These are my top recommended credit cards for this month. Some have $450-550 annual fees waived exclusively for US military personnel.

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.

This question was recently posed on, in the Personal Finance section. The questioner asked what credit score landlords are looking for and how he might improve that score.

Unfortunately, he or she completely missed the point of the credit report that a landlord would pull for a potential tenant. Landlords are not primarily interested in your credit score. They are more interested in your credit report.

The Difference Between a Credit Score and a Credit Report

A credit score is simply a number, usually from 300-850, that rapidly communicates your credit worthiness to a potential lender. Credit card companies, auto dealerships, and cell phone service providers are interested in credit scores because it gives them a rapid snapshot of your credit worthiness. This allows them to make quick decisions when giving you a line of credit, a new car, or a new iPhone.

On the other hand, mortgage companies and landlords (people who own rental properties) are interested in your credit report. This is a much more in depth document, covering many years of your personal and financial history. Since mortgage companies are lending you large sums of money, they take the time to look at your credit report and analyze whether they believe you will be a worthwhile investment of their resources.

What Landlords Look for in Your Credit Report

The same is true of a landlord. They are looking for tenants that will not damage their property or fail to pay their rent on time. Landlords will look at your credit report to see:

  • if you pay your bills on time
  • if you have any public records relating to delinquencies, child support, or bankruptcies
  • past and current residences
  • past and current employment

Therefore, checking your free annual credit report from (the only officially authorized source) is more important than obsessing over your credit score. You can get one free report a year from each of the three major bureaus. If you do it right, you can get 3 free credit reports a year (just wait 4 months between pulling a report from each bureau.

What is a landlord looking for when they run a credit check?

AMEX Platinum With NO Annual Fees for US Military

Military SCRA MLA AMEX Platinum

Military servicemembers and spouses can get the American Express Platinum with NO annual fees.  Pick up your military annual fee waived card here!

Learn more about the AMEX military fee waiver.

The AMEX Platinum offers:

  • $550 Annual Fee WAIVED for US Military (and spouses)!
  • 60,000 Membership Rewards Points welcome offer
  • $200 credit for Uber rides (or Uber Eats!) annually
  • $200 airline fee credit
  • Centurion Lounge and Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access
  • NO foreign transaction fees

These benefits make it my top recommend card.

If you already have an AMEX Platinum card, check out the other AMEX cards, Chase credit cards, and this month's top recommended credit card bonuses, most with no annual fees for US military personnel.

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