Sears Doing Credit Scores on Statements

November 4, 2008 by  
Filed under Credit News

Looks like Sears is about to join WAMU as a purveyor of FICO credit scores on monthly online bank statements.  While the WSJ seems to be worried about the loss of the WAMU program due to the JP Morgan acquisition, I’m betting the program is left in place.

from the WSJ:

The Wallet got a tip that holders of the Sears-Kmart MasterCard were receiving notices that they could see their TransUnion FICO credit score for free. And HSBC, the financial institution that manages the Sears and KMart cards (in conjunction with Citibank) confirmed to us that the rumors are true.

As we’ve lamented before, only WaMu customers have enjoyed the benefit of seeing their TransUnion FICO credit score for free. (Credit.com’s John Ulzheimer later informed us that members of the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Credit Union also have this perk.) And there’s concern that with Chase gobbling troubled WaMu, this perk might vanish. Chase still says it’s too early to tell what will happen.

Typically, we’d advise against getting any big retail credit card. Stores love to push these generally mediocre cards with high interest rates and meager reward programs. Sometimes they’ll throw in a 10 or 20% discount to lure you in. They also glaze over the hit your credit score will take when you sign up. (It counts as a hard inquiry on your credit report.) It’s extremely rare that such cards — with or without a discount — are ever worth it. Especially this winter, as you’re probably less likely to get approved.

The scores on statements programs provides monthly FICO credit scores based on the bankcard FICO score and is a close neighbor to the mortgage FICO scores.

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