If there's a financial services crunch, you wouldn't know it by watching Bankrate
Last week's purchase of CreditCardGuide.com isn't going to break the bank. Bankrate is paying just $32 million for the company, with another $2 million for the site's working capital and as much as $10 million in future payments based on the website's performance over the next two years.
CreditCardGuide.com has only one employee: its entrepreneurial founder Rafael David. His site has became one of the definitive one-stop resource centers for plastic-seeking consumers. It allows credit-hungry visitors to compare deals side by side and links them to online applications to complete the process. Issuers then pay CreditCardGuide.com for the leads.
Getting paid for financial leads is something that Bankrate knows well. It carves a living out of charging financial services providers for ads and hyperlinks on its rate comparison pages.
It's also familiar with CreditCardGuide.com. Bankrate acquired Nationwide Card Services last year, the site that runs a credit card affiliate network for hundreds of sites, including Credit Card Guide.
The credit card industry has held up far better than its financial peers. Visa
This doesn't mean that Bankrate and its latest buy can grow forever. If stingy credit markets and volatile banks dissuade borrowers and savers, it will sting. HouseValues
For now, at least, you have to give Bankrate some credit. It hasn't only earned it, it has acquired it.
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