Best Credit Card Issuers for Customer Service

Best Credit Card Issuers for Customer Service
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With all of the hanky panky going on with merchants holding onto customers’ cash but not providing the service (see AMEX and AirFrance collusion: https://www.flyertalk.com/articles/is-air-france-is-refusing-cash-refunds-in-a-deal-with-amex-france.html), I’m curious to know which issuers have a solid track record of customer service.

In terms of my own experience, it’s been rather poor. I hold cards from AMEX, Barclays, BoA, Citi, and City National Bank. AMEX’s anti-consumer actions as of late (denying chargebacks, clawbacks of travel credits that were refunded from many months ago) have left a foul taste in my mouth. Barclays is stuck in the 20th century with their processes and tech stack - you need to fax in chargeback requests, for instance, and they only correspond with you on status through USPS. City National Bank stripped their Crystal Visa Infinite card of most of its benefits, and left a lot of their customers in a lurch when Visa shut down their travel agency (and thus they couldn’t cancel tickets purchased via rewards). I don’t plan on keeping that card when the next AF hits in July.

So that leaves Citi and BoA. To be honest, these are sock drawered cards (Citi Dividend, Alaska Visa) that I don’t have a lot of experience with. Interestingly, I have heard positive things about Citi, so I’d be curious to hear from others on this.

If there are any smaller credit unions, or other issuers that people like, let’s share them here.

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I use my Chase cards a lot(AARP 3% for gas and eating out all year, Freedom for 5% rotating categories, and Amazon for 5% on Amazon.com and for no foreign transaction fees when travelling internationally). Their customer service over the phone has been good and I’ve had no issues with chargebacks when I’ve filed.

I also use Discover for rotating 5% categories. I don’t have much direct knowledge of their customer service but I heard it’s all based in the USA and supposedly has a reputation for being excellent.

I have a PSECU and a Fidelity card(issued by Elan) for 2% ongoing cash back. I haven’t had to use either of their customer service departments for anything, however I have other accounts at PSECU and their customer service in regard to those other accounts has been excellent. PSECU is a credit union which may help. No experiences at all with Fidelity(Elan).

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My two cents:

Amex - I’ve always felt Amex was anti-me (refusing to refund the entire annual fee if I call in right when I get the statement, but 7 days after the fee hits; making me wait months to get my earned reward points; giving me an airline reward credit, but making it really hard to use, removing secured messaging… and the chat service sucks, they seem to only know how to type, “No.”; etc). I haven’t had any points/rewards claw backs, but that would really make me mad.

Citi - Call in service is fine, secured messaging from Citi is worthless. The rewards value on their cards has gone down hill so I have zero rewards cards from them right now. (But like all card issuers, this will eventually change, it seems very cyclical.)

Chase - I’ve had good luck with their phone and secured messaging customer service. In fact, they might have the best service of any card company.

BOA - If you think their phone service is bad, try going into the branch (they don’t want you in the branch and it shows). But… they have an ass-load of ATMs.

PenFed - 15 years ago they were the tops, these days I think they might be worse than Amex or BOA.

Navy Fed - I wish they had more products I could use, they usually have pretty amazing service. About the only think I don’t like about them is their screwed up ACH capabilities.

FIA/Elan - For the Fidelity 2% card… I don’t think I’ve had to deal with their service in a long time, but that must say something. I’m guessing if I don’t remember, the service must be pretty good!

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I have generally positive opinion of Discover and Citibank.

I’ve had their cards for 20+ years.

Can’t say I’ve had a lot of customer support interactions with either but I don’t recall problems with them or their websites. Citi’s anti fraud dept. is sometimes excessive but hard to fault them too much for being aggressive against fraud.

Everyone else is mostly neutral or I’ve had bad experiences with. But some of the bad experiences were 10 or 20 years ago.

Chase has been mostly good in the past 10 years but i had a grudge with them from before that.

I think with any kind of bank that their customer support is only so-so and its just a matter of time until they do something to piss you off.

I haven’t had any credit card drama in a while so it’s hard to know if their service is still as good or just as bad as I remember.

Synchrony Bank is pretty bad. When I called to ask about my signup bonus, the rep kept insisting that my card doesn’t exist because they only have co-branded cards. They also blocked my gift card purchase at Target. The rep in India wanted me to send a picture of my Driver’s License for “verification”. :roll_eyes: One time, Capital One caught an actual unauthorized purchase for me.

I don’t do chargebacks very often. Nowadays most banks let you submit them online. I had the worst experience with BoA and I had to take them to their OCC overlord to get it resolved. Then there was that time I was a victim of a gift card scam but Chase and CVS worked it out. I never bought gift cards off the rack again. Fidelity had nice CS reps. They dinged my credit like 100 points for delinquent payment when I was supposed to be on auto-pay. It was a mess for several months but eventually got it cleared up so I guess they’re okay?? :man_shrugging: Bottom line - I don’t ever want to talk to customer service unless I absolutely have to.

I had a Fidelity card as my main card for quite a while but I fraud charges like 4-5 times and got convinced it wasn’t my fault or coincidence and decided it would probably Fidelity’s fault. I’ve no evidence of it but…

2% cashback everything cards are few so it’s hard to close the card even if I had a rocky relationship with them. But ever since I got Citi Double Cash, the Fidelity card just sits in the drawer until they email me a good promo.

Yeah me too, I had Fidelity for their 2% then switched to the Citi Double

Yeah there’s a snowball’s chance in hell I’m getting rid of my Priceline Visa at 3.3% cash back, despite Barclays’ incompetence and difficulty to deal with. I have a lot of transactions with the same retailers… stuff like groceries, gas, Amazon, etc where I don’t need high levels of customer service. It’s unlikely anything goes wrong with transactions like this.

But, this type of card is definitely lacking in my portfolio. I need a card to use at places like eBay/Paypal, unknown online retailers, smaller merchants like independent hotels on vacations… that kind of thing. Virtual/one time use numbers are a nice perk.
Something that actually offers you protection when dealing with unknown entities and backs up the customer. I’ve always though of AMEX being good at this, but their behavior in the last couple months seems to indicate they are hanging their customers out to dry with Coronavirus.

I might take a closer look at Citi. That sock drawered card is actually my wife’s. Maybe we can product change it into a Double Cash card.

Discover customer service has always been amazing, definitely the best of my cards.

Elan (Fidelity Visa) was very good on the one occassion I had to contact them. Chase is pretty good but not stellar, and I have had some trouble getting them to honor Chase Offers recently. My experience with Amex has generally been poor, but is highly variable depending the rep. I had a terrible experience with Citi customer service relating to a sign-up bonus which I earned but they failed to deliver, I cancelled the card and refuse to do business with them.

Interesting data point for this topic - AMEX is now charging a $25 reinstatement fee if you decide to sign up for a card you previously closed at some point in the past: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/american-express-now-charging-25-fee-to-reopen-closed-card/

Combined with the clawbacks, financial reviews, etc… I am beginning to think AMEX is in the opposite end of the spectrum of customer service.

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Eww gross :face_vomiting:

I think Amex is just being their usual self.

Amex hates its customers, but has to have them to survive.

Kind of like Hawaii and tourists.

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