The Best Credit Card Mobile Apps of 2021

The Best Credit Card Mobile Apps of 2021 article image.

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American Express takes the top spot for credit card mobile app satisfaction, according to the 2021 U.S. Credit Card Mobile App Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power. Here's how the top five credit card mobile apps ranked and why they're the best.

1. American Express

American Express took the crown for the second year in a row and the third time in the past four years. In 2021, Amex received a J.D. Power rating of 890 points out of 1,000 for its credit card mobile app.

The credit card mobile app makes it easy to switch between credit card accounts. Once you've picked a card, you can review your transactions, make payments and set up long-term payment plans.

You can also review your rewards balance and redeem your points or cash back directly from the app. It also allows you to explore and activate various card benefits and Amex Offers, which give you additional rewards or statement credits when you make qualifying purchases with select retailers.

American Express was also ranked No. 1 in J.D. Power's U.S. Online Credit Card Satisfaction Study, which means you'll get a top-notch experience whether you're on your mobile device or your desktop browser.

If you're considering an Amex credit card, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers outsized rewards in certain categories. Terms apply to all American Express offers.

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It's important to note that while USAA's mobile app had a higher score than American Express', J.D. Power didn't rank it in the study because USAA restricts access to its products to eligible members of the military community and their families.

2. Bank of America

Bank of America's mobile app was ranked second in the mobile app satisfaction study, with a rating of 880 points.

The bank offers a wide range of alerts that you can set to help you not only track your expenses but also to help prevent fraud, keep an eye on rewards and BankAmeriDeals offers, and track your FICO® Score .

That way, you don't necessarily have to check your app often—just set up as many alerts as you want, and you'll be notified about the updates that are most important to you.

With each card, you'll also be able to view your card benefits. If you have a card like the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card, which offers an annual $100 airline incidental fee credit, you may be able to see exactly how much of the benefit you have left for the year.

Another card to consider if you want to take advantage of Bank of America's mobile features is the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card, which offers a flat 1.5% cash back, with the chance to earn up to 2.62% back on everything if you're a qualifying Bank of America Preferred Rewards customer.

Bank of America ranked third in the U.S. Online Credit Card Satisfaction Study behind Discover.

3. Discover

The Discover mobile app, which ranked No. 1 in 2019 and 2017, came in third in 2021, with a rating of 875 points.

The bank's mobile app makes it easy to switch between your accounts on the main page and also allows you to quickly check your FICO® Score from the dashboard.

In addition to showing you your recent transactions, Discover also provides a spend analyzer, which breaks down your transactions into categories and also shows you monthly trends so you can better understand where your money is going. You can also view and redeem your cash back or miles (depending on which card you have), freeze your account and more.

Discover ranked second in the U.S. Online Credit Card Satisfaction Study.

4. Chase

Chase ranked No. 4 in the credit card mobile app study with a rating of 867 points, which is the average for the top 11 national card issuers.

Chase lists all of your credit card and other financial accounts on the front page, making it easy to switch back and forth between them. You can easily track expenses, make payments and set alerts, as with most credit card mobile apps. You'll also be able to see your card benefits, and if you have a Chase credit card that earns Ultimate Rewards, you can explore ways to redeem your points from the Chase mobile app.

If you've booked trips through the Ultimate Rewards platform, you'll also be able to view and manage your trips. You can also peruse and activate Chase offers to earn cash back with select merchants.

While Chase is in the top five for its mobile app, the bank is ranked seventh for its online credit card satisfaction.

5. Capital One

Capital One ranked No. 5 in the study with a rating that's slightly below Chase and the industry average, with 866 points.

Like the other credit card mobile apps on the list, you can manage your transactions, set alerts, view and redeem rewards, lock and unlock your card, activate cash back deals and access your credit score—though Capital One offers credit scores from VantageScore®, not FICO.

One thing that sets the bank apart from the others is that you can also create virtual card numbers that are tied to your account but don't reveal your primary account number. You can use these numbers to shop online, then cancel them when you're done to help protect yourself from fraud.

Capital One was ranked eighth in the online credit card satisfaction survey, so you may get a better experience on your mobile device than on your desktop browser. Find out more about the Capital One Mobile App to find out if it meets your needs.

If you're a travel enthusiast, consider applying for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, which offers a solid one-time bonus for new cardholders, a flat 2 miles per dollar on every purchase and 5 miles per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

If you prefer cash back, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase.

Features to Look for in a Credit Card Mobile App

As you compare credit cards, it's important to look beyond the rewards and benefits, especially if you like to manage your finances on the go.

As you look at mobile apps for each card you're considering, here are some helpful features to keep an eye out for:

  • Simple dashboard: How easy is it to view your account balances and switch between accounts from the front page? Can you also view your credit score and access other features from the dashboard?
  • Security features: Most major credit card mobile apps allow you to set up Face ID and fingerprint scans to get into your account. Beyond that, do they make it easy to lock and unlock your card or ask for a replacement? What other security features do they offer to keep your information safe?
  • Easy rewards redemption: If you have a rewards credit card, being able to view and redeem your points, miles or cash back from your mobile app can be incredibly convenient. Read reviews about the ease of navigation for this process to determine if it's right for you.
  • Payment options: Being able to pay your credit card bill from your mobile app is a standard feature. But some apps also allow you to set up automatic payments, add a new pay-from account and even change your due date.

Check Your Credit Before Applying for a New Card

If you're considering switching to a new credit card, make sure you check your credit score before you apply. Most of the best cards require good or excellent credit, which means a score in the upper 600s or higher.

If your credit score isn't where it needs to be, consider taking time to improve your credit before you start applying for new cards.

Note: Features and capabilities may differ slightly from what is described here depending on your mobile operating system.

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