Costco Complete ID Review (Get This One Instead…)

Last Updated on January 8, 2024

As a Costco member, I really wanted to like Costco Complete ID. But after weeks of testing, while I have no major complaints, I also wasn’t wowed

Though its price is attractive if you already have a Costco membership, there are better services out there, which is why my family and I are sticking with Aura (and I recommend you follow my lead).

Why You Should Get Aura:

  • You want the best in threat monitoring and alerts.
  • $5 million theft insurance for your (even extended) family appeals to you. (Get Aura’s family plan.)
  • 24/7/365 US-based customer care is important to you
  • You want to get the most identity theft protection value for what you pay for.

While Costco Complete ID does everything it claims to, its services just aren’t that usablewhich means you’re less likely to use it. Its interface is poor, and it doesn’t offer the tools and features my family has come to rely on. 

With Aura, I know my family is safe online thanks to a full suite of digital safety and privacy tools. That’s on top of an award-winning monitoring service that allows me to ensure our information isn’t available to thieves and fraudsters. 

Given how much more Aura includes, that’s an incredible deal. 

But if you’re a bargain-hunting Costco loyalist, the kind that’s never said no to a $5 rotisserie chicken or $1.50 hot dog meal, I get wanting to know more about Costco Complete ID. And this review is for you. 

I’ll lay out all the pros and cons of Costco Complete ID’s services so you can be the ultimate judge. Because in the end, your family’s protection is a personal matter, and only you can choose the best service for your specific needs.  

Costco Complete ID Reviews: In-Depth Features Analysis

Fast Scores 

We rank services as either poor, average, great, or excellent. Here’s how Costco Complete ID did:

Monitoring CapabilitiesGreat
Ease of UsePoor
Insurance Average
Customer Service and Threat Resolution Excellent
Family Plans Average
Online Privacy Features Average
Final Score Average

Costco Complete ID Video Review

Monitoring Capabilities: Great

Costco Complete ID’s monitoring capabilities surpass the average, scoring them a great ranking in this category. 

This means their monitoring tools are both comprehensive and accurate – or at least more comprehensive and accurate than most.

There is better out there, though. Services like Aura offer more monitoring coverage, including home and auto title monitoring, which Costco Complete ID doesn’t include. 

Still, as you’re about to see, Costco Complete ID’s list of services is impressive, as is its overall effectiveness.   

Monitoring Services

With Costco Complete ID, you get the following monitoring services: 

Dark web monitoring
SSN monitoring
Financial account takeover monitoring
Criminal record monitoring
Alternative loan monitoring
Sex offender registry monitoring (coined “Neighborhood Watch Monitoring”)
Annual credit report monitoring 

This is a great breadth of monitoring coverage. It hits all the important areas and only misses a few niche services – like home and auto title monitoring and 401(k) monitoring

I do wish its credit monitoring tools were a bit more exhaustive. Costco Complete ID offers an in-portal Experian credit lock and monthly VantageScore updates alongside annual credit report monitoring. 

Complete ID Credit Reporting

If you don’t know much about identity protection services, that sounds pretty good – but higher-end options often include additional credit tools, like credit simulators, score trackers, and even daily updates

Of course, you can sign up for a free credit monitoring service to make up for Costco Complete ID’s deficiencies here, but I prefer to have all my monitoring tools in one place. 

Does Costco Complete ID’s Monitoring Work? 

Costco Complete ID’s monitoring breadth is above average, but having an extensive list of monitoring services doesn’t mean anything if those services aren’t effective at finding threats.

To measure a service’s effectiveness, we look mainly at its ability to find dark web threats

Costco Complete ID does great in this area. It found nine threats in a matter of minutes – the same number of threats that my top identity protection pick, Aura, found. 

So, yes, Costco Complete ID’s monitoring actually works, which is more than I can say for many other services. 

Ease Of Use: Poor

Here’s where Complete ID struggles, though. 

