Credit Card Satisfaction Survey: 4 in 5 Americans Happy With Their Cards

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For some consumers, 2020 presented economic challenges: pay cuts, furloughs and job losses, plus sticker shock at the supermarket in the wake of COVID-19. A credit card can help you weather these storms, and most people surveyed by U.S. News about card satisfaction in 2020 said they are happy with theirs.

More than 5,600 users of major credit cards in late 2020 rated their satisfaction overall and with card rewards, billing processes and other factors. U.S. News also looked at credit card complaints submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB.

Here’s what cardholders had to say.

Credit Card Satisfaction Scorecard

In general, consumers with credit cards from major issuers are satisfied with their cards. Chief card complaints related to card costs, such as annual fees or annual percentage rates.

This is what survey respondents like and dislike about their cards:

  • Eighty-three percent are either satisfied or very satisfied with their primary credit card, up slightly from the 2019 consumer credit card satisfaction survey. Just 4% said they are unsatisfied.
  • More than three-quarters gave their credit cards high marks for online account access and fraud prevention, and nearly as many said they are happy with billing processes and credit lines.
  • Consumers reported average satisfaction with credit card rewards and benefits. Rewards are satisfactory for 66%, and sign-up bonuses are adequate for only 41% of cardholders surveyed. Card benefits are sufficient for 64% of consumers polled.
  • Cost is a sore point for some cardholders. APRs and annual fees are top complaints for 16% and 11%, respectively.
  • The most recent CFPB complaint data shows that Americans struggled the most with problems on statements, card fees or interest charges, or getting cards.

Which Credit Card Issuers Deliver the Most Satisfaction?

Some credit card issuers offer better service than others. U.S. News analyzed data from the 2020 card satisfaction survey and the CFPB complaint database to find out how the major issuers stack up.

Here’s more about each issuer’s customer satisfaction rating. Issuers below are listed in alphabetical order.

American Express

Overall satisfaction: Among those surveyed, 89% said they are either satisfied or very satisfied, and only 3% said they are unsatisfied.

What customers like: online account access and mobile app (77%), privacy and fraud prevention (76%), billing (75%), credit line (71%), and rewards (66%).

What customers don’t like: APR (16%), annual fee (11%), sign-up bonus (9%), rewards (7%) and balance transfer (4%).

Total 2019 CFPB complaints: 2,081.

Percentage of CFPB complaints closed with monetary relief: 16%.

  • Problem with a purchase on your credit card statement.
  • Advertising and marketing, including promotional offers.
  • Issue with credit card rewards.

Bank of America

Overall satisfaction: Among card users surveyed, 80% said they are either satisfied or very satisfied, and only 3% said they are unsatisfied.

What customers like: online account access and mobile app (76%), privacy and fraud prevention (75%), billing (73%), credit line (70%), and rewards (66%).

What customers don’t like: APR (12%), annual fee (10%), sign-up bonus (8%), rewards (7%) and cardholder benefits (6%).

Total 2019 CFPB complaints: 1,878.

Percentage of CFPB complaints closed with monetary relief: 30.1%.

  • Problem with a purchase on your credit card statement.
  • Fees or interest charges.
  • Problem when making payments.

Barclays

Overall satisfaction: Among card users surveyed, 78% said they are either satisfied or very satisfied, and 6% said they are unsatisfied.

What customers like: credit line (71%), online account access and mobile app (70%), privacy and fraud prevention (65%), billing (62%), and credit reporting (57%).

What customers don’t like: APR (28%), cardholder benefits (22%), annual fee (18%), credit reporting (14%), and communication and marketing (13%).

Total 2019 CFPB complaints: 881.

Percentage of CFPB complaints closed with monetary relief: 21.8%.

  • Problem with a purchase on your credit card statement.
  • Fees or interest charges.
  • Getting a credit card.

Capital One

Overall satisfaction: Among cardholders polled, 83% said they are either satisfied or very satisfied, and 4% said they are unsatisfied.

What customers like: online account access and mobile app (79%), privacy and fraud prevention (77%), billing (76%), credit reporting (70%), and credit line (69%).

What customers don’t like: APR (23%), sign-up bonus (13%), annual fee (13%), rewards (11%) and credit line (8%).

Total 2019 CFPB complaints: 3,655.

Percentage of CFPB complaints closed with monetary relief: 21%.

  • Problem with a purchase on your credit card statement.
  • Fees or interest charges.
  • Issue when making payments.

Chase

Overall satisfaction: Among those surveyed by U.S. News, 84% said they are either satisfied or very satisfied, and 4% said they are unsatisfied.

