Aside from the Outlets You Contribute to, What are Your Favorite Sources of Information on Credit Cards - Roundup 16
Many of the experts who contribute to our weekly roundups either have their own platforms or are connected to other places where they contribute to the credit card vertical. This week, we ask them to share whey they go to find information on credit cards aside from their own publications and companies:
Aside from the outlets you contribute to, what are your favorite sources of information on credit cards?
This week's contributors are Angelina Aucello, Lee Huffman, Miranda Marquit, Gerri Detweiler, Robert Harrow, and Dia Adams:
Angelina Aucello - EWR-based travel aficionado and expert. Owner of Angelina Travels
As you may know, there’s a huge market and push to sell credit cards online, and some offers are pushed more than others because of the affiliate commissions that are available to partners. With that in mind, it’s sometimes hard to trust that the offer being promoted has your best interest in mind. Is it really the best offer out there?
Aside from the outlets I contribute to, my favorite sources of information on credit cards are directly at the banks, since sometimes they do offer better offers in the branch or targeted offers based on your relationship or accounts you hold. For instance, the Citi Prestige comes with a $450 annual fee, but a little-known trick is to apply in branch and you’ll receive the same card benefits for $350 a year, chopping $100 off the annual fee.
Additionally, Chase sometimes has higher sign-up offers in-branch during promotional periods such as Small Business Week. When I’m not learning about offers available in banks or through my junk mail (sometimes I receive great targeted offers that are not publicly available), I turn to a trusted blog, Doctor of Credit, which I have been reading for years and can always rely on for offers and information that are in the best interest of the readers.
Lee Huffman - Teaches others how to travel more, spend less, & live better at Bald Thoughts
Banks are making it harder than ever to get approved for the best credit card offers. It is important to ensure that you are strategically applying for the best offers, and in a particular order, to ensure you are maximizing your opportunity to earn travel rewards.
When I'm looking for the latest information on credit cards, there are several places I turn to before applying. First, I visit the website of the credit cards that I'm interested in to read the formal details and benefits. Just keep in mind that opinions on whether or not this is a good offer will not be found here. For that, I turn to Boarding Area, Reddit message boards, private Facebook groups, and private Slack groups. That is where you'll see in-depth discussions on the pros and cons of one card vs. the competition so you can make an informed choice before you apply. From time to time, people in these groups will alert you about offers that are not publicly available that can provide significantly better terms than what is on the bank's website.
Miranda Marquit - Nationally recognized financial expert and Founder of Planting Money Seeds
I love the credit card comparison tool from Consumer Reports. It's in beta, but it's something I like a lot. It helps you go through your spending to identify which cards will provide you with the best bang for your reward buck. If you're looking for a new credit card, this tool can help you figure out what to focus on first.
Another website I really like for credit card comparison is WalletHub. Not only can you see credit cards for different purposes, but you can also have your questions answered by experts and everyday credit card users, see editor's picks, and easily compare your options.
Finally, I really like the Points Guy. If you're looking for ways to get the most out of travel rewards, and maximize your points with different credit cards, this website is a solid resource.
Gerri Detweiler - Education director for Nav
CreditBoards is one of the longest running credit forums on the Internet. It’s a great place to find discussions of the successes and pitfalls consumers encounter with credit, including credit cards. Users will share which cards they obtained— and which they were declined for— with credit limits and details about their personal qualifications at the time of application. It is a user-generated forum so you have to understand that another person’s experience may be different than your own, but it does offer details you won’t find elsewhere.
Also, Experian’s research reports are a must for those who follow the industry closely. The Experian/Moody’s Analytics Main Street Reports provides insight into the overall financial well-being of the small-business landscape, while the Experian-Oliver Wyman Market Intelligence Reports cover consumer credit trends. Both include trends in bankcard originations, delinquencies, usage and other topics. While some reports require a subscription, free quarterly webinars provide helpful insights.
Robert Harrow - At ValuePenguin, Robert oversees the production of tools, calculators, reviews, and guides that help consumers make better financial decisions
Hands down, my favorite source of information for everything credit card related is Reddit. There are several communities like /r/churning and /r/awardtravel that are filled with folks who live and breathe credit cards. If you spend a week reading through the guides the communities put together or a few of the top posts, you’ll walk away from it with a wealth of knowledge.
For example, if there is a change that will begin affecting certain credit cards the cardholders are usually the first to be notified by banks. Because I don’t have every credit card under the sun (yet), it’s fantastic when I see a user on Reddit report that a bank contacted him regarding changes to user agreements or the way certain reward programs work. There is a grassroots feel to these communities, and I can often find this kind of breaking news on there.
Now, the one thing to keep in mind is that not everything you'll find on there is necessarily true. Approach what you find on Reddit with a healthy dose of skepticism. Remember that anyone can submit a post. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to try and verify any information you find there with another source. There have been a few instances of users reporting false datapoints — though the community quickly caught wind of it and corrected the misinformation being spread.
Dia Adams - Blogs at The Deal Mommy where she shares hacks that help families travel more while still maintaining their savings and sanity
It's really easy to go down the rabbit hole of miles and points blogs. When I first started I read everything I could get my hands on. However, I quickly realized that much of the daily news is repeated over and over again. To keep my information curated, I used Twitter to create a list of people whose opinions I trust. With the list I can just scan once or twice a day and keep updated in much less time.
Two blogs that I read consistently are Doctor of Credit of Milenomics. DOC provides an unbiased overview of both limited time promotions and ongoing bonus offers. Milenomics takes a deeper dive into specific programs. Sam, Milenomics founder, is a believer in "be your own elite" as opposed to mileage and mattress running. I find his point of view both refreshing and relevant to my own travels.