Target Offers Free Credit Monitoring & Identity Theft Protection

After losing their customers’ credit card numbers and other personal data, Target is offering free credit monitoring services at creditmonitoring.target.com to anyone who shopped at their US stores. (Supposedly the data breach “only” affected the 70 million people who shopped at US-located Target stores between November 27th and December 15th, but they also seem to be “discovering” more data lost every week.)

The package includes a complimentary copy of your Experian credit report and 12 months of daily credit monitoring from Experian’s ProtectMyID, which includes identity theft insurance and personalized assistance with identity theft fraud. You must sign up for an activation code by April 23, 2014 and redeem by April 30, 2014. ProtectmyID only monitors your Experian credit report for change, including new inquiries, newly opened accounts, new derogatory information (such as delinquencies or medical collections) and more.

This is not part of Target’s offering, but for better overall protection (2 out of 3 credit bureaus) you can also get free credit monitoring of your TransUnion credit report at CreditKarma.com. If you only used one card for Target (or everywhere) you can just ask for a new credit card number without affecting your credit history or credit score.

Comments

  1. So, if I cancel the card that I used at Target and have the bank re-issue a new one, that’s a ding against my credit history/score?

    Thanks,

    Manish

    • As noted by others, don’t “cancel” the card, just tell them that your card may have been compromised and that you need a new number. My Barclaycard Arrival preemptively just issued me a new card number without me even asking. That actually *was* the only card we used at Target, but I’m not sure if they knew that based on my statement or if they just issued everyone new cards.

      Replacement card numbers will NOT affect your credit score, although it will make a new entry on your credit report and make it a tad longer. The history (card length of opening) will be tracked and remain the same as if you didn’t get a new number.

      • Barclaycard didn’t reissue my Arrival card. They must have just sent out new cards to anybody who used it at Target.

  2. Just have the card provider (Target/Chase/{Some Bank Name} send you a new credit card that has a new number on it. They will keep the same account and will NOT affect your FICO. I do this every so often and whenever I lose a cc. It’s rather harmless outside of updating any auto-charges you have set up.

  3. @manish, don’t cancel the line of credit, just get your card replaced/reissued. That shouldn’t affect your credit, though actually canceling the card or applying for a new one (and getting a credit check) might affect your score.

  4. A credit freeze may be in order for even better protection, given what types of information were breached.

    Jonathan – have you heard whether Experian will drop the fee for a credit freeze as part of this package bought by Target? Currently for my state, it is free only if you have been a victim of fraud/ID theft.

    • A credit freeze is certainly an option, but I personally try to avoid that due to the number of credit card applications I submit every year. Target didn’t admit to losing Social Security numbers, so I think just canceling the card used is sufficient when combined with credit monitoring.

      I have not heard of Experian dropping the fee for a credit freeze as part of this agreement. A text search of their FAQ revealed no references to “freeze”.

  5. Is it the credit card breach apply only to Target Red card , or any credit card that are used within that period of time?

    • All cards including credit cards and debit cards.

      “In mid-December, we learned criminals forced their way into our system, gaining access to guest credit and debit card information. The investigation has recently determined that certain guest information was taken. That included names, mailing addresses, email addresses or phone numbers.”

  6. christine says:

    Speaking of credit. Discover now puts your credit score on every statement.

  7. Wait, requesting a credit report or score will ding my credit score?

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