J.D. Power: Lavish Credit Card Rewards, Bonuses Drive Consumer Satisfaction

Generous rewards and sign-up offers, especially in super-prime customer segments, have helped drive up consumer satisfaction with credit cards, according to a J.D. Power study released today. Customer satisfaction was at 802 out of 1,000, the highest score in the study’s history. Cash-back rewards cards saw the highest satisfaction levels, while airline and store-branded cards had the lowest levels of satisfaction in the study.

The study also showed that regional banks’ credit card offerings are increasingly competitive with large nationwide card issuers; regionals’ share of the active bank credit card market has grown 24 percent since the end of 2014. The satisfaction gap between nationwide issuers and regional banks has narrowed to 10 points, J.D. Power said — and Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Bank scored higher than any of the nationwide Visa or Mastercard issuers studied.

American Express and Discover took home the top scores of 835 and 827, respectively. Among large Visa or Mastercard issuers, Capital One was first at 808, followed by Barclaycard at 806. Had USAA Federal Savings Bank — whose membership criteria meant J.D. Power left it out of the rankings — been included, it would have scored 871. Regions Bank was the top-rated regional issuer at 814, followed by BB&T with a satisfaction rating of 797.

“It’s a really good time to be a credit card customer,” said J.D. Power’s Jim Miller. “Overall satisfaction is up across the board, and growing numbers of card companies and regional banks are coming to the market with new products that offer rich sign-up bonuses, increased cash-back rewards and new benefits.”