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Forbes 250

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CardWeb.com has been selected as one of Forbes magazine’s top 250 financial information web sites. According to the September 13 issue of Forbes, CardWeb.com was cited as an outstanding web site and the only site worth visiting that is devoted exclusively to credit cards. Forbes’ favorable review came from its investigation and review of more than 1,000 financial web sites. Other sites ranked in the banking section included bestrate.com, e-loan.com and quickenmortgage.com. Bankrate.com was ranked as the favorite overall banking site due to its broad coverage of mortgage, savings, credit card, and personal loan rates. Forbes noted that most search engines deliver worthless sites when searching on financial keywords. CardWeb.com attracts 200,000 to 300,000 visitors per month and has the highest advertiser response rate in the U.S. consumer payment card market. CardWeb’s consumer ad slots have consistently been sold out for four years. Ad clients include Wachovia, People’s Bank, Commerce Bank, First USA, Capital One, AFBA, Bank of America, NextCard and Arkansas National Bank. CardWeb.com does not accept performance-based advertising or short-term ad contracts. For more information email cardstaff@cardweb.com.
Forbes Interactive Money Guide’s Best of the Web
THE EDITORS OF FORBES have reviewed 1,000 different Web sites to pick 250–one in four–as being worth your time.

Each site was measured with five yardsticks: Design, Navigation, Content, Speed and Customization. We gave bonus points for bells and whistles–those clever little extras that make some Web sites a bit more productive or enjoyable.

In the following pages we review the 250 Best, giving you their Web addresses ready to be typed into your browser window. Those that meet your needs you can bookmark.

In each category, we chose one outstanding site. These judgments are, of necessity, subjective. You may disagree with our judges on which site is tops. But this we promise you: Every one of the sites listed here is worth visiting; there are no duds–no dead rats, as Jim Michaels terms the worthless sites sometimes delivered by search engines.

Note that we don’t review Forbes.com and its facilities. Proud as we are of that site, we felt that it would be a conflict of interest were we to do so.

The Web is a dynamic place. New sites are constantly springing up while old ones being are changed, often improved. Keeping this in mind, we recommend that you tap into www.forbes.com/img. There, along with many other good things, you will find updates of these reviews. Plus reviews of sites not covered in this print edition.

Rates-Mortgages & Cards

By Kurt Badenhausen

Credit card and loan hawking has been brought to a new level of noise and annoyance on the Web, what with their flashing banner ads and all that junk e-mail. But deleting junk mail is easy, at least on the Web, and some of these Web sites, unlike most junk mail and telemarketing, provide useful information.

Most money-lending sites have lots of information and financial calculators. They can also save you money (Quicken’s site refunds $225 to the customer after a loan closes).

Here’s a tip on using the Web for mortgage-seeking: Search a middleman’s Web site and find a rate. Then go directly to that lender’s site to avoid the middleman’s fees.

BESTRATE
www.bestrate.com
You can’t apply for a mortgage at BestRate, but you can do everything else. The site provides an easy way to find the best mortgage rates in all 50 states, updated daily. The simple design lets the user bounce from the reference desk to one of six mortgage calculators. It also has links to sites for insurance quotes, auto loans and commercial mortgages.

BEST: List of ten worst potential mistakes when buying a home, refinancing or getting a home equity loan. Excellent breakdown of lender fees.

WORST: Stale message boards.

CardWeb
www.cardweb.com
The focus here is on credit cards. You can search for the best credit card deals by rates, fees, limits or perks. Many offers either link to the card’s site or supply a phone number.

BEST: The listed annual percentage rates are accompanied by footnotes that explain, for example, whether a rate is promotional or fixed.

WORST: Too many banner ads.

E-LOAN
www.e-loan.com
E-Loan offers more than 50,000 loan products, but the focus is on first-time mortgages and refinancings. The site walks you through the loan application process, checking its database of some 70 lenders to find the best rates.

BEST: An e-mail service that notifies you when you can get a free copy of your credit report by signing up for a free 30-day trial of E-Loan’s CreditCheck Monitoring Service. Remember to cancel, though, or you’re stuck with the $59.95 fee.

WORST: Overdose of rave reviews from satisfied customers.

QUICKENMORTGAGE
www.quickenmortgage.com
The simple design of Quicken-Mortgage makes applying for a loan easy. QuickenMortgage receives a fee of 0.4% of the total loan but returns $225 to the customer. Real estate listings are provided by a link to Realtor.com.

BEST: Listing of 600,000 preapproved rehab contractors through its ImproveNet.com link.

WORST: Explanations of terms are hard to find.

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