Identity Guard vs Complete ID (Costco) – Save 68% Today….

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Lauren Sakiyama
Brandon King
September 18, 2023

I put them head-to-head in test after test and ultimately found Identity Guard beats Costco Complete ID. However, if you’re in the market to buy identity theft protection that truly protects your name, assets, and family – you want Aura. 

Aura is Identity Guard’s successor. So, as this review will show, Identity Guard beats Costco Complete ID, but choosing it as your identity protection service doesn’t make much sense. You’d literally be paying more for an older model. 

Identity protection services aren’t like fine wine or classic cars – they don’t increase in value as they age. You want the newest technology, the most knowledgeable customer service team, and the best bundle of added features in your identity protection service, and that comes from Aura. 

Luckily, for our readers, you can get our exclusive OFF offer TODAY by clicking this link.

Why You Should Get Aura:

60 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • You want the most thorough threat detection and monitoring available.
  • You want to take a proactive approach to identity protection using a wide breadth of monitoring services that can alert you to breaches and vulnerabilities before a thief finds them.
  • You want family protection with increasing insurance coverage for up to five adults so that you can protect your spouse, your parents, and your adult children – with $1 million each.
  • You want added services like a VPN, parental controls, antivirus, and a password manager that help managing your identity health much easier.
You should get Identity Guard if:
  • You want flexible family coverage that allows for up to five adults, but don’t mind that the insurance coverage stays the same.
  • You don’t need a VPN or antivirus software.
  • You want the same comprehensive monitoring that Aura provides and are somehow okay with paying a higher price for it.
You Should Get Costco Complete ID If…
  • You’re already an Executive Costco member.
  • You’re okay with less comprehensive monitoring.
  • A slow-loading dashboard isn’t going to frustrate you.

Still, I get why you might find yourself thinking about Costco Complete ID vs. Identity Guard. 

If you’re a Costco member, purchasing your identity protection service through them makes some sense. And, if you’ve been doing any research on identity protection, you’ve probably seen Identity Guard’s name come up. 

So, in this review, I’ll cover everything you need to know about these two services – where they succeed and where they fail. Just know that, ultimately, Aura is the best choice for most people.

But First, Why Should You Trust Us?

You can learn more about our testing process here.

Identity Guard vs. Costco Complete ID: Head-to-Head Comparison

Putting these two services head-to-head was interesting. I went in expecting to find Costco Complete ID trailing behind in almost every way, but that wasn’t the case. 

Costco Complete ID is an Experian product, and my past experiences with Experian haven’t been great. Experian’s customer service is notoriously bad

But as it turned out, Costco Complete ID was better than Identity Guard when it came to threat resolution. Costco Complete ID also offers more added services, and their monitoring accuracy is top-notch

It wasn’t enough for me to declare them the winners overall. Identity Guard offers a wider breadth of monitoring services and has more flexible family plans. Plus, Identity Guard is easier to use. 
Still, the Identity Guard vs. Costco Complete ID match was tighter than I thought. Want to see what I mean? Keep reading.

Editor’s Ranking Table

Identity Guard
Complete ID

Overall Score

Best Identity Theft Protection

Monitoring & Alerts

  • Aura found 15 unique dark web alerts, the maximum in our test

  • Identity Guard found the same number of alerts since they use the same engine

  • Found 27 unique dark web alerts

Threat Resolution

  • White Glove support standard on all plans

  • Only the most expensive Ultra plan offers White Glove support

  • Good customer service

Theft Insurance Per Adult

  • $5M Theft Insurance total on the Family plan with 5 adults

  • $1M per adult on all plans

  • $1M total Theft Insurance on all plans

  • $1M total Theft Insurance on all plans

Customer Support

  • Aura wins with their US-based 24/7 support

  • Great US-based customer support but needs 24/7 hours of operation

  • US-based 24/7 support

Additional Services

  • VPN

  • Antivirus

  • Parental Controls

  • Password Manager

  • VPN

  • Antivirus

  • Parental Controls

  • Password Manager

  • VPN

  • Password Manager

  • Antivirus

  • Parental Controls


  • Aura offers an incredibly low price and highest bang for your buck

  • Identity Guard is great if you want the cheapest plan, but costs more than Aura for similar protection

  • Prices are extremely good but only available for Costco member

Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • No. You lock in the price for life

  • No. You lock in the price for life

  • No

Promo Code

Monitoring and Alerts: Winner – Identity Guard

Identity Guard offers comprehensive coverage, similar to what you get from Aura – which makes sense given that Identity Guard is Aura’s predecessor. Costco, on the other hand, takes a more bare-bones approach.

