Discover Dethrones Amex as America’s Best Credit Card Company

Discover was named the card provider with the highest satisfaction ratings from consumers, according to market research firm J.D. Power. It dethroned American Express, which held the top spot for the last nine years.

Credit Card Ranking

Discover has been inching up in the rankings, tying with American Express for the top spot last year and coming in second the year before. Cardholders may be responding to new perks being offered by Discover, which sweetened its credit card rewards program and made it easier for people to use their cash rewards. The latest survey of 20,000 people might also have something to do with the double cash back offer which has made the Discover It a very valuable and profitable card.

I got my first Discover card this year and I’m very happy with it thus far. One of the great options that comes along with it is Discover Deals which is probably one of the best cash back portals out there, available to Discover cardholders only. Regarding the ease of cashing rewards you can purchase gift cards with the cash back directly from the Discover website. There’s some decent deals in there such as $20 for $40 on car rental gift cards and a few others.

Cardholders who link their credit cards with their accounts are also reminded at checkout that they can pay for all or part of the purchase using the cash rewards they’ve earned.

One little thing that bothers me a bit about the cash back is that you can only transfer it to an account that you have used to pay your credit card. Not even your Discover Checking shows up as an option unless you’ve used it to pay your card. Not a big deal though.

The survey points out that some members may appreciate that Discover doesn’t charge annual fees, but still offers rewards on most of its cards.

Discover was also one of the first credit card companies to offer consumers free access to their FICO credit score, a perk that more credit card companies now offer. It recently rolled out a feature that allows account holders who have misplaced their cards to put a temporary freeze on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.

Discover and AmEx have approximately 36 million and 42 million active cardholder accounts, respectively, according to PaymentsSource.

AmEx ranked second this year, and Chase came in third. Capital One recorded the largest improvement from last year, gaining 25 points in its rating.

Will Tsang, a spokesman for American Express, said that while the issuer “didn’t come out on top this year,” feedback from customers shows that cardholders are still satisfied with their accounts. The company, which branded its card as something coveted by affluent consumers, is making changes to appeal to a broader customer base, Miller said. There’s a wide selection of more basic cards and there’s also all the news about the addition of Serve flavors.

The last spot went to Synchrony Bank, which runs some of the credit cards linked to retailers. I’ve never dealt with them myself, but from what I’ve read there’s a lot of complaints about their customer service and high rates.

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