Last updated on August 8th, 2022
Super-prime credit is the crème de la crème in the credit world. Not many people may be familiar with the term, but having super-prime credit can get you the best credit cards, the lowest interest rates, and the most lucrative rewards. What is the super-prime credit score range, however, and how do those with the highest credit scores use their cards differently?
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What Is a Super-Prime Credit Score?
Super-prime credit might not be a phrase you commonly hear, but for lenders, mentions of the term bring smiles to their faces. A super-prime credit score is a term for a person with the very best credit score. Where a prime credit score refers to any FICO Score between 660 and 719 (fair to good), a super-prime score is any FICO Score above 720.
Reaching super-prime credit is no easy feat. In fact, more consumers are moving away from super-prime credit than in previous years, according to data from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB).
According to CFPB data, a shift in consumer credit is resulting in rising near-prime and prime credit scores is coinciding with a stagnation – and slight drop – in super-prime credit. While these figures are pre-COVID, they highlight the general trends in consumer borrowing. Here’s the data:
Prime (credit scores 660 - 719) Yearly Growth
Super-Prime (credit scores 720+) Yearly Growth
What Are the Habits of Consumers with Super-Prime Credit?
Because of the very high credit scores needed to break into the “super-prime” category, individuals with the very best credit scores have different credit habits than other consumers.
Lower Credit Utilization
One of the most important things that separates those with super-prime credit from those with prime credit scores is their credit use. According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, only 30% of people with super-prime credit carry a balance from month-to-month. In comparison, 70% of people with prime credit carry a balance month-to-month.
Overall credit usage accounts for about 30% of a person’s FICO Score, making it the second-largest factor in calculating that number. What seemingly sets those with excellent credit apart from those with good credit, therefore, is how much they rely on their credit lines to make purchases.
The above statement gains further proof when the average credit card balances per group are examined. Prime credit users have an average of $7,000 in credit card debt, while super-prime credit users average roughly $5,000.
At the same time, those with super-prime credit tend to have higher credit limits. According to Experian, those with fair-to-good credit have total credit limits of approximately $25,000. In comparison, those with excellent credit have an average total credit limit of roughly $35,000.
Longer Credit History
People with super-prime credit scores tend to have a longer credit history than those with good, fair, or even bad credit. This fact is fairly easy to understand, as having a long history with credit cards is one of the best ways to show banks that you are a trustworthy borrower. Credit history covers how long your accounts have been open, the average age of your credit accounts, and the types of credit accounts you hold.
How to Get Super-Prime Credit
Getting super-prime credit is difficult – but not impossible. The higher your credit score climbs, the tougher it becomes to repair if any damage occurs. While it may seem difficult to improve your credit score from bad credit yo good credit to excellent credit, patience and determination are the two most important virtues required.
Getting your credit score to “super-prime” requires paying all your bills on time each month. Where possible, pay them in full. As stated, people with excellent credit are less likely to carry a balance from month to month. They are also less likely to carry a significant credit balance overall.
Those with a good credit score are unlikely to miss payments – otherwise, their score wouldn’t be “good.” Therefore, it is the credit use (which makes up 30% of their credit score) that is the difference between “prime” and “super-prime.” Keep your credit usage below 30%, or for better results, keep credit use below 10%.
What are the Benefits of Super-Prime Credit Scores?
Super-prime credit has plenty of advantages. These range from greater access to new credit to preferable rates on new lines of credit and loans. Some of the highlights people with excellent credit scores can expect include:
Lowest Interest Rates
According to statistics by Experian (one of the three major credit bureaus), a credit score over 720 can help get applicants an APR over 1% lower than those with a good credit score. Even more impressive, super-prime borrowers get an average interest rate of over 8% lower than deep subprime or subprime credit score borrowers.
Highest Welcome Bonuses
While prime borrowers can access signup bonuses, like 0% intro APRs and more, the best perks go to the best credit scores. Why? Because of the following third benefit.
