LifeLock vs Discover Identity Theft Protection

Our experts put LifeLock and Discover head to head to see which one better protected our identities.

By
&
Aliza VigdermanGabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Jul 30, 2020
By
&
Aliza VigdermanGabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Jul 30, 2020

LifeLock

  • Full-service identity theft and credit monitoring
  • Device protection with Norton 360 antivirus
  • Reputation for outstanding customer service
Editor's Rating
9.5
/10

Discover cardholders are eligible for a $15/month ID fraud protection program called Discover Identity Theft Protection. How does it compare with plans from LifeLock, which cost about $9 to $26 per month?

Here we compare the exclusive Discover cardmember plan with LifeLock’s three options for the general public. Also mentioned is Discover’s free ID theft alert service for cardmembers.

Discover Identity Theft Protection vs LifeLock Ultimate Plus

Discover quietly launched its ID theft protection plan. When logged in to their credit accounts, cardmembers sometimes see ads that compare Discover Identity Theft Protection with LifeLock’s top-tier plan for protection, Ultimate Plus. Both the Discover plan and LifeLock Ultimate Plus can provide three-bureau credit report alerts and up to $1,000,000 for stolen funds replacement.

Discover has a significant edge over LifeLock in terms of credit score updates; they send monthly reports whereas LifeLock sends annual updates. On the other hand, LifeLock promises even more than $1,000,000 in compensation (see below), plus their best plan provides Norton LifeLock software for all your desktop and mobile devices. Discover conducts dark web scans on your behalf but doesn’t provide anti-theft software.

Price Comparison

Price-wise, Discover has more appeal than LifeLock Ultimate Plus:

  • Discover Identity Theft Protection costs $15/month per adult. Up to 10 children can be enrolled for free.
  • LifeLock Ultimate Plus has an introductory price of $25.99/month per adult, and after 12 months the price is $34.99/month. Children can be enrolled for $5.99 each.

Common Features

Choosing the Discover plan or LifeLock Ultimate Plus, you’ll get these benefits and more:

  • Mobile app and desktop access
  • Credit alerts – Get notice when key changes are reported to your Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit files
  • Address change alerts based on USPS updates
  • Bank account alerts – Monitoring your approved accounts and being on guard for unauthorized accounts
  • Criminal court alerts for the local, state, and federal systems (in case a criminal poses as you)
  • Payday loan alerts – Both Discover and LifeLock monitor more than 90 percent of payday lenders for signs of identity fraud
  • Lost wallet assistance – Get help turning off and replacing your credit and debit cards, even if you don’t have the account numbers handy
  • Fraud resolution assistance – Get expert guidance about steps to take after receiving alerts, and let Discover or LifeLock handle fraud resolution tasks; an agent can help freeze your credit files, notify lenders of identity fraud, dispute charges, and more
  • $1,000,000 stolen funds reimbursement – Be protected against embezzlement, savings account theft, and other instances of stolen funds

Children are entitled to the same insurance policies as the affiliated adult accounts. An extra child-related benefit with LifeLock is parental controls for desktop and mobile browsers.

Both Discover and LifeLock let you receive alerts by email and text. Additionally LifeLock can deliver alerts by phone call.

Advantages of Discover vs LifeLock Ultimate Plus

A main advantage with Discover is getting monthly summaries of your activity with all three credit bureaus. The closest you can get with LifeLock, in comparison, is annual three-bureau reports. Reading your credit reports each month is one of the best ways to keep tabs on your ID.

Discover might also have an edge with monitoring for credit-related identity fraud. In particular you can get alerts if someone correctly answers your Experian ID verification questions, such as your favorite teacher’s name.

You might also prefer Discover’s customer service. As a Discover cardmember you’ve likely found that their service tends to be above-average whether you choose automated help or talk with an agent. You can expect the same with Discover Identity Theft Protection.

LifeLock Advantages: Norton 360 & Generous ID Theft Insurance

Compared with LifeLock, Discover has the lower price on ID theft protection with three-bureau monitoring. Why would you want to pay more with LifeLock? The main appeal is Norton LifeLock software or Norton 360. It’s included for virtually unlimited devices (desktop and mobile) when you choose LifeLock Ultimate Plus.

Norton LifeLock helps protect computer users from phishing scams by blocking fraudulent websites and emails. A VPN (virtual private network) is included for anonymous browsing on all devices, plus you’ll get 500GB of cloud storage to back up your files. Optionally parents can activate controls to help filter Internet content for children’s protection.

Sold separately, Norton 360 costs about $10/month to protect a maximum of five devices. This makes LifeLock Ultimate Plus almost identical in cost compared with choosing Discover Identity Theft Protection and computer protection separately. Eventually LifeLock costs more, however; the introductory price converts to $34.99/month after one year.

Another main advantage with LifeLock vs Discover is additional ID theft insurance.

