Breaking News

American Express reclaims top spot in J.D. Power ranking


American Express reclaimed the top spot in this year’s J.D. Power ranking survey. Customer satisfaction with credit card issuers improved overall, spurred by the proliferation of rewards benefits.

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Please see the bank’s website for the most current version of card offers; and please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

The rewards war is raising the tide of customer satisfaction across all cards, especially with regional banks who have returned as serious players in the credit card market.

According to the 2017 J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction study, customers are more satisfied with their credit cards than they have been since the recession. This year’s industry average was the highest ever recorded at 802 points, up 6 points from 2016. The study found that rewards, especially cash back, are more competitive and thus giving customers more of what they want.

American Express reclaimed the top spot after two years of falling behind Discover. Discover’s customer satisfaction score stayed mostly stagnant while American Express improved, and in turn surpassed, Discover. Capital One stayed consistent, taking third place for the second year in a row.

Consumers have been feeling positive about all industries since the recession, said Jim Miller, senior director of banking practice at J.D. Power. But even though other industries’ satisfaction growth has slowed, credit card issuers continue to see higher customer approval each year, Miller said.

“The benefits keep increasing,” Miller said. “It’s so competitive that they’re all moving up (in customer satisfaction).”

Citi, regional banks made big progress
Citi was the most improved issuer this year, due in large part to the Citi Double Cash Rewards card and the Costco Anywhere Visa card – both of which didn’t exist a few years ago, Miller said.

Mega banks aren’t the only ones reaping the benefits from the rewards card firefight. For the first time, the study looked at regional banks’ customer satisfaction scores and found they are staying competitive with national issuers. Regions Bank came out strong, snapping at the heels of Discover’s No. 2 spot, just 13 points behind.

“They’re becoming stronger players,” Miller said. “It made sense to include them.”

Cash back is king
The survey also found that cash back reigns supreme in the rewards realm. Scores were higher for cards with cash back programs as opposed to those with miles or general rewards.

Miller said there’s a good reason for cash back’s dominance.

“It’s the simplicity of it,” Miller said.

The study was conducted by surveying 22,896 credit card customers on six major factors, including credit card terms, rewards and benefits and services.

To dig deeper into the rankings and to find out which specific cards are recommended by reviewers, take a look at the interactive graphic below.

See related:Satisfaction rises for most cardholders, Compare best rewards credit cards

What’s up next?

In Breaking News

Options for business cash back cards

If you’re signing up for a business cash back card, you have a lot of options. Be sure to calculate ahead of time which kind of cash-back deal can give you the most rewards.

Published: August 15, 2017

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: August 14th, 2019
Cash Back

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.