Credit cards that offer free credit scores

Cards with free credit scores expand

There’s no longer a reason for credit card holders to be unaware of their credit scores.

Years ago, credit scores were kept secret, available only to lenders. Then credit scores started becoming available to consumers – for a price. Now, they have become free for millions of credit card holders.

The scores available include ones designed by credit bureaus as well as the FICO score, the one used in the largest number of lending decisions. As of April 2017, more than 200 million consumer accounts have free access to FICO scores on a recurring basis, according to the credit score company.

Why credit scores are important
Your credit score is a three-digit number distilled from your credit report. The higher the number, the more likely it is that you will be approved for new credit at the best terms. In addition to helping people understand their financial pictures, regular access to credit scores can help fight fraud. Changes in your score may alert you when new accounts are opened in your name, or when new applications for credit are filed.

How free credit scores developed
Under FICO’s Open Access program, announced in November 2013, banks that purchase FICO scores to keep tabs on customers’ credit profiles can share the scores with customers – plus related information about their credit – at no charge. In April 2014, the credit bureau Experian announced a similar program letting banks share the VantageScore credit score with consumers, plus related information on factors that influence an individual’s score.

In addition to the scores available from banks, you also can get your free VantageScore credit score, free TransUnion credit report, and free credit monitoring and credit tracker at CreditCards.com.

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau got behind the push for free scores in February 2014, urging major credit card issuers to provide free credit scores and related information to their customers.

Many people remain confused about credit reports and scores, what they mean, and what steps they can take to improve their credit profiles, the CFPB said. Although consumers are entitled by law to one free copy of their credit report annually from each of the three largest credit bureaus, 90 percent of eligible consumers fail to obtain even one free report, the agency said in a research paper.

Here is a roundup of major credit card issuers and their programs to provide free credit scores for customers:

CREDIT CARDS THAT OFFER FREE CREDIT SCORES

Bank

Credit score program

American Express
Cardholders with credit or charge accounts may access their FICO 8 credit scores on the American Express website. Scores are updated monthly.
Bank of America

Offers free FICO scores to consumer cardholders online, with 12-month history starting from month they enroll, plus key factors influencing score and comparisons to national averages. Scores are based on credit data from TransUnion.

Barclaycard US

Provides free FICO scores to cardholders via the web, plus email alerts when the score changes, noting the top two factors that are influencing an individual’s score.

Capital One

Provides scores based on TransUnion credit data and the VantageScore 3.0 formula via their product CreditWise. Credit profiles are updated once a week. Cardholders can access their scores via the website or mobile app. Even if you do not have an account, you can register to use CreditWise.

Chase Bank
Provides free VantageScore credit scores to consumers, whether they are Chase customers or not, through its Credit Journey website. Scores, based on TransUnion credit reports, are updated weekly. The online tool provides a simulator showing how financial moves would affect the score, plus a historical look at how the individual’s score has changed over time. Slate cardholders can also access their FICO credit scores.
Citibank
Free FICO scores provided monthly to holders of Citi-branded cards. Score will be the same one that the bank uses for credit decisions.
Commerce Bank

Provides free FICO credit scores to consumer credit card holders on monthly statements. Also lists two key factors that are affecting the cardholder’s score. Jointly held cards are not eligible.

Discover

Provides free FICO scores on monthly statements and online to holders of consumer cards. The information includes key factors influencing an individual’s score, and up to a year of previous scores. Noncardholders may register with Discover’s Credit Scorecard online service to access their FICO scores, based on credit data from Experian.

First Bankcard

The unit of First National Bank of Omaha provides FICO scores to cardholders. Scores updated monthly, plus related information, are available online.

Huntington Bank
Huntington Voice credit card holders have access to a free Equifax FICO score.
PenFed

Provides free FICO NextGen scores online to members with revolving line of credit (such as a credit card), active checking accounts or installment loans.

SunTrust
SunTrust’s program lets credit card holders view their FICO score wfrom the bank’s online and mobile banking platforms. The score is updated monthly, lists 12 months of history and gives two factors affecting individuals’ scores.
Synchrony Financial
Offers free FICO scores online to Walmart credit card holders once they enroll in e-statements.
TD Bank
TD CreditView – an online dashboard – provides current information on individual’s credit history, and includes a free VantageScore.
USAA

Provides free VantageScores to members, and information that outlines the factors impacting their credit.*

US Bank
Provides TransUnion credit score monthly and online simulator to analyze financial choices. Available to credit card holders and other banking customers.
Wells Fargo
 Offers free FICO scores, with factors affecting individuals’ scores, to credit card users via mobile app for smartphones and tablets. Mortgage holders, student loan borrowers and other consumer loan clients also have access to this information.
Source: CreditCards.com research, updated May 2017

*Correction: As originally published, the source of USAA free credit scores was misstated. See CreditCards.com’s corrections policy

See related: What is a “good” credit score?, 7 building blocks of good credit


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Updated: 11-24-2017