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J.D. Power Rates Credit Cards

SmarterTravel

J.D. Power today released results of its eighth annual ranking of credit card customer satisfaction.

The study measures customer satisfaction with credit card issuers by examining six factors: interaction; credit card terms; billing and payment; rewards; benefits and services; and problem resolution. The overall satisfaction level — 778 on a 1,000-point scale — is the highest it’s been since the study’s inception.

Here are the results, from best to worst:

  • 819 – American Express
  • 819 – Discover
  • 789 – Chase
  • 776 – Barclaycard
  • 773 – U.S. Bank
  • 773 – Wells Fargo
  • 766 – Bank of America
  • 765 – Capital One
  • 768 – Citi
  • 739 – GE Capital Retail Bank

The two winners couldn’t be more different. American Express boasts a portfolio of 21 different cards, some linked to the Membership Rewards program, some offering cash back, some with high annual fees, some with no annual fees, and so on. Discover, on the other hand, issues a single card singularly focused on fiscal prudence, featuring cash back and no annual fee.

So what is it that endears these two contrasting companies to their customers? First and foremost, they distinguish themselves with their high levels of customer service. According to the report, “American Express and Discover provide great personal service when customers call in and also make it easy for customers to manage their accounts online as well as by using mobile apps.”

Good to know. If the issuers were being rated and ranked solely according to the value of their rewards programs, the results would be very different, of course.

In that case, it likely would be a two-way race between American Express and Chase for the top spot. Citi and Barclaycard would be in the next tier. Capital One would move up the rankings, based on its Venture card. And Discover would be near the bottom.

Other notable findings from the study:

  • 10% of respondents switched their primary card in 2014
  • 42% of switchers did so for a better rewards program
  • 19% of respondents indicated their rewards programs improved in 2014
  • 30% didn’t know whether their loyalty points expired
  • The most common complaint: unauthorized or fraudulent activity

Reader Reality Check

What’s your current go-to credit card?

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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