The Ascent's 2021 Awards Winners award banner The Ascent's 2021 Awards Winners

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

Our picks for the top financial products in 2021

The 2021 award winners were determined by The Ascent’s editorial team, which consists of 13 personal finance experts with decades of combined experience.

The awards process is constructed with a common thread of ensuring objectivity is upheld, diverse opinions are included, and only the best of the best receive our highest praise as awards winners. There were three stages to ensure a sound process.

A market of offers was first narrowed down to several nominees for each awards category using The Ascent’s proprietary models that score a lineup of financial products based on their feature sets.

After narrowing down offers to a select few for each award category, the nominees were then voted on by The Ascent’s awards committee using a points allocation process.

As a final check point, all final awards winners had to pass our Golden Rule test: Would you recommend this financial product to a family member or close friend?

What are The Ascent's 2021 Awards?

The Ascent’s 2021 Awards honor this year's top financial products and services. Our award winners represent our opinion of the single, best product or service in a specific category, such as the top banking app or the leading cryptocurrency exchange, among many other award categories.

But it’s important to realize that no single award winner is a fit for everyone. We’re lucky to have an expansive marketplace of high-quality finance offerings to choose from, for every need under the sun. 

Which is why our separate best-of lists -- that are updated on a monthly basis -- include not only awards winners but also a deeper lineup of top offerings in the market. The common threads that these offers share is they’re all fully-vetted picks for a specific need and we’re comfortable recommending them to our closest friends and family members.

All said, we think our awards winners are great options for most people, but it’s always worthwhile comparing any award winner to a group of similar offers to find the one that suits you best.

You can find more top picks by visiting our best-of lists below:

Who determines the winners?

The Ascent’s team of experts votes on the final awards winners. The team is comprised of 13 industry experts, editorial strategists, and writers with deep experience across credit cards, banks and banking products, investments, loans, mortgages, and more personal finance topics.

The Ascent's 2021 Awards Winners award banner