BillShrink, the startup that helps users cut costs on their phone bills, is expanding its automated advisor to an entirely new field: Credit Cards. The site’s recommendation engine will now include a database of over 200 major credit cards, helping users choose an ideal card after entering only a few basic criteria.
To begin using the system, users first decide if they’re interested in a card that will reward them for keeping their bills paid off, or one that will minimize the interest accrued on balances that are being paid off over time. Next, they’re asked to enter the amount of money the typically spend in a month, their current credit standing, and the places they spend the most money (for example, “groceries” or “airline tickets”).
Using this data BillShrink generates a listing of its highest matches, prominently displaying the overall monetary gains, along with a number of graphs that detail earning rates, fees, and limits. The site also includes an in-depth description of each card for further reference. Beyond basic numeric calculations, BillShrink also takes into account the previously entered spending preferences – for example, it will give preference to a card that accumulates “miles” quickly when someone is a frequent traveler.
BillShrink is headed by ex-Photobucket exec Peter Pham, and offers a similar comparison service for mobile phones which launched in beta last April. Using signal maps, plan rates, and usage habits, the site recommends what kind of service plan each user should be on, or if they should switch carriers entirely. While the service got off to a rocky start, it has made great strides and will be incorporating the revamped interface that launches today alongside the credit-card portion of the site.
Financial startup Mint also offers credit card recommendations, though these are not nearly as comprehensive as those seen on BillShrink.