The banksters are at it again. Many popular credit card comparison sites are lying to you when you go to pick the best credit card, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report.
Following the CARD Act of 2009, comparison shopping for credit cards became so easy; the whole thing was made to order for the Internet. So people set up slews of credit card comparison shopping sites.
But the Wall Street Journal reports the banks that control the bulk of our nation's credit card portfolio have intimidated the credit card shopping sites with threats of lawsuits if they publish a bad review and by dangling advertising dollars in front of them for top billing on those sites.
The fix was in. And little by little, one site after another became worthless if you were looking for objective recommendations. Now when you go on line to a comparison site, in many cases, the info is manipulated.
Six popular sites show credit cards that they get paid to show, according to the newspaper report. This is some ugly, crooked, dishonest stuff. And it completely perverts the original intention of the sites.
What about my favorite credit card shopping website?
That got me thinking: What about CreditCardTuneUp.com? That's the site I routinely recommend to you for research when you want to find out about credit card offers.
So we asked them point blank if they're controlling listings based on what they get paid by the big banks. Unequivocally not, they said.
In fact, after we talked, CreditCardTuneUp added the following advertiser disclosure front and center on their website:
"The majority of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which Credit Card Tune-Up receives a commission for new cardmembers (e.g. Discover, Barclays, Simmons), though several offers are from companies with which there is no such partnership (e.g. Fidelity, PenFed, Navy FCU). However, these commissions do not impact how or where products appear on this site, including the order in which they appear. The Credit Card Tune-Up calculation engine does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace."
So there you have it. I will continue to recommend CreditCardTuneUp in good faith. And about the other sites mentioned in the Wall Street Journal article, I'm bummed to have found out that they're so disingenuous.
Read more: Managing your money the old-fashioned way
For more money-saving advice that will protect your wallet, see our Credit section.