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High street stores best for credit cards

Which? Money reveals the cards you like most

Consumers are more satisfied with credit cards from high-street stores than those from the big names such as Barclaycard and American Express, Which? Money reveals today.

Its survey of more than 6,300 people found that the John Lewis/Waitrose group credit card was the best for customer satisfaction.

A massive 84% of John Lewis/Waitrose customers said they were very satisfied with the service they receive.

The group got high ratings for the accuracy and clarity of its statements, and was the provider most likely to be recommended to a friend.

Reward scheme

Many of the well-known credit card providers scored poorly – only 38% of Lloyds TSB customers and 42% of American Express customers were very satisfied. Mint came bottom of the table, with just 32% very satisfied.

The most common reason given for choosing a card was having another financial product with the provider – 28% said this – while 21% chose their card because of its reward scheme.

Which? Money also found that 71% of those surveyed have had their credit limit raised without asking and 62% had been sent credit card cheques, which are a costly way to borrow as they carry a cash-handling fee and charge interest at the higher cash-advance rate, with no interest-free period.

Spending habits

Which? Money Editor Martyn Hocking said: ‘High street retailers are clearly stealing a march on traditional credit card providers when it comes to keeping customers satisfied – John Lewis/Waitrose is leading the field, but Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Sainsburys all fare well too.

‘You could also be wasting money if you hold a card with one of the big four banks – only Barclays currently offers a card that makes it into the Which? Money Best Buy tables.

‘You should choose a credit card according to your spending habits and how much you repay each month. If you hold a card simply because you have another product with that provider or for reward scheme points then watch out – you’re unlikely to be getting the best deal.’

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