Approval for any credit card depends on your status. The representative APRs shown represent the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances, the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow.
Credit cards for good credit 2023
Having good credit means you’re more likely to get accepted for a credit card, as well as secure the best deals.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
The most competitive credit card deals – those that offer the longest 0% periods or the best travel rewards and cashback perks – are generally reserved for those with good credit. Here’s how to find the right card for you.
What does good credit mean?
Good credit generally means having a higher credit score. Every time you apply for credit, a lender checks your credit record to assess whether you’ve borrowed responsibly in the past and are likely to make repayments on time and in full. If your credit history and credit score are good, lenders view you as lower risk and are more likely to let you borrow – and on more favourable terms too.
There’s no magic number for good credit, as different providers have different requirements. While you might be rejected by one lender, you could be accepted by another.
Your credit score won’t be consistent across the 3 main credit reference agencies – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – either. All 3 of them have different scoring systems, as outlined in the table below:
|Score band||Rating||What it means|
|961–999||Excellent||You could be in line for the best loan interest rates.|
|881–960||Good||You could get most, though not all, of the best deals.|
|721–880||Fair||You should have access to loans with reasonable rates of interest.|
|561–720||Poor||You may get accepted for a loan but with higher interest rates.|
|0–560||Very poor||You may be rejected for a loan or find it hard to get one without very high interest rates.|
|Score band||Rating||What it means|
|811–1,000||Excellent||You’re very likely to be approved for competitive credit offers.|
|671–810||Very good||You’ll likely be approved for credit but won’t necessarily be offered the very best interest rates.|
|531–670||Good||You should be offered credit at reasonable interest rates but may have a low initial credit limit.|
|439–530||Fair||You have a chance of being approved for credit but will likely be charged a high interest rate and have a low limit.|
|0–438||Poor||Your credit application will likely be rejected.|
|Score band||Rating||What it means|
|628–710||Excellent||You’re very likely to be approved for competitive credit offers.|
|604–627||Good||You’ll likely be approved for credit but won’t necessarily have the best interest rates.|
|566–603||Fair||You should be offered reasonable interest rates but will likely have a low credit limit.|
|561–565||Poor||You have a chance of being approved for credit but will likely be charged a high interest rate and have a low limit.|
|0–550||Very poor||Your credit application will most likely be rejected.|
Lenders might work with all 3 credit reference agencies or with just 1 or 2. If you want to know more about your credit score, you can find out how to check your credit score for free here.
What is a good APR for a credit card?
Generally speaking, a “good” APR for a credit card is a low one. The lower the APR, the less it costs to borrow on your card.
However, the rate that you qualify for depends on your credit score. If your credit score is poor, you will likely be offered a much higher rate than someone with excellent credit. For this reason, a good APR for someone with fair or poor credit will differ from a good APR for someone with an excellent credit score.
To get a better idea of your credit score before you apply for a credit card, you can use our free eligibility checker without harming your credit score.
The lowest APR you can get is 0%, but this rate typically only lasts a few months. After this, the interest rate can jump dramatically, so make sure to check what rate you could end up paying. Some credit cards offer rates as low as 8.9% or 9.9%.
Keep in mind, though, if you always pay off your balance in full each month, the APR won’t matter because you’ll never be charged interest.
How to evaluate credit card APRs
When comparing credit card APRs, you’ll want to look for the most competitive option. However, it’s important to keep in mind that when a card is advertised with a representative APR, the rate only has to be offered to at least 51% of successful applicants. This means that the remaining 49% might not be eligible for the advertised rate and will have to pay a higher APR.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to use an eligibility checker before you apply for a credit card. This will give you an indication of how likely you are to be accepted for a particular credit card, as well as what APR you might be offered.
Eligibility checkers run a “soft” search on your credit file, which won’t leave a mark for other lenders to see. By comparison, a “hard” credit check leaves a mark on your credit file – too many searches in a short time can deter some providers from lending to you.
How to choose the best credit card for good credit
If you’ve got good credit, you’ll have a wider selection of credit cards to choose from. To help you decide which is best for you, consider the primary purpose of your credit card.
- If you want to spread the cost of a large purchase such as a holiday or new car, look for the longest 0% purchase credit card available. This type of credit card enables you to spread the cost of your purchase over several months without paying interest. Just make sure you’ve cleared your balance before the 0% deal ends and interest kicks in.
- If you’re paying a high rate of interest on existing credit card debt, moving it to a 0% balance transfer card enables you to avoid paying interest for several months. If you have good credit, you’re more likely to qualify for the lengthiest 0% deals, which can be up to 3 years. You usually need to pay a transfer fee of between 1% and 3%, and remember that interest will be due once the 0% deal ends.
- If you want to earn rewards such as air miles or cashback, look for the most competitive deals on the market and the ones you are most likely to use. Just watch out for annual fees and be aware that many reward credit cards charge high rates of interest, so you’ll need to pay off your balance in full each month if you don’t want to get caught out.
How to maintain good credit
If you have good credit, it’s important to try to maintain it. You can do this by following the tips below:
- Keep up with repayments. Missed credit repayments can harm your credit score, so make sure you pay all credit card, loan and mortgage repayments on time and in full each month. It’s worth setting up a monthly direct debit to help you remember.
- Stick within your credit limit. Similarly, make sure you don’t spend more than your credit limit allows.
- Space out credit applications. Too many applications in a short time can make you look desperate for credit, and lenders may be reluctant to let you borrow. Instead, try to space out applications by at least 3 months, preferably 6.
- Check your credit report. It’s best to check your credit report every few months and watch for errors. If you spot any mistakes, even something simple such as a misspelt name or incorrect address, get them corrected as soon as possible.
- Watch your credit utilisation. Your credit utilisation ratio is the portion of credit you’re using out of the credit limit available to you. So if you had an overall credit limit of £4,000 and used £2,000 of it, your credit utilisation would be 50%. Experts recommend keeping your credit utilisation rate below 30%. Paying down existing debt or keeping old credit card accounts open can help to lower your credit utilisation rate.
- Don’t overspend. Only ever borrow what you can afford to pay back. If you overspend, you risk defaulting on your credit card repayments or, in the very worst cases, filing for bankruptcy or applying for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA).
Having good credit means you’re more likely to be accepted for the best credit card deals – whether that’s a card that offers a lengthy 0% period or one that comes with perks such as cashback or rewards. Once you have been approved for a credit card, it’s crucial to use it carefully to be sure you maintain your good credit rating.
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