Awarded the Best Finance App of 2014 from the Google Play Store, BillGuard entered the personal financial security market just five years ago. BillGuard describes itself as "a personal finance security company, built on the shoulders of giants, by a passionate team of data scientists and designers, powered by the collective knowledge of millions of people."
Simply put, BillGuard digitally analyzes your finances to keep your money in your own hands. Rather than spending hours balancing your checkbook to catch errors and check your accounts, BillGuard does the work for you. Additionally, the company monitors your identity to be sure that accounts aren't compromised and new accounts aren't opened in your name.
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- Pricing Plans
- Great Features
- Simple Interface
BillGuard offers a few different pricing plans, including a free account. While you pay more for more features, the protection offered in all three of the plans is robust.
BillGuard protects your finances with the following features:
- Smart inbox — Every transaction, on all your cards and bank accounts, prioritized for your review
- Spend analytics — Track spending by category over time and compare it to previous months
- Credit score — Stay on top of your credit score and the key factors that are affecting it
- Card location tracker — BillGuard shows you where you've shopped and alerts you when your cards are used way from you
- Card and bank fraud alerts — See where your card is used, quickly spot suspicious charges, even billing errors
- Credit monitoring alerts — Know if anyone tries to get a credit card, bank account, or loan with your identity
- Black market surveillance alerts — Find out if your personal details, Social Security Number or card is being sold online
- Data breach alerts — Get notified immediately if you shopped at a merchant during a period when it was hacked
- Card concierge — Contact merchants via the app to inquire about or dispute a charge on your cards
- Lost wallet restoration — BillGuard will help you cancel and replace your cards and other sensitive items as quickly as possible
- Identity restoration — A dedicated specialist will help restore your good name and credit
- $1 million ID theft insurance — Covers all costs associated with identity restoration with a $0 deductible
BillGuard's interface is a lot simpler than many competitors', but many users appreciate the ease of signing up and using the apps, and even describe the process as "fun." One of the more modern, unique features is the "crowd-source" system to identify fraud. If a problem pops up with another BillGuard customer, you'll get an alert of potential fraud.
- Not an All-in-One Application
- Upgrades Can Be Pricey
- Sorting Functions
Not an All-in-One Application
Because BillGuard is designed specifically for protecting the money you do have, you're not getting an all-in-one finance application. There's nothing to create or track a budget, guide you to get out of debt, or track investments.
Upgrades Can Be Pricey
The free account does offer some nice features, but upgrades can get pricey. If you continue with the free app, you must pay $9.99 in-app to be able to support more than three cards. Most customers are going to have more than three accounts needing to be monitored, Also, some of the most useful features —live support, insurance, credit score, credit monitoring — are only available on the paid plans. This means the free price tag is a bit misleading.
Currently BillGuard doesn't allow users to sort transactions by amount and some users have also noted that customization, in general, seemed to be lacking.
The Bottom Line
After only five years in the business, BillGuard has built up quite a reputation — winning awards and saving people money by the millions. By trusting BillGuard with your credit card and banking information, the company will analyze not only all of your purchases, but the purchases of others to keep you and your money safe. Paid plans also monitor your Social Security Number to catch anyone who may be applying for accounts in your name.
BillGuard will also alert you immediately about data breaches, which seem to pop up every other day. If things really get out of hand, and your identity or money is stolen, the Ultimate plan has a number of features to help you restore your good name, including a personal representative to assist in identity restoration and up to $1 million in insurance, meaning the process of getting back your good name won't cost you a dime.
BillGuard is available online, but really shines with its apps which have won awards from a variety of sources. Since you'll likely want to know immediately if there's suspicious activity, the apps are especially useful in keeping you aware of your finances in real-time. Most users and reviews are generally positive of BillGuard, although some do note that the free account doesn't offer as many features as they may like without requiring either a paid plan or in-app purchases for upgrades.
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