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Best Cards

This is the best credit card mobile app for 2020—plus tips on what to look for in a mobile app

Credit card mobile apps can help you pay bills and redeem rewards on the go, but they're not all created equal. Here are the top ranking apps and an overview of what to look for in a credit card mobile app.

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Credit card mobile apps are essential for managing your account on the go. You can quickly view your balance, make bill payments and redeem rewards all from the palm of your hand.

While most major card issuers provide mobile apps, not all are created equal. American Express ranks the highest in U.S. credit card app satisfaction, with a score of 886 — which is 21 points above the average 865, according to the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Credit Card Mobile App Satisfaction Study.

The annual study measures overall satisfaction in mobile app navigation, speed, visual appeal and information/content. Bank of America (874) and Chase (873) follow American Express for second and third place respectively.

A high mobile app ranking goes hand-in-hand with high customer satisfaction scores. Amex also takes the top spot in customer satisfaction among national issuers (838). This is the tenth time the issuer has earned the top spot in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. Discover (837) and Bank of America (812) round out the top three issuers.

CNBC Select breaks down the important features you should look for in a credit card mobile app.

What to look for in a credit card mobile app

If you’re in the market for a new credit card, it’s a good idea to consider the features included in the mobile app. After all, a strong mobile app can allow you to get key account information at a glance and make payments at any time.

Here's an overview of what to look for in a credit card mobile app, including features measured in J.D. Power's study:

  • Easy navigation: Mobile apps have a lot of information, so it's important that there's clear navigation so you know where to get the info you need. Buttons that take you to the rewards, payments, and security pages are helpful for navigating.
  • Fast speed: A mobile app should provide quick access to your account, not long delays when you're accessing your information.
  • Visual appeal: While it's not essential to have an app that looks pretty, it can help if the card issuer has images or graphics that easily display key information. Card issuers often show card art (which is helpful when navigating between more than one account), as well as graphics to explain the rewards you earn or your credit score.
  • Key information: The mobile app should clearly display key information about your account, such as balance, due date, minimum payment and interest rate. All of your transactions and statements should be easily accessible as well.
  • Rewards details: If you have a rewards card, it can be annoying to log on to your online account to redeem rewards. A mobile app that displays your current rewards earnings, and lets you redeem your cash back, points or miles is convenient.
  • Safety and security features: Consider if your card issuer offers the ability to freeze/lock your card from within the app. This feature can save you the hassle of calling customer service and protect your account if your card is lost or stolen. In addition, it's helpful if you can set alerts for bill due dates and transactions from within the app.
  • Straightforward payment options: It should be easy to pay your bill and know how much is due. The app should also have a simple way to enroll in autopay.

The next time you look for a credit card, consider if the mobile app offers these features. You can speak to a customer service representative or read online reviews to see what's offered.

Consumer using the American Express mobile app.
American Express

Credit cards with top mobile apps

The card issuers that top J.D. Power's list of best mobile apps offer a variety of credit cards depending on your needs. If you frequently buy groceries, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers an industry-leading 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
On American Express's secure site
  • Rewards

    6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 3% cash back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more and 1% cash back on other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases on your new card within the first 3 months

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 12 months on purchases, N/A for balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    13.99% to 23.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

 

If you prefer a simple cash-back program, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® has you covered.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year, 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining (including takeout) and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

    14.99% to 23.74% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

See our methodology, terms apply.

Meanwhile, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card has rewards geared toward travel and dining.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
  • Rewards

    Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • Welcome bonus

    Receive 50,000 bonus points — a $500 value — after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    N/A

  • Regular APR

    17.49% - 24.49% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Terms apply.

Information about the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.