Until recently, the best option for personal credit monitoring was to use a third party service - Credit Karma, Credit Sesame or Quizzle. They offered 3 different free alternative credit scores (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax) in addition to monitoring and useful alerts.
The only drawback is that alternative scores are not always following a FICO model - and FICO score is the one that usually matters more.
In the last couple of years retail banks started to realize the value of credit monitoring for their customers and now some of them provide a free monitoring service with a real-time FICO score - Discover, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Ally Financial, Citigroup and USAA are among them.
Today I would recommend bank customers use their bank credit monitoring services if it is available with an addition of a third party tool like Credit Karma.
Read more on credit reports and credit monitoring in our article.