Intelius Review: Is the Background Check Service Worth It?

Intelius offers a decent variety of products, from background checks to reverse phone lookups. Still, it doesn’t offer as much information as other background check companies, and its findings are sometimes incomplete. Plus, the company employs some sneaky pricing practices that could be more transparent.

Intelius
Our rating:
3.5 out of 5.0
3.5 out of 5 stars3.5
Price
4 out of 5 stars4.0
Customer service
3 out of 5 stars3.0
Product
3 out of 5 stars3.0
Plans start at 
$19.95
/mo.

    Overview
    If you’re looking to vet an online date or find a long-lost aunt, a background check service can come in handy.

    Intelius has long offered reliable background check services with accurate findings. But recent users now say reports have inaccuracies or missing information. While we don’t recommend Intelius—there are plenty other background check companies to choose from—it does offer a bit of coverage that other services lack.

    Read on to learn about Intelius’s best features and how it compares to the competition.


    What Is Intelius?

    Intelius is a Seattle-based public records company that provides information services, enabling you to find people by name, address, phone number, and more. It’s part of a larger company called People Connect Inc., which also owns Classmates.com.

    Intelius isn’t a consumer reporting agency, so it doesn’t provide consumer reports. Like other background check companies, Intelius should be used only for personal research, like finding contact information for friends and relatives or researching a blind date. It shouldn’t be used to screen for anything that requires compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, so you can’t use it to research tenants, potential employees, and the like.


    Intelius pros and cons

    Pros
    • Pro BulletAffordable subscriptions
    • Pro BulletReports include work and educational history
    Cons
    • Con BulletPoor customer reviews
    • Con BulletSneaky pricing practices
    • Con BulletMixed reviews on information accuracy

    What we like about Intelius

    Affordable subscriptions

    You can get an Intelius Premier membership for as low as $19.95 a month, which gives you access to an unlimited number of general searches. A similar subscription from BeenVerified is just under $27.

    A variety of coverage

    Not all background check services offer an education history, but Intelius does. Reports include any high schools, colleges, or universities a person has attended according to public records.


    How Intelius could improve

    Intelius’s most recent customer reviews are overwhelmingly negative. From scouring reviews across the internet, it seems like there are two main issues: The first is because of the company’s pricing practices. The second is mixed reviews on whether Intelius’s reports are accurate or not.

    Sneaky pricing practices

    The pricing for some of Intelius’s services is misleading. Its People Search feature, for example, is priced at $0.95, which is certainly a deal. But you’ll automatically be signed up for Intelius Premier Plus at $29.95 per month, and if you cancel within your seven-day trial period, you’ll be charged $7.95. We’ll go more into detail about the price of Intelius’s services below, but we’re wary of a service that adds sneaky charges without being clear about it.

    Mixed reviews on report accuracy

    Whether the information you get will be correct or not is kind of up in the air. Intelius has mixed reviews on the accuracy of its information. Some users say that the information Intelius provides is more accurate and up-to-date than other background check services. More recent reviews say reports have missing or inaccurate information.

    A quick search for myself yielded some information that was pretty inaccurate, including cities I had never lived in and places where I was never employed. As with all background check services, be sure to double-check this information.


    How much does Intelius cost?

    Intelius has seven different plans, and each has a cancellation fee

    • People Search: $0.95
    • Reverse Phone Lookup: $0.95
    • Reverse Address Lookup: $4.95–$14.95
    • Criminal Record: $14.95 for statewide; $29.95 for nationwide
    • Background Check: $39.95
    • Premier: $19.95/mo.
    • Premier Plus: $29.95/mo.

    Depending on what service you’re looking for, Intelius’s plans are pretty inexpensive. But there’s a pretty big catch.

    Once you’ve paid for a basic Intelius service, like People Search or Reverse Phone Lookup, you’ll automatically be signed up for a seven-day trial of Intelius Premier Plus. But if you decide to call it quits before your trial week is up, your credit card will be charged an additional $7.95 for cancelling.

    Basically, Intelius offers a free trial, but only if you don’t cancel before the company starts charging you for a monthly membership. The only exception is Intelius’s reverse address lookup service: you’ll either pay $4.95 with a Premier Plus trial or $14.95 without.

