If you want to protect your credit score, Experian CreditWorks will do. But, if you want to protect your identity, you should look at Aura instead.
CreditWorks is essentially a credit protection tool with identity tools thrown in. The identity protection service it offers with its Premium plan is lackluster, its insurance coverage is basic, and getting hold of its customer service team is unacceptably difficult.
I’ll dig into the specifics below, but if you want to save yourself some time, check out my favorite identity protection service, Aura.
You can lock in our OFF discount on Aura, they won’t increase your price next year.
- You want to protect your assets with award-winning identity theft and credit monitoring services that cover everything from your home and auto title to your 401(K).
- You want to protect your family, including adult children, grandparents, or in-laws, with one family plan that offers up to $5 million in theft insurance coverage.
- You want 24/7/365 access to a compassionate and knowledgeable threat resolution team with an average of 7 years of industry experience.
- Monitoring your credit score is your primary concern, identity protection comes second.
- You don’t have a spouse or family you need to protect.
- You’re okay with a hard-to-reach customer service team.
Aura offers truly comprehensive monitoring tools, first-rate threat resolution services, and the best insurance coverage in the industry (up to $5 million for your family!)
So if you want to protect your home title, your children’s social security numbers, your spouse’s 401(k), and all of the other things identity thieves like to target, get Aura. And, leave it to the job it’s good at – protecting your credit.
CreditWorks Review: Is It Worth Getting?
Yes, it is worth getting if you already have an identity protection service. If you’re trying to use it in place of comprehensive identity protection, I’d be wary.
It comes in two forms:
- A free credit-monitoring service (their Basic plan)
- A credit-monitoring service with subpar identity protection attached (their Premium plan)
As far as free services go, the Basic plan is great. It provides lots of helpful credit monitoring tools, plus the Boost, which can help you raise your credit score quickly.
The Premium service offers slightly more comprehensive credit monitoring, which may be useful if you’re about to make a big purchase or are trying to rebuild your credit for any reason. However, to call it a full-fledged identity protection service is a stretch.
Yes, they offer identity fraud monitoring, and it comes with identity theft insurance. But, the Premium plan falls short in several areas. And, given its cost, I can’t recommend it to most people.
If you’re looking to protect your assets, like your home and investment accounts, you want Aura. The same goes for those who want to protect their family from fraud.
I’ve found Aura to be the most comprehensive protection service in terms of monitoring, and it offers the best threat resolution services in the industry. Plus, it offers better insurance coverage.
It is very good for monitoring credit and not much else.
Editors Ranking Table
Monitoring & Alerts
Theft Insurance Per Adult
Hours of Operation:
MON-FRI: 6AM-8PM PT
Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?
Monitoring & Alerts: 6/10
CreditWorks isn’t great at finding threats to your identity, probably because this is not its first priority.
To be clear, the “Basic” free option only monitors your credit score. It doesn’t watch for identity threats, although it does offer a one-time complimentary dark web scan that you can use along with the Basic plan.
The Premium plan offers comprehensive identity threat monitoring, including:
However, I’m not convinced it is actually capable of thorough threat detection. You’ll see what I mean if you keep reading. For those who don’t need all of the details, though, it goes back to my main point…
It is credit monitoring with identity protection on the side. For real identity protection and best identity theft insurance, you need a service that puts it first and foremost rather than as a secondary service.
Dark Web Alerts
When I put it to the test, it found one unique dark web alert. To put that in perspective, Aura found 15.
One alert makes me think the service isn’t nearly as comprehensive as it claims.
To be fair, though, it was fast. It took mere seconds to deliver results. Still, while I rank speed as an important factor, it’s not nearly as crucial as accuracy.
CreditWorks’ alert dashboard is straightforward and simple to use. You locate it using the alarm bell located on the top right-hand corner of the main dash.
The alerts are easy to read, and give basic information, like “Phone Number – Compromised.” Then, you can click on the alert to view more details, including next steps.
Along with typical security alerts, it offers an array of credit-specific alerts, including alerts for credit inquiries, new account openings, suspicious activity on your credit report, and any changes in personal information. These alerts show up on your dashboard, as well as via text message and email.
All of that is helpful in protecting yourself from identity theft. And it’s all in line with what other protection services offer.
My only issue with the the alert dashboard is this:
Their “next steps” for each alert tend to focus on locking your credit first and foremost. They don’t give many details on what else you can do, at least not on the dashboard.
