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Happiest Credit Cards

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Liz Pulliam Weston recently published an article summarizing and analyzing J.D. Power and Associates 2008 survey of credit card user happiness. They surveyed 8,000 users on five factors: interaction with the company, billing and payment processes, fees and rates, reward programs, and benefits and services.

I was a little surprised to see that the highest score was 783 out of 1,000 for American Express, with Discover taking second with 751. Everyone else surveyed scored less than the industry average of 724!

Happiness Rankings by Issuer

Remember, the ratings are from 2008, which is why you still see Washington Mutual on the list.

  1. American Express – 783
  2. Discover – 751
  3. Industry average – 724
  4. National City – 721
  5. Chase – 719
  6. U.S. Bank – 716
  7. Washington Mutual – 712
  8. Citi – 710
  9. Wells Fargo – 709
  10. Bank of America – 692
  11. GE Money – 683
  12. Target Visa – 682
  13. Capital One – 678
  14. HSBC – 667

I wonder how this will change with the new credit card laws and the issuer’s responses to them. :)

Credit cards with the happiest users [MSN Money]

{ 17 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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17 Responses to “Happiest Credit Cards”

  1. How can only 2 of 14 companies be above the industry average, unless AE and Discover both take up around 50% of the credit card usership? If they weren’t scored so much higher I’d've wondered if they didn’t have 60+% usership, which sounds even less right.

    • freeby50 says:

      The averages could work out that way if Amex & Discover have more customers than the other brands. That makes sense since those 2 companies directly issue all their cards while Mastercard & Visa are issued by all the other banks. For example if Amex & Disc had about 2000 customers and the other banks combined had 5000 customers then you’d get that kind of average. In that case MC&Visa would still have 5x as many customers as Amex or Disc, but its just spread over the other banks.

  2. Greg says:

    They should enjoy their rankings. At the rate they are going there will be a lot less customers to be surveyed next year. :-)

    The findings between this year and next will probably change more due to the continuing economic challenges of the customers than the changes in rules.

    Frankly I even wonder if all of these companies will still be around a year from now?

  3. eric says:

    Always have had good experiences with AmEx and Discover too.

  4. Hanna says:

    Happiest Credit Cards? Is this a joke? Seems to be more like people who are the least pissed off at their credit card companies.
    I love this blog but this article below spells out why a student like me doesn’t want to get a credit card now.

  5. MoneyNing says:

    It’s interesting that happiness with the company is usually not the same as “the most beneficial” to us.

    We know that if companies don’t accept any credit cards, it’s Discover cards, followed by American Express cards. We also know that Mastercard and Visa credit cards often have better rewards.

    It’s true that the top two has better customer support than all the other ones, but I doubt all 8,000 regularly call these companies.

  6. Scott says:

    I love American Express. Generally speaking, I think they take better care of the consumer compared to the others (which may lead to other factors causing many merchants to not accept them).

  7. Thanks for pointing this survey out. I had missed it. Interesting they decided to rank cards on a “happiness” factor.

    I have to say I rarely associate credit cards with happiness. When it comes to credit cards, I tend to think (and write about) about fees, debt, and stress. But I suppose credit card rewards, a healthy credit score, and nice customer service can indeed lead to happiness (at least for the well disciplined plastic user.)

    Though clearly happiness is not one of the cards’ leading characteristics…given the all around low scores. Perhaps one additional take away is that generally speaking, credit cards don’t bring happiness…they provide liquidity.

  8. Tim says:

    i’m surprised how discover rates so high considering you can’t use it everywhere. i hate american express and they aren’t accepted every where either. I don’t get this rating. i think the happiness rating may be directly correlated to how much you can actually use the card or how many people actually own them. of course you are going to be unhappy if you can’t afford to buy the crap that you charge, and the biggest card issuers are companies like citi. i think it is a stupid survey.

    i actually really like citi, and of course i like my usaa.

  9. Merlin says:

    Those number look like credit scores to me.

  10. Shirley says:

    We use DiscoverCard and rate it very highly.
    - The one-time-use online number availability
    - The cashback/credit to account is enticing because we use Discover to pay utility bills and groceries, etc.
    - No annual fee and, with pay in full every month, we have never paid any interest.
    - The one time my number was compromised (out of 40+ years) they reversed the charge immediately and issued a new card the same day.
    - The customer service has been excellent.
    - The online interface is informative and easy to use.
    - The online and telephone alerts to unusual charges are configurable.

    The one drawback has been that some places do not accept Discover because of the higher cost to them.
    Several local spots quit accepting it, found that their sales dropped, and reversed their decision.

  11. CardMaster says:

    I really like Chase, but I haven’t had a lot of problems or issues or needs to call customer support.

    I have, however, have disputed one or two charges (one a mystery charge, one being regfly.com totally dropping the ball and not refunding my money).

    It was just click click here, click click there and I got my money back. I didn’t have to argue with anyone or do hardly anything. For that, I’m pretty thankful.

  12. Fairy Dust says:

    as a former merchant, I recall Discover being the cheapest cc to accept in terms of the percentage charged to the merchant per transaction. It was something like 1.67% of the total vs. Visa/MC being 2.7-something and Amex being higher yet. I really don’t get why more merchants don’t accept Discover unless something’s changed (I shut my e-store a couple years ago)…

  13. Fairy Dust says:

    oh yeah, as a customer, I hate BofA and cannot wait to cancel the card just to be done with them. Never again. On the other hand, I’ve never had any problems with Chase or Citi and the cards I’ve had from them…

  14. freeby50 says:

    I’m happiest overall with Discover and Amex might be 2nd. Citibank is also been pretty good for me. I dislike Chase.

  15. The happiest credit users are those with zero balances . . .

  16. Patrick says:

    I’ve never used Amex or Discover, but I have heard great things about both companies.


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