A new site called NerdWallet.com claims it does a better job finding credit cards with sweet perks than rivals because it doesn’t rely on kickbacks from new applicants. Cards are ranked on merit, not payout. “In fact, out of the 500 cards in the company’s database, less than 10% are sponsored results,” the site’s About Us page says.
As proof, NerdWallet co-founder Tim shared the top 5 non-affiliate credit cards, which earn you an extra 1% in rewards compared to the top 5 sponsored cards. I was so impressed with these perks I wanted to pass them onto you. I may well apply for one of these myself!
1. Subaru Card, 3% rewards redeemable at Subaru dealerships, earn up to $500 a year.
2. GM Card, 3% rewards towards a new vehicle purchase
3. Fidelity Amex cards, 2% back on everything
4. Fidelity Visa cards, 1.5% back on everything, 2% after $15,000 per year in spending
5. Schwab cards, 2% back on everything (discontinued, but you can still apply by phone)
And now for the top 5 affiliate cards.
1. Capital One Venture, 2% back, but with a $59 annual fee
2. Discover Escape, 2% back, fee roughly cancels out promotion
3. Citi Forward, 1% back on everything, 5% back on restaurants
4. Amex Blue Cash, 0.5% back up to $6500, 1.25% back after. 5% on gas & groceries
5. Amex Costco True Earnings, 1% back on everything, 2% on travel, 3% gas
So how does NerdWallet make money? Well, it is not making much right now. The two co-founders, Tim and a friend of his from middle school, have day jobs but hope in the long run NerdWallet will get a big chunk of the search engine traffic for credit cards. Right now their costs are low because “everything is run by computer programs (Tim) tossed together, and (they) have no investors, so there’s really no impetus to milk (the) traffic for revenue.”
Sounds like a great, consumer friendly site to me.