Intelius Review

Pros:

  • pros Affordable pricing
  • pros Detailed results
  • pros Data visualizers
  • pros Per-search or monthly payment
  • pros Education history reports
  • pros Free basic search
  • pros Nationwide criminal records

Cons:

  • cons Upselling
intelius review 1

Score: A

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About the Company

Intelius was founded in 2003 by a team of industry veterans, and it has provided people lookup services ever since. Based in Seattle, it’s the best-known address-search company. Its reputation allowed it to acquire several other address-search companies in the meantime. 

But that is not the focus of our Intelius review. We’re here to look at what this company provides and how it helps people reconnect.

Like other people-search services, Intelius allows you to search by name, phone number, or address. The website’s search engine goes through public records and locates all the information related to your search. This can include previous addresses,information on social media accounts, and more. 

There are many reasons you might use a service like this. For example, you might use the Intelius phone lookup to review the details about a missed call and maybe find out it was a high school friend you haven’t heard from in years. Many people say they use these kinds of search tools to reconnect with friends and relatives. After all, we make many connections throughout our lives and often forget to update everyone when the address or phone number changes.

People search is a replacement for the white pages directories that phone companies used to print – but more comprehensive. Among the many databases Intelius scans are criminal records and lists of sex offenders. It can protect you from shady people.

Pricing and Fees

Intelius pricing is divided into two tiers, each tailored for a specific kind of use. 

You can sign up for a monthly plan to use background check services as many times as you wish, or pay a one-time fee for each search you make. You can also search people for free, though the results page is very limited. Mostly it serves to let you know whether more information is available.

Single Searches

When you are ready to purchase Intelius search tools, you’ll be met with quite a price range. Prices start at just under a dollar for a simple phone number lookup. If you want to access additional information, you can purchase add-ons à la carte: social network profile list, criminal records, address history, other connections, and a lot more.

Here’s a price list based on the type of search:

Type of information

Fee

Full background check

$39.95

Reverse phone lookup

$0.95

Reverse address lookup

$4.95-$14.95

Email lookup

$6.95

Social network search

$6.95

Criminal record search (state)

$14.90

Criminal record search (nationwide)

$29.95

People search

$0.95

Subscription Model

Earlier in our Intelius review, we have mentioned there’s also a monthly plan. If you know you’ll run more than a handful of searches, a subscription is definitely the way to go, as it provides better value than buying searches one by one. In fact, you get unlimited searches with any subscription tier. 

The Premier plan is the company’s bread and butter, its most popular product. It unlocks unlimited searches with thorough details and visualized data. But it lacks one very significant feature: full background checks. For that, you must upgrade your Intelius Premier account to the Plus version, which costs $10 per month more. With the Plus version, you’ll get one full background check per month. There’s a catch, however. You can’t simply subscribe to this service. You must first run one of the basic searches and then accept the offer for a seven-day trial that automatically upgrades to a monthly plan afterward. Honestly, it didn’t need to be this complicated, especially if you already know what you want.

In any case, here’s the list of all subscription tiers and Intelius prices for each of them:

Subscription

Fee

Premier

$19.95/month

Premier Plus

$29.95/month

Intelius Refund Policy

At Intelius, all sales are final. The company offers no refunds, a fact that is spelled out clearly on the site’s Terms and Conditions page. That means all fees are non-refundable. Intelius even reserves the right to dispute credit card chargebacks. This is the reason you may have seen multiple negative reviews of Intelius in online forums. Considering this service automatically signs you up for a one week paid trial at $7.95 even if you cancel the subscription, it is reasonable for customers to feel misled.

Intelius Tools

Name Search

The most frequently used of the company’s search tools, name search lets you find a person if you know the full name, the city, and the state where they live now or have lived in the past. 

Once you provide that information, an interactive search is launched. The software will pop up questions from time to time. Your responses help narrow down the search and avoid duplicate results.

Intelius reviews each piece of new information that you feed to it, and finally provides a list of results. Each entry consists of several columns like name, age, location history, and a list of possible relatives. 

