Our Writers

The majority of our content is written by freelance writers who are respected subject matter experts in the personal finance space. Their opinions are their own. Slickdeals require them not to be influenced by internal or external business partners. Our writers are required not to take direct compensation from our business partners or advertisers. We also ask our writers to disclose any conflict of interest before they join our freelance team.

Editorial Trust

All our content goes through multiple rounds of reviews and fact checks to make the information as complete as possible. We strive to ensure the information in our articles is current as of the publish date. We don’t allow our partners to influence our opinions. However, they do occasionally review content to ensure we are compliant with how their products and offer terms should be presented. Our roundup articles featuring offers from multiple issuers, such as the Best Cash-Back Credit Cards, are ordered according to our research-based methodologies. We assess each offer against several criteria – including overall offer value, required spend, regional availability and length of promotional period – to ensure we prominently promote the offers that present the most overall value to readers.

How We Make Money

We make money through our partners. When people sign up for a new service or product via links in our articles, we get compensated for referring them. Partners may also pay us to cover them in our articles, in which case they will be labeled as sponsored. This may influence what we write about and how they are featured on our site, but it doesn’t affect our opinions or advice. We also write about products and companies who don’t pay us if we believe it’s beneficial to our readers.

Our Review Methodology

At Slickdeals, we know a thing or two about what makes a good product or not. We are the largest and most trusted deal-sharing community on the web, and that extends to how we evaluate credit cards.

Every month, we review our best credit cards selections to make sure each card remains relevant and helpful to readers. That means if a perk, bonus or feature is removed or changed, we will carefully consider whether it belongs on each list. We also will do our best to replace it with a new card pick that meets similar needs.

While no single credit card can be all things to all people, we’ve divided our “best cards” lists into the following categories to more accurately compare cards that have similar criteria.

Here’s the sheer reality of any best credit card list: There’s no such thing as one single best credit card. That’s because each card needs to match your own priorities, whether that’s cash back, robust travel perks, balance transfer offers, avoiding fees, building credit, and so much more.

Regardless, at Slickdeals, we stay on top of the rapidly changing landscape of credit card offers and benefits so you can be sure you’re always getting the best options that truly matter to you.

We chose our best rewards credit cards based on the total value they offer to cardholders through ongoing rewards, sign-up bonuses, 0% APR promotions and other perks. We also broke cards down into clear categories that highlight features that credit card users are typically interested in — for example, premium travel vs. general travel, flat rewards vs. tiered rewards, and so on.

While some cards charge annual fees, we only picked ones that make it easy to make up for them with the value they provide. Before you apply, though, take some time to compare these cards with other top credit card offers to make sure you get the best fit for you.

Individual Credit Card Reviews

In addition to these round ups listed, we review individual credit card products on a one through five sliding scale. These cards are ones we believe that are most beneficial for readers and which we see most interest in. For these reviews, we take a more nuanced approach with specific criteria that we look for which include:

  • The cost of a credit card
  • The ongoing benefits and perks
  • How much are annual fees, foreign transaction fees, balance transfer fees, etc?
  • How to earn and redeem rewards
  • How much are regular purchase APRs, balance transfer APRs, etc?
  • The ongoing value of keeping the card over the course of multiple years
  • The sign-up bonus or welcome offer
  • How useful are perks and benefits to the average cardholder?
  • How large the offer is in comparison to other cards?
  • Access and security
  • How large the offer is historically?
  • How easy is it to qualify for the card?
  • How easy it is to earn the bonus?
  • How the overall protections fare including for fraud, liability, etc?

Banking Product Review Process

Slickdeals Money is run by a small, dedicated team of Personal Finance Editors. While we always have our eye on the best current offers, our team is smaller than many of our competitors, which means we don’t have the luxury of reviewing every banking product in existence.

