Experian ProtectMyID vs Identity Guard: Monitor and Protect Your Identity

by Keith Morris

Topic:  ID Theft

> 1 min read

protectmy ID

This is the ideal product for AAA members who care about tracking and protecting their identity.

  • AAA Premier members can receive up to $10,000 in identity theft coverage completely free
  • All plans include lost wallet protection services
  • The affordable Platinum package provides child insurance

This identity protection service offers an intuitive and comprehensive online app experience, 3-bureau credit monitoring, and several beneficial add-on features.

  • The watchlist function is a dashboard where you can keep track of what’s being monitored
  • Comes with a mobile app that sends fraud alerts
  • Ultra plan comes with title tracking to prevent home title theft

No one wants to be the victim of identity fraud, but it’s one of the most common crimes people commit. If you’re concerned about a potential data breach or want to monitor your credit usage and bank account activity more closely, invest in an identity protection service.

These products provide monthly plans that offer single-, double-, or triple-bureau credit monitoring and various identity tracking features. The best protection services also send you real-time fraud and account activity alerts, 3-bureau credit reports, and dark web monitoring notifications.

We think there’s only one winner when it comes to the ProtectMyID vs. Identity Guard argument, but read on to see our rundown of each product and to decide whether you agree with us.

ProtectMyID vs. Identity Guard: Comparison

WHAT YOU GET

PROTECTMYID

IDENTITY GUARD

Coverage

  • Deluxe package comes with
  • SSN monitoring and dark web scanning
  • Platinum plan offers sex offender and social media monitoring


  • All the Identity Guard plans come with dark web tracking
  • Total includes bank account monitoring
  • Ultra provides sex and criminal offense tracking and social media scanning

Insurance

  • AAA Premier members receive at least $10,000 identity theft coverage with all 3 plans
  • Deluxe and Platinum offer up to $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance
  • Platinum includes child identity insurance
  • All of the 3 plans provide up to $1,000,000 in identity theft coverage

Recovery Services

  • All plans offer fraud resolution resources and expert help
  • Online education center provides salient advice on identity protection
  • Top-quality customer service
  • Intuitive online app design helps you figure out what to do next
  • All plans offer full access to recovery services

Other Features

  • Free 1-bureau credit monitoring for AAA members
  • Lost Wallet Protection feature with all 3 plans
  • Platinum plan has built-in child identity insurance
  • Watchlist acts as database so you can keep track of the personal information being monitored
  • Ultra package comes with home title monitoring
  • Ultra plan provides 401(k) account tracking

QUICK FACE-OFF

Similarities

  • The Identity Guard Value and ProtectMyID Deluxe plans are both affordable and useful, offering $1,000,000 in insurance coverage and dark web tracking.
  • The Deluxe plan provides 3-bureau credit monitoring, while the Identity Guard Total and Ultra packages also offer this service.
  • Both protection services have paid plans that include sex offender tracking.
  • Both protection services offer premium packages that provide social media monitoring for sites like Facebook and Twitter.
  • The web apps for both products are well-designed and clear, with breakdowns of your credit reports and real-time fraud alerts.
  • These products offer paid plans that provide handy credit score information: Identity Guard’s Total and Ultra packages come with 1-bureau monthly updates while
  • ProtectMyID’s online app uses an innovative credit score graph to break down your report.
  • Both identity protection services offer three tiers of plans, ranging from highly affordable to more expensive.
  • These products provide public records information, with Identity Guard breaking this data down for us in our credit reports and ProtectMyID tracking our SSN.
  • Both services offer comprehensive identity tracking. The
  • ProtectMyID Platinum plan features sex offender and social media monitoring, while the Identity Guard Ultra package provides card and criminal tracking.
  • Identity Guard plans come with a watchlist function that allows you to keep track of your personal information being monitored by the software. All the ProtectMyID packages come with the Lost Wallet Protection feature, which is a more rudimentary version of this dashboard.

