Consumer Payment Card News

Satisfied Cardholders

Chase Manhattan scored big in the J.D. Power and Associates ‘1998 Comprehensive Cardholder Satisfaction Study’. The Chase ‘Wal-Mart MasterCard’ topped the gold/basic card category and the Chase ‘Platinum’ card aced the platinum category. The Chase ‘Toys R’ Us card (initially issued by Bank of New York) also ranked “above average” among reward cards, betting out its sister card, the Chase ‘Shell MasterCard’. Two of the industry’s most aggressive issuers, First USA and Capital One, ranked “below average” in the gold/basic and platinum categories. Power said it interviewed more than 12,000 cardholders seeking data on six key measures including: customer service; card servicing and reputation; price; rewards; credit and payment policy.

           Overall Cardholder Satisfaction: Index Scores
                    Standard/Gold           Platinum
Chase Wal-Mart           104                   NA
Optima Card              103                   NA
Citibank                 102                  105
MBNA America             102                  102
First Union              102                   NA
AT&T Universal           102                  102
First Card               100                  101
U.S. Bank                 99                  102
Chase                     98                  106
Industry Average          98                  100
   Source: J.D. Powers and Associates

FULL STORY:
With credit cardholders carrying an average of four general-purpose credit cards in their wallets, the cards with the highest customer satisfaction ranking are revealed in the J.D. Power and Associates 1998 Comprehensive Cardholder Satisfaction Study. Chase Wal-Mart has the highest overall satisfaction among Gold/Basic cardholders; Novus’ Discover and Private Issue cards, with their cash-back features, tied among Reward cardholders; and Chase Platinum ranked highest in satisfaction among Platinum cardholders.

“In a year where spending on credit cards has risen by 16 percent, cardholder servicing has and will continue to significantly impact cardholder behavior,” said Andrew March, director of financial services at J.D. Power and Associates. “Those issuers that excel in the cardholder servicing area will accrue greater results.”

Overall customer satisfaction in each of the three credit card categories are impacted similarly by six key measures. With customer service by far the most important, the six measures include:

* Customer Service: The importance of knowledgeable, courteous and professional customer service representatives;

* Card Servicing and Reputation: Accurate billing statements and clear and timely communication of policy changes;

* Price: Fair annual interest rate/APR;

* Rewards: Bonus points and rebates;

* Credit: Providing a credit limit that meets customer needs; and

* Payment Policy: Grace period.

In addition to strength in Customer Service, the top-ranked credit card issuers also demonstrated high levels of customer satisfaction in other areas. Novus’ Discover and Private Issue cards are strong in Price, whereas Chase Wal-Mart and Chase Platinum are strong in Card Servicing/Reputation as well as Price.

“Loyalty, frequency of use and total credit card spending are all enhanced when issuers achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction,” said March. “That’s what drives the consumer decision-making process.”

The Comprehensive Cardholder Satisfaction Study analyzes and ranks customer satisfaction performance of 23 credit card issuers that offer 54 individual credit cards. A total of 12,082 consumer credit cardholders were surveyed in this independently funded J.D. Power and Associates study.

J.D. Power and Associates is an international firm best known for its marketing information services in key business sectors including market research, forecasting and customer satisfaction. The firm’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on actual customer responses from more than one million consumers annually. Headquartered in Agoura Hills, Calif., the firm also has U.S. offices in Torrance, Calif., Michigan and Connecticut. International locations include Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom, Canada and Brazil.

J.D. Power and Associates can be accessed through the World Wide Web at http://www.jdpower.com. Media e-mail contact: [email protected]

                          J.D. Power and Associates 1998
                    Comprehensive Cardholder Satisfaction Study

          Overall Customer Satisfaction: Index Scores - Gold/Basic Cards

                    Chase Wal-Mart                            104
                    Optima Card                               103
                    Citibank                                  102
                    MBNA America                              102
                    First Union                               102
                    AT&T Universal                            102
                    First Card                                100
                    U.S. Bank                                  99
                    Chase                                      98
                    Industry Average                           98

Finishing below industry average in alphabetical order are: Advanta, BankAmericard, Capital One, First USA, Fleet Bank, Household Bank, NationsBank, Providian Bancorp, The Associates, Wachovia Bank and Wells Fargo.
Source: J.D. Power and Associates 1998 Comprehensive Cardholder Satisfaction Study.

                          J.D. Power and Associates 1998
                 Comprehensive Cardholder Satisfaction Study

            Overall Customer Satisfaction: Index Scores - Reward Cards

                    Discover                                  106
                    Private Issue Card                        106
                    Chase Toys R' Us                          105
                    Industry Average                          104

Finishing below industry average in alphabetical order are: Associates Amoco, Banc One BP Oil, Chase Shell, Citibank AAdvantage, Delta Skymiles, GE Rewards, GM Card, Mileage Plus First Card and NationsBank Dividend Miles Visa.
Source: J.D. Power and Associates 1998 Comprehensive Cardholder Satisfaction Study.

                          J.D. Power and Associates 1998
                 Comprehensive Cardholder Satisfaction Study

           Overall Customer Satisfaction: Index Scores - Platinum Cards

                    Chase                                     106
                    Citibank                                  105
                    MBNA America                              102
                    U.S. Bank                                 102
                    AT&T Universal                            102
                    First Card                                101
                    Industry Average                          100

Finishing below industry average in alphabetical order are: Advanta, Capital One, First USA and Providian Bancorp.

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