Note: All Orchard Bank credit cards are now issued by Capital One.
Credit cards are everywhere! New offers appear almost every day, on television, in your mailbox and especially on line as you surf the World Wide Web! How does the average consumer sort through this tangle of offers to find the absolute best credit cards?
Compare the best credit cards that stand out from the pack with the FREE credit card finder!
Each year J.D. Power and Associates, a global marketing and information service company, compiles customer satisfaction surveys on a number of consumer products including credit cards. At the end of 2011, J.D. Power released its current report on the best-rated credit cards.
The Best Credit Cards for 2011
This was the fifth year for the J.D. Power credit card satisfaction survey. Overall, consumers’ satisfaction with their credit cards increased for the second straight year after falling markedly in 2009 and which credit card company came out on top?
For the fifth straight year, American Express ranked the highest in the survey, achieving a score of 786 points out of a possible 1000!
Ratings are determined by polling credit card customers on six important factors:
- Company interaction
- Interest rates and other credit card terms
- Billing and processing payments
- Premiums and rewards
- Other services and benefits
- Problem solving
The average point total for customer satisfaction in 2011 was 731, an increase of 17 points from the 2010 survey.
In second place on the 2011 list is the Discover card with a total of 779 points, performing well in terms of company interaction.
Third on the list is Barclay’s BarclayCard with a score of 739 points. Next on the list are Wells Fargo then Chase Bank and Capital One, all achieving average or slightly above average ratings in the surveyed categories.
At the bottom of the pack are U.S. Bank, Citibank, Bank of America, and HSBC all with point totals that fall below the J.D. Power 731 point average score in 2011. However, there was a lot more good news than bad for recession weary credit card customers.
Credit card customers reported 3% fewer problems in 2011. 14% of consumers polled indicated they had a problem with their credit card, while only 11% indicated they had experienced problems in 2011.
Results of the 2011 J.D. Power survey also determined that problems were being resolved more quickly and required fewer customer contacts than in prior years.
New Perks for Credit Card Holders
In a recent article by Forbes Magazine, the author points out a number of newer credit card perks designed to reward cardholders who use their cards more frequently for all kinds of purchases. These perks include:
- Real customer service with live, helpful representatives
- Strong warranty and purchase protection programs
- Self-designed reward packages
- Special on-line shopping bonuses
- Travel and entertainment benefits
Some of these perks may only benefit high-end credit card customers, but most every consumer will appreciate cash rewards combined with consistent customer service.
Credit Card Deals to Look for in 2012
Daily Finance, a money and finance site sponsored by web giant AOL recently published a list of their picks for best credit cards to have in 2012. Much like the old adage beauty is in the eye of the beholder, AOL has selected the best cards in each of a number of categories.
Best Rewards Cards
For those consumers who are looking for a lasting relationship with a credit card company rather than hopping from card to card, AOL suggests the Chase sapphire preferred credit card. Chase offers an initial reward bonus of 50,000 points after spending just $3,000 in the first three months. This equates to $625 in travel perks or a $500 credit on the sapphire card!
Chase offers a point for each dollar spent on the card, doubling rewards points for monies spent on dining and travel. They will also waive the first year fee of $95 for their new sapphire credit card.
Another credit card that offers great initial as well as on-going rewards is the Capital One venture rewards card. Capital One offers a 10,000 bonus for spending $1,000 during the first three months and two-for-one travel points for all purchases. Capital One also will waive the first year’s $59 membership fee.
Other AOL favorites in this category include the escape card by Discover and the cash credit card by Capital One, which offers a 1.5% cash back bonus on all purchases.
Best Introductory Rate Card
If you’re looking for a card to transfer your high interest rate balances, AOL suggests the Citibank platinum select card. This credit card offers zero interest on transfers and purchases for the first 21 months! However, Citi does charge a 3% transfer fee. After the initial rate period, interest rates will vary between 12 and 22%, with no annual fee.
Best Card to Rebuild Credit
Orchard Bank has virtually become a household name with its frequent appearances in e-mail boxes marketing its secured credit cards. Orchard Bank’s secured MasterCard waives the first year membership fee of $35 and offers a 7.99% APR. An Orchard Bank credit card may be secured by a deposit of as little as $200.
Best Credit Card for College Students
College students who use credit cards for daily purchases will enjoy the benefits of the new Citi dividend platinum select card. Purchase charges are waived for the first seven months and 5% cash back is available during the first six months, for most any kind of purchases including utility bills, groceries, gasoline, and even purchases at drug and convenience stores!
After this initial period, Citi will then offer 2% cash back on one individual category of purchases each month. For instance, January may feature 2% cash back on gasoline while February may include the 2% cash back bonus for grocery purchases.
Honorable mention for a student credit card goes to Capital One’s Journey Rewards card, which offers a consistent cash back reward of 1.25% on all purchases.
Whatever your credit card needs, use the FREE credit card chaser to chase down deals on the best credit cards!