Costco Complete ID vs Identity Guard: Choosing the Right Identity Protection

Based on our extensive testing, we have found that for most people, Identity Guard is the best identity theft protection service.

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by Calvin Fellows

Topic:  ID Theft

> 3 min read

completeid

Extensive security surveillance service that alerts you of suspicious activity quickly. Allows you access to a unique financial dashboard and provides 24/7 customer support.

  • Provides monthly and annual credit reports, allowing you to detect suspicious activity more easily
  • Individual children can be added to your subscription
  • Costco members get discounted rates

Utilizes IBM AI technology to effectively monitor personal and financial information and detect potential threats. Customers receive immediate email and app alerts.

  • Various packages available at different price points
  • Savings, checking, and investment bank accounts can be monitored
  • Option for social media insights is available

Home Security Heroes recommends Identity Guard Identity Theft Protection Service because of its comprehensive coverage and reliable service support. All plans have $1 million insurance and a US-based customer care team.  Its basic plan offers top features while its Ultra Plan gives one of the most complete packages in the market. 

As we progress toward a more digital-based society, almost every aspect of life is being computerized. While there are many advantages associated with advanced technology, the increased emphasis on digitization comes with a genuine threat. Cybercrime has risen exponentially in recent decades. 

It’s more important than ever that people protect their identity from criminals. With so much of our data now embedded in the online world, it’s virtually impossible to keep it safe without help from experts. 

When choosing a security provider, you might find yourself comparing Complete ID vs. Identity Guard. The following guide can help you decide which one best suits your needs.

Complete ID vs. Identity Guard: Comparison

WHAT YOU GET

COMPLETE ID

IDENTITY GUARD

Pricing

Coverage

  • Individuals, businesses, and families. Special discounts for Costco members
  • Individuals and families

Core Security Services

  • Dark web surveillance
  • SSN monitoring
  • Neighborhood watch (for potential criminals in your area)
  • Criminal record monitoring
  • Child monitoring
  • Financial takeover services
  • Credit monitoring and reporting
  • Restoration services
  • 24/7 customer support
  • IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence surveillance and monitoring
  • Credit monitoring and reporting
  • High-risk alert system
  • Social insights reporting
  • Social Security number monitoring
  • Financial account monitoring and reporting

Insurance and Fund Reimbursement

  • Up to $1,000,000 insurance reimbursement
  • Up to $1,000,000 insurance reimbursement

QUICK FACE-OFF

Similarities

  • Both providers offer security cover over internet-based activities, including the dark web.
  • Financial activities, such as bank and credit card actions, are tracked and monitored.
  • Your address is searched to find if anyone is using your location for fraudulent activity.
  • They both offer up to $1,000,000 in insurance coverage in the event of a breach.
  • Both offer different packages at various price points.
  • There are family add-ons available from both, although the structure is completely different.
  • Both providers have downloadable mobile apps to access your account and to receive alerts.
  • Identity Guard and Complete ID send you notifications if any suspicious activity is detected.
  • 3-bureau credit checks are performed by both providers, and they provide their customers with credit reports (depending on the package purchased).
  • Each provider offers excellent customer support services, although their availability differs.
  • Identity restoration services are available from both companies, helping you to regain any lost information.
    In the event of a data breach, a representative will guide you through a step-by-step process to recover your stolen data.
  • Neither provider can guarantee that identity theft won’t happen; they just provide services to help prevent, detect, and recover your data in case it does.

Differences

  • Complete ID is a Costco owned brand that offers special rates to Costco members.
  • Complete ID offers 24/7 customer support. Identity Guard support services are more limited. It operates from 8 am to 11 pm on Monday to Friday and 9 am to 6 pm on Saturdays.
  • The pricing structures for both services are very different. The Complete ID pricing models are based around Costco membership, while Identity Guard offers different security packages at various price points.
  • Identity Guard offers family options for each of their packages. Complete ID requires customers to pay an extra charge per child every month.
  • Complete ID provides a unique financial dashboard that allows their customers to access and monitor their personal data.
  • Although both providers alert customers of suspicious activities related to their personal or financial information, Identity Guard uses a unique high-risk alert for certain financial transactions.
  • Identity Guard uses the IBM artificial intelligence engine, Watson, to survey and detect potential threats. This is a highly regarded tool that ensures Identity Guard provides an extensive security monitoring service.
  • Identity Guard has 2 downloadable apps. One of them is for customers to access their account and information, while the other is dedicated to anti-phishing.

