Managing payments is critical for card holders who carry a balance each month or plan to pay off a large purchase over time; credit management tools can help. Credit card issuers should aim to support such card holders with extensive planning tools that factor in several inputs to calculate a payment plan based on an end date or payment amount.

Beyond the basic inputs—payoff amount and APR—each tool should account for other factors, such as future spending or balance transfers that could increase the payoff amount before the end date. Intuitive visuals and contextual help should support calculations that clearly estimate the interest charges a plan would incur. While instructional plans certainly have value, firms should aim to make their plans actionable by facilitating payments based on planned amounts. Corporate Insight’s report on credit management tools evaluates payment planning resources with these criteria in mind, while also taking note of other credit management resources.

Specifically, the report considers:

  • Credit tools’ amount options
  • Calculation parameters
  • Other features such as payment integration, visualizations and contextual help

Most credit tools are straightforward balance payoff calculators; some go above and beyond

Seven of the 11 leading credit card issuers assessed (64%) provide credit management tools, two of which are publicly available to card holders and prospective clients alike. Most of these tools are straightforward balance payoff calculators, although three firms provide extensive or unique tools, each with a different focus.

Beyond the basic calculation parameters, the covered payoff planning tools offer a variety of input options, including monthly spending and annual fees. Only 27% of tools explicitly detail the costs of plans, and 18% facilitate payments based on planned amounts, resulting in four tools that are some of the strongest in the coverage group. In terms of other credit tools, every firm in the coverage group provides free FICO Scores and education centers with articles on credit management.

USAA Credit Management Tool

Key findings

Our report on credit tools identifies the following key trends and industry findings:

  • Seven firms offer a variety of credit management tools housed on public and secure sites
  • Planning tools’ input and calculation options vary, and most offer strong visualizations
  • The best tools make costs explicit and work seamlessly with payment scheduling
  • Firms should provide strong contextual help and other credit management resources
  • One firm leads the coverage group with several actionable payment planning tools

Subscribers can read the full report on credit management tools on our client portal. For access, or for more competitive intelligence on the customer experience that credit card issuers provide to card holders and prospects, check out Corporate Insight’s Credit Card Monitor service offerings.