Discover Financial Services ranks first in credit card satisfaction, home page satisfaction, ease of applying for cards online, and design and organization in a study on card marketing websites.

American Express Co. ranked first for brand impact, narrowly beating out Discover, and ranked first for privacy and security, Keynote Competitive Research said.

For the customer-experience portion of its study, Keynote collected 1,800 responses in December. The firm sent 200 U.S. adults to nine different websites, operated by Discover, Amex, Capital One Financial Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., HSBC Financial Services, U.S. Bancorp, Bank of America Corp. and PNC Financial Services Group Inc.

In each instance the participants were prospecting for a card, so they were asked to evaluate the websites on the basis of their experience in researching and applying, Keynote general manager Chris Musto said.

"We were trying to understand the impact of the site and impression consumers had of the issuer, as well as how satisfying that experience was," he said.

After Discover, Amex and U.S. Bank ranked second and third for overall customer experience. For brand impact, Discover ranked second after Amex and PNC ranked third. "It is still a challenge for some issuers to gain new customers if they offer a large number of cards online," Musto said. "It is not a driver of acquisition to have a large number of cards available."

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