There are many different online products which allow people to track changes in their credit score. If you bank with Chase, you have access to Chase Credit Journey: A free product that helps you understand your credit and get targeted credit offers.
Should you open an account with Chase just to get the benefits of Credit Journey? How does it compare with other products? We dug deep to get all the ins and outs of Chase Credit Journey.
A Chase-branded Credit Tracking Platform
Operated by credit bureau TransUnion, Chase Credit Journey is a free credit tracking tool. Users can access the Credit Journey through their Chase account. Although the credit tracker says it’s available to non-Chase clients, finding the link to sign up is difficult, at best. The product is clearly targeted towards those who already have a Chase account.
After members sign up, they can get immediate and free access to the credit tracking platform. The benefits include a weekly-updating credit score, as well as easy-to-understand tools that help you understand how spending changes could affect your overall profile.
Tracking Changes Through a Non-FICO Score
Unlike other bank-sponsored products, Chase Credit Journey does not track your actual credit score. Instead, it tracks your score on using the VantageScore 3.0 model, a competing credit score used by a number of banks and insurance companies, including the Amalgamated Bank of Chicago (ABOC).
With a score ranging from 350 to 850, VantageScore 3.0 is designed to be a better predictor of credit responsibility, while opening up doors for those with thin or rebuilding credit files to get access to loans and other financial products. According to their website, VantageScore opens credit markets to an additional 35 million Americans, while providing additional stability.
Although VantageScore is not a true FICO score, it provides a good preview of where your credit stands, and how likely you are to get approved for new credit lines. Generally speaking, VantageScore scores tend to run between 25 to 50 points lower than your FICO score.
Credit Scoring, Modeling, and Targeted Offers
One of the biggest advantages of Chase Credit Journey is its weekly updates in your credit score. Other products only offer a monthly score update, giving those looking for regular updates ahead of a major purchase the opportunity to optimize their score to get the best possible rates.
Like other products, the built-in credit tracking allows users to get real-time updates on changes to their credit report. These real-time alerts let uses know if an application is made under their name, giving them the edge in identifying fraud.
This platform also gives users actionable advice on how to improve their credit. Between their constant credit resources and score simulator, users can actively see how changes in their balances or spending habits can improve their score and drive their credit forward.
But the most important advantage of Chase Credit Journey is the ability to pre-qualify for offers from Chase. With a number of premium credit cards offering real rewards, getting offers directly from the bank can offer bigger rewards over time than applying blindly.
Although users may receive offers, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be approved. Approval is based on several factors, including their current credit available, overall balances and payment history. That being said: getting offers straight from the bank can improve your chances of getting a positive response.
Not the Only Product Available
Although it is unique through the bank, Chase Credit Journey is not the only available credit scoring product on the market today. The two main competitors to Chase Credit Journey are Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, and Experian Credit Monitoring.
The one key advantage of using Chase Credit Journey is the ability to keep all finances in one place. Instead of spreading out your credit monitoring across multiple products (and potential risk in the event of a data breach), Credit Journey allows users to keep their financial information together.
On top of that, Chase Credit Journey also offers bonuses over Experian’s Free Credit Monitoring. While Experian’s data comes straight from the credit bureau, it takes multiple steps to see credit scores and get potential credit card offers. Credit Journey allows users to do both within one platform.
The only key disadvantage between Chase Credit Journey versus Credit Karma or Credit Sesame is in the potential offers users receive. While Credit Journey only highlights credit offers from Chase, both other platforms offer highlights from multiple lenders, giving users visibility into a full spectrum of offers that fit their lives best.
Bottom Line: Should I Open a Chase Account for Credit Journey?
If you are already a Chase customer, Credit Journey is a great add-on product that helps you understand, monitor, and improve your overall credit score. Anyone who is already doing their banking with this nationwide institution should sign up for Credit Journey, and start monitoring your credit immediately.
However, it’s not the only product of its kind out there. If you aren’t already banking with Chase, it may not be worth opening a checking or savings account just for the credit monitoring product. If you are happy with your bank, consider using Credit Karma or another alternative before looking closely at Chase Credit Journey.