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A Couple of Nerds Re-Invent Credit Card Search

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(March 10, 2010) – New York, NY – With new regulations sweeping the credit card industry, many cardholders are left looking for new cards.  However, the online credit card search world is dominated by affiliate sites whose selection is limited to cards that pay the sites kickbacks.  Even consumer-oriented heavy-hitters Mint and Billshrink only provide a limited view of the card universe, putting particular emphasis on “Sponsored Cards”.

But with more than 1,000 credit cards in the US alone, how can a consumer expect to find the perfect card when given only 50 or so choices? is launching with more than five times the cards as other sites, offering consumers a dead-simple way to find the right card for their needs.  NerdWallet provides unbiased analyses of rewards programs and objectively ranks a user’s best credit card options, regardless of whether the cards pay referral fees.  Access to such a large selection of credit cards has proven to drive savings for beta-testers, who were able to save an average of $200 per year over their current cards.

“With so many credit cards available in the US today, it’s impossible for a consumer to personally research every card,” says Tim Chen, founder. “But we do the homework for you.  Whether you are searching for a rewards card, low APR, or pre-approved card, we break it down into a few simple measurements to find the one that’s unequivocally best for you.”

What Makes NerdWallet’s Content Better?

The start-up differs from established credit card sites because cards are ranked based on financial merit to the user, rather than financial merit to the website owner. In fact, out of the 500 cards in the company’s database, less than 10% are sponsored results, explaining why NerdWallet has so many more search results.

A hypothetical search for a user with excellent credit demonstrates the content’s substantial depth:

  • Rewards
    • 38 card listings beat a 1% no-fee rewards card
    • 7 card listings offer a flat 2% rewards rate for all purchases
    • 8 card listings offer less than a 2% base rewards rate, but can average above 2% due to generous bonus categories
  • Low Interest Rates
    • 50 card listings offer a minimum APR of less than 10%

“The first time I used NerdWallet, I found 11 credit cards that pay more rewards than the one I got from a personal finance website,” says Eric Ogren, a beta tester.

The following tables show how NerdWallet stacks up against three well-regarded sites for low APR and rewards credit cards:

Top 10 APR Search Results, For People With Excellent Credit, at NerdWallet vs other sites

Table 1 – Low APR Credit Card Search Results, Excellent Credit. Source: analysis, as of March 5, 2010. Table image available at

Top 10 Rewards Cards Search Results, For People With Excellent Credit, at NerdWallet vs other sites

Table 2 – Rewards Credit Card Search Results, Excellent Credit. Source: analysis, as of March 5, 2010. Table image available at

How Exactly Does NerdWallet Determine the Rankings?

NerdWallet understands that each user’s optimal credit card choice depends on his or her personal financial habits, so results are customized to each user based on a few simple inputs.

For rewards credit cards, the ranking formula takes into account annual fees, signing bonuses, and common bonus rewards categories like gas and groceries.

And for low APR credit cards, the ranking formula takes into account balance transfer fees and promotional APR periods.  Alternatively, users can sort cards by lowest balance transfer fees, best intro APR, or best ongoing APR.

About NerdWallet

NerdWallet is a credit card search and comparison site, and seeks to become the best source for unbiased credit card information. The company was founded by a financial industry veteran in the wake of the financial crisis in August 2009, and officially launched in March 2010. NerdWallet is privately held, and is based in New York, NY.

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