    If you’re leaning towards a subscription, Intelius has two options: An Intelius Premier membership, which allows unlimited searches, goes for $19.95 per month, and can be purchased as a standalone product. Intelius Premier Plus allows unlimited searches and one background check a month for $29.95, but you can’t purchase it on its own. You can only access it if you buy a qualifying basic service and agree to the seven-day trial.

    We recommend a company that’s more transparent about its costs.

    All together, those factors contribute to Intelius’s not-so-great pricing practices. We’d recommend going with a company that’s more transparent about its costs (and doesn’t try to trick you into a paid trial with fine print).

    Is Intelius free?

    Intelius offers a basic people search for free. You’ll get some pretty limited information based on a person’s name, including their age, location history, relatives, the first six digits of any phone numbers, and employment and education history. It’s not very thorough and serves mostly as a preview of what you can access with payment.


    Intelius features

    Intelius offers more than just background checks. If you don’t want to invest in a comprehensive report, you have options. You can do a reverse phone lookup to see who’s behind the number that’s been spamming your phone or a quick criminal record search before you meet your Tinder date.

    People Search

    Intelius’s People Search feature provides essential information about whoever you’re looking for. You can search by name, phone number, or address. You’ll get access to that person’s age, date of birth, former and current addresses, phone numbers, possible relatives, any social media networks, email addresses, plus employment and educational history.

    Public records report

    A public records report from Intelius will give you everything from their People Search report, plus any available marriage and divorce records.

    Reverse phone lookup

    Tired of getting phone calls from Zambia at 2 a.m.? Intelius’s reverse phone lookup feature will provide you with an owner’s name, age, address, possible relatives, and phone carrier.

    Reverse address lookup

    With reverse address lookup, Intelius provides ownership details for a provided address, home value, contact information, information about any current and previous residents, sex offenders in the area, and more.

    Criminal record

    Intelius can provide criminal records within a certain state or nationwide. Its search will pull up any criminal offenses, check for misdemeanors and felonies, and give you other details like disposition dates and case numbers.

    Background check

    A full-on background check report with Intelius gives you a little bit of everything. You’ll get the findings of a public records report, plus a state criminal check, and information on any liens, bankruptcies, judgments, or lawsuits.

    Intelius Premier

    With an Intelius Premier subscription, you can run as many searches as you’d like per month, whether it’s a reverse address lookup or a public records report. You’ll be able to access information like a person’s full name, known aliases, current and past addresses, and social networks.

    Intelius Premier Plus

    An Intelius Premier Plus subscription gives you everything from the Premier plan plus one background check per month. Just make sure you use it: after the month’s over, it expires.


    What customers are saying about Intelius

    Since Intelius premiered a new platform in July 2019, there have been significantly more complaints about the brand. Some say that information is missing, inaccurate, or out of date. Others say they’ve ordered a product, like a reverse phone lookup, and Intelius has taken two to three days to deliver the report.

    A majority of customers point to Intelius’s confusing pricing structure as the source of their dissatisfaction. Because Intelius often puts its pricing information in fine print—and offers no refunds or credits—customers feel like the brand is deceptive.

    Customer support appears to have little to no presence when it comes to solving customer problems. Users describe not being able to get in touch with anyone over the phone, for example. It’s cause for concern, but at the very least, you can opt out of your subscription online.


    Intelius vs. the competition

    Data effective 10/18/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

    When it comes down to it, most background check services do the same things. It’s their extra perks that make them stand out, like PeopleFinder’s affordable five-day trial, or PeopleLooker’s relatively inexpensive monthly membership.

    What is the most accurate background check site?

    If accuracy is your top concern, we recommend TruthFinder. It has more information than BeenVerified or PeopleLooker and tends to provide the most in-depth, accurate reports with relatively recent findings.


    Is Intelius reputable?

    Intelius offers decent background check services and a variety of one-off reports, like People Search and reverse address lookup. Still, we don’t recommend it as a service. It has mixed reviews about sneaky pricing practices and the accuracy of its reports.

    Not to worry though. There are plenty of other background check services out there. Some prioritize accuracy, while others focus on ease of use. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s a right fit for you.

    >>Double check. Read our roundup of the best background check services