Credit cards are somewhat of a necessity of modern life. So many of our purchases are made online, requiring a card of some sort—yet deciding which credit card is best to use can be incredibly confusing.
Enter credit card matching tools—online services designed to help consumers make decisions about credit cards. While they take different forms, the basic premise is the same: allowing customers to review information about various credit card offers to help them weed through all of the marketing and find the optimal fit. Read on to learn about one such tool—CreditCards.com’s CardMatch tool—and decide if it works for you.
What Is the CardMatch Tool?
The CardMatch tool is a web-based form that asks you to input your information. It then gives you a number of credit card offers that it claims are best for you. This tool was developed by CreditCards.com.
Through the tool, CardMatch gathers information from each credit card company and displays it on one website. However, there is a catch: CardMatch only provides offers for those credit card companies with which it has a relationship. This includes American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, and First Premier.
How the CardMatch Tool Works
To use the tool, simply head to the CreditCards.com website and click on CardMatch. From there, enter in your basic information: name, address, last four digits of your social security number, and email. You can also check a box to create a free CreditCards.com account to get a free credit report and score.
Next, you will need to agree to the site’s terms and conditions before receiving your offers. The site will then display a number of potential (not guaranteed) offers that you will likely qualify for based on your information. These offers will be based on factors such as your credit history and your specific history with the banks in question. You can then choose to apply for one of these credit cards.
The CardMatch tool is a “soft pull,” which means that it does not do a full credit check. It will not affect your credit score if you decide to use this web platform.
Is It the Best Option?
CardMatch might not be the best credit card matching tool available, particularly because it only shows offers for credit card companies that it has a relationship with, meaning that it gets a commission if you apply for a card. Using a tool like CardMatch doesn’t mean that you will get the best deal—you will only get a limited number of credit card offers and can then make a choice based on those options.
To get a better picture of the full range of credit card offers that might be available to someone with your credit score, using a number of credit card matching tools is probably the best idea. That way, you will see a number of offers and can make a more informed decision about where to apply.
What Other Options Are Available?
There are other choices for credit card matching tools to help consumers make a decision. For example, Credit Card Match+, available through CreditSoup.com, offers a similar service. Like CardMatch, it will only show offers for affiliated credit card companies, so be sure to keep that in mind as you use various tools.
A number of websites, such as Consumer Reports, also offer credit card comparison tools. While they do not work quite the same as matching tools, they provide a great overview of the credit card offers available and the credit scores needed to apply—without limiting them to affiliated companies. Using these sites may take slightly more work, but it will give you a fuller picture of the type of credit card offers you may qualify for based on your credit history.
If you are in the market for a credit card, CreditCards.com’s CardMatch tool is a great place to start. However, consumers should not make it their only destination. Because its matching tool only shows offers from affiliated companies, it may not offer the best deals. Using other matching tools and comparison sites can help consumers get the best credit card for their financial situation.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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