Differences

  • ProtectMyID offers a free plan for AAA members, but the most affordable Identity Guard package costs $7.50 per month.
  • You can only buy and use the ProtectMyID plans if you’re an AAA member, whereas ANYONE can purchase an Identity Guard package.
  • Identity Guard offers a mobile app option so that you can receive fraud alerts and keep up to date with your watchlist: ProtectMyID doesn’t provide a phone app.
  • ProtectMyID is backed by Experian and counts as one of that bureau’s identity monitoring services. Identity Guard doesn’t have a 1-bureau backing in that way.
  • ProtectMyID credit monitoring is decent, but this product focuses on identity tracking. By contrast, Identity Guard credit monitoring is excellent, with triple-bureau credit coverage.
  • Identity Guard sends an annual 3-bureau credit report to paying customers, while ProtectMyID doesn’t offer this service.
  • You’ll likely pay less for ProtectMyID than you would for Identity Guard: the Platinum ProtectMyID plan costs $15.95 per month while Total, and Ultra packages cost $16.67 and $29.99 respectively.
  • Identity Guard’s Ultra package comes with a more comprehensive triple-bureau credit report, while the two premium ProtectMyID plans provide a single-bureau Experian VantageScore.
  • Identity Guard’s Ultra plan includes a title monitoring feature, which protects you from home title theft.
  • ProtectMyID doesn’t offer anything like this.
  • All the Identity Guard plans offer up to $1,000,000 in insurance coverage, while only the Deluxe and Platinum packages do for ProtectMyID. 

ProtectMyID Features and Services

AAA Premier Member Insurance

If you’re an AAA Premier member, you’ll love the $10,000 worth of ProtectMyID identity theft protection that you receive for free with the Essential plan. If you fall victim to identity fraud, this insurance reimburses you and allows you to reclaim your credit score and get legal help.

Lost Wallet Protection

You’ll find this handy feature with all of the ProtectMyID plans. You can log your credit cards and identification documents into the ProtectMyID dashboard, which you can access at any time. This means that if you ever lose your wallet, you’ll be able to contact the suitable businesses, banks, and creditors quickly and easily. 

Dark Web Monitoring 

Both the Deluxe and Platinum plans offer dark web monitoring. This is software that scans relatively inaccessible sites on the dark web to search for your missing details. You’ll receive an alert if this software finds anything useful.

3-Bureau Credit Monitoring 

The Deluxe and Platinum plans also provide 3-bureau credit monitoring. The built-in software scans your credit reports at each of the 3 major bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian).

We think that 3-bureau tracking is much better than 1-bureau monitoring because you’re covering all your bases. TransUnion may not pick up a suspicious change in your credit scores, but Equifax might. You also don’t know which of the 3 bureaus a prospective lender might contact for your credit report. 

Plans and Pricing

Essential Plan

This plan is free for all AAA members and provides 1-bureau credit monitoring, Lost Wallet Protection, and recovery and restoration support. If you’re an AAA Premier member, you’ll receive identity theft coverage of up to $10,000.

Deluxe Plan

The Deluxe plan costs $10.95 each month and includes more extensive, 3-bureau credit monitoring, SSN tracking, dark web scanning, and regular updates on your Experian VantageScore.

Platinum Plan

This plan offers comprehensive identity monitoring at a reasonable price. For $15.95 per month, you’ll get a sex offender tracking feature, credit file usage notifications, and social media scanning. You’ll also find built-in child identity insurance, which is the closest thing we could find to a ProtectMyID family plan.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • The Essential plan is completely free for AAA card-holding members.
  • The Deluxe plan offers 3-bureau credit monitoring at a reasonable monthly rate.
  • You’ll receive comprehensive identity tracking services with the Platinum plan, including child identity insurance, sex offender monitoring, and social media scanning.
  • AAA Premier members receive up to $10,000 in identity theft coverage for free.
  • There’s a child coverage add-on option for Deluxe members, which only costs $3.95 extra each month.
  • The Deluxe and Platinum plans send you real-time alerts if a fraudster accesses your bank account. The Platinum package also tracks your credit report activity and warns you if someone else uses your assets.

CONS

  • If you’re not an AAA member, you won’t be able to access any of these plans.
  • We couldn’t find a ProtectMyID app that you can download onto your mobile device. You won’t be able to receive alerts and notifications unless it’s through email.
  • The alerts can sometimes seem a little excessive, and there’s no real way to turn them off.
  • You receive a VantageScore for your credit report rather than a FICO score. Most businesses tend to use the FICO method rather than the VantageScore system.
  • The Essential plan only offers single-bureau credit monitoring, which means you can only keep track of your credit report from one of the main bureaus. 

Identity Guard Features and Services

Credit Protection

The Identity Guard identity theft protection services are second to none, with both the Total and Ultra packages offering credit protection. This service keeps track of your credit score and protects you against practices that can lower your report. This beneficial service uses credit protection laws to shield your credit rights and keep your score high. 

