I had no idea what I was doing when I got my first credit card. I was freshly graduated from high school, looking forward to starting college in the fall, and just trying to open a student checking account with the bank on campus. Before I knew it, I had applied for a line of credit, and I had no idea when,
where, or how to use it. Worse, I didn’t know about the card’s benefits, fees, or even its interest rate.
Since then, I have wised up. I understand the importance of shopping around for the perfect card before signing my name and spending away. I use dozens of tools and tactics to obtain accurate information about various cards to ensure I get the best deal, and today, I am proud to say that every piece of plastic in my wallet has earned its place.
If you are considering obtaining a new credit card, you need to do as much research as possible. Though you may be tempted to apply for the first and easiest card – like one you are “pre-approved” for through the mail – you will wildly profit from hunting down the card that gives you the best rates and benefits.
However, relying on a single source for your credit card information is not a promising strategy, either; many websites only offer information from companies who pay them to do so. Therefore, you need an arsenal of resources to help you choose, and to aid your search, I present you the six best sites to compare credit cards.
1. The Simple Dollar
Not only is this an excellent source for personal finance tips and tricks, but the site offer some of the most meticulously curated credit card lists on the Web. You can review the editors’ favorite cards in several categories, such as travel or student, or you can find out what features they think make the best credit cards.
Though CompareCards has not yet stepped into the spotlight, we believe this site is an invaluable resource for those who want a one-stop-shop for finding the right cards. Searches can be narrowed down using all sorts of filters, including card type, issuers, credit score – even cards for bad credit – and more, and you can apply for the card you want right from their site.
NerdWallet started as a way to empower consumers by educating them about financial matters. Today, the site examines all sorts of financial accounts, from health insurance to home mortgages to credit cards. NerdWallet allows you to narrow your search to features most applicable to your lifestyle; then, it uses plain English to explain different aspects to help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of each card.
Perhaps the mightiest financial website on the Internet (that remains unassociated with a print magazine), Bankrate boasts its own credit card comparison section. The site divvies cards into 13 distinct categories, including gas cards and no foreign transaction fee cards. You can also analyze different cards from any of the nine major lenders. This is a powerful tool for serious searchers.
5. Credit Karma
The people behind Credit Karma are interested in helping users understand everything about credit, from what it means to how it’s used to how to keep your own credit healthy. The reviews on the site come from cardholders – which is both a blessing and a curse. Most satisfied credit card users don’t find the need to rejoice online, which can skew scores toward the negative. Still, Credit Karma’s simple, stunning site is incredibly useful for the credit novice.
6. Google Compare
For a while now, Google has been trying to dip its fingers in all sorts of pies. Google Compare, the online goliath’s latest attempt at a comprehensive shopping tool, started as a way to help users find the best auto insurance, and it has recently expanded to credit cards as well. Though the search and filter system is first-rate, Google has yet to add sufficient detail on many available cards – but we expect the system to improve dramatically in coming months, which is why it has a spot on our list.