDIC

CD Bank — 3.07% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit

Maybe it’s no surprise that CD Bank offers competitive CD rates, including on its 36-month account. The CDs require a pretty high deposit of $10,000 to open and start earning interest, which is credited semi-annually. Making a withdrawal from the 36-month CD before maturity will result in a heavy penalty equal to 24 months worth of interest.

As its name might suggest, CD Bank offers only CD accounts for now. CD Bank is an online division of TBK Bank, which is itself a subsidiary of Triumph Bancorp, Inc.

learn more Secured

on CD Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Veridian Credit Union —3.05%APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

If you’re okay with waiting an extra five months for your CD to mature, Veridian Credit Union offers a 41-Month Bump-Up Certificate. It starts off with a competitively high rate and gives you the chance to bump it up once during the term if rates go even higher — plus, you need only $1,000 to open up this account. Unlike most banks/credit unions, Veridian assesses early withdrawal penalties depending on how much you want to withdraw, and how long the CD has until its maturity date.

Veridian Credit Union was first founded as John Deere Employees Credit Union by John Deere employees in Waterloo, Iowa, in 1934; it changed its name to Veridian Credit Union in 2006. You can become a Veridian Credit Union member in a few different ways, including through your place of residence, your employer and family membership. You must open a Member Equity Savings account with at least $5 to join.

learn more Secured

on Veridian Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

North American Savings Bank — 3.05% APY, $5,000 minimum deposit

While you need only $1,000 to open a 36-Month CD from NASB, you’ll need a balance between $5,000 and $1 million to earn at its more competitive rate — balances outside of that bracket earn at a pretty paltry interest rate for CDs. Its penalty for early withdrawals equals 6 months’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.

North American Savings Bank was founded in 1927 and has a handful of branches in the Kansas City, Mo. area.

learn more Secured

on North American Savings Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Citizens Access — 2.90% APY, $5,000 minimum deposit

With competitive rates across the board, Citizens Access 3-year CD offers a high rate for those who can deposit at least $5,000 at opening. Early withdrawals from a 3-year CD will trigger a penalty of 180 days’ of interest.

Citizens Access is the online division of Citizens Bank, which traces its roots back to 1828 and is now headquartered in Providence, R.I.

learn more Secured

on Citizens Access’s secure website

Member FDIC

BankDirect — 3.05% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit

If you have an extra $10,000 to save away for a few years, consider BankDirect’s 36-month CD. It offers a high interest rate and compounds interest daily. If you make a withdrawal from the account before maturity, you’ll face a penalty of 180 days’ worth of interest.

BankDirect, which operates without branches, first went live on the internet in 1999. It is a division of Texas Capital Bank, N.A.

learn more Secured

on BankDirect’s secure website

Member FDIC

Main Street Bank — 3.00% APY, $500 minimum deposit

You can save towards a future goal easily with Main Street Bank’s low minimum deposit of $500 and competitive rates, including on its 36-month CD accounts. Early withdrawals from the 36-month CD will trigger a penalty of 180 days’ interest.

Main Street Bank was founded in 2005 and has a few locations just north of Detroit.

learn more Secured

on Main Street Bank (MI)’s secure website

Member FDIC

Sun East FCU — 3.00% APY, $500 minimum deposit

You only need $500 to start saving with a Sun East FCU 36-Month Certificate of Deposit, and your deposits are insured up to $500,000. Making an early withdrawal from the account may result in a penalty of 180 days’ worth of dividends.

Sun East FCU was founded in 1949 by Sun Oil Company employees. Today, it serves members throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. You can join Sun East’s membership through your place of residence, family members, employer or by way of your community affiliation (e.g. where you might attend church or school, or a location where you might volunteer). You can also choose instead to make a $10 donation to the Sun East Charitable Foundation.

learn more Secured

on Sun East Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

USALLIANCE Financial — 3.00% APY, $500 minimum deposit

USALLIANCE Financial offers a high-yield, fixed-rate 36-month CD with a minimum deposit of only $500. USALLIANCE compounds interest daily and credits it monthly. Early withdrawals from the account may trigger a penalty equal to 360 days of interest.

USALLIANCE Financial was founded by IBM employees in 1966. Today, you can join USALLIANCE Financial through your place of residence, employer, place of worship, school or organization.

learn more Secured

on USALLIANCE Financial’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Georgia Banking Company — 3.00% APY, $500 minimum deposit

Georgia Banking Company earns at a high interest rate on its 3-year certificate with an opening deposit of just $500. The bank will assess a penalty equal to six months’ interest on early withdrawals from this account.

Georgia Banking Company started in 1998 and now serves the Atlanta area with two physical locations, as well as its nationwide customers online, on mobile and over the phone.

learn more Secured

on Georgia Banking Company’s secure website

Member FDIC

Inflation impact on 3-year CD rates

Inflation reduces the value of any savings or investment balance, including CDs. Your earnings have to exceed the inflation rate for there to be a real return on your money. While mid- and long-term CDs can lock in a high rate today, there’s still potential for inflation to lower your earnings.

For a more inflation-proof savings strategy, consider stock- and bond-based investment products. They can come in handy for long-term savings since their earnings have a better chance of exceeding the inflation rate.

Should I pay early withdrawal penalties if 3-year CD rates rise?

In today’s current rate climate, the zero odds of a Fed rate hike in 2019 don’t point to an increase in 3-year CD rates any time soon. That said, an early withdrawal can sometimes be worth paying the penalties, although you’ll want to do the math and check whether the gains are greater than the costs. Calculate the penalty you would end up paying and ensure it’s lower than the returns on the new CD. This early withdrawal penalty calculator from DepositAccounts.com can run the numbers for you and tell you outright whether breaking your CD is worth it or not.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lauren Perez
Lauren Perez |

Lauren Perez is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lauren here

TAGS: