Canadians’ favourite credit card is Loblaw Cos.’s President’s Choice Financial and many consumers prefer cards that offer satisfying rewards programs, according to a new study by J.D. Power.
Considered “among the best,” PC Financial was ranked number one for customer satisfaction, scoring 788 out of 1,000, easily beating the country’s largest credit-card issuer, Toronto-Dominion Bank. Other preferred cards include American Express Co. (780 points), Canadian Tire (774 points) and Capital One (764 points), which were rated “better than most.”
The lowest-rated cards were Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and MBNA Canada (both scoring 741 points) and Toronto-Dominion (739 points).
Consumers graded the credit card companies on factors such as benefits, communication, terms, customer interaction, key moments and rewards, reports Bloomberg.
Credit card reward programs are becoming increasingly more important to consumers. Over the past year, 48 percent who switched their cards did so for a better rewards program.
“There’s more to a satisfying rewards program than just the amount of points, miles or cash cardholders can earn,” said Jim Miller, Vice President, Banking and Credit Card Practice at J.D. Power, in a statement. “Understanding how to redeem rewards—and having redeemed rewards recently—has a significant effect on satisfaction and loyalty levels. As such, card issuers need to educate cardholders on how to redeem their rewards and design programs in a manner that encourages frequent redemptions.”
Meanwhile, Air Canada, TD Bank, CIBC and Visa Canada announced in August that they jointly plan to buy Aeroplan’s loyalty program for $450 million. “Prior to the announcement, the uncertainty surrounding Aeroplan was seen to have affected customer satisfaction,” noted J.D. Power.
“The Aeroplan program will move to a new Air Canada rewards program in 2020,” Miller commented. “It will be critical for the airline and credit card partners to build a new rewards program that is transparent and easy to understand.”
More than 6,000 credit card holders participated in the study.