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Consumers' opinions about which credit card characteristics are most important differ slightly based on age, according to a report Javelin Strategy & Research released this week. The report "Credit Card Customer Satisfaction" details the factors that most satisfy cardholders of three groups: Baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965; Generation X, or those born between 1961 and 1981; and Generation Y, which represents consumers born between 1979 and 1999 in this study. Among the baby boomers Javelin surveyed, protection from identity theft was the most important factor, with 88% indicating that feature as "important" or "extremely important" in choosing and maintaining a credit card. Eighty percent cited customer service as important or extremely important. Similar importance was perceived by 77% of baby boomers regarding interest rates, by 68% for favorable payment grace periods, by 59% for rewards and by 52% for online account-management features. Among Generation X survey respondents, 79% cited security features, 76% cited interest rates, 74% cited customer service, 62% cited grace periods, 62% cited rewards and 55% cited online features. Generation Y cardholders cited a variety of factors with nearly equal importance. Seventy-eight percent of respondents cited interest rates as important or extremely important, 76% cited security, 74% cited customer service, 67% cited rewards, 63% cited grace periods and 59% cited online features. Javelin conducted the survey in September and secured 2,957 respondents. The report focuses specific attention on cards issued by American Express Co., Bank of America Corp., Capital One Financial Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citibank and Discover Financial Services.

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