Other services, like Aura online security, give helpful lists of steps that might include locking your credit but also discuss other best practices, like how to create a stronger password.
It does offer resource articles that expand on good internet hygiene, but it’d be nice to see a summarized version within the alert itself.
Credit and Financial Monitoring
As you might have guessed, it is very good at monitoring your credit. It offers an array of tools that help you track your credit score. With the Premium plan, these include:
- Daily Credit Score and FICO score reports
- Monthly 3-bureau credit score reports
- Score tracker
- Score alerts
- Score simulator
- Credit lock services
- Monitoring for new credit inquiries, new accounts, account balance changes, credit utilization, positive activity, and dormant accounts
The Basic plan only monitors your credit score, so you don’t get the 3-bureau monthly reports or the score simulator tool. However, even with the Basic plan, you’re getting more than enough tools to keep track of your credit.
When it comes to financial monitoring, though, it is less impressive.
They offer financial account takeover monitoring but don’t have investment account monitoring.
For me (and for most of you), investment account monitoring is one of the most important tools an identity protection service can offer. Investment account monitoring, including 401(k) monitoring, ensures my retirement funds are safe.
That is one account I’m not willing to take any risks with. So, for an identity protection service to be truly comprehensive, it needs to include investment account monitoring services.
Public Records Monitoring
It offers basic public records monitoring. It monitors court records and criminal records as part of its identity theft monitoring.
However, it doesn’t offer home title monitoring, which for homeowners is a crucial service. A truly comprehensive identity protection service would provide it.
To be fair, many protection services fall short in this area. Aura is one of the only ones I’ve tested that offers home title monitoring as part of their protection services (across all plans).
Threat Resolution: 5/10
US Based Support?
Lost Wallet Protection
CreditWorks isn’t the best choice if you want first-rate threat resolution services.
To put it briefly, the customer service team is very hard to get in touch with. Read on…
With identity protection, you want a responsive service, one staffed with helpful, experienced people who can walk you through any issues – whether those issues be technical or something more serious, like having your identity stolen.
It isn’t set up for that.
Other services I’ve tested, like Aura, are much better at helping you resolve threats, which is yet another reason why I can’t recommend this.
I’ve tried calling the customer service a couple of times now, and I can say it’s a great way to ruin your day.
Here’s what I mean:
I tried calling on a Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. (well within their service hours of 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. Mon-Fri, and 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekends). At that time of day, it should be pretty easy to get ahold of a human, and I expected a short wait, if there was any at all. Instead, I reached their automated system.
It asked me to state my problem. I asked to talk to a customer service rep. Instead of making good on my request, the system kept regurgitating the same lines about how it could help me with a variety of basic problems or could guide me to the appropriate online help guide.
After giving me the run around for over ten minutes, it finally said it would connect me to a customer service rep. I sat on hold after that for another fifteen minutes.
When I finally reached a person, they seemed nice enough and they were very helpful. I said I was interested in purchasing the Premium service, but had a few questions.
I started asking about the differences between Experian’s CreditWorks and IdentityWorks because they seem very similar. And, at first, all went well, but before I could get my second question out, the call disconnected.
I’d like to say this was a one-off issue, but after reading a few customer reviews on TrustPilot, I’m not so sure.
Several other customers report having a difficult time with their customer service team. A few of them reported similar experiences to mine, in which they finally reached a person only to be disconnected before they got an answer to their question.
Needless to say, it leaves a lot to be desired here. If you don’t enjoy frustrating phone calls that include arguing with a machine, I suggest avoiding this.
It offers a US-based resolution specialist for Premium plan members. They tout these specialists for having successfully managed over 170,000 cases of identity fraud.
They also say that their specialists have ten weeks of training to start, and continued training throughout their careers.
My guess is their specialists are helpful – if you can reach one.
I wouldn’t know. I was never able to speak with one.
Here’s what happened instead.
I called the phone number listed for their threat resolution team on a Wednesday afternoon. I was connected to their automated system. After three aggravating minutes of following the prompt instructions (“Press 1” “Press 2” “State your issue in simple terms” etc.), I thought I would reach a specialist.
I was wrong.
Instead of letting me talk to someone, the machine read a lengthy list of steps I could take to better protect my identity, like using a password manager and opting into 2-factor identification. Then it asked if I still wanted to talk to someone.
At that point, I’d had enough.
I’m not actually an identity theft victim – this call was for research purposes only, but the results were revealing. Their specialists may very well be optimally trained and ready to help you fix your identity, but getting to them is frustrating.