Dark Web Monitoring 

This form of tracking software scans file-sharing sites on the dark web in search of your stolen information. Often, identity criminals will pass around and trade your data on these types of sites. All of the Identity Guard plans include this tracking feature. 

3-Bureau Credit Monitoring 

If you buy the Total or Ultra plan, you’ll receive triple-bureau credit monitoring. This is a useful service that tracks activity and changes to your credit reports from all three of the leading credit bureaus. 

Triple-bureau tracking is preferable to single- or double-bureau monitoring because it covers all your bases. If 2 of the 3 bureaus don’t pick up any changes to your file, but the other one does, you’ll still receive an alert. 

Annual 3-Bureau Credit Report 

The Ultra plan offers an annual 3-bureau credit report, providing you with an accurate and extensive credit breakdown that includes consumer statements, public records, and various bank accounts. 

Watchlist

We love this feature because it’s a database where you can log all the information that’s being monitored. This allows you to keep track of precisely what the software is doing for you. We appreciated this user-friendly breakdown of a potentially complicated ID protection service. 

Pricing and Plans

Value

The Identity Guard Value costs $7.50 per month and provides you with insurance coverage of up to $1,000,000, as well as access to a team of experts who can talk you through how to freeze your credit line and get legal support. You’ll also receive dark web monitoring, which alerts you if your stolen information is being passed across dark web file-sharing platforms. 

Total

This plan will cost you $16.67 per month and contains all the features of the Value package, as well as some additional ones. You’ll have bank account monitoring, access to credit protection services, and 3-bureau credit coverage. You’ll also receive a monthly credit score from 1 of those three major bureaus. 

Ultra

We love how many features this premium package offers you, but we still think it’s too expensive for what you get. For $29.99 per month, you’ll receive 3-bureau credit monitoring, credit protection, criminal and sex offender tracking, and a host of other features. Most importantly, you’ll get an annual triple-bureau credit report. 

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • The Identity Guard app is intuitive and clear to follow, making your elaborate credit report easy to read and understand.
  • You can find an Identity Guard family plan as well as individual options.
  • The Value plan offers $1,000,000 in identity theft coverage, full access to the company recovery services, and dark web tracking for just $7.50 per month.
  • All the plans will send you real-time notifications whenever there’s been a breach of your personal information.
  • The Total and Ultra plans provide comprehensive tracking of any changes to your bank account, monitoring transactions and deposits.
  • Both the Total and Ultra packages offer consumer protection in the form of credit protection services that help you to retain a high credit score.

CONS

  • You won’t find a free identity protection plan.
  • We found the Total and Ultra plans a bit pricey for what they offered.
  • The social media tracking feature is relatively basic and can only scan Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • There isn’t the option of a free trial.
  • If you own a Mac, you’ll have some issues downloading the .xpi safe browsing file.
  • The mobile app is poorly designed and difficult to navigate, with no dashboard feature.
  • The Total plan doesn’t offer the 3-bureau annual credit report.
  • If you choose the annual plan to save on the monthly rate, the company will charge you the full year’s cost upfront rather than in monthly installments. 

Conclusion

While we appreciate the extensive ID tracking that ProtectMyID offers, we think that Identity Guard provides more in the way of customer service, user experience, and credit monitoring.

We LOVE the online app, with its easy-to-follow desktop interface and innovative watchlist feature. We also appreciate that the affordable Value plan covers you for up to $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance.

All 3 paid Identity Guard plans offer beneficial dark web tracking functionality, while the mobile app allows you to receive real-time alerts when you’re away from your computer. The Total and Ultra packages both monitor your bank account and credit report activity, with the Ultra plan sending you an annual triple-bureau credit score.

We also love the credit protection included in the Total and Ultra plans. This service helps you maintain a decent credit score and prevents you from getting involved in practices that could destroy your credit file.

The Ultra package offers title monitoring, which protects you from home title fraud and allows you to retain your property ownership. We also love the safe browsing feature that comes with the premium plans. This plug-in heightens your computer’s cybersecurity by protecting you against phishing scams and data mining.

Whichever Identity Guard plan you choose, we think you’ll love the user-friendly desktop experience, the sizable insurance coverage, and the recovery and restoration resources.


About the Author

Keith Morris is a 20+ year veteran of the security game, with the knowledge and experience to set you on the right track toward personal safety and security. His firm is committed to giving you the tools and know-how to combat any threat to your safety.

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