Credit Card Companies with the Most Complaints

Posted by Leland On March - 12 - 2014 0 Comment

Knowing about the “worst” credit card companies gives consumers some insight to help them when choosing one. While it is only natural for any company to receive complaints, a large number of customers filing complaints certainly raise red flags. Customers tend to complain as a result of either party’s failure to manage expectations, or a misunderstanding between consumer and company.

Thanks to the formation of agencies to serve as watchdogs for consumer protection, companies will work harder to show accountability and transparency. Once such agency is the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which maintains a database of consumer complaints they have received on financial products and services. According to company website, the agency doesn’t verify facts alleged in the complaints but makes an effort to ensure that there are healthy commercial relationships between companies and consumers.

CFPB is the government agency responsible for guarding consumer rights in the financial sector. The jurisdiction of the agency covers banks, credit unions, debt collectors, mortgage-servicing operations, and other financial companies in the United States. The bureau was created through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

On its database of consumer complaints, the bureau has compiled complaints on different financial products including bank accounts, credit reporting, debt collection, mortgages, student loans, other consumer loans, and credit cards.

Credit Card Complaints Submitted to the CFPB in 2013

Through the credit cards complaint database, we could get an idea of which credit card companies has the most complaints. For this analysis, we downloaded the database to Excel and filtered the results based on the date that the bureau received the complaint and focused on complaints that were received by the agency for the whole of 2013, starting from January 1 to December 1.

After filtering the results, we find that there are over 13,000 credit card complaints submitted to the bureau within the said period. The reasons for the complaints vary but the complaint category that had the highest number of complaints among credit cardholders was “Billing Disputes,” with a recorded total of 2,424 complaints for the entire year.

Another major reason for consumer complaints on credit cards is Identity Theft/ Fraud/ Embezzlement, with a recorded total of 954 complaints; followed by Closing and Cancelling Account, with 931 complaints. The fourth top reason for credit card complaints was the card’s APR or Interest Rate, with 835 complaints. Here are other reasons for complaints with corresponding statistics.

  • Advertising and Marketing: 398
  • Application Process Delay: 82
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 167
  • Billing Statement: 356
  • Collection Debt Dispute: 281
  • Credit Card Protection:391
  • Credit Determination: 483
  • Credit Line Increase/ Decrease: 334
  • Credit Reporting: 456
  • Customer Service/ Customer Relations: 439
  • Delinquent Account: 359
  • Forbearance/ Workout Plans: 97
  • Late Fee: 570
  • Overlimit Fee: 43
  • Payoff Process: 365
  • Rewards: 323
  • Transaction Issue: 346
  • Unsolicited Issuance of Credit Card: 204

There are some other complaint categories in the Bureau’s database that were not included here. The takeaway from these figures is that credit card companies can do a lot of more work in addressing the top concerns of their consumers, such as in billing and in explaining to their customers about the interest rates on their credit cards.

Credit card companies can also do more to keep their consumers safe from embezzlement and fraud as this is still a cause of a lot of complaints to the Bureau.

Credit Card Companies with the Most Complaints in 2013

With the Bureau’s data filtered to complaints received in 2013, we get a picture of which company has the most number of complaints. The data shows that Capital One has the most complaints from consumers in 2013, with 2,210 complaints received. Capital One had 397 complaints regarding billing disputes and 110 complaints regarding the APR or interest rate.

Second on the list is Bank of America with 1,497 complaints and closely followed by JP Morgan Chase, with 1,492 complaints for the same period. Bank of America had 98 complaints regarding identity theft/ fraud/ embezzlement category, while JP Morgan Chase had 131 complaints in the same category.

While these numbers may seem high, it is also worth considering that these are also the banks with the most number of cards issued, so they have a higher likelihood of getting complaints.

About the Author

Jep Barroga is a blogger & editorial specialist for a credit card comparison website called MoneyHero. At night, you can find him listening to 80’s and 90’s music and building rockets in Kerbal Space Program.

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