Credit Card Rating Methodology

Choosing the right credit card is a difficult task. Between the rewards structure, fees, APRs, perks, and introductory offers, truly understanding credit cards is like learning a different language. It takes time, effort and requires deep research.

At SimpleMoneyLyfe, we provide an assortment of credit card reviews backed by hours of research and a rigorous rating methodology. Below are the editorial standards that guide our credit card rating methodology and framework.

How We Rate Credit Cards

SimpleMoneyLyfe utilizes different factors for each credit card category. We deemed these factors valuable to consumers and were carefully curated to help you make a sound financial decision.

Airline, Travel, & Hotel Credit Card Rating Methodology

To accurately evaluate and rate travel credit cards, we review the card’s annual fees, foreign transaction fees, sign-up bonuses, ongoing travel rewards rate, credit score requirements, and additional benefits. Below is how we value each specific feature of the travel credit card:

Traditional Rewards Credit Card Rating Methodology

Analysts review the cards’ annual fees, ongoing rewards, cardholder benefits, credit score requirements, and introductory offers to provide a thorough evaluation of rewards credit cards. These metrics are critical for consumers to consider and understand before selecting a rewards credit card. Here is how each category is valued:

Student Credit Card Rating Methodology

Analysts review the credit building capability, requirements, fees, and rewards potential to evaluate and rate student credit cards. The purpose of a student credit card is to help people build credit responsibly. With this in mind, we value credit cards that report made payments to all three major credit bureaus, are affordable, and still allow students to earn rewards.

Military Credit Card Rating Methodology

Military credit cards are designed to offer service members exclusive benefits, sweet perks as a token of appreciation and traditionally come with low fees. At SimpleMoneyLyfe, we pride ourselves on our ability to help servicemembers find credit cards that pack a punch and help them crush their financial goals. Here are the factors we value when rating military credit cards:

Secured Credit Card Rating Methodology

Secured credit cards are used to build credit. These credit products are a great stepping stone and not a long-term solution. The following criteria are used to accurately evaluate secured credit cards: credit building capability, security deposit, annual fees, and upgrade potential.

Branded Store Credit Card Rating Methodology

Branded store credit cards allow loyal customers to earn lucrative rewards and discounts. Our rating methodology for store credit cards evaluates the card’s introductory offer, exclusive rewards, discounts, annual fees, and APRs.

Cash Back Credit Cards Rating Methodology

Cash Back credit cards allow cardholders to earn “cash back” after every purchase. The factors we evaluate include the card’s annual fee, cash back earning rate, category rewards (if any), additional perks, and interest rates.

Balance Transfer Rating Methodology

Analysts evaluate the credit cards’ balance transfer rates, length of the introductory offer, fees, and APRs. We value balance transfer cards that offer consumers long introductory offer periods, low fees, and competitive regular APRs.

Business Credit Card Rating Methodology

Business credit cards help small business owners, startups, and large enterprises earn rewards on business travel and expenses. The following factors are included in our evaluation of business credit cards:

Information and Data Collection

To collect accurate information about credit cards, we leverage publicly available data published on the credit card company’s website, expert interviews, and verified Google reviews. Our credit card content is updated monthly to reflect changes in the product, interest rates, and annual fees.

The Credit Card Editorial Team

The credit card content is written by a team of credit card experts, personal finance enthusiasts, and experienced editors. All members are held to our strict editorial guidelines and have gone through a thorough vetting process that involves reviewing the writer’s previous editorial experience, industry knowledge, and passion. The editorial team has been featured in US News & World Report, Fox Business, The Huffington Post, CNBC, and other leading media properties.