With all of the hanky panky going on with merchants holding onto customers’ cash but not providing the service (see AMEX and AirFrance collusion: Is Air France Is Refusing Cash Refunds in a Deal With Amex France), 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).
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”. 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?? 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: American Express Now Charging $25 Fee To Reopen Closed Card - Doctor Of Credit
Combined with the clawbacks, financial reviews, etc… I am beginning to think AMEX is in the opposite end of the spectrum of customer service.
I have found the customer service at Discover to be quite good . . . . really good actually.
If only my Discover Miles card offered a 2% reward across the board I would be using it more. But right now I have 2% cards I’m not using, so Discover at just 1.5% has been in the sock drawer for a long time, despite their fine service.
Service is important. Money in my pocket is even more important.
I’m just going to throw this out here. My wife’s car was broken into this morning and her wallet was stolen. Yep, she was completely careless there by leaving it in the car. Compounding the damage was that she was carrying cards that she normally does not carry - unfortunately she was traveling recently so I had to cancel and reissue 5 different cards across 4 issuers.
AMEX was far and away the easiest. I was able to go into the account online and they are overnighting a card, free of charge. This was for the Hilton Aspire.
Chase and Alliant were also very easy, although they are taking their sweet time to send the replacement cards. This was for an Alliant debit and Chase Freedom/Freedom Unlimited card. Chase gave me the same 7-10 day timeframe in the past for the CSR so the tier/prestige of the card doesn’t seem to matter. The CFU card is annoying as it is currently our card of choice for non-category spend and so having to wait 10 days over what’s traditionally a time of higher non-category spend is unfortunate.
BoA… OMG. This was easily the worst of the bunch. Their online lost/stolen feature was almost impossible to find, and once I did find it, it was broken and they said to call. I did that, was on hold for 20 minutes, and in that time, a fraudulent charge was processed. That created an additional headache, they will “investigate” and get back to us in a week. The only reason we have this card (the Alaska Visa) is to get the free bag, companion fare, and discounts on in-flight and lounge passes. I wish I could get rid of it, but I think we’re stuck with it.
In summary: AMEX was great. Chase and Alliant were ok. BoA was terrible.
Did you ask if they could speed that up or overnight it? Sometimes asking does the trick.
Thanks for the tip. I usually avoid the phone at all costs, but this one paid off - they will overnight the card. I put well north of $50k/yr on that card so it would seem they are willing to accommodate their higher spenders.
Great advice, and congrats on getting it to work. Also, Chase has been 3 days for us on compromised (not lost) cards.
If the request doesn’t help, you can sometimes get the card number/exp/pin over the phone. Amex did this for me when we were in the midst of an online purchase when the card went compromised.
Why are you doing all of this? If you’re going through all the pain, how is your wife going to learn? Just kidding. We all know the answer.
Hah! We do indeed! But of course, being an enthusiast myself, I give her credit for putting up with my instructions on when to use what card. I mean, she was carrying 5 cards for a reason, you know? I would assume the average American carries 1 debit card and 1 credit card, right?
I wish contactless (and thus use of mobile wallets) was more of a reliable thing in the US. It is starting to catch on, but gas stations, hotels, home improvement stores, sit-down restaurants, and of course the internet all still live off either the chip/mag stripe or physical number. Instant replacement in cases of fraud and the security benefits of tokenization are things that could be a reality if vendors invested in the right equipment.
Unable to speak for the average American.
I routinely carry five credit cards and use all of them on the same shopping trip.
I have never carried, or used, a debit card.
How do you withdraw cash? Do you go to a teller or something?
I guess you could get an ATM-only card, but most banks/CUs won’t offer that service anymore.