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Credit Cards That Offer Free Credit Scores

by on July 28, 2014 · 11 comments

in Barclays, Capital One, Citi, Credit Cards, Discover, First Bankcard, US Bank

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Earlier this year, I shared how credit scores are calculated and which credit cards offer cardmembers a free look at their credit scores. In late February, though, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that it’s urging major credit card issuers to provide free credit scores and related information to their customers. Several more cards and issuers have since hopped on this bandwagon, so I thought it was time to provide you with an updated list.

FICO score

Your FICO credit score ranges from 300-850 – and the higher your score, the better your credit.

Credit Scores and Why They Matter

The most widely-used credit score, known as FICO, helps lenders and credit card companies determine a consumer’s level of fiscal responsibility and risk, as well as alert them to identity theft. The Fair Isaac Corporation, the company that compiles credit score data and sells it to individuals, companies and banks, 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.

The FICO scoring system ranges from 300-850, and the higher your score, the better your credit.

Once every 12 months, any consumer can receive their FICO report (largely compiled by three separate agencies — TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) for free through Annual Credit Report. But some credit card issuers also offer their customers the opportunity to see their scores.

Several credit card issuers have expanded their reach when it comes to providing cardholders with their credit scores

Some card issuers have expanded their reach when it comes to letting cardholders see their credit scores (Image courtesy of Shutterstock).

Cards That Will Show You Your Credit Score

The following credit cards and issuers 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 that knowledge.

logo-barclaycard

Barclaycard provides cardholders with their TransUnion-based FICO score for free on their monthly statements, either on the Barclaycard site or by mail. Barclaycard also informs its cardholders of changes to their credit score via email alerts – like the one  I just received, pictured here:

Barclaycard sends email alerts when it detects a change in a cardholder's credit score - such as mine

Barclaycard sends email alerts when it detects a change in a cardholder’s credit score.

Cards participating in this program include the Barclaycard Arrival PlusBarclaycard RewardsUS AirwaysLufthansaFrontierWyndham Rewards Visa and Carnival

capital-one-logo

Capital One provides its cardholders with the non-FICO TransUnion Educational Score and credit report summaries as part of a free service called Credit Tracker. This interactive tool is provided to cardholders both online and via a mobile app.

Capital One's interactive Credit Tracker tool is available on both its website and a smartphone app

Capital One’s interactive Credit Tracker tool is available to its cardholders online and via this mobile app.

Credit Tracker includes alerts to changes in a cardholder’s TransUnion credit report, as well as a credit simulator that analyzes how various actions would affect the credit score. Capital One’s cards include VentureOne Rewards.

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Citibank offers its cardholders free access to their Experian-based scores via its website, but only for 30 days. Be sure to cancel before those 30 days elapse (the number to call is (877) 562-0452), or your credit card will be charged monthly fees for 12 months worth of membership in a service called Internet Fraud Surveillance, which monitors your credit score, exposure to fraudulent activity, and more.

Citi offers its cardholders free access to their credit score - but only for 30 days

Citi offers its cardholders free access to their credit score – but only for 30 days.

Citi cards include the Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite Mastercard, as well as the Citi PremierCiti PrestigeCiti Preferred and the CitiBusiness ThankYou. 

 

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Discover provides many of its cardholders with their TransUnion-based FICO score for free with each monthly statement. Discover-branded cards that come with this perk are the Discover ItOpen Road, Motiva, Miles by Discover, and Escape by Discover. 

First_Bankcard_logo_highres

First Bankcard now provides all of its cardholders with their credit scores via their monthly statements and the issuer’s own website, using Experian-based FICO scores that employ a score range of 250-900.

First Bankcard offers its cardholders free access to their credit scores any time via its website

First Bankcard offers its cardholders free access to their credit scores any time on its website.

The credit card division of the First National Bank of Omaha, First Bankcard issues and services credit cards for several community banks and lenders across the US, including San Francisco’s Union Bank, New York Life Insurance Company and San Jose’s Technology Credit Union.

usbanklogo

US Bank provides its cardholders a look at their Experian-based credit scores via the Experian website. If you’re a US Bank cardholder,  you’ll need to log into your US Bank account and click on a link on the right side of your statement that says, “Know your credit score? Check it free.”

