RewardBus's credit card comparison tool is meant to give an overall view of the best credit card a consumer should aim for (ranked by rewards) based on each credit score. It is intended to be flexible with your budget so that changing your travel or grocery plan will give different suggestions. Let's walk through the tool.
RewardBus gives you the ability to choose what spending categories should be counted in rewards calculations and what credit score you are (will sort out any cards that will be too difficult to obtain) and then sorts the cards on the page based on the total savings. We are looking to do more advanced features using Balance Transfer rankings later but it is in the works. It is calculated by subtracting the annual fee from savings based on spendings in the next tab.
When clicking on any of the cards, there should be a detailed page that lays out all the terms and conditions on the page. Sometimes the rewards are not easy to convert, for example they are only paid out as airlines points. It's important to understand the rewards points and how they will be able to be cashed. For example, American Airlines points are usually worth 1.5 cents/point (May 2016). The details should be listed out clearly on the page, however, and the general pros and cons have been given thought.
If you tab over to the 'Spending' section, RewardBus has given you the option to input your own budget. For example, if you know you will spend $700 on groceries, the recommendation engine will be able to take it into account and maximize your rewards based on your own personal spending.
It is important to understand the spend requirements for signup bonuses. Often, credit cards provide great incentives to signup for their card, often up to $500! Because of this, they require that the consumer spends a certain amount on their card in the first 3 months. Usually it is in the range of $1,000-$2,000 but a few are as high as $10,000. If you are able to hit these spend requirements, though, the rewards can be large (just switch all of your spending over for three months to hit the $3k-$5k).
RewardBus wants to provide a balance between credit card offers and personal finance education. We view credit cards as a small tool in an overall financial picture that includes responsible use of credit, proper spending habits and a solid investing future. We urge our readers to consider their free time as an opportunity to make more money using new economy earnings (so that you can earn more!) while also spending less on other parts of the budget. Credit cards are not meant to run up debt and then pay high interest on (if you are paying interest on it, you should seriously consider 'Balance Transfer' cards).
Please let us know what you think about the tool and if you have any suggestions!