Best credit cards for customer satisfaction? They aren't necessarily the cheapest...
Things are possibly looking up economically, so what better way to celebrate than by slapping extra purchases on plastic. It’s not like that’s got us in trouble in the past or anything… New figures show that credit card borrowing is rising by 5.3% a year, but it’s OK, because borrowers are becoming more savvy with it.
According to the British Bankers' Association (BBA), a massive 42% of all borrowing on credit cards is now interest-free, up from 34% two years ago. And while the availability of 0% deals hit a low after the credit crunch, the interest-free periods are now longer than ever. Transfers can now be held for almost three years interest free, and you can even purchase goods at 0% for up to 20 months now.
But are the 0% cards the best? While they may be better for your pocket, other cards offer other benefits that are valued as part of a great overall customer experience. Which!!! surveyed a load of people and worked out the top, and bottom performing credit cards for customer experience.
Balance transfer specialists are far from top of the pops, with Halifax and its noteworthy 0% for 20 months on purchases only scores 57% in the poll, putting it in 22nd place out of 36 providers. Barclaycard currently offers the longest interest-free period (33 months) on balance transfers, but it received a customer score of just 53% which is even below the average score of 58%.
So what are the nation’s favourite cards? According to the full Which!!! table, the people’s choice is, yet again, John Lewis with a customer satisfaction score of 79%, taking the title by a significant margin. In fact, it has apparently been top of the table in almost every Which! credit card customer satisfaction survey since 2010 and is one of only two providers (along with First Direct) to receive a five star rating for its customer service.
The Partnership card offers a reward scheme, which pays one point per £1 spent in John Lewis or Waitrose and one point per £2 spent elsewhere. 500 points are worth £5 in John Lewis vouchers and you also get six months' interest free on purchases.
Second spot goes to that other housewives favourite M&S, with a customer satisfaction score of 69%.Like John Lewis, M&S Bank offers a reward points-based card which pays one point per £1 spent in M&S and one point per £2 spent elsewhere. The much more generous interest-free period on purchases (15 months instead of six months) was not enough to topple the winner, however.
Hot on the heels of M&S is the Post Office in third place. With a score of 68% for customer satisfaction, this card offers 18 months' interest free on balance transfers and specialises in low or no fees for overseas spending.