Sears Solution MasterCard Gives Free Credit Scores, But Has Annual Fee

The Wallet blog has a cool tip about a credit card that give free TransUnion FICO credit scores. Sweet! Closer inspection reveals it’s not such a good deal, unless you have stellar credit history.

Once you’re signed up you’ll be able to get your credit score by going to the “”FICO® Credit Score Viewer” pane on your online account.

Caveats:
1. Annual fees are $0, $19 or $59, depending on your credit history.
2. You can only apply inside a Sears store, not online.
3. Sears is a depressing place and having to go in one will make you sad.

So, if you’re a credit ninja and can get this without annual fee and want your credit score for free and have some extra time to go to some sad store, this could be a cool card to have for checking your credit score for free.

UPDATE: A former Sears associate sends in more details.

1. Customers w/stellar credit histories won’t even get that card in 1st place.
2.”Sears Solutions,” handled by HSBC, is for customers rebuilding their credit histories.
3. BOTH CARDS HAVE THE FICO SCORE BENEFIT. One applies for the regular card, handled by Citi. If Citi declines to offer credit, HSBC takes an immediate second look. Supposedly, this doesn’t ding your credit score more than once.
4. Regarding the annual fee, that program’s been in place for over 2 years. The reason why there’s a $0 annual fee on the “Solutions” card is because that’s for customers that just barely missed Citi’s score requirements for opening a regular account.

Why You Might Actually Want a Retail Credit Card [The Wallet]
Sears-Kmart MasterCard Perk: Free* FICO Score Each Month [CreditMattersBlog]