Let’s start with what both services include:

  • Dark web monitoring
  • Data breach monitoring
  • Social Security number monitoring
  • Payday loan monitoring
  • Three-bureau credit monitoring 
  • Bank account monitoring
  • Sex offender monitoring
  • Address change monitoring

Now let’s look at the additional services you get with Identity Guard plans: 

  • Home title monitoring
  • Social media monitoring
  • High-risk transaction monitoring
  • Criminal record monitoring

Identity Guard’s breadth of services clearly outpaces Costco Complete ID, which is the main reason Identity Guard comes out ahead in this category. 

Still, monitoring services don’t mean much unless they work – let’s see what happens when I put them to the test. 

Dark Web Monitoring

Costco Complete ID and Identity Guard both caught a lot of vulnerabilities. Identity Guard found 15 unique dark web alerts, and Costco Complete came back with 27

That’s a lot! And, it’s a point in Costco Complete ID’s favor – or it would be. There’s just one issue with Costco Complete ID…

It’s slow. 

I mean, really slow. What Identity Guard found in two minutes, Costco Complete ID took two days to uncover. Even after the initial scan, alerts would come up with Identity Guard long before Costco Complete ID caught them. That’s a problem if you’re trying to take a proactive approach to your identity protection. 

Waiting days to address alerts gives criminals more time to commit crimes – stealing your information and your assets. So, you want a monitoring service that can alert you to threats right away. Costco Complete ID fails to do that. 

Alerts Dashboard

How alerts appear determines how useful they ultimately are. If they don’t prompt you to take proactive steps, aren’t helpful in the information they provide, or are difficult to decipher, they won’t do any good

In this area, I like both of these services. 

Costco Complete ID offers categorized alerts, color-coded by severity, so you can quickly tell if something needs to be addressed urgently. 

Identity Guard’s alerts also provide at-a-glance information. Each alert tells you what happened in a succinct way. For example, it might read, “a new inquiry appeared on your credit report.” 

When you click on alerts with either service, you get a detailed guide on what to do next, allowing you to take proactive steps to guard your personal information. 

Credit and Financial Monitoring

As far as financial and credit monitoring goes, Identity Guard is the better choice. They offer three-bureau credit monitoring, Experian credit lock capabilities, and investment account monitoring. 

Costco Complete ID has credit lock services and three-bureau credit monitoring but doesn’t have investment account monitoring. That means your retirement savings are vulnerable. My 401(k) isn’t something I’m willing to leave unwatched, and I’m guessing you feel the same

Public Records Monitoring

Costco Complete ID fails to offer home title or criminal records monitoring the way Identity Guard does, but I do have to note – their sex offender monitoring is uniquely detailed

Costco Complete ID’s neighborhood watch suite gives descriptions of sex offenders in your area, including information on the crime they were convicted for. That level of detail isn’t in any other service I’ve tested. 

Still, I’d rather have home title, criminal records monitoring, and sex offender monitoring in one service, even if it’s slightly less detailed. So, Identity Guard still comes out on top here
Though, I should note with Aura, you get all of the above plus auto title monitoring. So, for really comprehensive monitoring coverage, Aura is what you need.

Threat Resolution: Winner – Costco Complete ID

identity guard


  • Aura's knowdlegeable support experts answered my call within 1-2 minutes

  • Excellent, quick and knowledgeable resolution experts

  • Good customer service experience

US Based Support?

  • Yes

  • Yes

  • Yes

Customer Hours

  • 24/7/365 Support

  • Mon-Fri 8AM-11PM ET

  • Sat 9AM-6PM ET

  • 24/7/365 Support

Concierge Resolution

  • Available on ALL plans

  • Only on Ultra plan

  • Available

Lost Wallet Protection

  • Available

  • None

  • Available

This is one area where Identity Guard could do better. The best indicator of a good threat resolution team comes from their ability to handle customer service, and, as you’re about to see, Identity Guard has room for improvement. 

Costco Complete ID, however, is first-rate at threat resolution, which surprised me. Complete ID is backed by Experian, a company I’ve had less-than-stellar service from in the past. But, Costco Complete ID managed to prove to me that not all Experian services are lacking. 

Customer Service 

I tested Identity Guard’s customer service by phone and by email. 

By phone, they were excellent. A very knowledgeable, U.S.-based representative answered my call in less than a minute. Identity Guard uses the same call center as Aura, so the high level of efficiency wasn’t surprising to me. 

By email, though, Identity Guard was slow. Though they promised a 48-hour response time, it took them closer to 72 business hours. I sent my question on a Thursday afternoon and didn’t get a response until Tuesday. Not a huge deal, but I’m not a fan of companies making promises they can’t deliver on. 

The real problem with Identity Guard’s customer service, though, is their lack of hours. The best identity protection services offer 24/7/365 customer service. Identity Guard’s customer service team is only available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. 

