Credit Cards and Online Comparison

By: Marcus Henry

Before the advent of online comparison sites, if you wanted a credit card you had to spend huge amounts of time trawling through offers from individual banks and building societies. Often you would miss a great deal simply because you couldn't see it or you would lose interest, take the easy option and end up with a bad product.

Along came the comparison sites and suddenly everything became easier. By clicking a few buttons you could compare the entire credit card market in a few seconds, filter the results according to the requirements and be presented with a list of credit cards that were right for you.

The easy with which sites such as moneysupermarket.com, moneyexpert.com and uswitch.com compared credit cards was met with great acceptance by the online society. People were finding great deals and saving both money and time.

As the popularity of online comparison continued to increase, credit card providers were forced to respond to the new transparency in the market and improve the competitiveness of their products. Again this led to more praise for online comparison as they were effectively forcing credit card companies to offer better value or risk losing customers.

For a while this trend continued and sites became trusted authorities in the online world. This ironically is where the value of online comparison reached its peak. Credit card companies soon realised the vast number of customers they were obtaining from products that featured prominently on the comparison sites. From here it was a short step to credit card providers offering exclusive products to customers who reached their site via an online comparison.

With the introduction of these exclusive offers online comparison lost a little of its neutrality; each comparison site would have slightly different results influenced by the commercial deals they currently had in place.

As the results have become more varied there is now a necessity to check several comparison sites to ensure you are getting the best deal for your credit card. Despite the process now taking slightly longer online comparison is still an enormously useful tool when you need to , just remember, as the commercial side of these sites continues to grow you will need to "compare the comparisons" to get a true view of the market.

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