Credit Sesame vs. Credit Karma: Which Is Better For You?

Written by Banks Editorial Team
3 min. read
Written by Banks Editorial Team
3 min. read

If getting your credit score back on track is on your list of priorities, chances are you’ve considered signing up for companies like Credit Sesame or Credit Karma. These online platforms provide free services like free credit scores and scores, credit monitoring and other perks to their users free of charge. But maybe you’re wondering which is best, or if you should give both a try. 

As you read, you’ll learn more about what they offer, how they differ and how to choose the best option for you. 

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The Differences Between Credit Sesame vs. Credit Karma

Credit Sesame and Credit Karma share similar goals for their users but have distinct differences. 

Credit Reports Available/Offered

Credit Sesame offers a free credit score that’s based on information in your TransUnion credit file. You can also get three-bureau credit reports on the platform, but you’ll have to enroll in a premium Credit Sesame plan. More on that shortly. 

Credit Karma provides free Equifax and TransUnion credit reports to its members. 

Credit Scores

Credit Sesame provides free TransUnion VantageScore updates. However, Credit Karma gives you free VantageScore 3.0 Equifax and TransUnion updates. 

Identity Theft Protection and Insurance

With a free Credit Sesame membership, you’ll get $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance and access to an identity restoration specialist if you’re victimized by fraud. 

You won’t get identity theft insurance with Credit Karma, but identity monitoring is a complimentary service offered by the platform. If your personal information is found on the dark web, you’ll receive alerts and guidance from Credit Karma on moving forward to remedy the issue.

Credit Building

You can use Sesame Cash to build credit with everyday purchases. Even better, you’ll get up to 15 percent cash back from your favorite retailers, and Credit Sesame will pay you up to $100 if your credit score increases. 

Credit Karma doesn’t feature a specific credit-building tool. Still, you’ll find product recommendations on the platform that could help you boost your credit health. 

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What Do You Get in the Free Plan in Credit Sesame vs. Credit Karma?

Below is what you’ll get with a free Credit Sesame plan: 

  • Monthly TransUnion credit score and credit score updates 
  • TransUnion credit monitoring alerts 
  • Free identity theft insurance (limited to $1,000,000) and fraud resolution assistance
  • Personalized tips to help you more effectively manage your credit health 
  • Tailored product recommendations to help you meet your financial goals 
  • Financial and credit education tools and resources

The free Credit Karma plan includes: 

  • Daily and weekly VantageScore 3.0 updates for TransUnion and Equifax, respectively 
  • Frequent TransUnion and Equifax credit report and credit score updates
  • TransUnion credit monitoring alerts
  • Identity monitoring that scans the dark web to ensure your personal information isn’t present 
  • The Unclaimed Money tool that helps you find free money from state governments that belong to you
  • Custom product recommendations to help you save money on credit products 
  • Access to financial resources, including educational articles and calculators

Plans and Pricing of Credit Sesame vs. Credit Karma

Prefer a plan with even more features to improve your credit and overall financial health: 

Credit Sesame features three premium options; 

  • Advanced Credit Plan: features daily one bureau credit score updates, monthly three-bureau credit reports and monthly three-bureau credit score updates (Cost: $9.95 per month) 
  • Pro Credit Plan: features all the benefits of the Advanced Credit Plan, three-bureau credit monitoring and 24/7 access to fraud resolution specialists and representatives to help resolve issues with your credit reports (Cost: $15.95 per month)
  • Platinum Protection Plan: features all the perks of the Pro Credit Plan along with Social Security number monitoring, public records monitoring, black market website monitoring and lost wallet protection (Cost: $19.95 per month) 

However, Credit Karma does not offer paid plans to its members. 

Credit Sesame vs. Credit Karma: The Bottom Line

Both online platforms can benefit consumers looking to level up their credit scores and finances. However, Credit Sesame has the edge over Credit Karma for a few key reasons: 

  • Credit Sesame offers up to $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance, but Credit Karma only includes identity theft monitoring to its members. 
  • Credit Sesame lets you earn cashback while building credit and pays you as your credit score improves with Sesame Cash1,3. Plus, you’ll get a fee-free debit card that can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. 
  • Credit Sesame features product recommendations, like credit cards and loans to help you save in interest. It also highlights services you can use to start repairing your credit if you’ve had financial missteps in the past. 
  • Credit Sesame allows you to upgrade to a premium plan to unlock even more tools and resources to reach your credit goals faster. 

Ultimately, determining which is best is a matter of personal preference. You can test-drive Credit Sesame and Credit Karma for free to decide on the best option. Both services allow you to create a free account, and it only takes a few minutes of your time.

Credit Sesame

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