For the sixth year in a row, American Express has taken the top prize for customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Associates annual Credit Card Satisfaction Study. Discover Card was a close second but could not knock AmEx out of first place, and Chase came in third. Occupying the bottom three slots were Bank of America, GE Capital Retail Bank, and HSBC.
Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express, said via press release that “While our goal is to satisfy our customers, and not to get awards, we are thrilled to have received this terrific recognition every year since 2007. Hearing that we scored the highest in customer satisfaction directly from consumers through an independent and prestigious source like J.D. Power is very gratifying.”
The survey asked more than 13,000 credit card users how satisfied they were with their credit card companies in six key areas:
- Customer interactions
- Billing and payments
- Terms and conditions
- Rewards programs
- Benefits and services
- Problem resolution
The survey indicated that overall, customers are more satisfied with their credit cards than they were last year. In fact, satisfaction has steadily improved over the last three years. Jim Miller, senior director of banking at J.D. Power and Associates, says that customers are enjoying “a time of stability” over previous years, which saw big changes in the credit card industry. “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,” explained Miller.
Latest AmEx Innovations
American Express added several exciting features for cardmembers this year, which may have boosted their customer satisfaction ratings further.
On the social media front, their Sync service allowed Twitter users to follow AmEx (Twitter handle: @American Express) and use hashtags to get exclusive savings, and Foursquare fans to “check in” for savings at merchants that partnered with American Express to give discounts.
American Express has also made improvements to their website, simplifying their online account summary function and streamlining navigation. They now allow users to “tag” their charges, offering a new way to track and manage expenses, and they offer a new “account manager” option so cardmembers can give a spouse or business partner access to their card’s online account management tools.
When it comes to mobile, AmEx introduced My Offers, which groups and ranks merchant offers based on their location and spending habits, alerting them to the best nearby offers that might interest them.
Discover a Close Second
Discover Card has long been a customer favorite, with their phone representatives receiving good reviews for dispute resolution in particular.
When it comes to handling complaints and problems, customers who get their problems solved by one customer service representative on the same day they call were the most satisfied. 84% of those surveyed reported having problems resolved this year, and 61% of those had them resolved with one phone call.
Discover cards are the most popular cards in the nation, with more households having one than any other type of credit card. That may be due to the fact that while American Express gets great reviews, they are more selective in the customers they will approve, and applicants must have good or excellent credit to get an AmEx card. Discover is more apt to give cards to people with a few dings in their credit history, giving a greater percentage of customers access to a solid and well-reviewed rewards credit card.