I gave it a “poor” rating for this area for a couple of reasons. 

First, I don’t like its user interface. There’s a lot of white space. And, I know, you’re probably thinking that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but trust me, it’s very annoying. You’re constantly scrolling to get the information you need. 

Second, its alerts aren’t actionable

Complete ID is great at finding threats, but the alerts it populates are really difficult to act on. Many of them are just flat-out superfluous. 

Take this example – I got five separate alerts for my phone number being related to “different aliases.” Who were these criminals attempting to take over my cell phone? 

My husband, siblings, and parents. 

We all share a family plan, making it completely reasonable for their names to show up with my phone number in various records. 

Complete ID also did this with my SSN, alerting me to all sorts of “new aliases,” except it was my name over and over again. The “new aliases” were all me, some including a middle initial, others not, and none of them were threats.

Complete ID SSN Detection

I realize I sound a little harsh with this critique – I mean, at least Costco Complete ID is finding threats. Who cares if they find a few that aren’t real? 

And, it’s true, many services find “threats” that aren’t really threats (though most of them don’t flag your family phone plan). The problem is that with Costco, there are a lot of alerts, and since, in my case, next to none of them were real, I quickly became desensitized. 

If a true threat to my identity had come through during testing, I probably wouldn’t have acted as quickly as I should have. It felt like every alert Costco Complete ID showed me was useless

But that’s not the only reason Costco Complete ID’s alerts aren’t actionable. 

Many of them are also missing needed information, like the name of the website that was breached. It’s hard to change your password or take other steps if you don’t know where your information is threatened. 

Insurance: Average

When it comes to insurance coverage, Costco Complete ID is perfectly average. They give you a flat $1 million in aggregate coverage for stolen fund reimbursement and expenses related to identity restoration. 

This isn’t bad, but it’s also not amazing. Other services provide a lot more, especially if you’re signing up your family. 

Aura, for example, offers $1 million per adult. So, if it’s you and your spouse, you actually have $2 million in insurance coverage. And, with Aura, you can include up to five adults on your plan  – meaning you get up to $5 million in total theft insurance. 

That’s a huge amount of coverage, and few other services come close to offering as much – Costco certainly doesn’t. 

As I said, that doesn’t mean Costco Complete ID’s insurance coverage is bad. It’s just important to understand that there’s better available. 

Customer Service and Threat Resolution: Excellent 

I’m a pretty big fan of Costco Complete ID’s customer service and threat resolution capabilities. 

Here’s why. 

My experience with Costco Complete ID’s customer service team was nothing short of excellent. When I called, I reached a real person in under a minute, and they were able to answer all of my questions. 

The team is available 24/7 and based in the U.S., meaning they’re always easy to understand and available whenever you need them. 

I also love the way Costco Complete ID’s team handles threats. If you’re a victim of identity theft and you need their help, they assign a restoration specialist specifically to you. 

You’ll get that specialist’s direct contact information, including their direct phone line, so you can work with one person throughout the restoration process. This saves you time and energy – you’ll never have to re-explain your situation, nor will you have to deal with complicated phone trees or transferring from department to department. 

Costco Complete ID Family Plans: Average

Costco Complete ID’s family plans are okay, but they’re far from the best I’ve seen. 

Let’s start with the positive, though. 

I like that Costco Complete ID’s family options include some flexibility. There’s a plan option for single parents and children as well as options for two adults and children. Many services fail to cater to single parents, so this is a huge plus. 

Now for the not-so-great…

Costco Complete ID only allows up to five children on your plan. I realize the vast majority of families have less than five kids, but even if you only have two or three kids, this is an issuenot because the number of kids isn’t generous enough (though better services allow for unlimited children), but because of Complete ID’s strict definition of child. 

Complete ID defines children as those under 18 years old only. I get that that’s the legal definition, but it’s a little stifling for most families. You can’t include college-aged kids even if they’re still listed as dependents. Once your children turn 18, they’re on their own. 

