How we rank for
The higher a card’s APR rate, the more money you will pay if you fail to meet the minimum payments. This is where credit card companies make their money. It is important that companies provide reasonable APR rates for their card holders. For scoring this category, half a company’s points will come from an average APR of all their credit cards, and half will come from the average APR of a basic cash back card.
- The Review Team recently conducted a survey with more than 1,000 random participants asking them “Which factor is most important when choosing a new credit card?” The results showed that approximately 25% of respondents chose “Rewards Programs”, another 25% of respondents chose “Annual Fees” and another 25% of respondents chose “APR.”
- The consumer’s opinion is a big variable in how much weight The Review Team gives each factor. As reflected in the survey, we matched our highest-weighed factor to Card Reward Options and Annual Fees. Even though we weigh APR a little less, it is still one of the higher-weighted factors in the Credit Cards criteria.
15% Card Rewards
It is common for credit cards to offer rewards based on how much you spend. These rewards may include cash back, gas, flight miles, or points. We look for cards that offer the best types of rewards to the customer. We want to make sure credit cards reward you for things you want. For scoring purposes, we look at the miles benefits and the cash back benefits.
12% Annual Fees
The last thing you want to do is pay additional fees on top of your credit card bill. Credit card companies offer no annual fees for the first 12 months, but then hike up the prices after that time period. We take into account whether or not they charge annual fees and how much those fees are.
10% Late Payment Penalties
We understand that life sometimes happens and you forget to a pay a bill on time. We look at every card’s late payment policy to see if it is reasonable or not. Some companies demand a late payment fee, while other increase your APR, and some even do both. We want to make sure you are protected and not slammed with fees for a one-time slip up.
9% Foreign Transaction Fee
For each company, we list what the average foreign transaction is for each company, and which cards (if any) they offers with no foreign transaction fees.
9% Free Credit Score
Many companies now offer the ability to view and monitor your FICO credit score for free for being a card holder. This category may be scored for companies that let you see your credit score with your statement at the end of every month, or whether they allow a you to monitor your score more often.
5% Fraud Safeguards
In this category, we look at what the fraud liability is and how quickly you can get a new card if yours is lost or stolen.
10% Stability Score
We look at the legal history and financial stability of each company. This metric takes into consideration any bankruptcies, class action lawsuits, government lawsuits, or government investigations a company has had in the last five years.
15% User Score
Authentic user reviews are critical to what we’re doing at BestCompany.com. Because customer service is an important reflection of a company overall, nobody can provide better insights about a company’s performance than actual customers. Consequently, every company’s overall score is influenced, at least in part, by reviews submitted by customers.
For more information on how we moderate user reviews submitted to our site, you may refer to our Review Guidelines page.