Access to the Very Best Credit Cards
Not all credit cards are available to all consumers. The very best credit cards (featuring the very best bonuses and perks) belong to those with the best credit scores. Some cards are even more exclusive. The Luxury Card range (which includes the Mastercard Black Card, Mastercard Titanium Card, and Mastercard Gold Card), for example, requires an excellent credit score and a high income.
What all these cards (credit cards and charge cards) have in common is that they offer the best benefits, including:
- Airport lounge access
- Travel and other statement credits, including dining
- Elite membership status in airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Huge signup bonuses
- And more
What Are the Best Credit Cards for Super-Prime Credit Scores?
Let’s say you have exceptional credit – what is the best credit card for you? Or, perhaps you are creating a game plan to reach super-prime credit and want to know what prizes await you at the end of your journey.
Here is a small selection of some of the best credit card offers for consumers with excellent credit scores:
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Earn 2% back on everything
Earn 1% back when you make a purchase and 1% back when you make you pay off that balance
The Citi® Double Cash Card is another of Citi’s most popular credit cards. The card differs from the Custom Cash in that it provides unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, with no confusing bonus categories to remember.
Cardholders earn 2% back on every eligible purchase: 1% back at the time of sale and an additional 1% back when they pay their statement balance. Cash back is redeemable for statement credits, direct deposits, checks, or converted as ThankYou® points. The card also comes with 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers completed within the first four months of opening an account.
That intro APR period and the addition of ThankYou Rewards provides the ideal platform for maximizing cash back (or rewards points) while paying down a significant balance with zero interest for a year and a half. Add no annual fee and Citi’s impressive cardmember perks and you have a winner of rewards credit card for prime, and super-prime applicants.
American Express Gold Card
Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases
0% Intro APR for 15 months
The Gold Card from American Express differs from the Platinum Card in that it provides value for everyday life – and not just travel like the Platinum Card. The card earns 4X Membership Rewards on global dining (including takeout and delivery), plus purchases at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in spending every year).
Those stats make the card a versatile dining and grocery credit card – made even better thanks to Amex’s statement credits. Gold Cardholders enjoy a $10 statement credit each month ( $120 dining credit each year) when paying with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, Boxed, and other participating partners. Enrollment is required to take advantage of this offer.
Beyond the statement credits and impressive Membership Rewards points on select purchases, Amex cardmembers can opt for one of two card designs. For the classic look, uses can select the famous gold card design. Those looking for something different can choose the previously limited-edition rose gold design, as pictured above.
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter
Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is Citibank’s latest premier back credit card. The card earns 5% back on your highest spending category each billing period, making it a direct competitor to the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards, Wells Fargo Active Cash, or the Chase Freedom Flex (see below).
The 5% back categories with the Custom Cash include the following and is limited to the first $500 spent every billing period: dining, drugstores, fitness clubs, gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores, live entertainment, select travel, select streaming services, and select transit.
Equally impressive with the Custom Cash Card is the lengthy 0% intro APR period the card provide. Applicants with super-prime credit can anticipate 15 months of no interest on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.
Add to that a $200 welcome offer after spending $750 on purchases in the first 3 months, access to World Elite Mastercard perks, Citi Entertainment, and it is easy to see why the Custom Cash is so popular with cardmembers.
Chase Freedom Flex
5% on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter
0% intro APR for 15 months
The Chase Freedom family of credit cards has long been one of the most popular options for cash back rewards – regardless of the credit profile. The family includes a range of excellent cash back cards, topped off by the ever-impressive Chase Freedom Flex.
The Freedom Flex World Elite Mastercard earns 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter after activation, 5% back on travel booked through Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 5% cash back on eligible gas station purchases on up to $6,000 spent in the first year. The card’s rotating categories are always popular, allowing Flex cardmembers to maximize rewards.
The Flex also features a lengthy 0% APR period to match its impressive rewards. New accounts enjoy 15 months of no interest on both purchases and balance transfers.