Costco Complete ID vs Identity Guard: Making the Right Choice

Last Updated on October 9, 2023

From monitoring services to their digital security features, I tested everything Identity Guard and Complete ID had to offer. Three weeks in, I knew – Identity Guard was the better option for most people. 

But if this review makes you think Identity Guard is the best choice overall, I haven’t done my job. See, Identity Guard is an old product, and there’s a new version you need to consider. It’s called Aura.

Aura retains all of Identity Guard’s great features – like its excellent monitoring services, while also improving its faults. For families, especially, Aura is the best service out there because it does more than just protect your identity. It also keeps your family safe from predators, cyberbullies, fraudsters, and scammers.

And with our discount code, you can get Aura for a very affordable price.

I understand why you might be deciding between Identity Guard and Complete ID. Both offer attractive rates for family protection, and neither service is terrible. This review will explain what each of these services has to offer and why I like Aura.

Or better yet, I strongly recommend Aura which is the successor of Identity Guard and offers an even better product and coverage. You can Try Aura free for 14 days

Identity Guard vs Costco Complete ID

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

Aura
Identity Guard
Complete ID
Monitoring
Award-winning identity theft and credit monitoring that’s both comprehensive and accurate.
Very accurate, slightly less comprehensive.
Accurate but not comprehensive. Alerts aren’t actionable.
Threat Resolution
24/7/365 U.S.-based customer service that’s easy to get in touch with.
24/7 third part support with separate threat resolution team with limited hours
Limited customer service hours.
Family Plans
Flexible family plans allow up to five adults and unlimited children with comprehensive parental controls.
Up to five adults and unlimited children on family plans. No parental controls.
Family plans include two adults and up to ten children.
Theft Insurance
$1 million in theft insurance coverage per adult with ALL plans. And $5 million coverage for a family of five.
$1 million aggregate theft insurance coverage.
$1 million in theft insurance coverage.
Ease of Use
Easy to use, could be more intuitive.
Streamlined, easy-to-use design.
Frustrating user interface.
Online Safety Features
Decent VPN and antivirus software. Also includes data broker removal and smart vault for family file and password sharing.
Password manager and safe browser.
VPN, safe browser, password manager.
Cost
Very affordable (especially when you use our discount code).
Very affordable low-tier option.
Affordable with Costco Executive membership discount.

Identity Guard vs Costco Complete ID Video Comparison

Monitoring: Winner – Identity Guard

Extremely fast and accurate monitoring with alerts you can act on is what Identity Guard specializes in. Using the same platform as Aura, Identity Guard provides alerts quickly, and it catches everything

Complete ID is also uniquely accurate, but it’s not nearly as comprehensive, and its alerts aren’t always helpful. 

Let me explain.  

Identity

Both Identity Guard and Complete ID offer the following identity monitoring services: 

Dark web monitoring
Data breach monitoring
Social Security number monitoring
Payday loan monitoring
Sex offender monitoring
Address change monitoring  
Criminal record monitoring 

That’s a solid list of services, but Identity Guard takes identity monitoring to the next level by also including: 

Home Title monitoring
Social media monitoring
High-risk transaction monitoring

These are only available with Identity Guard’s top-tier plan, but Complete ID doesn’t even give you the option to include them. So, in terms of monitoring breadth, Identity Guard wins. 

As a side note, Aura also includes all of these services, plus auto title monitoring. That means Aura’s the real winner here. 

But I digress…

When I put Complete ID and Identity Guard’s monitoring capabilities to the test, Identity Guard also came out on top. Though both services found nine unique dark web alerts, Identity Guard found them faster and gave better information. 

Take a look.

Identity guard alert

That’s an Identity Guard alert. It gives me everything I need to know, including where the breach occurred, what was leaked, and what I can do to protect myself. 

Complete ID’s alerts are less useful. 

costco alert

As you can see, this is an “alias alert” from Complete ID, and it’s completely irrelevant. It’s alerting me to the fact that my name  – the same name I used to sign up for Complete ID, is linked to my social security number. Not exactly something I need to know. 