This is a problem because a significant percentage of identity theft victims are between 18 and 24 years old. 

It turns out college is a particularly vulnerable time, and young adults aren’t always the best at protecting their personal information. That’s why higher-end services typically include college-aged kids in their definition of “children.” 

Costco Complete ID also fails to offer any family features. There are no credit freeze assistance tools for children, parental controls, or family storage vaults, all of which other services, like Aura, include. 

While you can purchase these things as stand-alone items to help protect your family online, it’s a lot more convenient to have them all in one service. And it’s not like Costco Complete ID costs significantly less than other services that offer full suites of family features with their family plans. 

So, if you have kids at home or adult children you need to protect, I can’t recommend Costco Complete ID, not when other services include so much more. 

Online Privacy Features: Average

Costco Complete ID comes with a “Digital Privacy” feature. This includes: 

  • Password manager
  • Safe browser
  • VPN

These are all good things to have, but compared to what other identity protection services include, the list looks pretty scant.

When it comes to privacy features, top names in identity protection tend to include things like data broker removal services, ad-blockers, spam call protection, and antivirus software, on top of a password manager, safe browser, and VPN.  

While having these privacy extras might not be your first concern when picking an identity protection service, let me tell you – they come in handy. 

Imagine getting rid of calls from “Mr. Scam Likely.” Picture the peace of mind that comes from knowing data brokers are no longer selling your personal information. And think of how much better you’ll feel browsing the internet when ads aren’t constantly trying to push products and services. 

I’m speaking from experience here. Having more online privacy features through your identity protection service is a very good thing. So, Costco Complete ID’s lack of online privacy add-ons is yet another reason I can’t bring myself to recommend them. 

Value: Average

Plan Type
Executive Members
Gold Star Members
Individual Value
$8.99 /month
$13.99 /month
One Adult + Children
$11.98 /month
$17.98 /month
Two Adults
$15.99 /month
$25.99 /month
Two Adults + Children
$18.99 /month
$29.99 /month

If you’ve read through this entire review (or even just skimmed it), you’ve probably already realized that Costco Complete ID is missing a lot of features that other services include. That means its price should be extremely low

Unfortunately, that’s not really the case. 

At first glance, you might think Costco Complete ID is one of the most budget-friendly services available. After all, you can protect yourself, your spouse, and up to five children for under $20 per month. 

But be careful – that super attractive pricing is only available if you have an Executive Costco Membership. 

Executive memberships at Costco run $120 per year currently. And, per Costco’s CFO, Richard Galanti, that’s guaranteed to increase and likely soon. Historically, Costco has upped its membership fees every five years, with the last price hike in 2017, meaning they are currently overdue for an increase.  

But let’s just say it stays $120 per year – that makes the real price of Costco Complete ID closer to $30 per month. 

$30 per month is still very affordable for family coverage, but it’s not the best out there. 

Final Score: Average

Costco Complete ID isn’t a bad service, but it’s also not great. If you already use Costco regularly and have an Executive membership, it might make sense to use it. 

But, as an Executive Costco Member myself, I’ve chosen not to. For me, I’d rather pay a couple of dollars more per month to have a service that includes more comprehensive coverage and more useful features.

That’s why I use Aura to protect my family. 

With Aura, I get award-winning identity theft and credit monitoring. I also get flexible family coverage that lets me include up to five adults – I can protect my spouse and my aging parents, plus my daughter (and any future children). 

Aura also gives me the ability to protect my family online with a wide range of tools, including a safe gaming feature with anti-bullying monitoring. So, if my daughter is playing online multi-player games, Aura monitors the interactions and alerts me to signs of bullying or harassment. 

That, alongside parental control tools, a family vault for safe file sharing, and a VPN, makes Aura’s services something I rely on whenever my family goes online.

Costco Complete ID will send you many alerts, which may help you protect yourself from identity theft, but if you want more than average, Aura is the service I recommend.

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