How does Canstar get paid?

Version: 28 August 2015

Canstar is committed to offering comprehensive information to consumers for free.

To generate this quality information our group employ around 60 staff with extensive experience in financial services, and we run large computer systems. This costs millions of dollars every year, and we need to generate revenue in a range of ways to pay for it.

There are four major ways we get paid.

Subscriptions to our database

Banks subscribe to Canstar’s databases so that they can keep an eye on their competitors without having to spend hundreds of hours on competitor websites. Interestingly, when Canstar first started in 1992 the internet didn’t exist and staff had to walk the streets to do this!

Almost every Australian financial institution is a subscriber, and our fees are low by corporate research standards.

From a consumer’s point of view, the fact that banks are prepared to subscribe to our databases says a lot about the quality of our data.

Ratings licenses

Once five star winners have been determined, financial institutions have the opportunity to use the Canstar rating or award in their marketing.

In these situations a fee is negotiated for allowing the winner to use the Canstar name and applicable award. We don’t disclose this as we negotiate it individually in every case, just as newspapers don’t disclose the exact amount that an ad has been sold for.

In addition to the above and in a very limited number of situations, Canstar New Zealand may enter into a “Master Agreement” arrangement which enables the financial institution to use all new five star ratings awarded to that institution in the current year. The fee in this situation is negotiated upfront and is based on past results. Canstar’s research protocols quarantine the research team from information about pricing and client negotiations.

Canstar’s research team determines five star ratings without fear or favour. For more information on how we avoid conflicts of interests.


Canstar allows limited advertising on its site. Our goal is to present quality advertising that is highly relevant to consumers. We always include an ‘advertising’ or ‘sponsored link’ sign above the ad so people know what it is.


Again, we do not arrange our data tables or base our ratings information depending on how much a third party may pay us. CANSTAR takes its research very seriously and goes to great pains to ensure that our results are not influenced by commercial arrangements.


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