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What's the best credit card?

AmEx, Discover top J.D. Power's customer-satisfation ranking.

By Karen Datko Aug 20, 2010 3:54PM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.

 

J.D. Power just released the results of its 2010 Credit Card Satisfaction Study. The results were based on responses from more than 8,500 credit card customers in May and June. For a fourth consecutive year, the No. 1 credit card issuer in customer satisfaction was American Express, with a total score of 769 out of 1,000. Discover Card  was a close second with a score of 757.

The ratings were based on one to five stars in each category, with five stars representing the highest rating. There were a few surprises, which we'll cover. But first, here are the complete results:

 

Best credit cards, according to J.D. Power:

Company

Overall

Terms

Rewards

Benefits

Billing/ Payment

Customer Service

Problem Solving

American Express

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

Bank of America

3

3

2

2

2

2

4

Barclaycard

3

2

3

3

3

3

2

Capital One

3

3

2

2

3

3

2

Chase

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

Citi

2

2

2

2

2

2

3

Discover

4

4

4

4

5

4

4

HSBC

2

2

3

2

2

2

2

U.S. Bank

4

4

2

3

4

4

4

Wells Fargo

3

4

2

3

3

4

2

 

J.D. Power summarized the results of the study:

American Express ranks highest in customer satisfaction for a fourth consecutive year with a score of 769 and performs well across all six factors that drive satisfaction. Discover Card follows with a score of 757 and performs particularly well in the interaction factor. U.S. Bank ranks third with a score of 727. The common denominators of performance among the highest-ranked issuers are exceptional rewards and benefits offerings; superior service experiences across phone and online channels; and a focus on reducing problems and resolving those that do occur with minimum time and effort for customers.

According to a J.D. Power press release, overall customer satisfaction with credit cards rebounded from a three-year low in 2009. While overall satisfaction increased, consumers are still skeptical that credit card issuers have their best interests at heart. Interestingly, only 22% of those surveyed said they "definitely will not switch" their primary credit card in the next 12 months. Last year 25% said they would remain loyal to their primary card.

The study also separated results between "revolvers" (those who carry a balance from month to month) and "transactors" (those who pay their balance in full each month). Among revolvers, 29% reported that the interest rate they paid increased in 2010, while only 21% of transactors reported a rate increase. This is likely due to the fact that transactors, on the whole, have higher credit scores and can qualify for low-interest credit cards.

 

What's your take?

Some things in the survey were expected; other things were a surprise to me. It's no surprise that American Express ranked No. 1 again. I've carried the American Express Gold Card for years (Premier Rewards version), and the rewards and customer service are first rate. And the Starwood credit card  is a top-rated travel card.

I'm also not surprised about Discover Card's high rankings. I've carried the Discover More card (I know, I have a lot of cards!) for years. The rewards, particularly cash-back rewards, are top-notch, and the Discover website is best in class.

I'm a little surprised by Citi's relatively poor showing. I've banked at Citi for 20 years. Like any big bank, there are plenty of folks who have had issues with Citi, myself included. But overall, the experience has been good. As for credit cards, the rankings that surprise me are its two star in terms and rewards. While Citi doesn't offer the best cash-back rewards today, its balance-transfer offers are without doubt the best in class.

 

So, did J.D. Power get it right? Who do you think offers the best credit cards?

 

More from The Dough Roller and MSN Money:

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