Costco Complete ID Features and Services 

In the digital age, identity protection requires comprehensive security measures. There are numerous ways that cybercriminals can exploit you by using your identity. It can be used in criminal activities, to make purchases, or it can be sold on the dark web for further exploitation.

Complete ID provides comprehensive surveillance and protection to prevent identity theft from occurring. Complete ID identity theft protection includes services such as dark web surveillance, SSN monitoring, neighborhood watch, criminal record monitoring, payday loan monitoring, child monitoring, and financial account takeover alerts. 

Credit Monitoring

The greatest concern for most people regarding identity theft is the financial implications. Your credit report is a good indicator of identity theft because it should point out credit card or bank account fraud.

The Complete ID credit monitoring service allows users to access a financial dashboard and alerts them if there is any suspected account takeover fraud, synthetic identity fraud, debit or credit fraud, or SSN ID theft.

Your Equifax and TransUnion score is charted yearly, and your Experian score is updated every month using the VantageScore 3.0² scoring algorithm.

Restoration

If the worst-case scenario occurs, you’ll need help restoring your stolen information. Complete ID offers 24/7 support to help guide you through each step of the process. 

Any suspicious activities or patterns will trigger a warning, and you’ll be sent an alert. By responding to the alert, you can work with the Complete ID team to combat any potential data breach. 

Plans and Pricing

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Executive Members Plan

The Executive Members plan costs $8.99 per person, per month. 

Business and Gold Star Membership Plan

Business and Gold Star Membership is slightly more expensive, at $13.99 per person, per month.

Non-Costco Members Plan

As Complete ID is a Costco brand, non-members are charged a higher rate of $19.99 per person, per month.

If you’re after a Complete ID family plan, you can add up to 5 children to your membership account. For Executive Members, it costs $2.99 per child, per month. For Business and Gold Star Members, it costs $3.99 per child, per month.

All plans offer the same services that are outlined above.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • 3 Complete ID plans to choose from, giving you a variety of options.
  • The financial dashboard gives users information, assistance, and important alerts regarding their identity protection.
  • Comprehensive surveillance and monitoring services cover activities in person and online, including the dark web.
  • The Complete ID app is available on Android and iOS.
  • Opportunity to add children to your account.
  • Members can avail of 24/7 access to the US-based support team.
  • Complete ID offers a full restoration service.
  • Up to $1,000,000 of ID theft insurance .
  • On average, Complete ID closes identity theft cases within two months.

CONS

  • If you’re a non-Costco member, Complete ID membership is more expensive.
  • Per child charges can make membership expensive for large families.
  • There are no additional benefits for Business and Gold Star Members.
  • The financial dashboard is easy-to-use but could be more robust.
  • If personal assets are greater than $1,000,000, you’re not covered for the excess.
  • The mobile app doesn’t function well.
  • The neighborhood watch function is reported to be potentially inaccurate.
  • Complete ID offers no social media screening on any of its membership options.
  • Security alerts are standard and non-customizable.
  • Complete ID doesn't offer a service guarantee for lawyers and experts.

Identity Guard Features and Services

Identity Protection

Identity Guard provides extensive security features to protect your increasingly vulnerable information. Identity Guard identity theft protection revolves around constant scanning, monitoring, surveillance, and 24/7 quick alerts.

Identity Guard uses theft protection powered by artificial intelligence from IBM, called Watson. If a threat is detected, you will be notified immediately via push notification from the Identity Guard app or email.

Depending on your chosen plan, you’ll receive notification for personal information detected on the dark web, high-risk transactions, personal threats, monthly credit score, bank account takeovers, requests to open accounts in your name, and 3 bureau credit reports.