Data breach-related alerts from Complete ID were also missing information, like where the breach occurred. So, ultimately, testing showed that Complete ID’s identity monitoring services weren’t that good. 

Credit and Financial

When it comes to credit and financial services, both Identity Guard and Complete ID include: 

Financial account takeover monitoring
In-portal Experian credit lock
Credit monitoring 

Identity Guard’s top-tier plan also includes the following: 

401(k) and investment account monitoring 
Credit and debit card monitoring
Bank account monitoring 

Identity Guard obviously offers more, but it’s crucial to remember these services are only available with their top-tier plan. Their low-tier option doesn’t include any credit or financial monitoring services. 

Meanwhile, all of Complete ID’s plans include the credit and financial tools listed above.

Threat Resolution: Winner – Complete ID

Complete ID and Identity Guard both offer excellent threat resolution services. Their customer service teams are knowledgeable, their threat resolution skills are top-notch, and they both include lost wallet protection. 

However, Complete ID wins this category. Why? 

Well, it all boils down to one word, availability. 

Customer Service

I called Complete ID and Identity Guard’s customer service lines on Monday afternoon. My experience with both was very good.

They answered in under two minutes. 
The reps were knowledgeable about their products.
Neither had complicated phone trees to navigate. 

However, while Complete ID offers 24/7 customer service, Identity Guard does not. They have limited customer service hours, from Monday – Friday, 8 am – 11 pm (EST), and Saturday from 9 am – 6 pm (EST). 

Identity Restoration Services

Identity Guard also falls short when it comes to restoration services – not because theirs aren’t good, they are. The issue is that they’re not available with every plan.

In fact, Identity Guard only includes identity restoration services with their top-tier plan. That’s a problem because no matter how good a service is at monitoring for vulnerabilities, an identity thief can still get in. And, if they do, you’ll want help repairing the damage. 

Complete ID, on the other hand, offers full restoration services with all of its plans. They even provide a designated restoration specialist. If you or a family member is an identity theft victim, you’ll get the direct contact information for your restoration specialist. This allows you to work with one person throughout the restoration process. 

Lost Wallet Protection

Most identity protection companies offer some form of lost wallet protection. Usually, it’s exactly what Complete ID includes – help canceling and replacing your bank cards, ID, insurance cards, and anything else that was stolen or lost.

Identity Guard goes above and beyond here by also offering to wire you up to $2,000 in emergency funds from one of your accounts. If you lose your wallet while traveling, this could be a major benefit. It could help you buy an extra night or two abroad while you get things sorted.

Family Plans: Winner – Identity Guard

Identity Guard offers more flexibility in their definition of family, which is why they come out ahead in this category. But neither Complete ID nor Identity Guard really offers much in the way of family features. 

With Identity Guard, you can cover up to five adults on one plan. That allows you to cover your kids in college, your aging parents, even a sibling. Aura does this as well (and offers increasing insurance for each adult – up to $5 million total), but few other services follow suit. 

Complete ID’s family plans are average. They offer family plans for two adults and up to ten kids. 

As I said, neither of these plans offers more protection for families, and families often need more protection. That’s why I recommend Aura over Identity Guard or Complete ID. With Aura, you get a full suite of digital security tools that protect your family online. 

These include things like family alerts, which allow one person to manage monitoring alerts for the whole family, and a digital storage vault which allows you to securely share passwords and files. 

It also includes parental controls and safe gaming services, which I’ll explain in detail below.

Parental Control Features

Aura’s parental control features are powered by Circle. Circle is an app that parents can install on their children’s smartphones. Once there, it allows parents to:

Block and filter websites
Set screen time limits
Track internet usage
Pause the internet with one click 

While there may be better parental control apps available, it’s really nice to have one instantly included with your identity protection service. 

Safe Gaming and Anti-Bullying

Aura’s family plans also include safe gaming tools. 

