While credit cards have numerous benefits, there’s one factor that can send many cardholders running for the hills—poor customer service. When the thought of calling your credit card company gives you a headache, it’s hard to imagine staying for the long haul. Let’s have a look at some major card issuers that are known for taking good care of their customers.
5 major credit card issuers with the best customer service
Consumers considering a new credit card may want to pay special attention to companies who have received high rankings for how they treat their customers during the good times and the bad. The J.D. Power 2021 Credit Card Satisfaction Study is the premier source for determining overall customer satisfaction. The 2021 study included responses from nearly 28,000 credit card customers.
Their survey results show that, although most major credit card issuers score relatively high, some card issuers stand out when it comes to pleasing their customers.
American Express came in at No. 1 in the J.D. Power study with 838 out of 1,000 points. This is not surprising—Amex is well known for its great customer service. It offers 24/7 customer service over the phone, secure messaging and even online chat. Its online chat service is frequently praised by customers who want to get issues resolved while at work or don’t have time to call into the customer service line. Amex also features a robust mobile app where you can monitor your purchases, make payments, review your cardholder benefits and more.
Amex is well known for its travel cards and VIP airport lounge access, but the issuer also offers popular grocery and dining-focused cards like the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card.
Discover earned the No. 2 spot in J.D. Power’s 2021 study, with 837 points out of 1,000 points. That’s much higher than the major issuer average of 809. Not only does Discover offer a consumer-friendly mobile app that lets you monitor your account, make payments and redeem rewards, but it promises that its customer service is based in the U.S. You also have 24-hour access to the customer service line, and you can contact them by mail.
Discover has fan-favorite cards like the Discover it® Cash Back and Discover it® Miles, which come with no annual fees and no foreign transaction fees. Their rewards programs are straightforward as well, allowing you to redeem rewards for cash back, statement credits, gift cards and merchandise.
Capital One is another issuer that beat the industry average, coming in at No. 3 with 815 points in J.D. Power’s 2021 Credit Card Satisfaction Study. In addition to its 24/7 customer service line, you can call collect from an international number to cancel a stolen card and ask for a replacement. Capital One’s mobile app also lets you pay your bill, bank on the go and more. You can even lock your card with the app if it’s misplaced, lost or stolen.
Capital One has many popular rewards cards, many of which frequently have a spot on top rewards cards lists, like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the recently launched Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.
Chase came in at No. 4 in the J.D. Power study, scoring 807 points out of 1,000, which is only a couple of points lower than the industry average. However, Chase still receives high customer service marks due to its outreach and social media presence. Customers can easily reach Chase over its 24-hour phone line, via secure online messaging or by mail. The Chase mobile app also makes it easy for Chase cardholders to keep track of purchases and rewards.
Speaking of rewards, the Chase Ultimate Rewards program—which you can access through cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card—is one of the best rewards programs available.
Citi tied with Bank of America for the No. 5 spot—both issuers scored 805 out of 1,000 points in the J.D. Power study—but we’ll give preference here to Citi since its rewards card offerings tend to be more popular with customers. Two of its most popular rewards cards, both with no annual fee, include the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card and the Citi® Double Cash Card.
Some of Citi’s customer service features include a 24/7 service phone line, free access to your FICO credit score, fraud alerts and enhanced account protection, among other benefits.
The bottom line
As a cardholder, make sure you assess your overall satisfaction with an issuer; the rewards you receive with a card are only part of the picture. Take note of when you experience both good and bad customer service, and keep the major issuers’ customer service rankings in mind before opening a new credit card. That way, you can hopefully avoid opening a card that you’ll be more likely to cancel down the line due to bad customer service.