How Bankrate credit card reviews are scored
For each credit card review, Bankrate assigns a score on a scale of 0 to 100. Reviewers arrive at this score independently based on a card's features. Each score is debated and approved by a panel of editors and writers prior to publication.
Any card that receives a score of 90 or better should be considered "excellent." Cards that earn a score of 80 to 89 are "good," while a score of 70 to 79 is "average." Cards that receive a Bankrate score of 69 or lower are rated as "poor."
Bankrate assigns different weights to individual card features based on the type of card being reviewed. For example, the annual percentage rate makes up a larger portion of the score for low-interest credit cards than it does for rewards credit cards.
We hope you find the scores useful in comparing cards in a specific category, though they also can be used when comparing the value of cards important to you across categories.
How we weight scores in different categories
Airline, travel, hotel cards: We judge cards in this category primarily for the value of their sign-up bonus and continuing rewards. Reviewers weigh the bonus and rewards against those of other cards in this category. Annual fees are considered here, too, but are weighed against the value of the rewards and card perks.
Bad/fair credit: We look at card access and how expensive a card may be to consumers when rating cards in this category. Can someone with thin or damaged credit get approved for the card? We also weigh heavily APR and other potential fees.
Balance transfer: Reviewers consider the length of the introductory 0 percent interest period relative to other cards in this category and the fee issuers charge to transfer a balance. Standard and penalty APRs are factors in the scoring, as well. The best cards in this category are the ones that offer the potential to save consumers the most money.
Business: Rewards value and the standard APR are the dominant variables for this category. Reviewers rate them equally as business owners may use this type of card for two very different purposes: To earn maximum rewards on business expenses or to effectively manage cash flow. We also consider sign-up bonuses in determining a final score.
Cash-back: The value and complexity of the rewards program earns the most scrutiny in this category. We favor simple, flat-rate cash-back programs over ones that require cardholders to keep track of rotating categories or spending caps. Reviewers also take into account sign-up bonuses and annual fees relative to the value of rewards.
Low-interest: Ongoing APR receives the most weight in this category. And much like with balance transfer cards, reviewers also look at the length of any introductory 0 percent interest period and the fee issuers charge to transfer a balance.