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USAA takes top spot in survey

By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com
Friday, March 9, 2012
Posted: 10 am ET

A new survey measuring customer experience named USAA as the top-rated credit card company among nine other issuers.

The financial services company that caters primarily to military service personnel also was the only issuer to receive a "good" rating in the report by Temkin Group, a customer experience consulting firm in Waban, Mass.

The accolade adds to a host of other honors the bank, insurance credit card company has received lately.

The Temkin report rated customer experiences with 206 large companies in 18 industries based on a survey of 10,000 Americans this January. The 10 credit card issuers were American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citigroup, Discover, HSBC, U.S. Bank, USAA and Wells Fargo.

The ratings evaluated whether each company met consumers' needs, how easy it was -- or wasn't -- for consumers to do business with the company and how consumers felt about their interactions with the company.

Bruce Temkin, the consulting firm's managing partner and author of the report, said in a statement that USAA stood out as "the shining light for customer experience in the credit card industry."

American Express, Chase, Discover and U.S. Bank all earned "OK" ratings, while Citigroup, Capital One, HSBC, Bank of America and Wells Fargo garnered "poor" ratings. No issuer received "excellent," the highest rating.

(It should be noted that Discover took the top spot in a recent customer preference and loyalty survey for the 16th straight year.)

Customer experience ratings for issuers have changed little compared with last year, the study found. U.S. Bank showed the largest year-over-year increase, while Capital One and Citigroup showed the sharpest declines from 2011 to 2012.

The average rating for all 10 issuers placed the credit card industry 11th out of 18 industries in the study, a reflection of relatively poor customer experiences. USAA as a credit card issuer ranked No. 35 overall in the survey, tied with seven other companies and itself in two different categories (banking and insurance).

USAA has also been recognized as a preferred employer by several prestigious magazines. Fortune ranked the company among the top 20 in its latest "100 Best Companies to Work For" list, and Computerworld ranked the company at the top of its 2011 "Best Places to Work in IT" list. USAA also topped Military Spouse magazine's list of military spouse-friendly employers.

Headquartered in San Antonio, USAA has 23,000 employees. The company issues American Express, Visa and MasterCard branded cards.

Follow me on Twitter: @marciegeff.

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