An excellent credit score makes life a lot easier. It's easier to get an auto loan or mortgage and you usually get the best rate.
Having an excellent credit score can also get you a credit card with rewards and perks. These cards are reserved for consumers with the best credit.
The Capital One Venture One Rewards Card offers 1.25 travel miles for every dollar on purchases. It starts you off with 20,000 bonus miles after you have spent $2,000 on purchases during the first three months the account is open. That adds up to about $200 in travel.
Miles easy to use
If you've found it difficult to redeem airline miles in the past, never fear. The miles on this card can be used on hotel rooms and rental cars, in addition to air fare. Even using the miles on airline tickets might be a bit easier since they are good on any airline with no blackout dates.
Another nice feature of this card is the 0% interest rate on purchases until December 2014. As you would expect with any rewards card, there is no annual fee.
The BankAmericard Cash Rewards Card gives you a $100 cash rewards bonus if you spend $500 on purchases in the first 90 days the account is open. Instead of miles, this card gives you cash back.
You get 1% cash back on all purchases. You get 2% cash back on grocery store purchases and 3% on gasoline purchases for the first $1,500 you spend on any combination of gasoline and groceries each quarter.
If you have a Bank of America checking or savings account and have your rewards dollars direct deposited to that account, you get a 10% bonus. You also get a 0% interest rate on purchases for the first 12 billing periods. There's no annual fee and your rewards don't expire.
The Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card gives you 40,000 Hilton HHonors bonus points after you spend $1,000 within the first four months the account is open. You earn six HHonors bonus points for every dollar spent at a participating hotel within the Hilton HHonors portfolio.
In addition you get three HHonors bonus points for every dollar spent at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations. You get two HHonors bonus points for every dollar spent on all other purchases.
Keeping it simple
The Citi Simplicity Card rewards you in other ways than points, miles or cash. It advertises that you never have to pay a late fee, a penalty rate or annual fee. It also offers a 0% balance transfer rate for 18 months, but the 3% transfer fee makes that much less rewarding if you have a big balance.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Card gives you two travel miles for every dollar spent on purchases. If you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first three months the account is open you earn an additional 20,000 bonus miles.
You can redeem these miles for any travel expense, flying on any airline at any time with no blackout dates. There is no annual fee the first year, but after that it will cost you $59 a year to have this card in your wallet.
Improving your credit score
You say you don't have excellent credit? There are steps you can take to improve it so that in the future you can qualify for one of these rewards cards.
According to Experian, the most important thing you can do to improve your credit score is pay all your bills on time. Delinquent payments and collection will deliver a huge hit to your creditworthiness.
Keep your credit card balances low, especially in relation to your credit limit. Having “credit to spare” makes you look like a good credit risk.
Finally, pay down debt as much as possible. It's not always easy to do but whenever you come into some extra money, apply it to your credit balance.