Should You Get Discover Identity Theft Protection?
Americans lost $56 billion to identity theft and fraud-related crimes last year alone [*]. And that number shows no signs of slowing down.
Protecting your identity and financial well-being is probably one of your highest priorities. And if you’re a Discover® cardmember, you may be considering — or already signed up for — Discover’s Identity Theft Protection service.
But is Discover Identity Theft Protection worth it? It depends.
In this guide, we’ll review what’s included in Discover’s identity theft protection, how it compares to other top-rated services, and how you can make an informed decision about the coverage, protection, and features that are right for you.
Discover Identity Theft Protection Review: What’s Included and Pros & Cons
Discover Identity Theft Protection is a paid service launched in 2021 that provides identity monitoring, insurance, and fraud remediation assistance to Discover card holders.
At a high level, Discover® Identity Theft Protection includes:
- Credit, bank account, and identity monitoring. Discover offers three-bureau credit monitoring, new bank account, credit limit, and utilization alerts, and basic monitoring of your personal information across the Dark Web, criminal records, and more.
- Identity theft insurance. Discover provides the industry-standard of up to $1,000,000 in insurance coverage for eligible losses due to identity theft. This can include legal expenses, reimbursement of stolen funds, lost wages, and other expenses.
- Fraud remediation assistance. If the worst should happen, Discover will assign a case number and a U.S.-based fraud specialist to help you resolve the fraudulent activity. Phone support is only available 7:00 am to 9:00 pm CT Monday through Saturday, and 8:00 am to 8:00 pm CT Sunday.
- Child identity theft protection. Discover also includes protection for up to 10 children on each account. This includes Dark Web alerts to monitor for your child’s leaked Social Security number (SSN), Experian alerts if someone is trying to open credit accounts in your child’s name, and coverage from its identity theft insurance and remediation services.
Additionally, every Discover card is protected by additional security measures, such as daily scans of your Experian credit file — to alert you to suspicious activity, such as new credit accounts, changes to your credit history, or unfamiliar new credit inquiries — as well as regular Dark Web scans to search data breaches and hacker forums for sensitive information, such as your SSN.
Discover card members can also check their FICO credit score whenever they want from their online account — giving you a quick warning signal if scammers are trying to damage your credit.
While it offers a decent level of protection, Discover is lacking in a few key areas that could leave you vulnerable to identity theft and fraud.
Here are the main benefits and downsides of using Discover Identity Theft Protection:
Discover Identity Theft Protection’s biggest downfall is that it doesn’t provide all-in-one protection. Instead of helping to protect your data and identity, Discover focuses almost exclusively on monitoring, alerts, and remediation.
How Much Does Discover Identity Theft Protection Cost?
Discover Identity Theft Protection costs $15/month per user. This means if you want to protect yourself and a spouse or elderly family member, each person will have to pay $15/month. This can add up quickly if you’re looking to protect more than just yourself.
For comparison, Aura’s family plan covers 5 adults (in different households) and unlimited children under the age of 18 for $20/month on an annual plan.
Here’s what you can expect to pay each month for Discover Identity Theft Protection vs. Aura:
Who Is Discover Identity Theft Protection For?
Discover Identity Theft Protection offers a decent level of protection at a fair price. But it’s not right for everyone.
Here’s who will benefit the most from signing up for their service:
- Discover customers who want basic identity theft protection. If you’re already a Discover customer, you could benefit for increased identity theft protection. Although, be aware that you’ll still be paying more for a less comprehensive service.
- Families with lots of children. Discover covers up to 10 children with SSN and Dark Web monitoring as well as identity theft insurance and support. Most other identity theft protection services charge for children or limit the number who can be covered under one plan. However, beware that Discover doesn’t include parental controls or other family-centric safety features.
- People not concerned about hacking, scams, or data leaks. Discover doesn’t include anything in the way of proactive protection — such as antivirus software, a virtual private network (VPN), Safe Browsing tools, or scam protection.
The bottom line: In most cases, you’re better off looking at one of the many dedicated identity theft protection services available. Here’s a look at how Discover stacks up against two of the most popular options: LifeLock and Aura.
Discover Identity Theft Protection vs. LifeLock vs. Aura
While Discover Identity Theft Protection may be an easy choice for current Discover members, it’s not the best choice for most people.
The main difference between Discover Identity Theft Protection and services like LifeLock and Aura is that Discover doesn’t offer any proactive protection against identity theft, fraud, or hacking.
While no service can claim to completely protect you against identity theft, most modern tools include digital security and scam protection solutions to keep your data, identity, and money safe.
For example, Aura includes:
- A full suite of digital security tools. Every Aura plan includes access to powerful antivirus software, a virtual private network (VPN), secure password manager, a digital vault to store and securely share your sensitive info and files, Privacy Assistant, and more ways to stop hackers from accessing your devices and data.
- AI-powered phone and text scam protection. Aura uses artificial intelligence (AI) to screen incoming calls and texts for scams — making sure you only receive legitimate calls.
- Safe Browsing and phishing protection. Aura will warn you if you’re clicking on a malicious link and block fake or dangerous websites before they can do damage.
- One-click credit lock. Instantly lock and unlock your Experian credit file with a single click in your mobile app to prevent scammers from opening new accounts or taking out loans in your name.
