Confused about your credit card privileges? J.D. Power's research shows you're not alone.

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If you've ever found yourself with a head-on for credit card privileges, then you're not alone. That's according to J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction Study 2019.

The survey found that only 36% of consumers fully understand the benefits their cards bring in addition to basic rewards. It also shows consumers are least satisfied with how card issuers explain the terms and privileges attached to the card - naming travel-related privileges, such as free late check-out and free accompanying tickets, as some of the most confusing credit card terms.
But some card issuer companies have started using mobile apps that can help communicate better and increase customer satisfaction. Read on to learn more.

What led to much confusion around the privileges of the card?

Fierce competition among card issuers has led to an arms race for benefits, with issuers trying to outside each other by launching new privileges that they hope will give them an advantage over consumers.

Therefore, it is now common to see that credit cards not only offer rewards or refund points when traveling but also have additional peri privileges including accompanying tickets and free baggage checks. But these additional privileges can only confuse people.
Recent research by J.D. Power shows that many consumers don't fully understand the additional privileges that come with their credit cards, showing that card issuer companies can do better when explaining how each of these privileges works and how they can benefit their customers.

What can a card issuer do in the event of consumer confusion?

The card issuer will lose out when consumers don't understand the benefits of their cards. For example, a J.D. Power survey found that customers who fully understand the card's rewards program spend an average of $307 more per month on their cards than customers who don't understand.

So, what can the issuer do to make consumers less confused? It all depends on communication, according to J.D. Power. A card issuer can be ahead of the curve on this. Discover was ranked highest for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power's latest survey - and customers were highly appreciating its ability to communicate.
The award follows Discover's top rating in another J.D. Power survey earlier this year on satisfaction with the U.S. mobile credit card app.

What can you do to better understand the benefits of credit cards?

If you are entering the credit card market or want to take more advantage of the cards you already have, we have some next steps to help you understand the benefits of credit cards.

It all starts with knowing what benefits are best for you. Before adding a credit card to your wallet, make sure that the main rewards it offers are actually the rewards you'll use.Learn what different privileges can do and how to use them. Our guide to credit card privileges can help you identify what different card benefits might mean and how to use them.Contact your card issuer. If you're unsure about some of the privileges your card offers, you can contact the issuer directly to learn more about how they work and how to use them.