You don’t need me to tell you how important a good credit score is. If your score is a cellar-dweller, you know that it can be nearly impossible to get a credit card or a loan approved, and this makes life pretty tough. It’s not just that you can’t hit the mall whenever you feel like it — you might not be able to stay afloat during a small emergency, either.
On the other hand, I would argue that your goal shouldn’t just be a decent credit score. You should be shooting for the stars.
You want to crack the 800-point threshold.
Is that possible? Definitely. I did it, and so did my husband (we may or may not have a little competition going in this regard). In fact, at any given time, about 10 percent of Americans have hit the magic number, so it’s a worthy goal that could be closer than you think.
Having a super-high credit score is definitely worth it — and not always for the most obvious reasons. Here’s what being in the 800+ club could mean for you:
- Better Credit Card Rewards
It’s no secret that your interest rates are lower when you have good credit — that’s most people’s biggest incentive. But did you know that there are actually different versions of popular credit cards out there? For example, Capital One offers two versions of their popular Quicksilver card. QuicksilverOne and Quicksilver both give 1.5% cash back, but Quicksilver also offers a $100 signing bonus and no annual fee. Can you guess which one is for people with excellent credit?
Almost every credit card company has different versions of their rewards cards that are tiered by credit score eligibility. The better your score, the better the rewards and bonuses.
- Credit Card Churning Opportunities
Being able to get your hands on the very best credits cards with ease means you can deploy them strategically to earn maximum rewards. Credit card churning can help you fund big-time vacations practically for free if you open a bunch of travel rewards cards with super signing bonuses. For example, if you get 50,000 bonus points just for opening the card, you might already be halfway to that vacation. Then all you have to do is shift all your spending — everything from groceries to utility bills — to that card for a few months to earn as many points as possible, and you’re ready to cash in for free flights. Cancel the card before the annual fee comes due if you need to, and open a new card for even more bonus points. Spouses who each open their own instead of sharing can double their bonuses.
This is not something you want to try at home if you don’t trust yourself to stick to your budget and pay off your balance in full every month, so proceed with caution. But my guess is that if you have the kind of credit score that lets you get these kinds of signing bonuses, you probably already know that.