CreditCardForum Analyzes 100 Popular Credit Cards for 2016

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Research details which cards offer the most perks and rarest benefits versus those that are run-of-the-mill

Card Benefits Survey

CreditCardForum, the premier one-stop resource for and by consumers seeking in-depth information, opinions and advice on credit cards, released new survey findings on 100 cards from nine of the largest U.S. issuers.

Data was gathered from publically available terms and conditions documents. Surveyed cards included personal, business and student credit cards, while private-label/retail cards were not included in this survey. Results were put into five categories – overall statistics, most common and rarest benefits, most perk-heavy cards, most perk-heavy no annual fee cards and average number of perks by issuer.

Experts analyzed 15 travel- and purchase-protection card benefits: rental car coverage, extended warranty, travel accident coverage, travel assistance hotline, purchase protection, roadside dispatch hotline, lost/stolen baggage coverage, price protection, return protection, trip cancelation coverage, trip interruption coverage, baggage delay coverage, trip delay coverage, cellphone coverage and free roadside assistance.

“There are so many credit cards consistently entering and leaving the marketplace, which means there’s a lot of information to keep up with,” said Ben Woolsey, president and general manager of CreditCardForum. “We strive to provide the best up-to-date information on all the cards available on the market so consumers can make the best informed decisions as to which are best for their needs and lifestyle.”
 
Each time a consumer opens a new credit card account, they receive a cardmember agreement from the issuer detailing all the benefits that card provides. However, most consumers typically do not bother to read through the fine print in these agreements or research the benefits that their cards offer that can also be found on the issuers’ websites. In fact, a recent study by J.D. Power found that only three out of five cardholders understand—or think they know—how their cards work. Additionally, almost 20 percent of cardholders didn’t redeem any rewards last year.

“It's not surprising that many consumers don't understand their credit cards’ perks and benefits since these coverages are poorly communicated and often differ from issuer to issuer,” said Woolsey. “This can end up costing consumers a lot of money each year in terms of buying coverages that don’t realize they already have (as with rental car insurance) or failing to make claims when they experience a loss that might have been covered by their credit card’s benefits. We conducted this research to make it more accessible to consumers, providing them with valuable information on the cards they are currently holding in their wallets.”

Top five results from the categories reviewed are listed below. To see a list of all 100 cards surveyed, please follow this link:

Top 5 Overall statistics found:
100% of the cards offered rental car coverage (of those, 8% have primary, while 92% have secondary)
96% have extended warranty
91% of cards have travel accident coverage
87% have travel assistance hotline
87% have purchase protection

Most common / rarest benefits:
Most common: rental car insurance (100%)
Rarest: free roadside assistance (4%)

Top 5 Most perk-heavy cards:
Chase Sapphire Reserve ($450 per year): 13 out of 15 of the benefits surveyed
Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95 per year): 13 out of 15 of the benefits surveyed
Chase MileagePlus Explorer card ($95 per year) 13 out of 15 of the benefits surveyed
Chase MileagePlus Club card ($450 annual fee) 13 out of 15 of the benefits surveyed
Chase Ink Plus ($95 annual fee): 13 out of 15 benefits surveyed

Top 5 Most perk-heavy no annual fee cards:
Chase: Average of 9.24 perks out of 15
Barclaycard: Average of 8.1 perks out of 15
Citi: Average of 7.9 perks out of 15
AmEx: Average of 7.7 perks out of 15
Wells Fargo: Average of 6.77 perks out of 15

Top 5 average number of perks by issuer:
AmEx: Average of 7.7 perks out of 15
Barclaycard: Average of 8.1 perks out of 15
Capital One: Average of 6.6 perks out of 15
Chase: Average of 9.24 perks out of 15
Citi: Average of 7.9 perks out of 15

Note: Bank of America was not included in the survey, as it does not make its terms publically available in advance of card approval.

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About CreditCardForum
CreditCardForum is the premier one-stop resource for and by consumers seeking in-depth information, opinions and advice on credit cards that also allows for immediate comparison and application to preferred cards.

Since 2008, the site has been the leading online community dedicated to consumer-driven education on the credit card industry. The user-contributed forum is enhanced by a hosted blog that covers latest industry developments that help consumers make more informed decisions regarding their credit cards. It also serves as a repository for key market data from multiple sources that provides a snapshot of the industry, backed by experts in the financial services and banking arena.

CreditCardForum is the go-to site for thousands of credit-card users each week seeking information and constructive peer-to-peer engagement with the aim of strengthening their financial bottom line.

Media contact
Amy Palmer
Account Executive
Leverage PR
amy(at)leverage-pr(dot)com
512-502-5833

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Chris Ruth
Leverage PR
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