Some cardholders may be missing out on the rewards and benefits of the credit cards in their wallet, according to a new study. This past spring J.D. Powers surveyed 14,000 credit card customers to see how satisfied they are with their cards. They released the results in their Credit Card Satisfaction Study.
Last year two-thirds of respondents said that they completely understood the rewards associated with their cards and how to take advantage of them. But this year that number dropped to 59%. And a third of survey takers said that they were unaware of the benefits that come along with their credit card, whether that’s concierge services, travel perks, or insurance.
They also don’t understand all the fine print. Less than half of consumers polled said they did not totally understand the terms that come along with their credit cards, including interest rates and late fees.
Opportunities for issuers and consumers
There are opportunities for credit card issuers to gain consumer loyalty and build their brand by communicating more effectively with cardholders about the benefits of their cards, according to the survey. Consumers who knew what perks came with their cards and took advantage of them, typically spent on average $400 more per month than other cardholders.
The study also showed that educated consumers are happier and more satisfied with the credit cards they carry. Online research can fill the knowledge gap, the study said, pointing out that credit card companies post valuable information on their websites on everything from benefits and rewards to fees and APRs.
They also suggest that consumers will be happier with their credit cards if they apply for cards offering rewards they are actually interested in using whether that’s earning miles toward trips and hotel stays, or racking up points toward gifts and merchandise.
American Express scores top spot in consumer satisfaction
The J.D. Powers study looked at eleven credit cards to see how they fared with consumers in six key areas to come up with their rankings including:
Credit card terms
Billing and payment
Benefits and services
J.D. Power is a global marketing information services company which released its first U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study in 2006.