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How to Get a Free FICO Credit Score From Certain Credit Cards

by on February 26, 2014 · 11 comments

in Barclays, Credit FAQ, Discover, First Bankcard

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Compiled by the Fair Isaac Corporation and sold to individuals and companies/banks, the widely-used credit score known as FICO helps lenders and credit card companies determine a consumer’s level of fiscal responsibility and risk. The higher this score, which ranges from 300-850, the better your credit.

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Once every 12 months, consumers can receive their FICO report (largely compiled by three separate agencies — TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) for free through Annual Credit Report.

However, there are a handful of credit cards and issuers which have started include their cardholders’ personal FICO scores for free along with their monthly statement and/or online at any time. Cardholders are also kept informed about the size of their card balance in relation to their overall credit limit, as well as steps they can take to improve their score. All credit card companies purchase their customers’ FICO scores in order to monitor their credit, so the following companies are simply deciding that it makes sense to share the knowledge.

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Barclaycard is now providing its Arrival, Reward and Ring cardholders with their TransUnion-based FICO score for free with each monthly statement. Cards participating in this program include the Barclaycard ArrivalBarclaycard Rewards, US Airways, Lufthansa, Frontier, Wyndham Rewards Visa, and Carnival. To get started, simply log onto your Barclaycard account here and accept the terms.

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Discover It Card also provides its cardholders with their TransUnion-based FICO score for free with each monthly statement. This card has no annual fee, no over limit fee and no fees on your first late payment. It also waives foreign transaction fees and includes 5% cash back on rotating categories (e.g., movie theaters or restaurants). To learn more about the benefits of this card, see my recent review.

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First Bankcard, a division of First National Bank of Omaha, has begun providing its cardholders with their Experian-based FICO scores, which employs a score range of 250-900. The company began providing FICO scores in monthly statements and online last October, and in January, expanded this practice with eight more of its co-branded partners, including San Francisco’s Union Bank, New York Life Insurance Company and San Jose’s Technology Credit Union. At present, there’s no timeline for expansion of the program, but First Bankcard eventually wants to roll out this program to all 2.5 million of its cardholders.

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Walmart Credit Card and Walmart Discover also offer their cardholders a free peek at their FICO scores when they enroll in online statements.

In general, and if you don’t have any of these cards, are a number of other credit score companies, such as VantageScore, but the most widely used is FICO. Using a scale of 300-850 – with roughly 700 being the average – the FICO website determines your score via five main factors: 35% payment history, 30% amounts owed, 15% length of credit history, 10% new credit and 10% types of credit.

FICO score breakdown from myfico.com

FICO score breakdown from myfico.com

A FICO score of 720 or above generally denotes good credit, but credit card companies have been known to issue cards to those with scores in the mid- to high 600s, depending on factors like income and history with the lender. To research how individual credit card companies view your personal credit history, visit sites like creditboards.com, and check out the following posts:

How To Check Your Credit – Preparing For The Credit Card Application Process

Understanding How Your Credit Score Works

Which Credit Report Agencies Banks Use To Pull Your Credit Report And Why It Matters

My Credit Score Confessions And 8 Tips To Improve Your Credit

How Can I Save My Credit Score After A Late Payment

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • hoglard1

    Originally, I thought there was just one FICO score. But it appears there are more than one FICO score judging from information I have obtained from Discover and Barclays. Can you explain? Thanks.

  • BC

    Barclays has already added the US Airways Mastercard to the list of those which get their credit score. I am currently getting my credit score from this.

  • deWeb

    THE free annual credit report does not come with FICO score.

  • http://flavors.me/mbrosen Matt Rosen

    FYI, Discover plans to roll out this benefit to other/all cards beyond just the It product. I have an older card and sent a private message via the account management page and asked if/when they’d be providing scores to other cardholders. I was told yes, this year, and the rep offered to manually send me one now even though I don’t have an It card. She had them issue a letter in the mail. Came about 2-3 weeks later.

    If you have another Discover card, give it a shot.

  • Kamal

    DCU gives free Equifax FICO score.

  • Kamal

    Yes, each Bureau (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) calculate their own FICO score.

  • http://www.doctorofcredit.com/ doctorofcredit

    There are also different versions of each score. You have 3 classic scores (98, 04 and 08) and then industry specific scores as well that have different score ranges (250-900). Full list can be found here: http://www.doctorofcredit.com/how-many-fico-scores-are-there/

  • http://www.doctorofcredit.com/ doctorofcredit

    That’s through their checking account, not credit card account. You can find a full list of banks that give FICO scores for free here: http://www.doctorofcredit.com/credit-scores/fico-score/free-fico-score/

  • John V

    nevermind

  • clarify

    just a clarification:. there is only ONE official FICO analysis — which is done by the by FICO corp.,

    It is true, that a FICO analysis can be done by using the data from the 3 credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion)). It only differs if one credit reporting agency has different data.

    If you get your free annual credit report from all three agencies, and see no difference in the data, then monitoring you FICO score that perhaps only uses one of the agencies is fine. The 3 credit reporting agencies rarely differ in data, unless you’ve had some complicated financial issues (normally that comes when you are late paying bills, experienced a divorce, etc.)

  • http://flavors.me/mbrosen Matt Rosen

    Just noticed a new link in my Discover admin:

    “NEW! Discover is now providing your FICO® Credit Score for free. View Now”

    Again, I don’t have an It card. Looks like they’ve rolled it out to all cardholders.

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