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Leading the pack, again

The 2018 edition of the J.D. Power Singapore Credit Card Satisfaction Study saw American Express rank highest in credit card satisfaction. PHOTO: AMEX
The 2018 edition of the J.D. Power Singapore Credit Card Satisfaction Study saw American Express rank highest in credit card satisfaction. PHOTO: AMEX

An established industry study shows that American Express customers in Singapore are the most satisfied for the fourth year running

For the fourth straight year, American Express topped up an industry-leading survey on credit card satisfaction among consumers in Singapore, reinforcing the brand’s commitment to delivering world-class service to its cardholders. 

The J.D. Power Singapore Credit Card Satisfaction Study – is an industry benchmark that measures customer satisfaction with the products and services provided by their credit card issuers. J.D. Power interacts with millions of consumers around the world to better understand their perceptions and expectations about their credit card providers. Financial institutions that subscribe to the firm’s studies are able to use the findings to identify areas which need improvement and that have the greatest impact on customer satisfaction in order to protect and increase market share.

The 2018 edition of the study showed that American Express ranked highest in credit card satisfaction with an overall score of 764 out of 1,000; emerging as the top performer in four of the six factors measured.  The survey – which is based on responses from 2,900 credit cardholders here – examines customer satisfaction with the products and services provided by their main financial institution. Specifically, it measures overall satisfaction in six key factors. In order of importance, these are: customer interaction (29%); rewards (18%); benefits and services (17%); credit card terms (16%); communication (16%); and key moments (4%). 

American Express’s commitment to the customer experience is one of the key reasons it stayed ahead of the chasing pack yet again. According to J.D. Power, the study results – which showed an overall drop in satisfaction – demonstrated that competing on rewards alone is not a winning strategy. Following a 30-point improvement between 2017 and 2016, customers’ overall satisfaction with card issuers fell by 9 points in 2018.

“This drop in satisfaction shows that cardholders are not only hungry for more rewards, but also that issuers competing on rewards alone is a never-ending battle, and this is not financially sustainable in the long term. To compete and differentiate in the market place, issuers need to go back to the basics, listen to their cardholders and invest in making the customer journey frictionless,” said Anthony Chiam, Regional Practice Leader, Global Business Intelligence - Asia & Australia at J.D Power.


American Express' commitment to the customer experience is one of the key reasons for its continued success. PHOTO: AMEX

American Express Singapore Country Manager, Mr. Ho Yat-Wai said that the survey results reflect the brand’s continuous focus on ensuring that their Card Members are put at the centre of everything they do. “Customer service has been in our DNA since day one. If you’ve lost your card in Milan and need a replacement in three business days, with our global presence, we can do that for you.” he said. 

Yet, rewards are still a big lure for credit card customers in Singapore. Despite being less satisfied with such programmes in 2018 compared to a year earlier, some 66% of cardholders still chose their primary card based on the rewards offered. American Express comes out tops in this respect as well, comfortably coming out ahead of its competitors in this category.

Engendering trust among its Card Members is another of American Express’s key attractions. According to J.D. Power, nearly 9 in 10 customers lack a complete understanding of their credit card terms. Legal and regulatory language is the primary driver of this confusion, with 58% of customers saying they “do not” understand the terms. 

American Express strives to keep its Card terms and conditions simple enough for the layman to understand. Offers and special promotions are also designed to be as transparent as possible; with no hidden catches or costs.

“Building trust with our Card Members is a key priority for us. And that means providing products and services that deliver what we promise to. What you see is what you get,” says Mr. Ho. 

The J.D. Power study covered 10 major credit card issuers in the market, with satisfaction scores based on the customer’s primary card used. The study was conducted in September and October 2018.