About Credit Card Insider

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.

Our Story

On a mission to help you with credit

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.

Our Approach

Plain English

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.

Our Promise

  • Financial Education

    We want to help you understand credit and debt and how to use cards responsibly.

  • Unbiased Information

    It’s our promise to you to ensure all of our editoral content is unbiased and accurate.

  • Trust & Transparency

    Our content is presented to our visitors in a way that is not influenced by financial motivation.

Meet the Credit Card Insider Team

Photo of John Ganotis

John Ganotis


John comes from a diverse background of software development, web publishing, and personal finance. He knows firsthand what it’s like to accumulate credit card debt, pay it off completely, and then start using credit to his advantage. His passion for technology and attention to detail have made Credit Card Insider one of the premier credit resources on the Internet, and he is eager to help others tackle debt and use credit as a powerful tool rather than fear it.
Photo of Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness

Editor and Columnist

Brendan has writing about ecommerce and technology for years, and is now taking on the challenge of bringing high quality credit education to the masses. He makes sure that Credit Card Insider is covering the most important credit topics clearly, and that we have up to date reviews of credit cards so you can find the card that's right for you.

How We Rate Credit and Charge Cards

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 and Benefits

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 and Fees

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.

Acquiring Cards and Public Opinion

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.

The Insider

Brendan Harkness
Review of the Best Western® Rewards MasterCard®
Brendan Harkness | Oct 21, 2016

The Best Western Rewards MasterCard provides 13 points for every dollar you spend with Best Western, along with a variety of extra perks and benefits.

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Brendan Harkness
Review of the Upromise® World MasterCard®
Brendan Harkness | Sep 28, 2016

The Upromise World MasterCard offers up to 10% cash back at select retailers, and you can redeem your rewards directly to your college fund or student loan.

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Brendan Harkness
Review of the Ultamate Rewards Credit Card and Ultamate Rewards MasterCard
Brendan Harkness | Sep 22, 2016

The Ultamate Rewards Credit Card and Ultamate Rewards MasterCard both offer 2 points per dollar at Ulta, along with member-only rewards and benefits.

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