If I was truly worried that my personal information was in the wrong hands, a machine’s reading of identity protection best practices might push me over the line.
It offers standard wallet protection services with their Premium plan. If your wallet is stolen or lost, they promise that their fraud resolution team will:
- Assist with canceling or replacing your bank cards
- Notify your bank and creditors of the loss
- Coordinate with applicable government agencies if needed
- Provide global support (If you lose your wallet in a foreign country, the service still works).
- Provide customizable letters you can sign and send to creditors explaining the loss
- Place fraud alerts on your credit accounts
All of this is pretty standard. My only concern is that their fraud resolution team proved to be a bit difficult to get through too. If it were me, I might decide to cancel my cards myself. That seems like it might be easier than trying to get ahold of the team members to help.
Theft Insurance: 7/10
Theft Insurance Score
When it comes to theft insurance, they meet industry standards. When you purchase the Premium plan, you gain access to $1 million in identity theft insurance. This is right in line with other big-name protection services like IdentityForce, but it’s nowhere near as good as Aura’s.
Aura offers $1 million per adult, up to $5 million in theft insurance for you and your family. That’s not an option with CreditWorks (actually, family plans aren’t an option at all, but we’ll talk about that shortly).
Family Plans: 0/10
It is for one-person coverage, not families. They don’t offer a family plan or couple’s option. So, if you’re trying to protect your spouse, your kids, or anyone else, this isn’t the coverage you want.
Almost every other identity protection service offers some sort of family plan setup. Some, like Aura’s, are exceptionally flexible, allowing you to add up to five adults, so you can add college-aged kids, your in-laws, or your parents. Others are more rigid and only allow for two adults and a few children. But at least they offer something.
It isn’t built to protect a family. It’s marketed as a way for single people to protect their credit and sort of protect their identities. It’s not the right choice if you have a family.
Ease of Use: 8/10
As far as usability goes, it does well. The interface is streamlined and straightforward.
If I have any gripes in this area it’s that CreditWorks features its credit monitoring tools prominently while making its other identity protection tools more difficult to find. But that’s on par for this service.
It is a credit protection service more than anything else. If you know that before signing up, and it’s what you want, you won’t have any issues with functionality.
Additional Services: 5/10
It doesn’t offer any additional identity protection services. You won’t get antivirus software, a password manager, or a VPN with their Premium plan. You also won’t get any child protection tools, like parental controls.
Aura offers all of the above, by the way – and their parental controls come with one-of-a-kind features such as safe gaming, which allows parents to monitor their children on popular gaming platforms.
It does, however, offer the Boost.
The Boost allows you to raise your credit score by paying regular bills. Bills for utilities, as an example, aren’t usually included when calculating your credit score, but if you have it, they’ll automatically report your paid bills to the three credit bureaus, which could give you a few more points.
It is an outstanding service to have if you’re about to attempt a big purchase like a car or home, that will require financing.
However, you can also enroll in it for free, without purchasing an the Premium plan. And, it doesn’t do anything for identity protection. So, to call it an additional service is a bit of a stretch. Still, it’s an added feature that I felt deserved a mention.
Individual Plan Cost
Couple Plan Cost
Covers 2 Adults
Family Plan Cost
Covers 5 adults & unlimited kids
Renewal Price Increased After 1st Year?
It offers a lot of value as a credit protection service, but as an identity protection service – not so much.
The Premium service costs $24.99 per month and includes a 7-day free trial, but as I’ve noted several times above, it’s not a thorough identity protection service.
If you want most of the credit tools and want to protect your identity, I’d recommend signing up for free plan. Then, purchase Aura for identity protection. You’ll end up saving money and you’ll be able to protect your identity more thoroughly.
Final Verdict: 6/10
I like the free service for what it is – a credit protection service. Its Experian Boost feature, monthly credit reports, and easy-to-use interface make it perfect for protecting (and possibly improving) your credit score.
But I wouldn’t pay for the Premium plan.
It justifies charging a relatively steep price for a Premium plan by throwing in identity protection services. The problem is that their identity protection tools don’t stand up to the test. They miss threats and fail to cover everything they should. Plus, the customer service team is hard to reach, and there are no family plan offerings.
If you want to protect yourself and your family from fraudsters and thieves, you need Aura instead. It offers comprehensive protection at an outstanding price. Sign up for the free plan if you want, but leave the Premium option behind.
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