Using comparison websites
Comparing apples with apples
Comparison websites can be helpful when you're shopping around
for insurance, credit cards, home loans, investments or bank
accounts. Here we explain the limitations of comparison websites
and things to keep in mind when you use them.
Here's how we suggest you use comparison websites.
- Identify key features to compare - Before you
start searching you should work out what you want and what features
you are going to compare (e.g. fees, interest rates).
- Shop around - Go direct to providers' websites
and to comparison websites and compare the key features.
- Make a short list - Identify the top results
based on your search.
- Get more detail - Compare the top one or two
results by reading the relevant product disclosure
statement or other detailed document outlining the
features and fees.
- Make an informed decision - Once you've made
your decision contact the provider to see how to apply or invest.
Ask lots of questions until you feel completely informed.
Limitations of comparison
When using any comparison website keep in mind that:
- Comparison websites are businesses that make money in various
ways, sometimes through sponsored or promoted links and
- Most comparison sites only cover a portion of the market, not
the whole market.
- The search results may show sponsored links ahead of
non-sponsored results that may offer a better deal.
- Ratings and rankings on comparison sites are sometimes given
without a clear explanation, so it's important to find out how the
ratings work and compare with other sites.
When using insurance comparison websites be aware that:
- Some comparison websites have a relationship to the
issuer/provider being compared, and this may not be clearly
- Price is NOT the be-all and end-all. Price is only one feature.
The most important thing is that you have the right type and level
Using comparison websites is a good way to see
what is available to you. But you should check the details so
you're comparing apples with apples.
Last updated: 12 Aug 2015