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New Study Ranks Best, Worst Credit Card Issuers

New Study Ranks Best, Worst Credit Card Issuers

J.D. Powers last week released results of its 2012 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, based on responses from more than 13,726 credit card customers.

The report ranks customer satisfaction in six areas: credit card terms, rewards, benefits, billing and payment, customer interaction, and problem resolution.

Overall, American Express scored highest, rating "Among the best" in five of six categories, with a "Better than most" score in problem resolution.

In the rewards category, American Express was followed by Chase and Discover, both of which were judged "Better than most." Barclaycard and Capital One both were deemed "About average." And Bank of America, Citi, and the others were dismissed as "The rest."

On a scale of 1,000, the issuers’ overall scores were as follows:

  • 807 – American Express
  • 799 – Discover
  • 762 – Chase
  • 758 – Barclaycard
  • 748 – US Bank
  • 737 – Citi
  • 737 – Wells Fargo
  • 734 – Capital One
  • 728 – Bank of Amnerica
  • 704 – GE Capital
  • 703 – HSBC

According to J.D. Powers, the latest results continue a positive trend, with overall credit card satisfaction averaging 753 in 2012, up from 731 in 2011 and 714 in 2010.

American Express’s was also a repeat performance — the company has ranked first in each of the six years the study has been conducted.

Does It Matter?

Should your choice of credit card be affected by the study’s findings?

Probably not in most cases.

If you’re a dedicated and satisfied participant in Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan program, for instance, the fact that the program’s affiliated card is issued by Bank of America, whose rankings were among the worst in all categories, is probably a non-factor.

On the other hand, if you’re on the fence about a particular card, then these findings could be a tie-breaker, for or against retaining a current card or applying for a new one.

Reader Reality Check

How do the rankings compare with your own experience of the various card issuers?

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  • tahoejoe

    Doesn’t match my experience at all. Amex Membership rewards are a lot less valuable than other program’s like US Bank’s flexperks whose annual fee is a lot less expensive than Amex cards.

  • Gerald Falke

    For foreign travelers, the ONLY card that does not charge a transaction fee for international purchases is Capital One. All others charge from 2-4% which adds up very quickly.

  • ira Kellman

    We accumulated a lot of BA Avios points only to discover that unless you are flying to Great Britain they are much more expensive than anyone else.Two examples.A flight to Israel from NY cost nearly as much in cash fees as a direct flight on ELAL and they wanted 65000 miles as well.We tried to use BA points to fly on their partner American and the required 105000 points for flights on American that AA would give me for 75000 miles

  • cindy

    Amex was great for miles but Cap One best for travel costs out of country.