Moneywise Customer Service Awards 2016: The winners: Credit cards and loans

For the eighth year in a row, we’ve asked readers of Moneywise magazine and to share their experiences, good and bad, to find the most trustworthy financial companies in the UK.

This year, more than 24,000 people took the time to share their experiences and to score firms. For more information on how the awards work, see our Moneywise Customer Service Awards 2016 page. 

So without further ado, meet the most trusted credit card and loan providers in the UK in 2016.

Also see the Moneywise Awards results for:


Credit cards

Most trusted provider

Winner: First Direct
Highly commended: John Lewis

Readers trusted First Direct more than any other to look after their credit cards. Alongside the usual praises for the online and telephone only bank, in the rare instances that customers were affected by fraud, readers were grateful for speedy, no-hassle resolutions.

One says: “I’ve never had anything but positive experiences and they helped reclaim a fraud on my credit card.”

In second place is John Lewis, and, again, readers feel like their backs are covered. “John Lewis is always able to answer my queries. They always contact us if there are any unusual amounts on the credit card,” says one.

Best credit card for rewards

Winner: John Lewis
Highly commended: American Express

John Lewis picked up the gong for the best reward scheme. It pays the equivalent of 1% cashback on spending in the John Lewis Partnership, which includes Waitrose, and 0.5% elsewhere.

While the cashback is good, a few providers will pay a similar amount. What sets John Lewis aside is the way it treats its customers.

One reader summarises: “It’s an excellent provider, answers calls quickly, and has understanding and friendly staff. The rewards are fantastic.”

American Express followed closely behind the employee-owned partnership. “Amex is easy to use, any issues are resolved quickly and they reward their members well with cashback,” says one happy customer.


Most trusted prepaid card provider

Winner: FairFX
Highly commended: Caxton FX

Prepaid cards are starting to look like a credible alternative to travellers cheques for frequent holidaymakers. They don’t have the full protections of a credit card or current account, but they can be much safer than cash.

This year’s winner, FairFX won over customers with all these benefits and competitive exchange rates. As one reader says: “I got a really good deal with this card. When going overseas, I feel more secure in transactions as it is limited to what I add into the account.”

Caxton FX took second praise with similar praise. To one reader: “It is the best way of taking money on holiday.


Most trusted provider

Winner: Zopa
Highly commended: Lending Works

In such a competitive market, offering the cheapest rates on loans isn’t enough to win customers’ loyalty. That’s not to say Zopa doesn’t have good rates – it does – but readers are just as likely to highlight the transparency and ease of the service.

Zopa was commended for “great rates and customer service,” not to mention its “hassle free application process, by far the best in a market for those whose credit score is not perfect”.

Lending Works, which came closely behind Zopa, also scored highly for rates, customer service, and for accommodating people without pristine credit histories, especially when caused by error.

“Lending Works listens to its customers and talks to you as an individual so that they come up with the best possible outcome, instead of using credit scores that are sometimes wrong,” says one reader.

Most trusted mortgage provider

Winner: First Direct
Highly commended: Coventry Building Society

It’s rare that customers get a nice surprise in the terms and conditions, but that’s exactly what First Direct, winner of the Most Trusted Mortgage Provider Award, gave one reader: “I was not aware initially that I have their ‘mortgage promise’ of no more than 1% above base rate. Happy days!!”

More generally, customers like the competitive rates and lack of fiddling with the SVRs. Plus, they really, really like the offset mortgages: “As a higher rate taxpayer, First Direct’s offset tracker mortgage saves me a fortune. I offset cash against it so in real terms it massively exceeds savings rates if I were just to keep the cash in a poorly paying interest rate account.”

Coventry Building Society came in second, impressing customers with good service, and consistently competitive rates. Several readers said they’d stayed with the Coventry through multiple remortgages.


Best P2P platform for savers

Winner: Lending Works
Highly commended: Zopa

Lending Works was deemed the best peer-to-peer provider for savers on the hunt for returns.

While peer-to-peer isn’t as safe as a savings account, the potential returns are much better, particularly if you reinvest interest, which is just one of the features from Lending Works.

“Forward thinking,” “easy to control my investment,” and a “simple, easy to use website” were just some of the reasons put forward by happy customers. Savers also think highly of peer-to-peer giant Zopa, both for rates and the platform.

“It was the only one available when I began peer-to-peer investing” might not sound like a huge compliment – until you realise that customer is still there, eight years later.

Most trusted P2P platform

Winner: Zopa
Highly commended: Lending Works

Zopa snuck in front of Lending Works for most trusted provider, factoring in the views of both savers and lenders.

Zopa’s “feedback, security and rates” helped many customers feel like they could rely on the company to look after their savings, even without the belt-and- braces protection of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

That’s not to say there’s no protection for savers – Zopa boasts a remarkably low default rate, and an insurance pot to protect investors in case a loan isn’t repaid.


See the winners and runner-ups for: