American Express CreditSecure duplicates a lot of features that are available for free elsewhere, but it may be worth the price for some customers.
Do you worry about identity theft? It’s a legitimate concern. Javelin’s recent Identity Fraud Study found that 14.4 million people were victims of identity fraud in 2018, and 23% of them had out-of-pocket expenses as a result.
Credit monitoring services like American Express CreditSecure alert you immediately to signals of identity theft, so you can lock down your accounts and minimize your losses.
Credit monitoring also helps you understand the factors that impact your credit score. Many people may find the way credit scores work elusive. A credit tracking service can help you understand how to raise or maintain your score.
What is CreditSecure?
Imagine learning that someone opened several credit cards using your name and social security number and has racked up six months of unpaid bills. Untangling the damage would be a nightmare.
American Express CreditSecure monitors your credit reports and alerts you of changes immediately, so you can stop problems before they begin. The service monitors your activity and sends real-time alerts when your personal information is used. In the event of a problem, you’ll have the support of a fraud representative to guide you.
CreditSecure is available to American Express cardmembers and additional cardholders for $1 for the first 30 days and $16.99 after that. If you’re not happy with CreditSecure, you can cancel after the discounted trial to avoid paying the full amount.
How does CreditSecure work?
Credit monitoring services like CreditSecure track your data on all three of the major U.S. credit reporting agencies:
If you – or someone pretending to be you – apply for a new account, change your address, or have unpaid bills, that information is reported by the agencies. The credit monitoring service alerts you to these changes in real-time, so you can report identity theft or dispute errors on your credit report immediately.
Credit monitoring also helps you keep an eye on your credit score. The “educational” score provided by the service helps you see upward or downward trends, but it might not be the same score that a lender sees.
Top CreditSecure features
CreditSecure provides monthly FICO scores and credit reports from all three bureaus, dark web monitoring, child monitoring, Social Security trace alerts, lost wallet assistance and more.
FICO scores and credit reports
CreditSecure lets you refresh your FICO scores every 30 days.
You can also request your full credit report from all three agencies every 30 days.
Credit report monitoring
Whether you choose to view your scores and reports or not, CreditWise is always watching them. Real-time alerts will notify you any time there’s a new activity, like a credit card application in your name so that you can spot potential fraud.
You’ll also get alerts if you approach your limit on a card, or if your credit score rises or falls, so you can stay on top of your credit at all times.
CreditSecure has several identity-monitoring features.
- Credit alerts let you know if someone is opening new accounts in your name.
- Dark Web Monitoring alerts you if your personal information is compromised.
- Social Security Number Trace alerts you if a new name, alias, or address becomes associated with your name, birthdate, or social security number.
- Child Monitoring watches your kids’ social security numbers for potential fraud or exposure on the dark web.
Fraud assistance agents
If you suspect fraud, find an error on your credit report or lose your wallet, a dedicated agent can guide you through all the reporting steps you need to take. You’ll still have to make most of the calls yourself, but you’ll have expert guidance and support through the process.
Representatives are also available to help you understand your credit report.
Tips for maximizing CreditSecure’s features
Here’s how to get the most out of the platform:
- You can request a manual refresh every 30 days in addition to the automatic monthly update. So if you time your request right, you can see new scores every two weeks.
- Don’t turn off any of the alerts, even if you’re tired of getting messages about your regular activity. Those alerts are the key to detecting fraud.
- Use the credit score simulator to preview how actions like closing a card or taking out a loan will impact your score.
- You’re paying for support, so be sure to use it. Let a fraud representative guide you through situations like identity theft or a lost wallet, and feel free to call with questions about your credit score.
CreditSecure vs. other credit monitoring tools
|Program Name||Cost of Membership||Features|
|American Express CreditSecure||$16.99/month|
|American Express MyCredit Guide||Free|
|Chase Credit Journey||Free|
|Capital One CreditWise||Free|
|Discover Credit Scorecard||Free|
American Express CreditSecure might be a good fit for you if you want an extra layer of security and confidence against identity theft and you don’t mind paying for it.
Many credit cards – including American Express – offer free credit scores. A few also provide free credit monitoring, meaning they’ll alert you to changes that could indicate fraud or identity theft. Those services will meet most peoples’ needs.
However, if you want to hand the entire job over to someone else, and you’d enjoy having support and guidance in the event of fraud or theft, CreditSecure might be worth the price to you.