Credit Card Insider is your resource for unbiased consumer and commercial lending options. We are advocates of the responsible use of credit, building and managing your credit history, and making informed decisions when selecting a credit card.
Credit Card Insider was created as a resource for consumers, by consumers. As a trusted resource, complete with curated content from industry experts, we felt compelled to build and deliver a world class experience where consumers could safely research, compare, and apply for a credit card.
It’s our mission to provide actionable advice and content to help you understand credit and take it into your own hands. We’re always here to help you if you have any questions, and if we don’t know the answer we’ll find it. If there are any ways you think we could do a better job with this mission, let us know.
The amount of credit card related information can be overwhelming. It’s our goal to present this collection of knowledge into an easy to understand, plain-english way. From our ‘Best of’ articles to individual card reviews, our team is here for you.
We have access to the best industry experts in the areas of personal finance, credit, and credit cards. We’re able to confidently and accurately assign different Editor’s Ratings to all of the credit cards that we cover. This means that you can feel confident knowing that we’ve done our due diligence to ensure you find the perfect card for your financial and lifestyle.
We want to help you understand credit and debt and how to use cards responsibly.
It’s our promise to you to ensure all of our editoral content is unbiased and accurate.
Our content is presented to our visitors in a way that is not influenced by financial motivation.
Credit Card Insider has been featured in the leading US news outlets, calling upon our credit and personal finance expertise.
We rate cards relative to each other. The best cards offer the lowest interest rates, the lowest fees, and the most/best benefits; the worst have the opposite. Most cards fall somewhere in-between. Advertiser relationships do not in any way affect our rating of cards, how we choose cards for our “Best” editor’s picks, or the order in which cards appear on a page.
Card type is one of the biggest factors in a card’s estimation, as it only makes sense to compare travel cards to other travel cards, student cards to other student cards, and so on. Cash back cards are rated based on how much cash back can be earned and for what kinds of purchases, for example. Secured cards are expected to have a lower credit requirement and provide fewer benefits, so this is not held against them. Other card types are also judged according to their particular intent.
Extra card benefits tend to be similar across cards: extended warranties, travel insurance, concierge service, etc. The differences are in the types of benefits and the extent of the service. For example, the travel insurance of one card may provide coverage up to $1,000, while another card may provide coverage up to $10,000.
Interest rates can vary greatly for purchases and balance transfers, but they are usually similar for cash advances. A one or two point difference in interest rates is not seen as significant, but introductory 0% APR’s are seen as quite valuable.
Some penalties and fees are normal for credit and charge cards. Strict, severe penalties for late payments and other infractions are not necessarily bad, as they can be avoided, but these will lower a card’s worth compared to more forgiving cards with similar rates and benefits.
If a card is difficult to get, such as requiring a high credit rating, and it also offers relatively bad terms, it will fall farther down on the rating scale. But if a card is difficult to get but offers great terms, the difficulty will not count against it because it is exclusive for a good reason.
The opinions of our resident expert John Ulzheimer and the general public also weigh into the rating of a card. These can include any and all of the experiences people are having with the card: reports about the quality of customer service, whether it works as it should, surprises in store for cardholders, etc.
Advertiser relationships do not in any way affect our rating of cards when comparing them to each other, or when choosing cards for our “Best” editor’s picks.