The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Wednesday, July 17, 2024

At, we are committed to delivering accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines so you can view our advice and content with confidence. Before our articles are published on our website, they undergo the following process to maintain the editorial integrity and accuracy of our content.

Our Editorial Integrity Process

Editorial Guidelines

1) Content Reviewed by Staff

Each article is reviewed by three staff members – one writer and two editors.

2) Content Reviewed by Third-Party Compliance Networks

Each article is also reviewed for factual accuracy by neutral, third-party compliance networks and, in some cases, by the issuers themselves.

3) Published and Regularly Updated

Once the article has been reviewed by the preceding parties, it is published on The precise terms of each offer are kept up-to-date via an automated feed provided by the issuers. The feed is updated every four hours to ensure up-to-the-minute accuracy.

General Editorial Guidelines

In addition to our editorial integrity process, our writers adhere to the following editorial guidelines:

  • Editorial content must be accurate, clear, and factual.
  • Editorial content pieces containing financial offers are updated regularly to ensure accuracy.
  • Editorial content pieces containing reviews of credit cards and other financial services are reviewed objectively based on the actual features of the product.
  •’s editorial staff is separate and independent of its advertisers.
  •’s editorial staff does not receive any compensation directly from advertisers.
  • Writing favorable or unfavorable reviews for products or partners is not a factor in staff evaluations or performance reviews.
  • Our editorial integrity process ensures content is not compromised by advertiser influence.
  •’s editorial staff consists of professional writers who have strong backgrounds in personal finance and related topics. Many of our writers are leading experts who appear in credible national outlets such as CNN, ABC, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and The New York Times, among others.

Meet Our Editorial Team

Learn more about the people who create content for CardRates including their background, experience and media appearances.

John Ulzheimer
The Wall Street JournalNBCThe New York Times

John Ulzheimer is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring, and identity theft. The author of four books on the subject, Ulzheimer has been featured thousands of times in media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, NBC Nightly News, New York Times, CNBC, and countless others.

With over 30 years of credit-related professional experience, including with both Equifax and FICO, Ulzheimer is the only recognized credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry.

He has been an expert witness in over 600 credit-related lawsuits and has been qualified to testify in both federal and state courts on the topic of consumer credit. In his hometown of Atlanta, Ulzheimer is a frequent guest lecturer at the University of Georgia and Emory University's School of Law.

The Wall Street JournalForbesNBC Nightly NewsThe New York Times
Andrea Woroch
CNNABCThe Today Show

Andrea Woroch is a nationally recognized consumer finance expert, writer, and TV personality who is passionate about helping families find simple ways to spend less and save more without making major sacrifices. Her practical budgeting and savings advice has helped millions of Americans initiate real financial change so they can stress less and spend more time doing the things they love.

As a go-to media expert, Andrea has appeared on popular TV shows such as Today, Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, Dr. OZ, CNN, and MSNBC. Her work has been featured in the The New York Times, USA Today, Forbes, Reader’s Digest, Cosmopolitan, Money, Time, Woman’s Day, Yahoo, among other outlets.

Andrea hosts a monthly money segment on KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles.

CNNThe New York TimesABCKiplinger
Marcie Geffner
FoxYahoo!The Washington Post

Marcie Geffner is an award-winning reporter, editor, and writer. Her stories about banking, credit cards, insurance, economics, small business, and other subjects have been featured by the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Bookmarks Magazine, FOX Business, CNBC, Yahoo! Finance, and dozens of major U.S. newspapers.

Her articles have been cited in seven nonfiction books and two U.S. Congressional hearings. She edits nonfiction, memoir, and fiction, and contributes to Kirkus Reviews. Marcie holds a bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA and MBA from Pepperdine University.

Fox BusinessYahoo! FinanceCNBCThe Washington Post
Erica Sandberg
MarketWatchForbesThe Wall Street Journal

Erica Sandberg is a consumer finance expert and journalist whose articles and insights are featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, MarketWatch, Forbes, and MSN Money.

An experienced media host, she's led many financial programs, including her podcast, "Adventures With Money." She's appeared on Fox, CNN, "EconTalk" and "The Dr. Drew Podcast," and has been the resident money and credit authority for KRON-4 News in San Francisco for more than 10 years. She's the author of "Expecting Money: The Essential Financial Plan for New and Growing Families" and recipient of the 2024 Financial Literacy and Education in Communities (FLEC) Award for National Excellence.

MSN MoneyReutersThe Wall Street JournalMarketWatch

Contributing Experts

Stefanie O'Connell

Stefanie O'Connell is a New York City personal finance writer who lives by making her budget stretch. She shares financial planning, investing, and spending advice with national media outlets, including Bustle, US News and World Report, GoBankingRates, Intuit, CBS News, The Dr. Oz Show, and numerous other finance sites, shows, and podcasts. A graduate of New York University, Stefanie discovered the world of financial planning out of necessity. Her passion lies in helping millennials “develop rich habits” they can use for life.

