Although I usually write about credit in general, I thought I would start to review websites that are ostensibly about credit also. There are a lot of websites out there that purport to educate consumers about credit, and provide “Credit card reviews”, but the truth is that most of them are purely mercenary.

If you read the material at these credit card review websites, you realize that there is a lot of fluff that is just cover for linkbait, namely, linking readers to other articles on the website itself and to credit card “comparisons”.

These “helpful” credit card comparisons and credit card reviews are themselves just linkbait to get you to apply for one of these cards. The credit card issuers have affiliate relationships with most of these websites. Thus, the websites themselves likely generate income for click-throughs, and for approved applications.

Just about every credit card review website claims not to have any kind of compensation deal, but that’s a lie. Of course they do. How else could they afford to put up the website and maintain it?

Some of these sites really do have legitimate content that educates readers about credit and provides reliable and honest credit card reviews.

However, there is one that I would completely avoid and that is Nerdwallet, over at www.nerdwallet.com

A careful read of the Nerdwallet content makes it patently obvious to anyone who knows the credit space that they are cribbing ideas from all the other credit card review websites. There is not an original bone in the body of Nerdwallet’s credit card reviews or credit content.

I took a look at the last 100 posts on Nerdwallet’s credit card blog and found virtually every article had been written somewhere else on the same topic, and written better, and more informatively. Never have I seen such a cynical attempt to generate revenue without offering readers any credit card reviews of value.

There is obvious use of SEO strategy to jam important keywords near the top of each article, and that results in  poorly-written copy.  It’s surprisingly clumsy and utterly transparent.

Worst, Nerdwallet’s credit card reviews attempt to assign value to miles and points, using a generic rate of a penny per point or mile.  Every other travel or credit card review website takes a very specific, highly analytical approach to valuing miles, rather than a lazy, “one size fits all” generic valuation.  It is indicative of the sloppiness with which the site is thrown together.

There are plenty of ways to educate yourself about credit. Look for high quality content, like what you see at www.Credit.com. Avoid Nerdwallet, and other low-quality link-bait operations.

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