What is Discover Card’s CreditSafe Plus Insurance?

aaronI’ve had a Discover credit card since 2000 and have always seen this recurring charge on my monthly statements called “CreditSafe Plus Insurance”. It’s not a large amount – but a pesky recurring charge that fluctuates based on my balance that I carry each month (and if you not a Discover Card owner – feel free to carry on with your other daily blog reading). 

creditsafe plus insurance

Note: I’m not a big advocate of credit cards. But, I believe they can certainly work to your advantage at times when you don’t have cash on hand or you are making a larger purchase. I use my Discover Card from time to time for such purposes – but always pay it off at the end of the month (I hope you’re doing the same!) If you’re familiar with Three Thrifty Guys – you might know that I ran into some trouble with credit cards early on in my life – and it was no picnic. That’s one the of the reasons I co-founded this site – to help others not make the same mistakes I did.

So, back to this recurring charge on my Discover Card. It’s really important to check your monthly credit card statements as a fee or surcharge can appear out of no-where. There is actually a settlement you can take advantage if you were charged a payment protection plan fee or credit score tracker fee from 2004-2011 – even if you opted in for it. So, Discover has been in a little hot water due to some of their practices. Just beware.

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I called up Discover and it took about 5 minutes to get to a person who could actually answer my question about CreditSafe Plus. It turns out this is an optional fee that I opted in for when I signed up for the card. This is another thing to be alert about when you are getting new credit cards. You may be opted in – knowingly or unknowingly to services / fees associated with the card. It’s been over 12 years since I signed up – so I can’t remember if I did or didn’t.

Just know that you do not need to be enrolled in the service. CreditSafe Plus insurance exists to provide coverage for your account in the event that any of the following happens:

  • You lose your job at no fault of your own
  • You become disabled
  • You pass away

If any of these transpire, the insurance will cover your monthly minimum payments at no cost to you until you get a new job, become un-disabled OR you reach a lifetime max of $10,000.

I actually used the service back in 2001 when I became unemployed and started racking up some credit card debt. Fortunately, it paid off then – but it wasn’t without some hassle.

You can opt out – if you are currently enrolled – by calling them direct at 1-800-453-0280. My recommendation is that you probably don’t need this service if you are current with your balance and pay it off every month.

I hope that helps – have you had any experience with CreditSafe Plus Insurance?

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5 comments

  1. Ryan says:

    I check my credit card statements like a hawk at least once a week, and if I saw some junk charge like this I’d call immediately and demand it be removed. Even if it was only 71 cents!

    • Aaron says:

      @Ryan – good on you! It’s something I think a lot of folks (including myself) sometimes overlook.
      @Ruser – I wonder if they may be able to refund some of the amount if you can’t remember when you signed up (or didn’t sign up)? Note there is litigation about this so you may be able to qualify for the (I believe) $60 they are having to pay out to folks who were on the payment protection plan (see link in post)

  2. Ruser says:

    I noticed a similar charge with a Visa credit card, so I think this is a good tip for any card. My wife got the card through Chase Bank, and Chase offered a Payment Protector Plan which is essentially the same as the creditsafe plus insurance offered by Discover. The cost was $0.89 for every $100 on the monthly balance. My wife and I pay off our credit card every month, so we have no real need for this. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice this until we had the credit card for about a year, and had already spent $10-$15 on it.

  3. Deborah says:

    I recently took over my parents finances and discovered they have been making the minimum payment on their discover card for several years. It is maxed out at 5000 and so they pay about $50 in interest and $50 in credit safe insurance, making the minimum payment $100. They are both disabled for 10 years now. How do I get them out of this mess?

    • Aaron says:

      Hi Deborah. Sorry you are having to deal with this. I would connect with Discover first to see if they are eligible for Credit Safe to kick in and pay the monthly balances on the cards since this is what it is there for (both of your parents are disabled). They should be able to help you to file a claim.

      If that doesn’t work out – I would see if Discover can help you to lower the interest rate and then drop the Credit Safe altogether. This is an optional fee that you do not have to pay.

      Last resort – credit card debt is icky. Is there a trusted family member with the means to pay off this debt entirely for you? I wouldn’t hesitate in doing so even you can work something out with this family member OR if it is a gift (w/ no strings attached).

      Best to you.

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