Credit Monitoring

Identity Guard provides you with a credit score every month to help you understand and monitor your financial health. If an irregularity is detected, someone may be trying to access your bank or credit accounts.

The Identity Guard credit monitoring service gives you a unique score, separate from the ones issued by lenders and financial institutions. It is calculated using the information in your TransUnion credit file. 

Restoration

Identity Guard offers up to $1,000,000 in insurance payouts if your identity and information are stolen. It will also assist you in recovering any information that is lost. This can be a grueling process that requires help from expert services. 

Pricing and Plans

Value Plan

All Identity Guard plans have family and individual options. The Value Plan offers a basic identity protection package that includes risk management reporting, data breach notifications, dark web monitoring, and more. The Identity Guard family plan costs $12.50 per month, while the individual plan costs $7.50 per month.

Total Plan

The Total Plan package provides standard identity and credit protection. It offers more comprehensive security features and notifications, such as a monthly credit score, 3-bureau credit changes, and bank account takeovers. The individual plan is priced at $16.67 per month, and the family option is available for $25 per month.

Ultra Plan

As the package that provides the most security coverage, the Ultra Plan boasts additional benefits, including a 3-bureau credit report, social insight report, investment account monitoring, and more. It costs $25 per month for an individual and $33.33 per month for a family.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • 3 plan options, ensuring you get a service suited to your needs.
  • Individual and family options give a wider variety of choice.
  • Total and Ultra Plans monitor 3 credit bureaus.
  • The identity theft protection is powered by a well-renowned analytics engine, the IBM Watson.
  • Up to $1,000,000 in insurance payouts for identity theft.
    Social insight report (Ultra Plan) can analyze social media accounts.
  • Browser extensions are available to help protect you against phishing, trackers, and mining.
  • Identity Guard app is available on Android and iOS.
  • Identity Guard also provides an anti-phishing app which detects and blocks phishing websites.

CONS

  • Technical support can’t be contacted 24/7 and has limited availability on weekends.
  • Credit reports are only available with the higher-priced packages.
  • The pricing is relatively high compared to competitors.
  • If your personal assets exceed $1,000,000, you’ll need alternative insurance to cover them.
  • The cheapest package lacks a lot of features and alert notifications.
  • Credit scores are only provided on an annual basis, making irregularities harder to spot.
  • The Identity Guard app can be unreliable.
  • The Identity Guard anti-phishing app is unreliable and limited to specific browsers.
  • While it monitors activities, there are limited preventive measures to stop a cyberattack.

Conclusion

After comparing both security providers, it’s clear that Complete ID and Identity Guard offer similar comprehensive services. While Complete ID might be a viable option for Costco members, it charges a significantly higher price for non-members. What’s more, the extra cost includes no additional features.

Identity Guard delivers a service that excels in financial protection, which is an area prioritized by most customers. With Identity Guard, your checking, deposit, and investment accounts can be monitored and surveyed. The majority of people have savings, retirement funds, and day-to-day reserves stored in these accounts, so they must be protected.

The fast and reliable alert system operated by Identity Guard notifies you of any suspicious activity. Its high-risk alerts are designed to offer extra security on any significant transactions from your bank accounts.

The array of coverage choices provided by Identity Guard means that you can find a package suited to your specific needs. Each package comes with a family option, rather than the individual child addition requirements by Complete ID.

If you’re taking steps to ensure the safety of you and your family’s identity, Identity Guard is the provider to choose. Combat cybercrime and protect your livelihood for the long term by getting an Identity Guard package today.

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* The score you receive with Identity Guard is provided for educational purposes to help you understand your credit. It is calculated using the information contained in your TransUnion credit file. Lenders use many different credit scoring systems, and the score you receive with Identity Guard is not the same score used by lenders to evaluate your credit.

** Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group‚ Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms‚ conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms‚ conditions‚ and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.


About the Author

Calvin Fellows is a former military security agent and police detective who headed security administration. Calvin is experienced and knowledgeable in all avenues of personal and corporate security, and is dedicated to educating people on how to preempt any physical or cyber security attacks before they happen.

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