Experian has announced that has launched what it calls a transformative change to the way consumers shop for credit cards. Experian’s new comparison services will now mean that consumers will see a guaranteed rate when shopping for cards with certain providers.

Credit card and loan providers only need to offer their headline representative Annual Percentage Rate (APR) to a minimum 51% of customers that apply. The remaining 49% can be offered a different deal at a more expensive rate – and customers often won’t know what that is until they’ve completed an application, which will also leave a mark on their credit report.

The move will be a major boost to transparency in the credit card market and help consumers make more informed decisions about their finances. The introduction of the service comes after Experian launched real rates for loans in May. Providers which offer real rates include Likely Loans, Zopa, Lendable, and Shawbrook.

Two major credit card providers are signed-up to Real Rates with Experian, Virgin Money (including Virgin Atlantic) and Capital One, while customers which are pre-approved for cards from Aqua, Marbles, MBNA and Barclaycard, will also see the rate they will get before applying.

Amir Goshtai, Managing Director of Experian Marketplace & Affinity, said “We see offering guaranteed rates as a true game-changer in the highly-competitive credit card market. We are already in discussions with other lenders to offer real rates. It’s not right that nearly half of those looking for a credit card may not get the rate they see advertised – and often won’t know what deal they’ll get until after they’ve applied.”

“We are pleased to have extended guaranteed rates from loans to credit cards. Improving transparency for consumers so they know what they’ll get is something the industry should be striving for. Experian is determined to help consumers make better decisions for their personal finances.”