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Many credit cards today offer free access to your credit score. They also monitor your credit reports for free, sending you alerts when they detect changes to your credit file. Here's a comprehensive list of the credit cards with free credit scores and monitoring.
Monitoring your credit report is one of the best ways to catch identity thieves in their tracks. And staying on top of your actual score helps you be prepared to apply for loans and credit cards as you need them.
More and more credit card issuers are helping consumers stay on top of their credit by offering free credit monitoring. With many of these issuers, you just log into your online credit card account to check your updated credit score for that month. Here are credit cards that are currently providing this service
|Credit Card Issuer||Credit Score Formula||Credit Report Used||Who Has Access|
|American Express||VantageScore 3.0||TransUnion||Anyone|
|Bank of America||FICO||TransUnion||Cardholders|
|Capital One||VantageScore 3.0||TransUnion||Anyone|
|Citibank||FICO Bankcard Score 8||Equifax||Some cardholders|
|Commerce Bank||FICO Bankcard Score 9||Cardhlders|
|Credit One Bank||ScoreX||Experian||Cardholders|
|FNBO||FICO Bankcard Score 9||Customers|
|U.S. Bank||TransUnion||Online banking customers|
|Wells Fargo||FICO||Experian||Some cardholders|
Credit Cards with Free FICO Score
Not all credit scores you get from credit card issuers are FICO scores. Some offer scores based on other credit formulas. But most lenders and credit card companies pull your FICO score when deciding whether or not to give you a loan, as well as what interest rate they'll give you.
Here are those cards currently offering free access to your official FICO score.
Discover offers free access to your FICO credit score. You don't need to be a Discover cardmember. Free access is available to everyone. The free scores can be accessed online or on paper statements, and they're based on a customer's latest TransUnion score.
Eligible customers of Wells Fargo get free access to their FICO score. The score is based on credit data pulled from Experian.
Credit Cards with Free VantageScore 3.0
Some credit cards give you free access to your credit score using the VantageScore3.0 model. Developed by the three credit bureaus in 2006, it uses the same scoring range used by most versions of the FICO score–300 to 850.
American Express offers free access to your VantageScore 3.0 through what it calls MyCredit Guide. You do not have to have a credit card with Amex to get access to your score. MyCredit shows you the factors affecting your score and a simulator to see how different financial decisions might change your score.
Bank of America
Bank of America offers its customers free access to their FICO scores. The scores are calculated using data from TransUnion.
Capital One offers a great Credit Tracker program, which shows not only your current credit score but also information on how you can bring it up. It could be a helpful program if you're trying to build your credit score – or rebound from some credit dings – especially.
Capital One also offers a credit simulator. This tool gives you an estimate of how different credit-related activities, such as paying your debts on time, opening a new account, or buying a home, will affect your credit score. In my case, allowing an account to become delinquent for 30 days drops my score from 822 to 763. Yikes!
Chase offers free access to credit scores through its program called Credit Journey. It provides consumers access to their VantageScore 3.0 based on data from TransUnion. There's no longer a need to be a Chase customer or cardmember to gain access.
U.S. Bank offers free access to credit scores to its online banking customers. The score is based on data from TransUnion.
Target recently started offering credit score monitoring to its credit card users, mostly as a response to the well-published security breach a few months ago.
Credit Cards Offering Other Credit Scoring Models
Citibank offers free access to some customers. Although the score provided is based on a FICO formula, I've categorized it here because it doesn't use the standard FICO formula. Instead, it's based on the FICO® Bankcard Score 8, which has a scoring range of 250 to 900.
Commerce Bank offers free access to a customer's FICO Bankcard Score 9. Scores are available only to banking customers.
Credit One Bank
Credit One Bank issues credit cards aimed at those with limited or poor credit. Cardmembers get free access to their credit score using the Experian ScoreX Credit Score.
FNBO offers its customers access to their FICO Bankcard Score 9 credit score.
Don't Get Too Comfortable
All these free credit monitoring services are great, especially if you're working to improve your credit score. But beware of using only these free credit monitoring services.
For the most part, free credit monitoring services like these only track your credit file with one of the three main credit bureaus. Discover and Capital One, for instance, use just your TransUnion file. And Target only uses Experian.
In reality, your credit file and resulting credit score from each agency can be very different. So you'll still want to track the other agencies a few times a year, just to be on the safe side. But, still, if you want a monthly credit score tracking service, the offers from these credit cards could be worth checking out.
Next Up: Check out what it means to have a good credit score.