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Using data to help you find the right card

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here’s an explanation for .

At Bankrate, our expert writers and editors pride themselves on offering objective, data-backed insights, advice and evaluations that can help you find the credit cards that fit you best. 

Through our proprietary data, unique tools and original research, such as Bankrate’s CardMatch tool, credit card points and miles valuations and card rating system, we aim to help you make a more informed decision about which cards from our advertising partners you should apply for based on your financial goals and credit history.

Along with maintaining an ever-growing database of credit card introductory offers, perks, rates and fees and more, the Bankrate team uses anonymized data about credit card approvals and credit scores to create content that keeps you up to date about the latest credit card industry trends, how cards stack up and what it takes to qualify.

In 2023, credit card applications submitted through Bankrate led to thousands of  approvals, giving us unique insight into approval trends and card popularity. Here’s a closer look at how we collect and use this information and how it can help you make a more informed decision about which cards are worth an application.

Data we use and how we get it

When people apply for credit cards viewed on, we receive anonymous, aggregated data that is useful for spotting trends in card popularity, issuer underwriting and card approvals.

All of the data we review is anonymized, with personally identifiable information removed from data sets prior to analysis. This means none of the data we use to create content on Bankrate can be used to identify you.

We may receive data when you browse our site, explore specific cards, use Bankrate tools, apply for cards and more. You can review our Privacy Policy for more details.

Again, all data used in the creation of Bankrate articles, reviews and “Best of” content is anonymous and cannot be tied back to an individual user.

Ensuring content and data accuracy 

To ensure we offer accurate information and valid, data-backed analysis, our team follows a comprehensive content review and approval process involving expert writers and editors, our external financial expert review board, regulatory compliance specialists and business and data analysts. 

Writers and editors work closely with business analysts to gather and interpret data, identify trends and create content that helps our users better understand the cards marketplace, compare cards and make informed decisions about and which cards make sense for them.

Content is then reviewed by compliance specialists and data analysts and is only approved for publication if it accurately reflects the underlying data, is based on data with appropriate data density requirements and, whenever possible, draws on data reflective of the general population.

Our content, including “Best of” lists, card reviews and educational articles are continually updated by our editorial team and vetted and approved by our expert review board as the cards landscape changes.

How data can help you make decisions

While expert opinions and evaluations can be a big help when you’re comparing cards or trying to decide whether you should apply, quantitative data can offer uniquely valuable context that helps you make more informed decisions.

For example, by knowing how frequently applicants in a specific credit score range are approved for cards in a given card category, such as travel or balance transfer, you can better assess whether it makes sense for you to apply based on your current credit standing. This data — based on thousands of successful applications — can give you more peace of mind in applying or encourage you to consider alternatives with less stringent credit requirements.

Similarly, if you’re hoping to build credit, information like average card credit limits can help you compare options and find the card that best matches your purchasing power needs while giving wiggle room to maintain low credit utilization.

Data like approval rate trends can also help you decide when the best time to apply for a card is based on the underwriting landscape. In short, the more data you have, the more confident you can be that the cards you apply for are a good fit for you.

More on data privacy

For a complete breakdown of data privacy at Bankrate, please review our Privacy Policy.