  • Discover provides a single $1,000,000 policy to reimburse you for stolen funds, lost wages, lawyers’ bills, and other expenses related to ID theft.
  • LifeLock provides separate $1,000,000 policies: one each for stolen funds, legal assistance, and personal expense compensation.

All in all, LifeLock Ultimate Plus may be worth the extra money if you don’t already have computer protection similar to Norton 360, and/or if you have an especially high income or savings to protect. Otherwise, Discover Identity Theft Protection could provide ample yet affordable coverage at just $15/month.

Other LifeLock Plans vs Discover

LifeLock features three main plans for ID theft protection. Each has an introductory discount during the first year. Choices are:

  • LifeLock Select – $8.99 introductory rate, then $11.99/month
  • LifeLock Advantage – $17.99 introductory rate, then $24.99/month
  • LifeLock Ultimate Plus – $25.99 introductory rate, then $34.99/month

The above prices are per adult. A child’s SSN and other information can be monitored for an additional $5.99 per month. The add-on is called LifeLock Junior.

As explained above, LifeLock Ultimate Plus ($25.99 per adult) has the most in common with Discover Identity Theft Protection ($15). It’s the only LifeLock option with three-bureau monitoring. How do the other plans compare?

LifeLock Select vs Discover

LifeLock Select is among the most affordable ID theft protection plans for 2020. It costs $8.99/month per adult for 12 months. The annual plan renews at $11.99/month, keeping it cheaper than Discover Identity Theft Protection. However, a shortcoming is LifeLock’s lack of credit bureau monitoring and reporting. Discover monitors all three bureaus for signs of ID fraud, plus Discover provides monthly credit summaries.

The key benefits of LifeLock Select are:

  • Norton 360 for up to five devices, which helps prevent accidental data-sharing and lets you surf anonymously
  • Monitoring credit applications for the fraudulent use of your SSN, name, address, or date of birth
  • Fraud resolution support
  • $25,000 insurance for stolen funds & personal expenses
  • $1,000,000 legal insurance

Keep in mind that as a Discover cardmember, you’re already entitled to free Experian credit bureau alerts. Discover checks Experian files daily and can send alerts by email or text. Combining that service with the cheapest LifeLock plan would of course be more effective than relying on LifeLock Select alone for ID theft protection, though it leaves Equifax and TransUnion unmonitored.

LifeLock Advantage Plan

Upgrading to LifeLock Advantage does not add credit bureau monitoring. However, this plan can track your credit card and bank accounts for signs of identity fraud. It also sends alerts about crimes tied to your name.

LifeLock Advantage has an introductory rate of $17.99/month per adult. After a year it renews at $25.99/month.

Compared with LifeLock Select, this plan provides more insurance for stolen funds and personal expenses: $100,000 instead of $25K. Also, LifeLock Advantage lets you install Norton 360 on up to ten desktop computers, smartphones and tablets. The limit is five with LifeLock Select.

Compared with Discover, LifeLock Advantage promises even more compensation for lawyers and gives the extra advantage of Norton 360 protection. Still we’d lean toward Discover’s $15/month plan because their credit bureau monitoring is so valuable.

About Discover

Discover Financial Services formed in 1986. It’s one of the largest credit card issuers in the USA, plus it provides checking and savings accounts, student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, and certificates of deposit. Customers can use Discover cards with millions of US merchants and ATMs. Discover also issues the Diners Club International card, which is accepted worldwide.

Discover cardmembers can enroll in a free identity alert service with dark web monitoring and daily Experian monitoring, or can pay for comprehensive identity theft protection as described above. The company also makes FICO scores available to all consumers for free.

Customer service is based in the US. The company is not accredited with the BBB. However, the Better Business Bureau rates Discover “A+” for its customer interactions.

About LifeLock

LifeLock was established in 2005 with an exclusive focus on identity protection. The company grew rapidly, as it was among the best-advertised options in the industry. Customer service is based in the US and is available 24/7.

LifeLock is not BBB accredited. They have an A- rating from the Bureau for transparency and other aspects of customer service.

*LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.
**Terms apply to all LifeLock plans.
***The credit scores provided are VantageScore 3.0 credit scores based on data from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion respectively. Any one bureau VantageScore mentioned is based on Equifax data only. Third parties use many different types of credit scores and are likely to use a different type of credit score to assess your creditworthiness.
****Reimbursement and Expense Compensation, each with limits of up to $1 million for Ultimate Plus, up to $100,000 for Advantage and up to $25,000 for Select, when purchased in Norton 360 with LifeLock plans. And up to $1 million for coverage for lawyers and experts if needed, for all plans. Benefits under the Master Policy are issued and covered by United Specialty Insurance Company (State National Insurance Company, Inc. for NY State members). Policy terms, conditions and exclusions at: LifeLock.com/legal.