You might think that’s not a big deal, but what happens if you get a serious alert or, worse, lose your wallet on Saturday at 7 p.m.? You’ll have to wait until Monday morning for help. 

Costco Complete ID offers around-the-clock customer service. When I called on a Friday at 4 p.m., I reached a representative in under two minutes. They answered all of my questions with ease. Knowing that level of service is available at any time is a huge benefit and part of why Costco Complete ID does better in this category. 

Concierge Service

Another reason Costco Complete ID beats Identity Guard for threat resolution is this – Complete ID offers designated resolution specialists with every plan. 

If you become a victim of identity theft, a trained specialist will walk you through the process of restoring your identity. They’ll help you file paperwork, arrange discussions with financial institutions, and issue disputes with major credit bureaus. 

Identity Guard offers this as well – but only with their top-tier plan. Lower plan levels don’t provide any sort of concierge resolution services.

Lost Wallet Protection 

I’ll admit Identity Guard stands out in this area. Their lost wallet protection goes above and beyond what’s required. 

If you lose your wallet or discover it’s been stolen, Identity Guard will help you cancel and replace its contents, including bank cards, insurance cards, and even your passport. That’s pretty standard for identity protection services. But then, Identity Guard takes things up a notch by offering to wire up to $2,000 in emergency funds from one of your accounts. Wow!

Emergency cash can really come in handy, especially if you’re traveling and find your wallet is missing! 

Costco Complete ID only offers the typical lost wallet protection coverage – meaning they help replace your wallet’s contents but aren’t going to wire you emergency funds. 

Of course, with Identity Guard, you’ll have to hope your wallet is stolen within their customer service hours. If you lose your wallet Saturday night, no one will be available to help you replace your bank cards or wire you necessary funds until Monday morning. 

So while access to emergency funds is nice, it doesn’t make up for Identity Guard’s limited customer service.

Theft Insurance: Winner – Tie

Theft Insurance Score

Theft Insurance 

  • Up to $5M Theft Insurance on the family plan  ($1M per adult)

  • $1M Theft Insurance per Adult on Individual & Couple plans

  • Maximum $1M Theft Insurance total on all plans

  • Maximum $1M Theft Insurance total on all plans

Neither Identity Guard nor Costco Complete ID offers exceptional insurance coverage. Both include the standard $1 million policy that pretty much every identity protection service comes with. 

The insurance covers reasonable expenses associated with identity restoration, including lost wages, child and elderly care costs, and legal fees. 

As with most insurance policies, there are limits on specific expenses. For Identity Guard, those limits look like this:

  • Lost wages: $2,000 per week, for five weeks maximum
  • Travel expenses: $1,000 per policy period
  • Elder care, spousal care, and child care:$2,000 per policy period

Costco Complete ID’s policy puts fewer limits in place, offering to cover all base wages lost due to reasonable recovery efforts within the 12-month period following identity fraud. It also doesn’t have a limit on elder or child care. However, Complete ID’s policy does limit attorney and CPA fees to $125 per hour or less. 

Overall, though, these two policies are very similar, and neither one is that impressive. Both are missing a major benefit…

Neither one gives increasing coverage for families. 

Though Identity Guard and Costco Complete ID both offer family coverage (more on that in a moment), neither one increases their insurance coverage when you add adults to the plan. So, if you choose to cover your spouse, the insurance amount stays the same. 

That’s a problem.

One million dollars is probably enough to cover your expenses, but what happens if your spouse becomes a victim in the same policy period? Suddenly, you’re out of luck

Few identity protection services offer to increase insurance coverage when you add adults to the plan. Aura is one of them. 
Aura adds $1 million in insurance coverage for every adult on the plan. And, with Aura you can include up to five adults per family. That’s up to $5 million in coverage!

Family Plans: Winner – Identity Guard

While both Costco Complete ID and Identity Guard offer family plans, Identity Guard’s is much more flexible. 

Like Aura, Identity Guard allows up to five adults on their family plans, along with unlimited minor children. So, you can include your college-aged kids, your spouse, your in-laws, or your parents – whoever you need to protect. 

With Costco Complete ID, you can choose between a few rigid family options, including:

  • You and a spouse
  • You and up to five children
  • You, a spouse, and up to five children 

None of Complete ID’s plans allow for extra adults. 
Of course, if you’re truly trying to protect your entire family, Aura is the best choice. They offer the same flexibility as Identity Guard, allowing you to include your adult children, parents, and so on, AND they increase your insurance coverage with every adult you add (up to $5 million total).

Ease of Use: Winner – Identity Guard

Identity Guard makes things simple from the get-go. Sign-up is fast, taking under 15 minutes, including the time it takes to enter the information you want to monitor. Once you’re in, you’ll find it’s sleek and intuitive, with large graphics that make the dashboard easy to navigate. 

