November 6, 2012

Is BillGuard Credit Card Monitoring Service Useful?

Is BillGuard, a credit card and debit card monitoring service useful?

A credit card, debit card monitoring service is different than a credit monitoring service - which monitors your credit score and is offered by companies such as Experian, TransUnion, IdentityGuard, American Express and others – but has the same basic model.

BillGuard says it will monitor your credit cards, debit cards and flag fraudulent charges, unwanted recurring subscriptions and billing errors.

Sounds useful … maybe.

BillGuard’s price for monitoring – free for 3 cards, $80/year for upto 10 cards.

Now this is a hurdle. Most people are likely to have more than 3 credit/debit cards. Do you want to pay BillGuard $80/year to monitor your cards?

Is it worth it?

All credit/debit card issuers provide online access to your account where you can view your card transactions at any time. If you regularly go over your card transactions in detail, you already know which are the valid charges (If you don’t review your transactions, you should – after all it is your own money that you need to protect).

And, if you use a tool like Quicken, you can log your every transaction and make sure it matches the credit card account.

And, all credit card issuers have robust fraud detection systems in place (far better than 3rd party systems like BillGuard). They will proactively alert you on any suspicious or unusual activity in your account – afterall they also incur losses if there is fraud with your account.

So, given all this why do you need another middleman like BillGuard between you and the creditcard company? Yet another company that wants to look at your financial transactions and charge you for it.

Per BillGuard, BillGuard is a personal finance security service powered by the collective knowledge of millions of people.

i.e. they use your financial data for their benefit and charge you for it.

Terms such as financial analytics, big data analytics, and antivirus for fraud are thrown it to convince you that the service is useful.

There is little to no need for a service like BillGuard for consumers when there are already better systems in place.

Alternately, if you like credit monitoring services, you’ll love a credit card monitoring service.

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