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Card Rating Methodology
Here at CreditCards.Org we strive to provide our customers with as much assistance as possible when choosing a new credit card. We understand that not every card is designed for every customer’s needs, so we have taken the time to rate each card. Our experts have combed through the details of every card and ranked them each on the features we feel are most valuable to our customers. Below you will find the rating methodology on how we rank each card and arrive at our star rating. We have broken our cards out based on the category they fall under and ranked them accordingly.  We have taken the best features each card should have based on their given category and assigned a percentage for that particular feature. Each card has the potential of earning 100% equaling 5 stars. If you want to know more about our rating methodology, please email us at: info@creditcards.org

Air Miles Cards
  • Intro APR & APR/Fees – 20% each
    While important for cardholders carrying a balance, interest rates and fees are not as critical to consumers in this card category.  A low intro APR will benefit those spending heavily in the initial months to meet early spend requirements but in general, this is considered a perk.  Annual fees are common, as benefits earned outweigh accrued fees when utilized properly.
  • Bonus Offer-45%
    The bonus offer is the most enticing card feature. Consumers are more likely to apply for a card that offers a compelling upfront bonus offer despite having numerous cards with minimal or no balances.  This feature receives the highest weight in the ranking system.
  • Rewards Rate-30%
    Having a high rewards rate is the second most important factor to offset the standard annual fees. Consumers are seeking to maximize rewards earned for each dollar of spend.
  • Extra Features-5%
    While most cards provide similar standard features, there are those that go the extra mile and offer additional perks to differentiate in the marketplace. These issuers are rewarded with additional points in the ranking system.

Cash Back Cards
  • Intro Rate-20%
    An offer of 0% Intro APR is common in this category, an alluring feature for most consumers. Consumers appreciate the ability to make purchases interest-free for a period of time while simultaneously earning rewards.
  • APR/Fees-10%
    Interest rates and fees are less important factors as consumers usually focus on perks. Issuers generally charge interest rates within the same range as others for similar credit levels.  Annual fees are common, as earned benefits outweigh accrued fees when utilized properly.
  • Bonus Offer-20%
    Bonus offers are also of interest for a cash back card pay attention to. Whether it’s $100 cash back or bonus points, consumers are considering these enticing upfront rewards in their decision making process.
  • Rewards Rate-40%
    Consumers who are comparing cash back cards are primarily examining the rate at which they can earn rewards and what percentage they can earn in various categories.
  • Extra Features-10%
    While most cards provide similar standard features, there are those that go the extra mile and offer additional perks to differentiate in the marketplace. These issuers are rewarded with additional points in the ranking system.

Balance Transfer Cards
  • Intro APR Rate-40%
    The most important factor in the consumer’s decision making process - the length of the 0% intro APR rate across card offers.  Consumers seeking cards in this category typically are carrying a balance on a different card which they would like to payoff to avoid interest payments during the intro period. 
  • Balance Transfer Fee-30%
    The balance transfer fee is crucial in comparing the potential savings of transferring a balance.  The fee offsets interest saved over the intro APR period, eliminating any potential benefits of a transfer. 
  • Annual Fee-20%
    Along the same lines of a balance transfer fee, an annual fee can also minimize potential savings realized through reduced interest payments.
  • Extra Features-10%
    While most cards provide similar standard features, there are those that go the extra mile and offer additional perks to differentiate in the marketplace. These issuers are rewarded with additional points in the ranking system.

Student Cards
  • Intro APR - 30%
    Students applying for a card are seeking credit to fund either school-related purchases (e.g. laptop, books, furniture, etc.) or day to day expenditures.   As most are not employed, an extended low Intro APR is important to avoid increasing their debt until they receive funds – whether it is a loan, financial aid, parental allowance – to pay down the balance.
  • Interest/Fees- 40%
    Interest and fees on a student card are important to avoid increasing card debt in between funding periods. Students often times are on a strict budget, and may not be able to pay their balance in full every month. Having low interest and no added fees is a big deciding factor for these consumers.
  • Rewards Program-20%
    Rewards programs are appreciated, but not crucial for most students; considered an additional perk only few may take advantage of.
  • Extra Features-10%
    An extra 10% is reserved for cards that may offer additional features to differentiate in the marketplace.
               
 
Low Interest Cards
  • Interest/Fees- 90%
    The most important component for a credit cards in the category, as consumers are seeking to minimize monthly interest payments and fees.  As many carry a balance on their cards, reducing the monthly interest rate and fees is critical to minimize monthly increases in debt balances.
  • Rewards- 5%
    Rewards programs are appreciated but play a small role in the consumer’s comparison of low interest credit cards.
  • Extra Features- 5%
    An extra 5% is reserved for cards that may offer additional features to differentiate in the marketplace.
 

General Rewards Cards
  • Intro APR & APR/Fees – 20% each
    While important for cardholders carrying a balance, interest rates and fees are not as critical to consumers in this card category.  A low intro APR will benefit those spending heavily in the initial months to meet early spend requirements but in general, this is considered a perk.  Annual fees are common, as benefits earned outweigh accrued fees when utilized properly.
  • Bonus Offer-45%
    The bonus offer is the most enticing card feature. Consumers are more likely to apply for a card that offers a compelling upfront bonus offer despite having numerous cards with minimal or no balances.  This feature receives the highest weight in the ranking system.
  • Rewards Rate-30%
    Having a high rewards rate is the second most important factor to offset the standard annual fees. Consumers are seeking to maximize rewards earned for each dollar of spend.
  • Extra Features-5%
    While most cards provide similar standard features, there are those that go the extra mile and offer additional perks to differentiate in the marketplace. These issuers are rewarded with additional points in the ranking system.

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