Discover is now the first — and for now the only — credit card issuer to give everyone, not just its cardmembers, access to their FICO credit score for free.
“Discover created student debt stress for borrowers by inflating their bills and misleading them about important benefits,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.
The Discover It card is doubling all of the cash rewards users have earned at the end of their first year for accounts that are open at the time of doubling.
Discover Wednesday officially launched its new Freeze It security feature, becoming the first major credit card issuer to provide such functionality on mobile devices and online.
Chase and Bank of America will start providing FICO scores to some of their customers for free this year. Ally Financial, one of the largest issuers of auto loans, will also begin offering FICO scores to all of its car-loan customers.
Many holiday shoppers rely on their credit cards to help them budget their spending but they are also increasingly using reward points as a savings strategy, according to a recent independent poll commissioned by Discover.
Card members will also have their accounts credited with their Cashback Bonus balance “rather than have rewards forfeited at account closure or for inactivity.”
Only 11 percent of customers report a problem with their credit card, but the most common issue is unauthorized or fraudulent activity, which accounts for 21 percent of all problems.
Some of the blame belongs to forgetful consumers who don’t keep track of the rewards points they’ve been earning. But the study also found that limitations set on redemption and the way points can be earned prevent cardholders from realizing the full potential of rewards programs.
More card-issuing U.S. banks could be following Discover’s lead in providing free credit scores on monthly bills, a trend which provides a long-overdue service to consumers.