The red box on the right shows the ink that will take you from the US Bank site to the Experia site

The red box on the right shows the link that leads cardholders from the US Bank site to Experian.

You’ll be informed that you’re leaving the US Bank site, and will be directed to the Experian site, where you’ll have to register your name and email address in order to be shown your score. US Bank-issued credit cards include the Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature, the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature and Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa Signature.

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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.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

How long before all other credit card issuers offer cardholders free access to their credit scores?           (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

Will More Credit Card Issuers Follow Suit?

At present, it remains to be seen if other credit card issuers will follow this trend and offer their cardholders free access to their credit scores. Wells Fargo occasionally runs promos that provide cardholders with access to their Experian-based scores for 90 days, and GE Capital is presently considering different ways to provide credit score info to all of its cardholders – though possibly not for free.

Speaking of not for free, American Express currently offers its cardholders access to all their TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax credit scores through CreditSecure, an online service that costs $1 for the first 30 days and $14.99 per month thereafter. However, as a holder of American Express Platinum personal and business cards and several Chase cards (including Chase Sapphire Preferred), I can only continue to wish that both of these major issuers would provide their cardmembers with free, unfettered access to their own credit scores.

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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  • Adam Johns

    You forgot the Sallie Mae Mastercard Barclaycard

  • Kristina Bartlett

    my roomate’s mother makes $81 every hour on the

    computer . She has been without work for 6 months but last month her income was

    $19151 just working on the computer for a few hours. read review http://WWW.WORKBUCK.COM

  • Patrick Folger

    I have a Barclay Card and really do enjoy the alerts when score changes. I got an email this morning saying my score changed, like TPG posted ( mine went up :) )

  • Parkerthon

    Looks like US Bank portal is undergoing an overhaul. Currently says for US Bank when clicking link(now on left):

    We’re sorry, the “Check Your Credit Score for Free” page is unavailable while we perform maintenance and make improvements.
    We apologize for the inconvenience

  • Joe-SC1

    Thanks for the post. What timing! I was looking at my scores yesterday.

    An additional credit score source is PenFed.org. Several financial relationships with them offer credit scores – not just credit cards. They report the FICO NextGen score, range 150-950 (1). Also, it appears the FNB/First Bankcard score is a credit card-emphasized version of the FICO-8 (2). The Discover and Barclay versions seem to be standard FICO-8 scores (3).

    Sources:

    (1) http://blog.penfed.org/your-fico-score/

    (2) https://www.firstnational.com/site/personal/credit-card/benefits/fico-score.fhtml

    (3) http://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/Understanding-FICO-Scoring/The-many-flavors-of-FICO-Editions-versions-and-variations/td-p/1197617

    Cheers.

  • Voice of Reason

    Is there any way to get an Equifax score for free? I don’t even think I’ve ever SEEN my Equifax score, and for all I know it could be way out of whack, even though my Experian score is 790 and my TransUnion 810. Let’s be honest, the credit reports themselves are often long and convoluted, and not the easiest things to read. The FICO scores give a better “snapshot” of your overall credit health, and can clue you in a lot faster as to whether there’s a problem. So does anybody think it’s ever worth paying to see all of your credit scores? The sites which seem to offer them for “free” don’t really give you your actual FICO scores as far as I can tell from the fine print, just their best guess.

  • RichFLL

    Following the link directly to Annual Credit Report, the site specifically says that it does not offer Credit Scores, only Credit Reports.

  • Voice of Reason

    Personally, I hate looking at my credit report, because there’s so much raw data and I always wonder if I’m going to miss something important. I’d much rather see my credit scores, and then if something looks a bit off, drill down into the associated credit report to see if I can locate the issue, rather than starting from the report itself and searching for a potential needle in a haystack.

  • Joe-SC1

    The PenFed supplied FICO NextGen score I mentioned earlier is reported to be from Equifax data. Note that it’s range (150-950) is not directly equivalent to a “standard” score, but PenFed does say that it is the actual score they use. Additionally, the last time I looked, Quizzle’s FAKO score is from Equifax data and its range is from 300-850. For me, it was in the correct neighborhood as the others.

  • Steve-o

    Also forgot the Discover More card

  • RedPillRenegade

    Mint.com offers a free Equifax-based credit score as well as detailed charts about why your score is what it is. The score is updated every few months.

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