- The industry’s fastest fraud alerts. A 2022 mystery shopper survey found that Aura’s credit monitoring service provided more reliable fraud alerts that were up to 250x faster than the competition3.
Here’s how Aura and Discover Identity Theft Protection compare on their key features:
Now, let’s dig into each of these main features to see what you can expect from Discover, Aura, and LifeLock:
Identity monitoring and alerts
At their core, identity theft protection services monitor your personally identifiable information (PII) and alert you if its been compromised, published, or used without your permission. While Discover, Aura, and LifeLock all offer identity monitoring, they differ in what information they monitor, where they track it, and how quickly they alert you.
Here’s how these services compare when it comes to identity monitoring and alerts:
LifeLock data breach in the news: The company recently disclosed that sensitive information from thousands of LifeLock customers — including passwords — was compromised in a December, 2022 data breach [*]. If you're looking for a secure LifeLock alternative, consider trying Aura free for 14 days.
Credit and bank account monitoring
All three services monitor your credit file at the major credit bureaus as well as your bank and other accounts with financial institutions for signs of fraud. For example, you should get a notification if someone uses your stolen debit card information to make a large purchase or tries to take out a Payday loan in your name.
Here’s how these services compare when it comes to credit and financial account monitoring:
Digital and online security features like VPNs or antivirus software are designed to keep your online activity private and your personal information safe from hackers and identity thieves. However, not all identity theft protection services offer these features.
Here’s how these services compare:
Identity theft doesn’t just impact adults. In fact, every year identity theft impacts one in every 50 American children [*]. To keep your kids safe online takes more than just monitoring their SSN. That’s why Aura includes parental controls with their family plans.
Here’s how these services compare when it comes to family safety:
📚 Related: Aura vs. Bark — Which Parental Controls Are Best? →
Identity theft insurance
Becoming the victim of identity theft can disturb nearly every aspect of your life — and can be very complicated and costly to resolve. That’s why many customers feel that identity theft insurance and fraud remediation assistance are two of the most important parts of identity theft protection.
Most insurance policies cover similar losses — such as lost wages, notary fees, child and elderly care, legal fees, and other relevant expenses.
Here’s how each identity theft protection provider compares when it comes to identity theft insurance:
Bonus: Aura also provides lost wallet assistance. If your wallet is stolen or misplaced, you can reach out to our team, and skilled experts will walk you through the process of securing and recovering your accounts and personal information.
If you’re the victim of identity fraud, the last thing you want is to have to deal with it on your own. When it comes to choosing an identity theft protection provider, accessible and experienced customer support is a must.
Here’s how these services compare when it comes to customer support:
📚 Related: Aura vs. IdentityForce: 2023 Showdown and Comparison →
Lastly, you need to balance protection with your monthly budget. While Aura and Discover Identity Theft Protection offer simple and transparent pricing plans, LifeLock uses complicated pricing plans that offer different features and levels of coverage depending on what you pay.
Even worse, LifeLock offers first-year discounts with sky-high renewal rates after your first year of service.
Here’s how these services compare when it comes to cost:
How To Cancel Discover Identity Theft Protection
Discover Identity Theft Protection is billed monthly, which means that you can cancel at any time and not be charged for future months. You’ll also receive a prorated refund for the unused portion of your monthly charge.
Here’s how to cancel Discover Identity Theft Protection:
- Call customer support at 1-800-347-3089 and ask to cancel your services.
- Log in to your Account Center and cancel your services.
Once you cancel, you’ll no longer be charged for protection. However, according to Discover’s privacy statement, they may still share your personal information for marketing and “everyday business” purposes [*]. To ask about Discover’s data collection and sharing policies, you can contact them at 1-800-347-7552.
The Bottom Line: When It Comes To Modern Protection, Discover Comes Up Short
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Americans lost over $8.8 billion to identity theft and fraud in 2022 alone [*].
Here are a few ways you can protect your identity and finances even without identity theft protection:
- Freeze your credit. A credit freeze prevents anyone from accessing your credit file, which means scammers can’t use your stolen identity to take out loans or open accounts in your name. To freeze your credit, contact each of the three bureaus individually — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
- Always use two-factor authentication (2FA). This added security measure is one of the best ways to keep hackers and scammers out of your online accounts.
- Limit the amount of data you share. The less information you give to companies and online businesses, the less likely you’ll become the victim of a major data breach.
- Don’t save credit card or other payment information. It may take longer to enter it each time you check out, but at least you know your payment information won’t be compromised in the case of a hack.
- Learn the warning signs of a phishing scam. Know what to look out for in suspicious emails, texts, calls, or social media DMs.
- Keep your devices and software updated. Hackers use known vulnerabilities in outdated software to steal your data or hack your devices. Turn on autoupdates to keep your devices as secure as possible.
- Protect sensitive mail, ID, and documents. Shred sensitive documents before throwing them out and always ensure your wallet and sensitive ID is protected at all times.
While Discover Identity Theft Protection is a decent ID theft monitoring service, it has serious gaps in its proactive protection and fraud remediation assistance. For more comprehensive ID theft protection (without complicated pricing plans and sky-high renewal costs), consider signing up for Aura.
Aura gives you peace of mind and helps you proactively safeguard your identity with top-rated identity theft protection, 250x faster fraud alerts, and 24/7 support.