AllClear ID comes with some employer benefit packages, but we got ahold of an individual subscription to test it out. To be honest, we had pretty high expectations, as AllClear ID has a 96% customer satisfaction rating.1 But we wanted to see if it lives up to the hype. The feature-set was pretty enticing — with credit monitoring, fast and secure phone alerts, $1 million in insurance coverage, and ID theft recovery services.
We found AllClear ID to be a useful service, but we didn’t always feel that it lived up to its reputation. So, there are a few important points that you should know about if you’re considering this identity theft protection service. Don’t worry, we’re going to share our experience with AllClear ID — the good, the bad, and the ugly — right here in our AllClear ID review.
We recommend you get some type of identity monitoring service working for you. Of course, you should be shredding documents and looking out for phishing scams. But you should also remember that there’s not a lot you can do to prevent hackers and crooks from breaching website security measures to steal information from your banks and other institutions. The truth is, identity theft is something you can’t always avoid.
Pro Tip: Limit your risk of identity theft by being careful with your private information. Use a shredder, make your passwords secure, and be wary of common types of scams. For more tips, read our SafeHome guide to identity theft prevention.
If we’re too late to prevent identity crime, we should at least have a way to detect it early in the process — that way, we can limit the damage by freezing our credit, canceling cards, and filing police reports. And an identity monitoring service like AllClear ID is all about early detection and helping folks get back on track in the wake of identity theft.
Many plans out there even offer insurance coverage to cover stolen funds and recovery expenses. Needless to say, we think you should have a monitoring service in your corner. That leaves us with the question, is AllClear ID the right one for you?
We subscribed to AllClear ID as individuals, but that’s not typical for this service. AllClear ID works mainly with employers, who offer AllClear ID’s services to their employees for free. AllClear ID also works with companies to offer “customer security” solutions. In our experience, that’s just another way of saying, “your company’s data has been breached, and your customers are at risk, so we’ll help you save face and protect your customers.”
Whether you’re looking for an independent subscription, like ours, or you’re getting AllClear ID for free from your employer or another company, we’re here to tell you just how well AllClear ID works when it matters most.
We’re generally not surprised when looking at services and features from identity monitoring companies. We always expect to see monitoring, alerts, recovery services, and insurance. Usually, we get what we expect. And we were mostly happy with the lineup of features that AllClear ID offers. We’ll go ahead and break these down for you by category.
We were happy to see that AllClear ID covered credit monitoring and social security number monitoring. We’re always on the lookout for this essential duo. We need to monitor our credit so that we see any fraud as soon as it happens. And we need to know if our social security number is floating around in cyberspace, as that could mean identity theft is an imminent threat.
Pro Tip: Whatever service you choose, make sure it includes credit monitoring and social security number monitoring, the two pillars of identity theft protection.
We liked that AllClear ID covered the big two, but we were disappointed that some other fundamental features were MIA. For instance, we’re used to seeing identity monitoring services cover sex offender registries and public records like court filings — but AllClear ID simply doesn’t offer these. Although these features aren’t as essential as credit and social security number monitoring, we see them so often that it was shocking AllClear ID left them out.
We’ve found that certain identity monitoring services let us add our bank accounts and other financial accounts for monitoring. AllClear ID allowed us to add credit cards, which was great, but it didn’t let us add bank accounts or investment accounts. We don’t necessarily expect these added features, but to contend with the competition, we think AllClear ID should consider adding these functionalities to the menu.
That said, we were able to get child monitoring from AllClear ID by adding the “ChildScan” option. We were glad to see this option available, as children can become victims of identity theft almost as easily as adults.2 Your child may be young, but that won’t stop a bad guy from fraudulently using their social security number if they get the chance.
We recommend monitoring because it spots risks and fraud fast. But we also know that monitoring doesn’t do you any good unless you can actually see the risks and fraud that the monitoring turns up, which is why instant alerts are incredibly important.
Unfortunately, we were not all that impressed with the AllClear ID alerts. The company used phone calls to alert us to potential threats, and we couldn’t find any way to switch from phone calls to texts, emails, or app alerts. We found this lack of flexibility to be pretty frustrating (and we think you will, too!), but it wasn’t necessarily a deal-breaker.
We usually find monitoring and alert features to be somewhat similar from service to service. But some things were lacking in our plan. Of course, we think AllClear ID is much better than having no protection in place. But in our experience, their features and services fall short of the industry standard.
