Credit Cards Offer Customers Free Credit Scores

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Many Americans know and understand the importance of having good credit score, and in many cases, they’ve learned it from their own experience. Those who had bad credit in the past know that it is not easy to fix it. It takes time to build your credit score. And there is no exact formula used to calculate FICO scores. Luckily the things are changing now.

Today there are banks that offer free FICO scores to some of their customers. Discover and Barclaycard were among the first major credit card issuers that started providing free credit scores to their cardholders. Two more banks will join them this year. These two lenders are Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase.

The reason of these free FICO score offerings is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that urged the major credit card issuers to provide free credit scores to consumers in an effort to help them improve their credit.

The Benefit You Get

The cost of typical credit score is somewhere around $20. Getting your credit score at no charge will save you a lot of money and you will be able to stay on top your finances. Free credit score available at any time will also help you maintain better money management and prevent identity theft. For example, you won’t miss a huge drop in your credit score which may indicate identity fraud.

Banks also benefit from consumers having free access to their credit scores. The banks want you to show responsible credit behaviour and free access to credit scores means you are more likely to look at it throughout the year and try to maintain or improve it. As a result you are more likely to practice better spending habits and pay your balance on time every month.

This is a win-win position and the chances are that other credit card issuers and banks will follow the pioneers and free FICO score will become a standard feature for every credit card.

Here is a list of major credit card issuers and banks that offer free FICO credit scores:

  • American Express (only with certain American Express credit cards and charge cards)
  • Bank of America
  • Barclaycard
  • Chase Bank
  • Citibank (available to Slate credit card users only)
  • Discover
  • First National Bank of Omaha

There are other banks, like Capital One and U.S. Bank, which offer free non-FICO credit scores. These scores may help you keep an eye on your finances but they are not an accurate representation of what your future creditor is looking at. The FICO scores are most widely used by lenders.


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