At ValueChampion, we've spent thousands of hours researching the ins and outs of personal finance to help you make the best decisions about your money. This involves evaluating a wide range of products, from credit cards to mortgages and insurance policies.
Each time we assign a rating to a product, our goal is to provide an up front score (out of 100) that gives our users a quick understanding of that product's potential value. A product's overall score is made up of different components, which can include "soft" variables like customer service as well as hard calculations of monetary value.
The following sections explain the specific variables we look at when researching each type of personal finance product.
We look at multiple factors to rank credit cards: the cashback rates or miles they offer, cardholder benefits and perks, and expenses like annual fees, foreign exchange fees and miles conversion fees. Credit cards in Singapore also have income requirements that are different for Singaporean citizens than for foreigners.
Based on these factors, we've analysed over 100 credit cards based on their calculated RealValue, which is our in-house formula for measuring the rewards value that a credit card can earn over two years. In our roundups and calculators, we group and sort credit cards based on how valuable they are for spending in categories such as dining, shopping, taxes, entertainment and many more.
The main criteria we use to evaluate loans can vary depending on the type of loan. However, we usually focus on interest rates, lender fees, customer service and the overall cost of each loan. The cost of a loan is calculated by including everything that the borrower ends up paying in addition to the original loan amount.
Because loans come with different costs depending on their amount, tenor and required minimum income, we calculate each loan's cost based on its tenor and principal amount. By mapping out each loan’s total costs at different sizes, maturity and income levels, we are able to compare these values across all loans and provide valuable insights and ratings.
For every insurance product, we analyse all of the plans offered by insurers in the market and gather data on hundreds of quotes and benefits. To ensure an accurate reflection of actual rates, we collect premiums for different ages, genders and marital statuses from insurance providers who require this information as part of the application process. Each product is rated based on its benefit limits, amount and type of coverage and how expensive it is compared to the market average.
Because the cheapest plan may not always be the best option for every person, we make sure to differentiate products based on their strengths, whether that be competitive pricing, unique benefits or high coverage. We also consider whether some plans are better suited to particular profiles or age groups. Finally, we also consider the financial strength of the insurance company and the ease of the customer journey in the purchase and claims process.
When it comes to comparing investment platforms, our analysts look at several indicators to provide an overall rating. Recognizing that trading and administrative fees are key factors for consumers, our analysts start by examining the fee structure of each available investment platform in Singapore.
We also consider the market access that each platform provides, along with the quality of its digital user experience, customer support, product offerings, and minimum deposit requirements. Finally, we compare the sum of these qualities across all brokerages to illustrate where individual options excel or fall short relative to the rest of the field.