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New Study Ranks Best, Worst Credit Cards

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.

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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?

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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