I can’t say the same for Costco Complete ID. 

Complete ID has a lengthy sign-up process. It took me about ten minutes just to get through the initial verifications. Then I had to enter all of my information, which took at least another ten minutes. And unfortunately, Complete ID’s servers are a little slow, so everything took a long time to load.

Once I was inside the dashboard, I found it hard to navigate. Complete ID features excessive white space and relatively small font, so there was a lot of squinting and scrolling involved.

Additional Services: Winner – Costco Complete ID

identity guard
complete id

Additional Services

  • VPN

  • Antivirus

  • Parental Controls

  • Password Manager

  • VPN

  • Antivirus

  • Parental Controls

  • Password Manager

  • Antivirus

  • VPN

  • Parental Controls

  • Password Manager

Costco Complete ID includes a VPN, parental controls, and a password manager

Identity Guard includes a safe browser and a password manager. 

So, Costco Complete ID wins this category simply by including more. However, neither of these services has everything I want to see. 

Ideally, an identity protection service will include a VPN, password manager, parental controls, and antivirus software. If they’re really on top of their game, they might also include cyberbullying detection services and data broker removal services. 
There’s only one service that offers all the above at an affordable price, and that’s Aura. Which leads me to my next point…

Cost: Winner – Identity Guard

Promo Code

Best Identity Theft Protection

Individual Plan Cost

  • $9/month 

Aura only offers one plan but offers the same benefits as Identity Guard's Ultra plan

  • $5/m Value Plan

  • $11.99/m Total Plan

  • $17.99/m Ultra Plan

  • $8.99/m for Executive Members

  • $13.99/m for Business + Gold Star Members

Couple Plan Cost

  • $17/month 

  • Covers 2 Adults

  • No Couples plan

  • $15.99/m for Executive Members

  • $25.99/m for Business + Gold Star Members

Family Plan Cost

  • $25/month 

  • Covers 5 adults & unlimited kids

Aura only offers one plan but offers the same benefits as Identity Guard's Ultra plan

  • $8.99/m Value Plan

  • $17.99/m Total Plan

  • $23.99/m Ultra Plan

  • Covers 5 adults & unlimited kids

  • $11.98/m | One Adult + Children (up to 5 children) for Executive Members

  • $17.98/m | One Adult + Children (up to 5 children) for Business + Gold Star Members


  • $18.99/m | Two Adults1 + Children (up to 5 children) for Executive Members

  • $29.99/m | Two Adults1 + Children (up to 5 children) for Business + Gold Star Members

Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?

  • No. You lock in the price for life

  • No. You lock in the price for life

  • No

Promo Code

If you want the best value in identity protection services, you want Aura. With our discount code, you can lock in an affordable rate for life, allowing you to protect yourself and your family with some of the most comprehensive services available. 

That said, if you’re stuck on Identity Guard and Costco Complete ID, Costco Complete ID technically wins, though not by as much as you might think. 

Remember, Costco Complete ID is only available with a Costco membership. Add the cost of an Executive membership to Costco Complete ID’s rates ($120 per year, or $10 per month), and suddenly, it’s much pricier than Identity Guard’s Value plan. It’s also slightly above Identity Guard’s mid-tier, Total plan. 

However, given Costco Complete ID’s current offerings, its service is a closer match to Identity Guard’s top-tier, Ultra plan. And that means Costco Complete ID’s cost is lower than Identity Guard. 

However, I would never recommend purchasing a Costco membership solely to have access to this service. It only makes sense if you already have a membership. 

Even then, I don’t think Costco Complete ID is the best choice for protecting yourself and your family – not when other services offer more comprehensive monitoring, user-friendly interfaces, and, as is the case with Aura, more insurance coverage.

Final Verdict: Winner – Identity Guard

Identity Guard offers a wider breadth of monitoring services and more flexible family coverage than Costco Complete ID. Plus, it’s easier to use. So, though it was a closer call than I expected, Identity Guard ultimately won this match-up. 

Identity Guard couldn’t keep up with Costco Complete ID when it came to threat resolution or added services – and that’s why I don’t recommend either of these services. Instead, look at Aura. 

Aura offers everything Identity Guard and Costco Complete ID offer – meaning it has a wide breadth of monitoring capabilities (including home and auto title monitoring which few other services provide), flexible family coverage, 24/7/365 customer service, and a full suite of useful additional features. 

PLUS, Aura offers insurance coverage that increases with each adult you add to the plan – up to $5 million
If you want to protect everything from your credit score to your children’s Social Security numbers, Aura is the best service out there. Identity Guard and Costco Complete ID simply can’t compare.

Other Comparison Articles:

* 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.

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