You can modify your search at this stage or instruct the background checking software to sort the results in one of several ways.

Once you select a person to focus on, click the Open Report link, and Intelius will start generating a report. This can be a lengthy process. Some of the steps include social media lookup and selecting relatives. Finally, the Intelius background check results will be presented to you in a neat infographic, with an option to print it out or save as a document on your computer.

Reverse Address Lookup

If you need a fast people finder, select address lookup on the Intelius homepage. This straightforward tool requires you to enter an address, including the city and the state, and in just a few seconds you’ll get a report, including a map of the location and all the contact details.

Reverse Phone Lookup

The phone lookup tool works like the address tool. It delivers much the same information about the subject of the search. 

Which people finder you use is completely up to you.

User Reviews

Intelius reviews have been a mixed bag recently. The company currently has a 2.3 rating on TrustPilot, with 12% of users giving it a five-star rating. Of the customers that awarded the full five stars to Intelius, most said they liked how the site displays the results. They commended the company’s customer service staff too.

Meanwhile, many customers report feeling misled by the way Intelius charges for its services. The site automatically signs you up for a subscription that you must manually cancel to avoid being charged. 

Many one-star reviews stem from misunderstanding the pricing system. Others are from disappointed customers who held unrealistic expectations about what a search engine like Intelius can do. 

We urge you to get familiar with Intelius fees, pricing plans, and company policies before you create an account. That way, you can anticipate expenses accurately and get the most out of this service.

Comparisons

Intelius isn’t the only people search engine on the market. On the contrary, there are a lot of similar services today, each offering its own spin on this white pages alternative. Each has its own methods of sorting through millions of lines of data. Among them, two services stand out: TruthFinder and Spokeo. Let’s see how they stack up against Intelius.

Intelius versus TruthFinder

TruthFinder is a background check service very similar to Intelius. Background check reviews have been kinder to TruthFinder, however, mostly because some of its basic tools are offered without charge. The platform also has a simpler pricing system based on a single subscription option. 

That said, TruthFinder is more expensive than Intelius – it’s priced like the Intelius Premier Plus membership.

Intelius versus Spokeo

Spokeo is just a bit newer than Intelius.com, and originally it couldn’t look up anything more than social media profiles. Only in recent years has this California-based company upgraded its background check service to match Intelius on a feature-by-feature basis. 

Spokeo costs just $14 per month, but that price is deceptive. You need to pay extra if you want to run a criminal background check, to export the results page, or to conduct an unlimited number of searches.

Similar products/software

Conclusion

There are many advantages and disadvantages for each service, but our Intelius review remains mostly positive. The search engine is very powerful, and it can easily narrow down hundreds of results into less than a dozen thanks to the way it interacts with the user. The service is limited to the United States and to public records, and those are significant limitations. You might be able to find the same information on your own and save some money, but it will surely take you quite a while. Intelius saves you time. It’s not free, but the convenience makes up for it.

FAQ

Is Intelius reputable?

Intelius has been providing service to customers for more than 15 years. So if you’re asking, Is Intelius legit? Our answer is yes. The software runs its searches through public records that are updated on a daily basis. While this information can be accessed for free, the search engine puts everything in one place and makes connections through its fast algorithms. Just be sure to double-check what type of plan you’re subscribing to.

Which background check service is the best?

Any background check tool that allows you to search via name, phone, and address is a step ahead of the competition. Sites like Intelius, Spokeo, TruthFinder, and BeenVerified are some of the best-in-class solutions.

Is it easy to cancel Intelius?

Yes, but an Intelius fee of $7.95 will be charged for the initial week of your subscription if you haven’t purchased just a single search. 

The cancellation process takes a few easy steps. Once you log in to your Intelius account, choose Account Settings from the My Account menu. Look for My Membership and click on the link that says Cancel Membership.

Do you have to pay for Intelius?

While there isn’t a classic free trial, Intelius makes all basic searches free of charge – though it provides only limited information on the results page. As we mentioned in our Intelius review, the best choice is to subscribe to a monthly plan and save a lot of money if you plan to use this service more than once.