The Best Credit Cards for People with Excellent Credit

Jordann Brown
by Jordann Brown October 28, 2015 / No Comments

A high credit score is important because it’ll give you access to the best rates on financial products like mortgages and car loans. And it’ll allow you to qualify for some of the best credit cards in Canada.

Your credit score is a number between 300 and 900 and lenders use it to determine your creditworthiness. A credit score above 750 is considered excellent.

There are a few rules you should follow to build excellent credit:

  • Pay all of your bills on time, even if it’s just minimum payments
  • Keep the balance of your credit card at less than 35% of your total available credit
  • Keep your oldest credit card, which will increase the overall length of your credit history
  • Don’t apply for credit very often
  • Have a variety of types of credit like a car loan, student loan, and credit cards

If you don’t know your credit score, you can have it checked with either of the two credit reporting agencies in Canada (Equifax and TransUnion). Although a credit score above 750 is considered excellent, you only need a score of 680 to access the best interest rates on mortgages or car loans and other types of credit.

If you’ve checked your credit score, and it’s above 680, you’ll qualify for some of the best credit cards in Canada. We’ve made a list of three of the top rewards cards. Keep reading to see which one is right for you.

BMO World Elite MasterCard

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  • Signup bonus of 30,000 points ($300 value)
  • Earn a 2% return on all your purchases
  • Free Priority Pass membership, with 4 complimentary VIP Lounge passes each year (value of US$207)
  • Extensive travel insurance

The BMO World Elite MasterCard is a rewards credit card with an annual fee of $150. The interest rate is 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances and balance transfers. You need to have a minimum individual income of $70,000 or a family income of $120,000 to qualify for this card. The BMO World Elite MasterCard comes with perks for users including:

  • VIP airport lounge access
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Extended warranty on purchases
  • Zero liability someone uses your card without authorization

You’re also entitled to free additional cards to help you earn rewards faster. With the BMO World Elite MasterCard, you’ll earn two points per dollar you spend, and you’ll also receive a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points. Each point is worth $0.01.

To see the dollar value of the rewards you could earn with this credit card, let’s use the following spending profile as an example:

Spending Profile
$600 on groceries
$400 on gas
$300 on travel
$100 on pharmacy
$1,600 on everything else
Total Per Month: $3,000
Total Per Year: $3,000 x 12 = $36,000

If you used the spending profile above, here’s the dollar value of the rewards you would reap over the course of a year:

Annual Fee Sign-Up Bonus Spending Rewards Monthly Spending First Year Return Subsequent Years Return
$150 $300 2 points for $1 spent on everything 2 points x $3,000 = 6,000 points per month

Value of 1 point = $0.01

6,000 x 0.01 = $60/month

Sign-up: $300

Spending Rewards: $60 x 12 = $720

Priority Pass = $207

Annual Fee: $150

Total: 300+720+207-150 = $1,077

$720+207-$150= $777

You can redeem your rewards at any airline, with no blackout dates, and you can even use your rewards to pay the taxes on your flights. You can also use your rewards to book hotels or vacation packages with no restrictions using the online BMO Rewards Centre.

TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card

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  • Signup bonus of up to 40,000 points ($200 value)
  • Return of up to 4.5% when you use ExpediaForTD.com
  • Extensive travel insurance

Next is the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card. This credit card’s annual fee is $120. The interest rate is 19.99% on purchases and 21.50% on cash advances and balance transfers. You need to have a minimum income of $60,000 or a family income of $100,000 to qualify for this credit card.

The TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card comes with all of the perks and benefits you’d expect from a first-class travel rewards credit card:

  • Travel accident and trip cancellation insurance
  • Car rental collision/loss damage waiver
  • Zero liability on unauthorized purchases
  • Extended warranty on purchases
  • Baggage loss/delay insurance

This credit card is a robust rewards card with handsome sign-up bonuses. Not only is your annual fee waived in the first year, you’ll also receive 20,000 TD points at sign-up and an additional 20,000 if you spend $1,000 on your credit card within the first three months. These bonus points amount to $200 in rewards in the first year.

With this credit card, you’ll earn nine points per dollar spent on travel when you book through Expedia for TD, and three points per dollar spent on everything else. Each point is worth $0.005. Here’s how much you would earn in rewards using the spending profile we mentioned above:

Annual Fee Sign-Up Bonus Spending Rewards Monthly Spending First Year Return Subsequent Years Return
$120 $200 9 points per $1 spent on travel

3 points per $1 on everything else

9 points x $300 on travel = 2,800 points per month

3 points x 2,700 on everything else = 8,100

Value of 1 point = $0.005

10,900 x 0.005 = $54.50/month

Sign-up: $100

Spending bonus: $100

Spending Rewards: $54.50 x 12 = $654

Annual Fee: $120

Total: 100+100+654-120 = $734

$654-$120= $534

You can redeem your rewards through Expedia for TD for hotels, flights, and vacation packages. Or, if you’d prefer, you can book your travel through any provider and redeem with TD points within 90 days.

American Express Gold Rewards Card

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  • $150 annual fee (waived in the first year)
  • Earn a welcome bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points when you charge $1,500 in purchases to your card in your first three months
  • Convert your Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan Miles or Avios on a 1:1 basis

Our last credit card is the American Express Gold Rewards Card. Like the TD First Class World Travel Infinite card mentioned above, this credit card has an annual fee of $0 in the first year and $150 after that. The interest rate for this credit card is 30%. Cash advances and balance transfers are not available for this credit card.

The minimum individual income for this credit card is more flexible at $20,000 per year. The American Express Gold Rewards Card comes with many different perks including:

  • Car rental collision/loss damage waiver
  • Zero liability for unauthorized purchases
  • Extended warranty on items such as electronics
  • Travel emergency, accident and medical insurance

With this card, you’ll earn two points per dollar spent on travel, groceries, gas, and at the pharmacy. You’ll also earn one point per dollar spent on everything else. Each point is worth $0.01. You’ll also qualify for a sign-up bonus in the first year worth $250.

Here’s how much you would earn with the spending profile:

Annual Fee Sign-Up Bonus Spending Rewards Monthly Spending First Year Return Subsequent Years Return
$150 $250 2 points per $1 spent on gas, groceries, travel, and pharmacy.

1 points per $1 on everything else

2 points x $1,400 on gas, groceries, travel, and pharmacy = 2,800 points per month

1 points x 1,600 on everything else = 1,600

Value of 1 point = $0.01

4,400 x 0.01 = $44/month

Spending bonus: $250

Spending Rewards: $44 x 12 = $528

Annual Fee: $150

Total: 250+528-0 = $778

$528-$150= $378

Once you’ve earned your rewards, you can redeem them for hotels, flights, or vacation packages, or you can transfer them point for point to Aeroplan or Avios.

The three cards above are all great options if you have an excellent credit score, but to find the best card for you, compare credit cards using our credit cards rewards calculator.

Flickr: Lendingmemo