We’re always looking for ways to help you earn rewards or points towards your next trip.
In our cash-back vs. travel rewards credit cards post, we explored the different kinds of rewards out there. A burning question we all have about travel rewards cards has been: what kind of credit score do I need to qualify?
We’ve got it covered. Check out our guide to the credit scores you need for the best travel rewards cards.
How can I calculate my credit score?
If you’re unsure of your credit score, definitely utilize a free credit score calculator. There are many online, our favorite being Credit Karma.
A fair credit score usually ranges from 649-699, a good credit score ranges from 700-749, and an excellent credit score is usually above 750.
How long does it take to raise your credit score?
The best way to improve your credit score is to pay your credit card and other bills on time, as well as start to lower the balance due on your credit card.
In order to determine how long it takes to raise your credit score, it really depends on your starting point. The following factors can raise or lower your credit score: payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, credit mix, and new credit.
While there are no set times to determine how long it takes to raise your credit score, check out this chart from Bankrate.com:
|Event||Average credit score recovery time|
|Home foreclosure||3 years|
|Missed/defaulted payment||18 months|
|Late mortgage payment (30 to 90 days)||9 months|
|Closing credit card account||3 months|
|Maxed credit card account||3 months|
|Applying for a new credit card||3 months|
Keep in mind that your credit issuer and the credit bureaus may lag in timing during the reporting process – this will affect how long it takes for things to improve.
It’s important to know what your credit score means when looking for travel rewards credit scores. Certain cards are looking for certain credit scores. But fear not! We assure you there are travel rewards credit scores for both fair/good and excellent credit scores.
Please remember it is important to know your credit score, however, there are some exceptions when it comes to these travel rewards cards. In addition to your credit score, banks also consider your credit history, the number of cards that you currently carry, and the number of cards you’ve applied for.
CARDS FOR GOOD TO EXCELLENT CREDIT SCORES
Ranging from 700 to about 850, a good to excellent credit score is needed for a few travel rewards credit cards with a variety of perks.
Platinum Card from American Express
With the Platinum Card from American Express, you can earn 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines, earn 5x points with American Express Travel, and on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, receive a $200 airline fee credit, and get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue. Lots of perks with this card!
Citi Double Cash Card
With the Citi Double Cash Card, you earn cash back – twice. Yes, you heard us correctly. But how?
When you make a purchase with the Citi Double Cash Card, you earn 1% cash back when you buy and an additional 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases.
You just need to pay your monthly minimum and there’s no need to worry about an annual fee, categories you’re spending in, or caps – they don’t exist with this card!
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card offers 3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining and 1 point per dollar on everything else after earning $300 a year in credit for travel expenses. Plus Priority Pass airport lounge access, reimbursement for the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry application fee, 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs, and a sign-up bonus.
Lots to enjoy here for a steep annual fee of $550 and an excellent credit score of about 720 to 850.
CARDS FOR FAIR TO GOOD CREDIT SCORES
Ranging from 649 to 749, a fair to good credit score still gets you some great credit cards with cool rewards.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has a low annual rate of $95, an intro offer of 60,000 points, and you earn 2 points per dollar spent on dining and travel and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
Bonus: you get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. A good to excellent credit score is needed ranging from about 690 to 850.
Capital One Venture Rewards Card
If you’re looking for a solid mid-range travel rewards credit card, the Capital One Venture Rewards Card is your go-to.
It offers some travel miles, a reliable 2% rewards rate, and you’ll earn 2x the miles on every $1 spent. The card also comes with a fee credit of up to $100 for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry and no foreign transaction fees – yippee! Usually, a good credit score is required for this card, but you may be able to get away with mid to high 60s depending on your relationship with Capital One and other factors.
American Express Gold Card
The American Express Gold Card offers a solid rewards card where you earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets, It 3x the points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, and no foreign transaction fees.
Now that you’ve seen our list of the credit scores you need for the best travel rewards cards, which are you applying for? Did we miss any? Leave us a comment below!