Credit cards: How high does your card rank?

Credit card companies are getting higher marks from consumers, according to a J.D Power study.

Paul Sakuma/AP/File
American Express and other credit cards are posted at a store in Los Altos, Calif., in this file photo. American Express cards ranked No. 1 for customer satisfaction for the fifth year in a row in a new J.D. Power survey.

Credit card companies don't rate high in public opinion. High rates, steep fees, and hard-to-understand terms and conditions upset consumers and make it hard for the plastic to be warm and fuzzy..

But credit card issuers seem to be making some improvement, perhaps because they're increasing consumers rewards or maybe because of the new provisions of the CARD Act.

Credit card customer satisfaction has increased for a second consecutive year, according to a J.D. Power and Associates study released Thursday.

Overall credit card satisfaction rose to an average 731 on a 1,000-point scale this year, up from 714 in 2010 and 705 in 2009. The study measured customer satisfaction in six areas -- interaction; credit card terms; billing and payment process; credit card rewards; benefits and services; and problem resolution.

American Express ranked highest in customer satisfaction for a fifth consecutive year with a score of 786. The issuer scored well in benefits and services, credit card terms, and rewards factors. Discover Card was second with a score of 779, performing well in the interaction factor. Barclaycard ranks third with 739.

Provisions of the CARD Act may be helping to change public opinion. For example, the new law requires card issuers to give 45 days' notice of most changes in your account rather than just 15 days; places restrictions on marketing cards to people under 21; offers a chart on your monthly bill, which shows how much interest you will pay if you just pay the minimum monthly payment each month; and restricts issuers from raising your interest rates during the first year of a new account.

Credit card customers also reported fewer problems – 11 percent in 2011, compared with 14 percent in 2010. Problems were resolved more quickly this year (4.9 days versus 5.8 days in 2010), and required fewer contacts (1.8 vs. 2.2 in 2010).

Here's how J.D. Power ranked the companies. How did your credit card company rank?

Issuer Index score

American Express 786
Discover Card 779
Barclaycard 739
Chase 735
(Industry Average) 731
Wells Fargo 726
U.S. Bank 721
Capital One 720
Citi Cards 711
Bank of America 705
HSBC 689

Bill Hardekopf is founder of, a credit-card information site.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.