Monitoring makes it easier to catch fishy activity fast. However, monitoring services don’t prevent crimes, so we still needed something to help us if crooks targeted us. So, we were glad to see that AllClear ID offered insurance and recovery services. Although we didn’t need it, our research suggests that AllClear ID does pretty well in this category. And the service has very high user ratings.
Our AllClear ID insurance gave us up to $1 million in coverage. We’ve reviewed lots of identity monitoring services, and $1 million is the industry standard for insurance coverage. We were glad to see that AllClear ID keeps pace with their competitors here.
FYI: Identity theft can be pricey, even if you catch it fast. It’s not just about the money that’s stolen — you may also need to pay for accountants, attorneys, and other professionals to make things right.
As usual, we found that there were caps on how much compensation we’d get for certain categories. For instance, the AllClear ID policy would cover up to $1,000 in CPA costs.3 In other words, you couldn’t get the whole million bucks for just accountants. Instead, you’d be on the hook for anything past $1,000 spent on accountants after an identity crime. However, these stipulations are all pretty typical and how most identity monitoring services operate.
Monitoring, alerts, recovery services, and insurance are the main things we look for in identity monitoring products. A lot of companies offer us a little more, though. We were glad to see that AllClear ID had a few extras on board.
Like some competitors we’ve tested, AllClear ID let us take a look at our credit report. But they only offered us one report per year from just one credit bureau, TransUnion. So, we weren’t all that impressed. We don’t think this coverage adds a ton of value, as you can already get one free credit report a year from each of the three major credit bureaus.
AllClear ID also gives you your VantageScore once per year. VantageScore is a credit metric originated by the three major credit bureaus. It’s similar to FICO, although FICO is better known. We always like getting extra perks, but we would have liked to see our FICO score, too. Also, the once-per-year limit was a bit, well…underwhelming. Three times per year is more like it.
Did You Know: By law, you can request a free copy of your credit score and credit report once per year from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).4
AllClear ID also offers “Lost Wallet Protection.” We’ve seen this service offered by plenty of competitors. Lost Wallet Protection allows you to record important information from your wallet, like credit card numbers and driver’s license ID numbers. That way, you can act quickly to report and replace everything in the event your wallet is lost or stolen. We think lost wallet protection is a useful little perk, but we weren’t impressed with AllClear ID’s version. Instead of having us enter the info in an app, AllClear ID just gave us a form to print and fill out.
We think you can get the same benefit by using a sheet of loose-leaf paper. Just take out your wallet and jot down all the ID numbers, credit card numbers, phone numbers, and other details from the cards you carry around. We thought this AllClear ID feature left a lot to be desired.
Our AllClear ID app had a “Resources” page. And we must say, we found some useful tips and information there. As identity theft experts, we already know how to lower identity theft risks, but we’re glad that the AllClear ID app offers this information all the same. It’s smart to stay sharp on ways to protect yourself from fraudsters.
Our account also included an “opt-out” feature for junk mail. This option was our favorite of AllClear ID’s extra features, but the truth is, some competitors offer the same, exact thing. You can even do this on your own, too.
Did You Know: You can opt-out of many types of junk mail by registering with government opt-out lists. You can opt-out of credit and insurance offers for five years at a time by calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT, and many marketing services run their own opt-out lists.5 Services like AllClear ID can take care of these chores for you.
Quality should come first, but we always like to see low prices and great value when we review identity monitoring services. We think the value you’ll get out of AllClear ID will depend on the bundle you choose.
Unfortunately, we found AllClear ID’s branding pretty confusing. We saw the brand names AllClear Identity Theft Monitoring, AllClear Credit Monitoring, and AllClear Identity Repair only when we looked at the employee and customer benefits information for companies. Pro Plus only seemed to show up when we looked at options for getting AllClear ID on our own, without a company backing the plan. We also saw Pro Plus called “AllClear Fraud Alerts with Credit Monitoring™ (PRO PLUS).” It took a bit, but we figured out how it breaks down.
First, let’s talk about accounts from companies. We paid for our account ourselves, but AllClear ID seems to be more focused on working with companies. We found that users who sign up with a free redemption code from an employer or another company get some combination of “AllClear Identity Theft Monitoring,” “AllClear Credit Monitoring,” and “AllClear Identity Repair.”