Aaron Crowe

Aaron Crowe

AOLUS News & World ReportBusiness Insider

Aaron Crowe is a seasoned journalist who specializes in personal finance writing and editing. Aaron has written for a variety of websites, including AOL, Learnvest, U.S. News & World Report, Wells Fargo, WiseBread, AARP, and many insurance and investing sites. He is a self-proclaimed storyteller who enjoys explaining — in layman's terms — personal finance and how it affects consumers’ lives. Aaron has several years’ experience working as both a reporter and editor in newspapers where he won several awards, including a Pulitzer Prize.

Eric Bank

Eric Bank is an M.B.A. who has covered financial and business topics since 1985, appearing regularly on Credible, eHow, WiseBread, The Nest, Zacks, Chron, and dozens of other outlets. Eric specializes in taking complex subject matters and explaining them in simple terms for consumer audiences, particularly in the world of personal finance. Eric holds a Master's in Business Administration from New York University and a Master's in Finance from DePaul University.

Linsey Knerl

Linsey Knerl is a finance author and public speaker with a passion for helping everyday families earn more and live better. Her work can be seen in Investopedia, PC Mag, The Christian Science Monitor, TIME, Wise Bread, Next Avenue, MSN Money, and numerous other leading outlets. Her expertise lies in business economics, credit scores and reports, and saving and budgeting. Linsey has shared her financial knowledge with audiences at SXSW, FinCon, and the ASJA annual NYC convention.

John Schmoll

John Schmoll


John P. Schmoll is a longtime veteran of the financial services industry who authors personal finance guides on topics ranging from the wise use of credit to strategies for saving money and building personal wealth. His work has been featured on Forbes, Yahoo! Finance, CNBC, Fortune, Lifehacker, Investopedia, Lending Tree, and his personal blog, John shares financial tools and tips to help his audience enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally and responsibly.

Scott Sheldon

Scott Sheldon

The Wall Street JournalCNNFox

Scott Sheldon is senior loan officer and consumer advocate whose work has appeared in publications such as Yahoo! Homes, CNN Money, MarketWatch, Business Insider, Zillow, Fox Business News, and The Wall Street Journal. An expert on mortgages and various housing costs, Scott's advice helps current and prospective homeowners make the most of their budgets and navigate the complicated jargon of the home lending industry. Staff

Toby Sembower

Toby Sembower


Toby is the founder of and lends his 20 years of experience in the credit card industry to educate consumers. His commentary and reviews have been featured to millions on Yahoo! Finance,,, and others. Toby's industry connections enable him to keep audiences informed with timely advice and insight.

Ryan Frankel

Ryan Frankel

Chief Technology Officer

Ryan runs the design and development teams at CardRates. He serves as the company's CTO and brings his background in analytics, algorithms, and implementation to the site. With our focus on achieving 100% compliance and delivering the most advanced technology available, our team is constantly knee-deep in code.

Danielle Spurlin

Danielle Spurlin

Finance Manager

With more than 10 years of accounting experience, Danielle has a bachelor's degree from the University of Florida's Fisher School of Accounting and currently manages all accounts receivable and payable for CardRates and its sister brands. She works with credit card issuers and advertising partners to ensure our content meets compliance and regulatory standards.

Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker

Senior Editor

Ashley Fricker has more than a decade of experience as a finance contributor and editor, and has specialized in the credit card industry since 2015. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among many others. She has worked closely with the world’s largest banks and financial institutions, up-and-coming fintech companies, and press and news outlets to curate comprehensive content and media. Ashley holds a bachelor's degree in multimedia journalism from Florida Atlantic University.

Adam West

Adam West

Managing Editor

Adam corresponds with finance experts to publish industry news coverage related to helping consumers achieve greater financial literacy and improved credit. He has more than 12 years of storytelling, editing, and design experience in print and online journalism and is most knowledgeable in the areas of credit scores, financial products and services, and the banking industry.

Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience to the CardRates team. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Florida. Today, Lillian edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

Jon McDonald

Jon McDonald

Contributing Editor

Jon leverages 15-plus years of journalism expertise to inform financial consumers about emerging trends and companies making an impact in the industry. He is most knowledgeable in the areas of budgeting, credit card rewards, and responsible credit use. Jon has a passion for writing and editing, and his articles have appeared in publications produced by The New York Times.

Andrew Allen

Andrew Allen

Staff Writer

For nearly 20 years, Andrew has worked for financial institutions ranging from regional investment organizations to some of the largest banks in the world. At Wells Fargo, Andrew was a Consultant within the Insight and Innovation division. A graduate of the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, Andrew’s goal has been promoting personal financial wellness and solid money decisions.

Mike Senecal

Mike Senecal

Staff Writer

Mike Senecal draws on more than 20 years of editorial experience to update readers on industry trends, business news, and best practices in budgeting and credit use. Mike has worked in academic and trade publishing, including roles as managing editor and technical editor at the University of Florida and as contributor to finance industry publications, including Surety Bond Quarterly and Independent Agent, among others. Mike holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina.