Discover vs. American Express vs. Chase: Which Credit Card Company Is Best?

Written by |

Are you planning to apply for a new credit card soon?

Most people likely are picking their new plastic based on some combination of annual fee, rewards program and travel perks. And, if you’re not paying your balances in full, APR is the most important consideration.

And while these are all important, perhaps there’s another factor you could add to your analysis: Do existing customers like the service they are receiving from their credit card provider?

Thanks to a recent J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, we have some data that could be helpful in determining which issuer is best for you.

In this article, I’ll walk you through what the latest data says about Discover, American Express and Chase, as well as some of our favorite credit card choices from each issuer.

Table of Contents

Discover vs. American Express vs. Chase: Which Is Best in 2023?

Discover, American Express and Chase are not all of the credit card issuers in the United States, but they are some of the most prominently discussed and well-marketed.

And as the newest J.D. Power study reveals, they’re also some of the most well-regarded among their active users.

American Express ranked as the top credit card issuer in overall customer satisfaction in the 2023 study. AmEx scored a 657 on a 1,000-point scale, placing it comfortably ahead of competitors on the index that had an issuer average score of 609.

J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study rankings
Data graphic via J.D. Power

This is hardly new “news” for American Express. The card issuer has ranked atop this index for four consecutive years, dating back to the 2020 study.

Discover tied with Bank of America to rank second among national card issuers in customer satisfaction in 2023. This is the fourth consecutive year that Discover had at least a share of second place. And Discover previously ranked first in customer satisfaction as recently as 2019.


Chase, which has many of the most recognizable credit cards on the market, ranked slightly below the index average (609) with a 607 score in 2023. That was good for fifth in the rankings.

AmEx Wins Big with Annual Fee Credit Cards

J.D. Power’s 2023 study measured customer satisfaction with cardholders who are paying annual fees for rewards credit cards.

While Discover has long kept customers happy with its menu of no-annual-fee credit cards, American Express appears to have really won over customers with its fee-based rewards credit cards.

American Express did not take the top spot in this index (Bank of America earned top billing with its Premium Rewards Elite card), but it did place three separate cards in the top 4.

Chase, which has two of the travel rewards cards that money expert Clark Howard says are among the best on the market, ranked better than segment average with both of the Sapphire cards measured in this study.

2023 J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Rewards Annual Fee rankings
Data graphic via J.D. Power

Our Favorite Discover Cards

If you’re considering adding a Discover credit card to your wallet, here are two cards that we often recommend in our “best of” credit card roundups for your consideration:

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Miles

Our Favorite American Express Cards

If you’re considering adding an American Express credit card to your wallet, here are two cards that we often recommend in our “best of” credit card roundups for your consideration:

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Our Favorite Chase Cards

If you’re considering adding a Chase credit card to your wallet, here are two cards that we often recommend in our “best of” credit card roundups for your consideration:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card

Clark’s Stance on Credit Card Issuers

Money expert Clark Howard believes that credit cards should be measured first and foremost on the benefits they provide the consumer, not necessarily the issuer behind them.

If you’re carrying a balance on your credit card: Clark believes that securing a fixed rate APR that helps you keep your interest costs low should take priority over anything else an issuer offers you. That’s why he often recommends no-fee, low-APR cards from credit unions for this type of spending.


If you’re paying your balances in full: Clark believes that you should first look to secure a steady rate of cash back on every purchase you make. Oftentimes, that can best be accomplished with a 2% cash back card like the Citi® Double Cash Card.

In most cases, the financial institution behind issuing the card is secondary to these factors.

That’s not to say that things like a user-friendly app and great customer service aren’t valued, though.

When discussing a credit card that is not backed by one of the traditional lenders, Clark explained his stance on taking a card from a lesser-known card issuer this way:

“As a customer, it makes no difference to me if it’s a large issuer, a small issuer or someone in between,” Clark says. “It could only become a problem if you have an issue, such as disputing a charge, and they don’t have enough personnel to handle it. The only way to know is with time. That will tell you what kind of customer service experience people have.”

About the J.D. Power Study

The following information was provided by J.D. Power to help you better understand how the index scores were assigned:

“The U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, now in its 17th year, was redesigned for 2023.

It measures customer satisfaction with credit card issuers by examining seven factors (in alphabetical order):

  • Account management
  • Benefits
  • Customer service
  • New account
  • Rewards earning
  • Rewards redeeming
  • Terms

The study includes responses from 31,418 credit card customers and was fielded from August 2022 through June 2023.”

To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards featured, please visit the following links: Platinum Card® from American Express: See rates and fees. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: See Rates and Fees.

How Many Credit Cards Should I Have? How Many Credit Cards Should I Have? - Are you worried that the number of credit cards you have could have a negative impact on your financial life? Is there a “right” number of credit cards for one person to have in 2023? The answer is a little…
Welcome bonuses can be a great way to boost the value of a credit card. Best Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses for 2023 - Team Clark spent hours reviewing the market for credit card sign-up bonuses and evaluated them according to the guidelines for usage set by money expert Clark Howard. Clark believes credit cards with exorbitant annual fees are a bad idea for most…