American Express Still America’s Favorite

J.D. Power and Associates released its annual review of more than 13,000 opinions on credit cards and for the sixth year in a row, American Express ranks at number one in consumer satisfaction. There are others, too, that ranked high.

The in depth survey covers everything from the terms and conditions to customer service to rewards programs and everything in between. One of the most important aspects for ranking is how easy it is to get a representative over the phone and then resolve any problems – and in this area, and the others, American Express shows once again it has it mastered. AMEX “especially outshines other card issuers when it comes to communicating with customers and offering attractive rewards”, the report reveals. Keep reading as we take a look at the top five highest ranked credit cards in the survey.

For those customers who are reporting problems with their credit card companies, they say they’re seeing improvements in how those companies handle and then resolve their complaints and problems. The survey tells the tale: credit card issuers are taking, on average, four days to find solutions both parties can live with. Last year, it was taking five days for the same kinds of problems. Not only that, but in 2011, 82% of credit card customers say their problems had been resolved. This year, that number’s up by 2%.


The Discover family comes in a close – a very close – second place. American Express scored 807 out of 1000 and Discover came in next at 799. The review includes specifics, including customers who say American Express didn’t outpace other issues in just some areas, but “American Express did the best job in each of these areas”. It also notes the impressive rewards programs, too.

Discover Card received its high 799 score in part to its positive feedback on the network’s ability to quickly and effectively resolve problems for customers. While it’s always been ranked high in customer satisfaction, it’s clear the company continues with its winning formula.

JPMorgan Chase

Other findings include JPMorgan Chase’s upward movement. It’s now at third place after seeing its score rise by 27 points to 762. For its part, Chase customers say their bank and credit card company has made strides in better disclosures, more impressive rewards programs and better customer service. This is a much needed jolt for the massive bank that’s taken its share of hits this year and is headed by a CEO many no longer have faith in.

Number four in the survey was filled by Barclaycard, which has been in the news recently with its announcement that it was making available the first social credit card designed and built through community crowd sourcing.

We have learned a great deal from our first card members and are thrilled to be able to open up the Barclaycard Ring community to see how the product will begin to evolve based on the needs and collective input of our customers,

said Paul Wilmore, Managing Director-Consumer Markets, Barclaycard US. With easy to understand terms and benefits, including a flat 8% APR for all members, no annual fees and no balance transfer fees, it’s really making waves and for once – it’s news consumers are applauding in a sector that’s taken hits in recent months.

Number five in the survey is U.S. Bank with a score of 748. U.S. Bancorp has long since been known for its positive impacts on the environment and its charitable programs. With many employee volunteerism programs and commitment to small business needs, it makes sense it would make the top five in the survey.

Another improvement was found in Citi’s credit card ranking. It moved from number eight to number six due partly to customers who say they’ve found it easier to resolve problems and the recent re-design of its monthly statements was also cited.

Customer Satisfaction

Another interesting element is found in the average customer satisfaction score, which rose for the third consecutive year. Customer satisfaction began steadily increasing after the CARD Act went into effect in 2010, which limited fees and interest rates issuers are able to charge customers.

There has not been a lot of change in the past year in fees, credit limits and card terms — the things that often affect customers in a negative way,

said Jim Miller, senior director of banking services at J.D. Power.

After a series of dramatic changes, credit card customers are enjoying a time of stability.

It’s just too bad the fees associated with checking accounts continue to rise and the overall atmosphere in the banking sector continues on shaky ground. The report also showed that while only 11% of credit card consumers had complaints about their credit cards, that number is double for banking customers who say they’re losing faith in their banks when it comes to checking and savings accounts.

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