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Bank Credit Card Offers: Good Rewards, but Mediocre APRs

Sept. 28, 2010
Credit Cards
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

NerdWallet allows you to compare 500+ credit cards at once, covering most (i) regional bank credit cards and (ii) national bank credit cards available in the United States. The place where NerdWallet is working hard to do a better job is in categorizing credit union card offerings, which represent thousands MORE offerings than we list. While we are already the most comprehensive online credit card comparison site, we are always striving to become better!

Am I missing out on great deals from credit unions by just searching for bank credit cards?

If you are looking for a rewards credit card, you are likely not missing out on great deals from credit unions. Credit Unions are small, and tend to have very simple and boring 1% rewards programs offered through third parties like CURewards and other services.

However, if like most families in America, you are revolving a balance, we implore you to compare rates at local credit unions to rates listed on our site.

Is it worth the effort to compare bank credit card offers to those from my local credit union?

Believe it or not, there are 6,000 depository institutions in the United States that issue credit cards. This is not surprising when you consider that there are about 8,000 credit unions within our borders. Credit Unions are non-profit member owned institutions, and so they have some of the lowest interest rates around, whether you are looking for a credit card or an auto loan.

The difficulty on our end, is that credit unions are very regional, and require you to live, work, or worship in a particular area, whereas bank credit card offers tend to be available to anyone nationwide.

Conclusion – you’ll probably find a lower ongoing APR at a local credit union, but don’t expect great intro teaser rates & don’t expect a good rewards program