Given the continued popularity of multiplayer games, this is a must-have for parents of teens and tweens. Multiplayer games allow for player anonymity, which means they’re extremely attractive to online predators and cyberbullies

Aura’s tools use machine learning and AI to monitor voice and text interactions across hundreds of games. If they detect signs of harassment, bullying, or targeting behavior, parents receive an alert, allowing them to step in and help their children. 

Theft Insurance: Winner – Tie

Both Identity Guard and Complete ID are perfectly average when it comes to their theft insurance coverage. They both include $1 million in aggregate coverage – this doesn’t increase with family plans. 

Better services, like Aura, increase their coverage with each adult you add to the plan. But there’s nothing wrong with Complete ID’s or Identity Guard’s coverage. Both include expense reimbursement for:

Lost wages
Legal fees
Childcare/ elderly care expenses

As well as stolen fund reimbursement.  

Identity Guard is very clear about their policy limits in each of these areas (all of which are generous), while Complete ID is a little less transparent. But, otherwise, the policies are essentially identical. 

Ease of Use: Winner – Identity Guard

Identity Guard is fairly easy to use. It features a clean design with large graphics. It’s not my favorite service – the alerts could be more prominently placed, and the navigation could be a little more streamlined. 

identity guard welcome dash

But it’s better than Complete ID. 

Complete ID’s interface is frustrating. There’s a ton of white space which may not seem like a major complaint, but trust me, it makes navigation difficult

Just take a look at their transaction summary page. Notice the big font and excess white space – the entire service is designed like this, and nothing about it is intuitive. 

Complete ID Transaction Monitoring

Online Privacy Features: Winner – Complete ID

Technically Complete ID offers more online privacy features. They include: 

VPN
Safe browser
Password manager

Identity Guard only includes a safe browser and password manager. Notice, though, neither service is very extensive in this area. If you’re looking for true digital privacy and security, you’ll want to look elsewhere. 

Aura comes with a hefty list of privacy services, including automatic data removal, antivirus software, ad-tracker blockers, and email alias tools. That’s on top of a VPN, safe browser, and password manager – yet another reason Aura is my top pick for identity protection. 

Cost: Winner – Identity Guard

At first glance, Complete ID’s pricing looks very attractive. But when you look a little closer, that changes. 

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

Complete ID is available as an add-on to Costco memberships, and its price is determined by your membership level. Executive members pay far less than regular members, but they also pay more for their annual Costco renewals. 

If you already have an executive membership with Costco, Complete ID’s price points are great. But I definitely wouldn’t signup for a Costco membership just to use Complete ID.

Plan Type
Annual Billing
Monthly Billing
Individual Value
$86.40 /year
$7.20 /month
Individual Total
$191.88 /year
$15.99 /month
Individual Ultra
$287.88 /year
$23.99 /month
Family Value
$143.88 /year
$11.99 /month
Family Total
$287.88 /year
$23.99 /month
Family Ultra
$383.88 /year
$31.99 /month

    

Identity Guard, meanwhile, is a stand-alone service. You don’t have to purchase a membership elsewhere to access great price points. And, if you’re basing your decision on budget alone, their lowest-tier “Value” plan is a great choice. 

While the “Value” plan doesn’t include much, it does give you basic identity protection for under $13 per month for the entire family. That’s a great deal.

Overall Winner: Identity Guard

Identity Guard wins this competition thanks to better alerts, more comprehensive monitoring services, more flexible family plans, and a better user interface. 

However, I can’t recommend Identity Guard to most families – not because it’s a bad service, but because its successor is so much better. Why would you invest in the old model when the new model offers so much more? 

That new model is Aura, and it includes everything you need to protect your identity, secure your assets, and safeguard your family online. From award-winning identity theft and credit monitoring to full-blown parental controls, Aura’s family plans include all the tools families will find useful.

With our discount code, Aura is affordable. You can try it for free using Aura’s 14-day free trial. If you don’t like their service, take advantage of their 60-day money-back guarantee and opt for Identity Guard or Complete ID instead.

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