When you're picking a credit card, other people's reviews can be an extremely valuable resource. Here at Credit Karma, we pride ourselves in the community that our members make up, and we have a bustling reviews section where you can leave a review and help out other members. Looking for some advice to help pick the right credit card? Check out our consumer reviews and look out for these four elements.
1. Number of Reviews
In general, the more, the better. One recommendation is great, but 100 are probably more reliable. Plus, beyond a simple rating, each reviewer has their own details which they bring to the table. Our most reviewed credit cards come with an exceptional amount of consumer-provided information.
This doesn't mean that credit cards from smaller institutions with fewer reviews aren't worth exploring, though. Small lenders, like credit unions, can sometimes provide the best service for you. Cards that are new to the market are also worth a look because they may have improved features. If you have a credit card that's so new that it's barely been reviewed, you can help out others by adding your own thoughts. Just keep the total number of reviewers in mind before taking a five-star rating as gospel.
2. Who Gets Approved
We do our best to take the mystery out of the application process. With approximate approval odds and personalized recommendations, it's possible to get a sense of how likely you are to be approved for a specific offer (though we can't guarantee it). More information is almost always helpful, though.
Scan the reviews to find members reflecting on the application process. Often, both those who have been approved and those who weren't will share their credit scores or other information about their credit profile. Obviously member experiences will vary, but these reviews can help you get a sense of what the lender is generally looking for and how you compare. Some review pages also display a graph featuring the credit score ranges of Credit Karma members who are cardholders.
3. Customer Service Experience
Credit card reviews could also give you a peek at the customer service of the particular issuer. If you've never had a card with that lender before, then the feedback of those who have might be particularly useful.
Opening a credit card is the beginning of a relationship with a financial institution, and other cardholders can give you insight into how well a lender takes care of its customers. Before applying, you may want to see how easy it's been for others to get in touch with the lender, since you'll need to do that if your card is lost or stolen, if you want to add an authorized user or if you need to change the personal information attached to your account.
4. Changes in Terms
Credit card companies do everything they can to encourage you to apply. Sign-up bonuses and low introductory interest rates are becoming more and more common, and draw many to apply for credit cards that they would not have applied for otherwise. Many don't realize, however, that these terms sometimes can and will change.
This fact is especially true with rewards cards. Even if the rate at which you accrue points doesn't change, the actual value of those points could change. The feedback of current cardholders is a great way to get insight into your possible credit card terms. If a lender has a history of adjusting terms, then they could do it again in the future. Of course, it's also important to read the terms made available by the issuers themselves. Issuers are required to inform you in advance of many important details, including certain potential changes to their terms. For things like introductory interest rates or other promotions, they'll usually disclose before you apply when and how changes will occur.
When you're looking for the perfect credit card for you, it makes sense to use every available resource to aid in your search. While a packed highway or a stuffed train car might occasionally leave you wishing for a little space, other people do come in handy. Next time you're in the market, check out our reviews section to help kick off your search.
Editorial Note: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. While compensation may affect which companies we write about and products we review, our marketing partners don't review, approve or endorse our editorial content. Our content is accurate (to the best of our knowledge) when we initially post it, but we don't guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. You can visit the company's website to get complete details about a product. See an error in an article? Use this form to report it to our editorial team. For questions about your Credit Karma account, please submit a help request to our support team.
Advertiser Disclosure: We think it's important for you to understand how we make money. It's pretty simple, actually. The offers for financial products you see on our platform come from companies who pay us. The money we make helps us give you access to free credit scores and reports and helps us create our other great tools and educational materials.
Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That's why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.
Of course, the offers on our platform don't represent all financial products out there, but our goal is to show you as many great options as we can.