History and Mission:
The legal business name of our organization is U.S. Citizens for Fair Credit Card Terms, Inc. (CFCCT). We are a for-profit organization devoted to educating consumers about credit cards. While we are primarily focused on U.S. consumers, we also offer consumer information for U.K and Canadian consumers. We were founded on August 15, 1998 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Our web site, CardRatings.com, began operating the same month. Arkansas is an ideal home for us because credit cards issued by Arkansas banks have historically been viewed as being consumer friendly, particularly in regard to interest rates. We provide an independent source of consumer information and are not owned or governed by any banking or credit card interest.
Our organization was founded in response to a growing national backlash against credit card debt. Curtis Arnold, our founder and a nationally recognized consumer advocate, knows firsthand the devastating financial effect of credit card debt. He struggled with credit card debt for several years during and after his graduate studies in business at the University of Texas at Dallas. At one point, Curtis had over $40,000 in card debt.
We pioneered the concept of offering ratings of credit cards in 1998. We are devoted to being the leading source of objective credit card rating information and are, in fact, the most comprehensive source for card data. We currently offer consumer information regarding approximately 500 unique credit card offerings, including a searchable database. On a related note, we are proud to provide all of the data (card terms and conditions) for the credit card and atm/debit survey published by the New York State Banking Department, the oldest bank regulatory agency in the nation. For more information about how we rate cards, please click here.
We also offer over thousands of consumer reviews of cards written by consumers throughout the country (new reviews can be added daily). We do not know of any other organization that offers more consumer reviews of credit cards. Disclosing such information often helps consumers find more attractive credit cards and, in turn, helps them lower their credit card debt. Another added benefit is that such disclosures encourage stronger competition among credit card issuers.
Since our founding, we have expanded our role and online offerings. For example, we now provide ratings of credit cards that are consumer friendly in terms of rebates and rewards. Such cards are geared toward consumers that do not typically carry balances (i.e. consumers that pay off their cards each month). We have also started to recognize credit card issuers that have highly rated cards by creating a "Top Rated Card" award seal. Another example of our expanded role is our independent research on consumer credit related issues. Our most recent research project surveyed consumers regarding their opinions and awareness of gas rebate credit cards. Finally, we are also now publishing consumer data related to atm and debit cards.
Another example of our expanded role is our initiation of a community outreach program. We are pleased to actively participate in financial education efforts by being a National Partner of the Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy. Jump$tart is a non-profit organization that seeks to improve the personal financial literacy of young adults (K-12 and college students). We are proud that Curtis Arnold, our founder, is co-chair of the Arkansas chapter of Jump$tart.
We are proud of our accomplishments and owe all of our success to consumers like you. Our website has quickly become one of the most popular sources of consumer credit information. In fact, we are now the most comprehensive free source for comparing credit card offers. Millions of consumers are exposed to our site each year and we are regularly featured by respected national media outlets, such as The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, The Today Show on NBC, PBS, The New York Times, etc. We were recently named by Liz Weston of MSN Money as one the 'Top 6 Most Useful Sites on the Internet for Managing Credit' (June 2009). Liz is the most-read personal finance columnist on the Internet.
If you would like to learn more about our organization, please visit any of the following web pages that interest you. To find out about the many awards we have won, please visit our Awards/Kudos page. You may also enjoy reading Testimonials about our site.
NEW! Profit from Cards! - We're very excited to announce that the much anticipated new book from CardRatings.com founder, Curtis Arnold, How YOU Can Profit from Credit Cards: Using Credit to Improve Your Financial Life and Bottom Line (FT Press, 2008) is now available. Order online now and get up to a 32% discount!