At a Glance
A super-prime credit score is as good as it gets, a score that’s at the highest end possible of a credit score range. Technically, there are five borrower profiles someone could fall into, but super-prime is the best.
Consumers with super-prime credit are able to take advantage of benefits like better credit cards, lower interest rates, and better terms and rewards. However, it can be difficult to reach super-prime credit status. Read on to learn more about:
What is super-prime credit?
Each of the three main credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) have their own credit score range. Super-prime credit is a credit score that’s at the highest end possible of a credit bureau’s score range. This typically means the person’s credit is excellent and they pose the least risk to lenders or creditors.
Borrowers with a super-prime credit score typically have a FICO Score above 720, though credit score and classification as super-prime can vary by the credit bureaus. This is because they use different calculation methods and also may have slightly different information on your credit file.
In many cases, having super-prime credit means better credit card offers, lower interest rates, more favorable terms, and other benefits.
Related: Credit Score Ranges
Super-prime credit interest rates
If you have super-prime credit, you’ll likely have access to better loan terms and lower interest rates than other borrowers. This is because those with super-prime credit are the most likely to repay what they owe, which means they are the lowest risk.
It’s estimated that consumers with credit scores above 720 get a 12% average effective interest rate on general-purpose credit cards, while those with a score of 660 to 719 are offered an average rate of 17%. Lower scores average around 20% or more. Or, those with a super-prime score may be able to access auto loan rates of less than 5% while lower scores can have a rate of 10% or higher.
If you do have one of those enviable credit scores and want to make sure you keep it that way, it never hurts to keep tabs on it.
Benefits of super-prime credit scores
It can take time to improve your score enough to get to super-prime credit, but doing so has a number of advantages:
1. Lower interest rates
Because having super-prime credit means you’re less of a risk to borrowers and they can have more confidence that you’ll repay what you borrow, you’ll likely be offered lower credit scores. The percentage can vary depending on which type of loan or credit card you apply for, but can range from 1% to 10% or more less than other borrowers with lower scores.
2. Higher welcome bonuses
Borrowers with lower credit scores can also access welcome bonuses, but those with super-prime credit get better, exclusive offers. This can include larger sign-up bonuses, 0% intro APRs, higher cash back or points earnings, or other perks.
3. Access to better credit
Some credit cards, including those with the best bonuses and perks, are only available to an exclusive group of borrowers. Having super-prime credit gives you access to many of these cards with benefits like:
- Access to airport lounges
- Larger sign-up bonuses
- Luxury travel perks, like rewards on travel and dining purchases
- Elite membership status in airline and/or hotel loyalty programs
How to get a super-prime credit score
While getting super-prime credit is difficult and can take time, it’s not impossible if you follow these tips:
- Pay your bills on time each month.
- Where possible, pay your bills in full every month.
- Keep your credit usage below 30%, though the lower, the better.
- Keep your debt-to-income ratio low.
- Avoid carrying a significant credit balance overall.
Keep in mind that the higher your score, the more it will be affected by negative marks and the more difficult it will be to rebound. It’s important to be patient and consistent. Check your score regularly to keep tabs on where you fall and how your actions impact your score. Also keep an eye on your credit report so you can catch any errors or mistakes quickly.
Characteristics of people with super-prime credit
In 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released “The Consumer Credit Card Market” report. This report includes a variety of information about the use, cost, and availability of credit, practices of credit card issuers, debt collection, and more. These are some of the characteristics the CFPB lists about those with super-prime credit:
1. Lower average debt
The CFPB report states that in 2020, super-prime cardholders had an end balance on general-purpose credit cards of about $5,000. However, cardholders with prime credit had an average balance of about $8,000.
When it comes to private label cards, the average balance for super-prime cardholders was just over $1,000 while average balances for those with prime scores was around $2,200.
Because your debt-to-income ratio plays a role in calculating your credit score, keeping a low overall average debt – especially compared to your income – can be helpful.
2. No card balance
When you pay off your credit account in full prior to the next credit cycle, you are considered a “transacting” account. Those who carry a balance from month to month are considered to be in the “revolving” category. The majority of people with super-prime credit (about 60%) pay off their full credit card balance each month. This is compared to only 20% of prime accounts, 15% of near-prime and subprime accounts, and 10% of deep subprime accounts paying off their cards in full.
3. Open credit card accounts
The CFPB reported that about 95% of people with super-prime credit have at least one credit card, but on average they have four open credit card accounts. Almost 50% of all new credit cards issued in 2020 were to super-prime cardholders.
Additionally, this group is much less likely to max out their credit cards.
4. Lower credit utilization
Because overall credit usage accounts for about 30% of your FICO credit score, it’s an important factor when determining a super-prime status. Keeping a low credit utilization is key.
Credit utilization is the sum of all of your balances divided by the sum of your cards’ credit limits. The general rule of thumb is to keep your ratio below 30%, but those with super-prime credit keep their rate closer to 10%.
5. Longer credit history
Your credit history, or how long you’ve been using credit, accounts for 15% of your total credit score. This includes how long your accounts have been open, the average age of your credit accounts, and the types of credit accounts you have.
Generally, the longer your credit history, the more your score could increase. Those with super-prime credit typically have longer credit histories than other cardholders, showing financial institutions you are a responsible borrower.
A score of 850 is considered the highest credit score possible, according to the most commonly used FICO credit models.
Learn more: What Is The Highest Credit Score Possible?
Prime credit is a credit score one level below super-prime, which is the highest credit rating possible. Consumers with prime credit have very good credit and are low risk to lenders and creditors, often allowing them access to lower interest rates and better terms on loans and cards.
There are a few borrower profiles you could fall into: Super-prime (credit score of 720 or above), prime (score between 660 and 719), near-prime (score between 620 and 659), subprime (score between 580 and 619), and deep subprime (score below 580).