Consumers Have Fewer Gripes About Credit Cards

Credit cardsConsumers' satisfaction with credit cards is improving, but that doesn't mean they're happy with their current plastic, according to a new study.

Overall satisfaction with credit cards is up slightly to 714 on a 1,000-point scale, from 705 in 2009, according to the annual J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. The study polled 8,500 credit card customers regarding six key factors: Interaction with card companies, card terms, billing and payment, benefits and services, rewards and problem resolution.

American Express (AXP), Discover Financial Service's (DFS) Discover Card and US Bancorp's (USB) US Bank were the only card issuers to earn above-average satisfaction ratings, while Wells Fargo (WFC) came in on the average of 714. The worst were HSBC (HBC), which scored 686; Citigroup's (C) Citi Cards at 692; and Capital One Financial (COF) and Bank of America (BAC) with 699 each.

American Express, which again placed first in overall satisfaction as it has for all four years of the study, rated high across all categories. According to the study's authors, the top performers in the poll all offer attractive customer rewards, superior service by telephone or online and handle problems quickly and with minimal effort.

"It Could Have Been Worse"


The new federal law governing credit card practices -- the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, also known as the CARD Act -- is having an effect on customers' satisfaction, even though many cardholders have seen their rates shoot up since the start of the recession. The survey found card customers seem more satisfied overall with card terms and their billing and payment process, according to the study's authors.

Not coincidentally, customers who carry a balance on their monthly charges, known as revolvers, showed some increase in satisfaction, while those who pay in full were slightly more negative.

"It appears that revolvers are expressing a perception that 'it could have been worse,'" said Michael Beird, director of banking services at J.D. Power, in a statement. "Revolvers, who tend to be more sensitive to fees and rates, are significantly more likely to say that CARD Act disclosures improved their understanding of their credit card terms."

However, the average consumer is still suspicious of credit card companies. An analysis of online comments and social media threads by J.D. Power showed customers feel they're in a cat-and-mouse game with card issuers. The percentage of consumers who are shopping around for other cards keeps growing. And respondents who said they won't switch cards in the next year dropped to 22% from 25% in 2009 and 30% in 2008.

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23 Comments

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joma5004

BofA's interest is usuary! They deserve to be investigated and forced to reduce their interest rates by 50% and prevented from raising it for 1 year and can raise it no more then 10%.

August 20 2010 at 11:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
noadmail

Signed: Desparate to portray good news about anything in the current situation. This is really reaching. A 14 point gain is nothing. The credit card system and the companies that run them are still some of the most corrupt institutions in the world.

August 20 2010 at 10:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hatterlitehouse

It's going to be a strange world when people were paying their credit cards and then BAM the credit card companies got greedy and started charging out of site finance fees. Well I wonder who will get the last laugh. People are losing their jobs everywhere and guess what you can't pay your mortgage, credit cards, and the other money grubbing company INSURANCE for your house and cars. That's right your mortgage insurance in going up. I am so tired of the poor working class having to foot the bill for the stock driven companies.

August 20 2010 at 10:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
almagayle50

I don't know how Discover could rank so high. They sent out letters stating that if you made full payment on time your rate would not go up. Then they raised rates. When questioned they stated that so many people had defaulted that they had to raise rates to stay profitable. In short, we paid for their errors in judgement. Across the board, phone companies, internet companies, insurance companies are raising rates on good customers because other customers have defaulted, been priced out etc, until very soon all of us will be defaulting or cancelling due to being priced out. These companies deserve to go under, not the consumer.

August 20 2010 at 10:04 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
palmtrees5759

It's a shame whenever anyone has to file bankruptcy. Http://www.bankruptcyhelpinfoguide.info But it's a sign of the times.

August 20 2010 at 9:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dejeopardy

I would also like to know where Chase placed in the survey. I was one of their customers that was suddenly billed $10 a month during the bailout and told to pay 5% of my balance instead of 2% as originally required. Chase must have found out that charging the monthly fee was illegal because they did reverse that practice after a few months. I certainly would never do business with Chase again. However, I have had a good experience with American Express who has been extremely fair.

August 20 2010 at 9:13 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
rt4849

I like credit cards and try to pay them off in full each month. I think it is foolish to use credit cards as a way to finance your debt. Just wait several months until you have saved the money to buy what you want. America is spending way more money than it earns. It is like having a credit card with no credit limit. How can we continue to spend more than we earn each year. What would happen if your interest payment was greater than what you earn. Remember I am saying your interest payment is greater than what you earn, not what you owe. I think you would agree that America is bankrupt and at some point our lenders will start to worry that the U.S. is heading for a great depression if it is not stopped very soon. I think people just think something will work out as it always has. But remember America has never faced this kind of debt.

August 20 2010 at 8:54 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
glendaaparis

As soon as cc companies learned that rates would be regulated, they started going up. They were not satisfied with getting their money back plus a "fair profit" in interest so as far as I'm concerned they are price gouging. Their greed offends me. The only thing that would bother me about these companies going down is the fact that more people would lose their jobs. Same thing is happening with health insurance rates.

August 20 2010 at 8:36 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
thlordsman

Where did Chase, J P Morgan place in the survey????

August 20 2010 at 8:36 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
kimokeo

I never took the survey, believe me I wish I could have. American Xpress is getting money hungry like the worst banks, changing fixed to variable. Charging fees for everything. HSBC is the biggest pirate charging outrageous interest rates (29%), Chase Bank is another pirate, charging 29% during the bailout, and continues to charge outrageous interest rates (29%), I asked them why, and they said because we can, Capitol One is another. Everyone is charging high interest rates with no end in sight. No conscious for the wicked, just profits, profits, profits. Who said everyone is pleased with credit cards, they dont care about the hands that feed them. No one has to agreee, but the credit card companies are not people friendly.

August 20 2010 at 8:06 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply