J.D. Power: Issuers Could Improve Communication About Credit Card Benefits

A lack of understanding about credit card rewards offerings may affect consumers’ satisfaction with their issuer, according to the J.D. Power 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study released today. While consumers have a wide array of credit card rewards and benefits on the market to choose from, the study found that while 66% of consumers completely understand rewards offerings, just 36% fully understand the supplementary benefits available to them. That can affect overall satisfaction—those who fully understood their benefits had satisfaction scores that were 165 points higher than those who did not, the study found.

“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,” said J.D. Power’s John Cabell. He added that issuers “should now turn their attention to communication to help customers extract the full value from their products and buttress themselves against competition from a growing crop of rivals.”

Discover was the highest ranked issuer with a top score of 842, followed by American Express, with a score of 838. Among large Visa or Mastercard issuers, Capital One and Chase ranked highest, with both notching scores of 807. Barclays followed close behind with a score of 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 866. BB&T was the top-rated regional issuer at 811, followed by PNC with a satisfaction rating of 810.