J.D. Power Reports Small Business Credit Card Satisfaction Surge

As small businesses continue to recover from the pandemic, it seems as though other aspects of their financial lives are normalizing as well. For example, a new survey finds that business owners are happier with their reward credit cards compared to last year. In fact, the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Small Business Credit Card Satisfaction Study — which included participation from more than 3,000 small business credit card customers between July and September — shows a significant increase.

First, out of J.D. Power’s 1,000 point scale, overall small business credit card customer satisfaction reached 852. That marks a 12-point increase from 2020. Furthermore, it seems as though this rise can be partially attributed to positive feelings business owners now have toward credit issuers due to their pandemic response.

Looking specifically at different card issuers, there was a three-way tie for first. American Express, Capital One, and Discover all achieved a score of 864 on the index. The only other issuer to exceed the average was Bank of America. Of the issuers assessed by J.D. Power, U.S. Bank earned the lowest rating, with a satisfaction score of 819.

When it comes to credit card rewards, the largest single driver of customer satisfaction this year involved airline miles. This rewards type saw a 16-point surge this year. Of course, this is likely because travel was severely diminished last year, making mile accumulation less popular. In turn, however, several airline co-branded cards offered enhanced welcome bonuses and other perks that may have also goosed satisfaction overall this time around.

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Offering an assessment of this year’s survey results, J.D. Power director of wealth and lending intelligence John Cabell said, “The strongest drivers of small business customer satisfaction with credit cards is a strong alignment between specific business needs and individual card benefit.” Cabell went on to contrast last year with this one, explaining, “We saw the dark side of that phenomenon during the height of the pandemic when many customers were more frustrated with fees and credit limits and not able to take advantage of card benefits. Now, as the outlook is starting to improve for many small businesses, airline cards—as well as retail cards and bank brand cards—are starting to play a major role in the customer rewards satisfaction equation.”

While the pandemic was certainly a trying time for many small businesses, the good news is that 32% of those surveyed by J.D. Power report that they’re better off financially now than they were last year. At the same time, it seems that these business owners mostly approved of some of the adjustments and accommodations that credit card issuers made over the past year. Beyond impacting this year’s satisfaction survey, it will be interesting to see whether these positive feelings continue into subsequent J.D Power studies.

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Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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