Because of this, we’ve made the decision to only review banking products we believe hold noteworthy value to the reader in some way. If you see a product featured on our site, you can trust that it is worth considering; for overly negative reviews of bad products, you’ll need to go elsewhere.

To ensure that we’re featuring the most valuable and current offers, we examine rates at over 40 financial institutions, including:

Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, American Express National Bank, Axos Bank, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Barclays, Bluevine, BMO Harris, Capital One, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Chime, CIBC U.S., CIT Bank, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Discover Bank, Fifth Third Bank, FirstBank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, FNBO Direct, HSBC Bank, Huntington Bank, Keybank, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Nationwide (by Axos), nbkc bank, PNC Bank, Radius Bank, Quontic Bank, Regions Bank, SoFi, Stanford Federal Credit Union, Synchrony Bank, TD Bank, UFB Direct, U.S. Bank

The following roundups are re-evaluated on a weekly basis to ensure they feature the top current rates and offers:

The following roundups, as well as more specific articles such as reviews of specific financial institutions or products, are reviewed on a monthly basis (or at the time of last publish date) to ensure they are up to date and accurate.

How We Rate Banking Products

If a product is featured in a standalone review, direct comparison article, or “best of” roundup, we assign it a score that can ranges from one to five stars. To determine these ratings, we take a nuanced approach with specific criteria that varies slightly depending on the account type.

For Checking and Savings Accounts

Cost of Holding an Account

Stars Awarded: 0-1

Main points of consideration:

  • Minimum balance requirements
  • Minimum opening deposit
  • Monthly fees, overdraft fees, and other fees

The best bank accounts are typically either fee-free, or have an option to waive monthly maintenance fees that the majority of accountholders can realistically achieve. They also feature low minimum opening deposit and balance requirements (if they’re present at all).

Sign-up bonus or welcome offer

Stars Awarded: 0-2

Main points of consideration:

  • How large the offer is in comparison to other accounts
  • How large the offer is historically
  • How easy it is to earn the bonus

The best bank bonus offers typically are worth at least $300, and/or feature relatively low bonus requirements, such as simply setting up direct deposit or completing a specified amount of transactions with no minimum spend requirement. We also consider the overall length of time required to earn the bonus in our rating. View our top current bank bonuses here.

Annual Percentage Yield

Stars Awarded: 0-2

Main points of consideration:

  • How much interest is accrued as compared to other accounts?
  • How does the interest rate compare historically?
  • How often is interest compounded (daily, monthly, etc.)

While uncommon, checking accounts that feature an annual percentage yield (APY) that’s over 10x the national average stand out from the pack; in some cases, checking accounts’ APY can reach 40x the national average or more, which is extremely noteworthy.

The best savings accounts tend to feature an annual percentage yield (APY) that’s over 10x the national average. Savings accounts with APY that’s over 15x the national average or more are considered extraordinary.

Features and Benefits

Stars Awarded: 0-2

Main points of consideration:

  • ATM access
  • Customer service
  • ATM fee reimbursements

The best bank accounts offer users free nationwide ATM access, exemplary customer service, and a simple, pain-free online banking experience. We also consider unique features and benefits that help accounts stand out from the pack.

For Certificates of Deposit

Stars Awarded: 0-5

Main points of consideration:

  • One-Year APY
  • Three-Year APY
  • Five-Year APY
  • Minimum Opening Deposit
  • Early Withdrawal Penalties

Financial institutions that offer the strongest CDs typically offer 1-year, 3-year and 5-year rates that are in-line with the average rates featured in our Best CD Rates roundup. They also usually have minimum opening deposits of $1,000 or less, and early withdrawal penalties that take no more than 90 days of simple interest for CD terms less than 12 months, or 180 days simple interest for CD terms over 12 months.

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, personal finance is a personal decision. Depending on your individual priorities, some of these factors will inevitably be more valuable than others. Within each individual card review, we include expert evaluation and objective reasoning. And at the end of each review, we also provide card comparisons for suggestions on other offerings.