These new rivals have the potential to completely disrupt the industry, because they already have a customer base which doesn’t need to be built from scratch. They also provide the credit score directly to their users, whereas the users must come to the traditional free credit score sites like Credit Karma. This shift occurred at the behest of the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which began to urge major credit card issuers to provide free credit scores, along with related credit score information, to their customers. The bureau felt providing this information would help alert customers to possible identity theft taking place, along with giving them a better understanding where their finances stood. Slowly, but surely, credit cards have begun to offer this service to their users. Below you’ll find five credit cards which will provide you a free credit score simply for using their card:
Discover now provides your credit score each month along with your monthly credit card statement for free. The score is your FICO 08 Bankcard Enhanced version, based on the TransUnion report, which is the one which would be used by credit card companies.
Capital One put together something more like Credit Karma than Discover for their card users. They created a destination area on their website called “Credit Tracker” where users can access their credit score, credit report summary/history, and free credit monitoring at no cost. The score they give is a FAKO score, not a true FICO score which is what all the free credit reports sites do.
The First Bankcard offers the FICO 08 Bankcard Score (the one used by credit card companies) at no cost which can be accessed online 24/7. They also have information for users about what factors affect credit scores and steps which can be taken to strengthen the user’s financial health.
The Barclaycard also offers a free FICO 08 Bankcard Score through TransUnion. In addition, it provides some factors affecting your score and historical tracking of your score.
Walmart Credit Card
Those with a Walmart credit card also have free access to their FICO Score through TransUnion each month. In addition, there is information to understand issues helping and hurting your score, free educational tools for establishing and keeping good credit, and up to 12 months of credit score history.
This is likely just the tip of the iceberg. Over time, chances are more and more credit cards will include their users’ credit score at no cost as an added bonus for using the credit card. Currently it’s an added perk which helps some credit cards differentiate themselves from others, but it certainly could become common to see with the majority of cards in the future, which will give the free credit score websites like Credit Karma a run for their money.
(Photo courtesy of Dino Husejnovic)
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