What customers like: online account access and mobile app (78%), privacy and fraud prevention (78%), billing (77%), credit line (73%), and rewards (72%).

What customers don’t like: APR (16%), annual fee (11%), rewards (6%), sign-up bonus (6%) and credit line (4%).

Total 2019 CFPB complaints: 2,406.

Percentage of CFPB complaints closed with monetary relief: 13.1%.

  • Problem with a purchase on your credit card statement.
  • Closing your account.
  • Getting a credit card.

Citi

Overall satisfaction: Among cardholders surveyed, 82% said they are either satisfied or very satisfied, and 4% said they are unsatisfied.

What customers like: online account access and mobile app (76%), credit line (72%), billing (71%), privacy and fraud prevention (70%), and rewards (70%).

What customers don’t like: APR (18%), sign-up bonus (12%), annual fee (9%), cardholder benefits (7%) and rewards (6%).

Total 2019 CFPB complaints: 3,769.

Percentage of CFPB complaints closed with monetary relief: 14.7%.

  • Problem with a purchase on your credit card statement.
  • Fees or interest charges.
  • Issue when making payments.

Discover

Overall satisfaction: Among card users surveyed, 88% said they are either satisfied or very satisfied, and 4% said they are unsatisfied.

What customers like: billing (84%), privacy and fraud prevention (83%), rewards (81%), credit reporting (80%), and credit line (79%).

What customers don’t like: APR (14%), sign-up bonus (7%), annual fee (6%), credit line (5%) and cardholder benefits (4%).

Total 2019 CFPB complaints: 1,119.

Percentage of CFPB complaints closed with monetary relief: 9.7%.

  • Problem with a purchase on your credit card statement.
  • Getting a credit card.
  • Closing your account.

Synchrony Bank

Overall satisfaction: Among card users surveyed, 79% said they are either satisfied or very satisfied, and 5% said they are unsatisfied.

What customers like: billing (74%), privacy and fraud prevention (71%), credit reporting (67%), credit line (67%), and online account access and mobile app (65%).

What customers don’t like: APR (21%), sign-up bonus (19%), annual fee (12%), cardholder benefits (10%) and rewards (9%).

Total 2019 CFPB complaints: 2,290.

Percentage of CFPB complaints closed with monetary relief: 19.6%.

  • Problem with a purchase on your credit card statement.
  • Getting a credit card.
  • Fees or interest charges.

U.S. Bank

Overall satisfaction: Among card users surveyed, 75% said they are either satisfied or very satisfied, and 3% said they are unsatisfied.

What customers like: billing (68%), privacy and fraud prevention (68%), credit line (67%), online account access and mobile app (63%), and credit reporting (55%).

What customers don’t like: APR (10%), annual fee (8%), communication and marketing (7%), credit reporting (7%), and balance transfer (6%).

Total 2019 CFPB complaints: 681.

Percentage of CFPB complaints closed with monetary relief: 15.3%.

  • Problem with a purchase on your credit card statement.
  • Fees or interest charges.
  • Getting a credit card.

Wells Fargo

Overall satisfaction: Among cardholders surveyed, 76% said they are either satisfied or very satisfied, and 4% said they are unsatisfied.

What customers like: privacy and fraud prevention (71%), billing (67%), balance transfer (67%), credit reporting (63%), and online account access and mobile app (75%).

What customers don’t like: APR (11%), annual fee (10%), sign-up bonus (10%), rewards (9%), and communication and marketing (6%).

Total 2019 CFPB complaints: 926.

Percentage of CFPB complaints closed with monetary relief: 20.1%.

  • Problem with a purchase on your credit card statement.
  • Getting a credit card.
  • Fees or interest charges.

What to Do if You’re Not Satisfied With Your Credit Card

If you’re not happy with your credit card, you have options. First, reach out to your card issuer to see whether your complaint can be resolved. But remember that it’s not the last word if you don’t reach a resolution.

Here’s more about the steps you can take when you’re dissatisfied with your credit card:

Call your credit card issuer. You might be surprised by how much you can achieve just by picking up the phone. Think your APR is too high? You might be able to lower it if you just ask. Negotiating your card’s annual fee to either remove it or reduce it could work as well.

Be ready with facts. Sometimes, getting results takes more than a simple request. You may need to back up your complaint with additional information. For example, you could compare your APR with APRs for other cards.

Choose a different credit card. If you’re not happy with your credit card, hundreds of others are competing for your business. You can certainly find one that better suits your needs.

Submit a complaint. If you contact the card issuer with a problem but don’t hear back, you can file a complaint online with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB will forward your complaint to the credit card company and work to get a response, usually within 15 days.



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