My friend emailed me the other day and asked if I had a good resources for researching credit cards. She’s trying to improve her credit score and figures (correctly) that building good history with revolving credit is a great way to do that. (This assumes that you use your revolving credit—i.e., credit card—wisely.)
The Two Best Resources I Know
Bankrate.com is great because you can search for credit cards by type of card (balance transfer, reward points, etc.), credit score, or issuer. When you find a card that you’re interested in, the website gives you a quick synopsis of how the card works, including the APRs, type of credit needed to apply/be accepted, and so forth.
If you want to know more information about a specific card, you can click on the card name or image, and bankrate will direct you to the card issuers website.
Creditcards.com has a free, secure service called “Card Match”. You input your name, address, and social security number, and they do a soft credit check (which means it won’t affect your credit score) to determine which cards you are mostly likely to be approved for.
Other than Card Match, CreditCards.com gives you much the same information as Bankrate.com, and both are great places to start your research into what credit card is right for you.
Additional Resources: CreditKarma.com and CreditSesame.com
CreditKarma is website that offers you free, any time access to your TransUnion credit score (which, as I understand it, is different from your FICO credit score, which is what most places use when they pull your credit score). It’s not going to tell you the exact same story as your FICO credit score, but is still a good way to keep track of your credit history and if there are any fluctuations.
They have “recommended” credit cards, which provides useful information about credit cards that might fit your needs and your credit score.
(Full disclosure: I occasionally write guest blog posts for the CreditKarma Blog.)
CreditSesame offers the same thing as CreditKarma, except at CreditSesame you get your Experian credit score. They, too, have a credit card information feature, searchable by credit score.
I’m not sure I would rely wholly on CreditKarma or CreditSesame for credit card advice, as I don’t know how they choose which cards to recommend, but they do have good information. I usually use them to gather additional information about any card I’m considering applying for.
What about you? Do you have a credit card? Have you used any other resources to research credit cards?