We believe complete coverage requires all three of these options. Unfortunately, which ones you get will be up to whatever organization is actually paying AllClear ID. When we went to sign up for AllClear ID on our own, we saw different bundles and brand names. Our options were “Basic” and “ProPlus,” and we could also add “ChildScan” coverage for family members.
|AllClear ID Plan||Price|
|ProPlus||$14.95 per month|
|ChildScan||$4.95 per month|
The Basic plan doesn’t include any monitoring or insurance coverage. It promises recovery services, but that’s all. We think you should steer clear of this option, as it doesn’t do much besides get you to register with AllClear ID.
On the other hand, we thought ProPlus offered pretty good value at $14.95 per month. That’s pretty cheap for a service like this. Also, we liked that AllClear ID has a 30-day free trial. We’re big fans of free trials because we think they’re the best way to compare services. Just sign up for one (or more) and cancel the subscriptions that you don’t want.
We care most about features and value, but we always prefer the service to be easy to use. Our user experience with AllClear ID was decent, but we think you’ll find that some other services are more user-friendly.
We liked that AllClear ID took its own security seriously. After we signed up, we had to create a “secure sign-in” by taking a phone call from AllClear ID. We recorded a name, “voice key,” and four-digit PIN. From then on, every call from AllClear ID would start with our voice key. That’s how we could know for sure that it was AllClear ID calling and not some scammer.
With the secure sign-in all set up, we entered our username and password to log in via AllClear ID’s web app, which triggered another phone call. We heard our voice key and entered our PIN to finish the sign-in process.
Pro Tip: Two-factor authentication is one of the most effective security measures that apps and services use, but it’s not always enabled by default. We recommend enabling two-factor authentication for accounts that have them, such as your Apple ID, Google account, and Facebook account.6
In our experience, two-factor authentication is a big boost to web security, so we were elated to see AllClear ID using it. We do wish that we’d been able to get a text message instead of a robocall, though.
We liked AllClear ID’s web app. It’s functional and straightforward, and it gets the job done just fine. But we were surprised that the web app was our only option. Usually, services like this one give us mobile apps, too. We think lacking a mobile app will make AllClear ID significantly less useful to you. So, that’s definitely something to consider.
Using these services, we had a hard time forgetting that AllClear ID usually works with other businesses. We were AllClear ID’s customers, but most users aren’t. In most cases, some other company is the paying customer, and they’re passing the service on to the users. And we think the relatively bare-bones user experience reflects this relationship. We didn’t feel like AllClear ID was worried about customers getting fed up and canceling, and that makes sense because most customers aren’t paying for it themselves! At any rate, we think you’ll find the user experience to be not-so-hot.
Customer service is a critical part of user experience, too, and we think this aspect is one thing that AllClear ID does really well. We received excellent customer service from highly-trained pros, and we think you’ll appreciate having these folks in your corner if you ever need them. We found that AllClear ID makes it easy to get in touch with an investigator and react to any identity theft threats. We liked that the service used call centers in the United States and employed specially trained staff. We hope you’ll never have to use these services, but we think you’ll be impressed if you do.
We think that even a half-decent monitoring service like AllClear ID is better than no monitoring at all. AllClear ID offers credit monitoring, social security monitoring, and insurance coverage — all features and services that we highly recommend.
That said, we don’t think AllClear ID is as strong as many brands we’ve researched and tested. We found its monitoring to be a little bare-bones. We wish we had access to more features, like three-bureau credit scores. And we didn’t like that AllClear ID relied so much on phone calls instead of offering a mobile app, text alerts, or even email alerts.
So, if you get an AllClear ID subscription for free, by all means, you should use it. But if you’re shopping for a monitoring solution on your own, we think you’ll be better off looking into other top providers in the industry. Don’t worry, we made it easy with this list of the best identity theft protection companies that we’ve reviewed.
AllClear ID. (2020). About AllClear ID.
Pascual, A. & Marchini, K. (2018, April 24). 2018 Child Identity Fraud Study. Javelin Strategy & Research.
AllClear ID. (2020). Summary Description of Benefits for the Personal Internet & Identity Coverage Master Policy.
Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information. (2013, March). Free Credit Reports.
Cahn, L. (2020, January 13). How You Can Stop Getting So Much Junk Mail — For Good. Reader’s Digest.
Griffith, E. (2019, March 11). Two-Factor Authentication: Who Has It and How to Set It Up. PC Magazine.