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Discover tops other major card issuers in customer satisfaction ranking

In its latest credit card customer satisfaction survey, J.D. Power says better communication is key for card issuers


Discover ranks first in the annual J.D. Power Credit Card Customer Satisfaction Study for the fifth time in six years, coming in just ahead of American Express.

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Card issuers are under pressure to add new incentives and rewards as the fight for customers heats up, with economic expansion fueling consumption.

In this landscape, Discover is ahead of other national credit card issuers for customers’ credit card satisfaction, leading the pack in J.D. Power’s 2019 Credit Card Customer Satisfaction Study. Discover came in with a customer satisfaction score of 842, which is based on a 1,000-point index.

See previous coverage:  2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

Customer satisfaction ranking

American Express ranks second for customer satisfaction (838 points), followed by Capital One and Chase, which tied for third place with a score of 807 each. Looking at regional bank issuers, BBT heads up the list (811), followed by PNC (810), and BBVA Compass (801).

The J.D. Power survey ranks Discover ahead of other card issuers for the fifth time in six years.

“The credit card landscape remains competitive, and we continue to invest in technologies that improve every customer interaction with us,” Discover CEO Roger Hochschild said in a statement.

The study of 28,236 credit card owners was conducted between September 2018 and June 2019. It found that respondents were less concerned about identity theft concerns in 2019 than the year before, but the research time frame preceded news of the Capital One data breach in July.

“The average credit card customer today has roughly 16 different benefits available, yet only about one-third of customers say they completely understand all of the benefits available to them,” John Cabell, director of wealth and lending intelligence at J.D. Power, said in a statement. “While the last several years of rewards-based competition among issuers has served to steadily increase overall customer satisfaction, issuers may have wrung all of the value they can out of this approach.”

Cabell recommended issuers turn their attention to communicating with their customers so they can get the “full value” of their products and services and not turn to competitors.

See related:  More credit card accounts are open than ever before, but new ones are declining

Other key findings

  • Customers who completely understand the benefits their cards offer are more likely to be satisfied with them than others, scoring 165 points ahead of others. For rewards offerings, 66 percent fully understand what they’re getting, while only 36 percent are completely savvy about the supplementary benefits their card offers.
  • Customers are least satisfied with their card company’s explanation of benefits, along with credit card terms. Travel-related benefits tend to confuse them the most, including features such as free late checkouts and free companion tickets.
  • Only 41 percent of respondents “strongly agree” that card issuers are acting in customers’ best interests. On a seven-point scale, customers awarded issuers an average of 4.97 points for being customer-driven rather than profit-driven.
  • Fifty-two percent “strongly agree” that their card company protects their personal identity, compared to 49 percent in 2018.

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The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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