Do you have an American Express credit card? If the answer is yes, then you can use their “My Credit Score & Report” feature to find out your score for free.
Is it too good to be true? Kind of.
Make no mistake about it, you can get a free credit score from American Express. However, it may not be the type of score you were expecting.
What do you get?
After you go to americanexpress.com/creditscore and login using your AmEx credentials, you are asked to create yet another login, with another username and password.
If you’re someone who actually reads the Terms and Conditions before agreeing to something, you will discover that what you’re signing up to see is actually an Experian PLUS Score. This is not the same as a FICO score. To learn about their similarities and differences, check out this page.
Along with this score, you also will get to see the information on your Experian credit report:
- Personal Profile: This will list the info associated with your credit file such as legal name(s), birthday, address history, and employment.
- Account Summary: Gives you an overview of your open and closed accounts, the balances on those accounts, and any delinquencies if applicable. Experian organizes them into the following categories: real estate, revolving, installment, other, and collections.
- Public Records: Bankruptcies, liens, overdue child support, and all that bad stuff. Hopefully, you won’t have anything listed here!
- Credit Inquiries: Lists all of ‘em from the past 24 months, but unfortunately they don’t specify which are soft and which are hard pulls.
- Account History: This lists all of the accounts on your credit report.
- Credit Score: As mentioned, you’re getting a PLUS Score…
The good, bad, and ugly
Good: The best thing about the American Express free credit score and report is that it really is zero cost – there’s no trial to cancel or any of that rigmarole. You will have access to it for 30 days. The free credit report from Experian is quite useful if you’ve already used up your freebies thru AnnualCreditReport.com (the gov’t mandated site for credit reports).
Bad: You can only check it once per year. This is basically a freemium business model; they give you Experian for free, but if you want to see Equifax and TransUnion, you will have to enroll in a membership and pay some moolah.
Ugly: The PLUS Score is not really that useful. It’s a type of score that’s only for “educational purposes” and is not used by creditors. It doesn’t correlate very well with FICO, which means the best part is not that you’re getting a free credit score from AmEx, but rather that you’re getting to see the info on your Experian credit report.