When it comes to credit card satisfaction, two brands continually lead the rankings in survey after survey.
Discover (DFS) and American Express (AXP) were tops with Americans again in the most recent customer satisfaction survey. Discover slightly edged out American Express, with an overall score of 4.23 compared with 4.18, according to data from from personal finance site Credio.
The results are in line with other credit card surveys. Discover and AmEx tied for first place in the latest customer loyalty engagement index from Brand Keys. They also tied for J.D. Power's award last year for the highest customer satisfaction of credit-card companies.
Discover seems to be gaining the edge here. American Express dominated J.D. Power's award for years, which made last year's tie with Discover unusual. Discover may see continued strength this year, since American Express has had some recent high-profile stumbles.
AmEx lost its spot as the exclusive credit card at Costco Wholesale (COST) stores earlier this year, for example. "Many investors have started asking whether the loss of Costco has more profound implications," Nomura analysts said in a recent note to clients. "Have the changes taking place around us made American Express's business model less relevant in today's world than it was in the past?"
The analysts said they conducted a recent survey on customer credit card preferences, and found that while American Express' business model may be bruised, it's not broken.
American Express on Wednesday announced a loyalty program that gives consumers points for shopping at several companies and also allows them to spend the points at other companies in the network. Other companies in the venture include AT&T (T), Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Macy's (M).
Discover took the lead in the recent Credio survey because of its strong customer service, generous rewards and benefits and low fees. American Express had a higher customer service score, but it could not beat Discover on fees and rewards. The Barclays credit card program came in third, followed by U.S. Bank and Chase.
Among card issuers, four companies sat at the bottom of the rankings. Citibank (C) and Bank of America (BAC) tied for the lowest score, while Capital One (COF) and Wells Fargo (WFC) were slightly higher.
The credit-card program from insurer USAA handily beat everyone in every category, but Credio researchers excluded it from some analysis because the card is exclusively for U.S. military service members and their families and isn't available to all consumers.