Discover, AmEx at Top of J.D. Power’s 2016 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Blog

Aug 25, 2016

Discover and American Express are once again at the top of the list for the J.D. Power 2016 Credit Card Satisfaction Study.

These two issuers have held the first and second place spots for the last 3 years. American Express was the previous winner all seven years before that, since the annual study began in 2007.

Card issuers are ranked for customer satisfaction on the following 6 criteria, with the most important listed first:

  1. Interaction (customers interacting with the issuer)
  2. Credit card terms
  3. Billing and payment
  4. Rewards
  5. Benefits and services
  6. Problem resolution

Customer Satisfaction Study Results

Credit Card Company Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking (out of 1,000) J.D. Power Ranking
Discover 827 Among the best
American Express 825 Among the best
Capital One 799 About average
Industry Average 796 About average
Barclaycard 794 About average
Chase 790 About average
U.S. Bank 790 About average
Bank of America 788 About average
Wells Fargo 786 About average
Citi 776 The rest
Synchrony Bank 758 The rest

Discover and American Express are the clear winners here, coming in at about the same score. Capital One is a bit farther behind in third, and they are the only issuers to beat the industry average.

Insider Tip: Get the most out of your credit cards and avoid problems by always using them responsibly.

Overall, every issuer got a bit of a higher score than last year. The Industry Average is higher than ever before, coming in at 796 this year: it was 790 in 2015 and 778 in 2014.

Key Findings from the Study

  • Most people choose credit cards based on the rewards they offer
  • 11% of customers reported a problem or complaint with their card (the same rate as the past 4 years)
  • Over 20% of customers have a card with rewards or fees that don’t sync up with their spending habits
  • 44% of people with airline credit cards don’t use them enough to cover the annual fee, and don’t make use of the benefits
  • When customers end up with the wrong card for them, their overall satisfaction goes down
  • Customers end up with the wrong card when their financial situations change, they no longer use the rewards program, or the card terms and rewards have changed
  • Customers who use their issuer’s mobile app for customer service have a higher overall satisfaction than those who don’t
  • Customers younger than 40 who make more than $80,000 per year are most likely to use mobile and digital customer service channels

Take note of these findings. Do you see yourself in one of these situations?

If your credit card has an annual fee but you never use it, chances are it’s just costing you money. Or maybe it has high interest rates and you always carry a balance, instead of avoiding interest by paying it off.

If that sounds like you, it may be time to close your credit card. But make that decision carefully, because there could be unexpected consequences.

Insider Tip: Want to get in touch with your issuer to talk about your card? Just call the number on the back of your card or check out our page of Backdoor Credit Card Issuer Phone Numbers.
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