Mint is one of the leading financial management companies for individuals in the US and Canada.
Are you looking for a way to track your budgets? Which is more like managing your savings and expenses with ease? Many online budget trackers and planners are available for you.
However, the availability of these services does not mean it all satisfies the needs of the customers. That is why I have to narrow down one of the best options for you.
This review will be broad but it is in your best interest. It will help you know what you are opting in for and what you can expect.
What Is Mint?
Mint is an online budget tracker and planner owned by Intuit. It uses the Mint app to help you manage your finance, tax refund and other bills.
More importantly, it is free and helps you bring all your essentials in one place. It comes with loads of exciting features to offer you the best of services.
What Is With The Mint App?
The Mint app is designed for both web and mobile access. More so, it is suitable for iPad, Android, Windows and IOS devices.
With the app, it becomes easier to access your accounts and receive updates.
Services Offered By Mint
1. Budget planning
The app comes with a built-in budget planner and tracker. While the budget planner helps you to spend smartly and wisely, the tracker gives you insights into your spending and balance.
Concerning that, you can easily add and update your budget categories. More so, Mint provides you with vital tips and advice to help you plan your budget well.
2. Cash flow monitoring
Mint helps its customer to keep an eye on their cash flow. That is to say, they put all your expenses, transactions and budgets into consideration to know your spending trend.
You get instant alerts when your budget tries going overboard. More so, you see where and how your money comes and goes.
3. Subscription monitoring
Should in case you have any subscriptions like Netflix, Mint will also help you manage them. It also tracks your subscriptions and notifies you when prices go up or you have a discount.
4. Tax refund tracking
With the Mint app, you can easily check for your IRS tax refund status. With respect to that, it will also provide you with instant notifications and date estimates.
However, to track your IRS tax refund in Mint, you have to file with TurboTax.
6. Bills tracking
Apart from tracking your account balance and subscriptions, you can also track your bills. The mint app features a bill tracker that manages recurring expenses like water and gas bills with ease.
With this, you also get a monthly bill reminder to monitor debts and pay timely irrespective of your busy schedules.
6. Data protection
Securing customer’s information should be every financial company’s priority. Mint improves its security measures constantly to keep your account as safe as possible.
They do so through security scanning and multi-factor authentication. Also, you too can help protect your account by keeping your password safe.
More importantly, avoid accessing your account over unknown Wi-Fi services. Third parties like Facebook can also ask for access. Do not allow it.
Merits The Mint
1. Budget categories
Budget categories allow you to set important goals and accomplish them easily.
Although you cannot change custom budget categories offered by Mint, you can easily create subcategories, rename or re-categorize them to match your needs.
For example, you can create a debt budget (as a subcategory) under the financial (custom budget) category.
2. Access your accounts in one place
A platform that accommodates your investments, financial and accounts bank all in one place.
More so, you can access and download your banking information from two different countries (the US and Canada).
This is not so with other alternative apps like Quicken. If you must access it, you have to buy a separate Quicken for each country.
4. Instant alerts
With important notifications, you stay abreast of your finances like expenses, credit score and account balances.
Mint offers two options for this. It is either you sign up for an email notification or gets it directly to your phone via the app.
Some of the notifications you get include late fees, category over budgeting, bills reminders and changes in rate.
4. Mint is free
Mint is one of the best financial sites that can offer you great value free of charge. In this aspect, they top the rank.
That brings us to the question that many people ask.
Is Mint Actually Free?
The truth is that there are no hidden charges for basic users.
However, there is always an option for an upgrade to premium services. This includes credit monitoring which incorporates credit score and report by Equifax.
That may cost around $16.99 per month.
5. Investment opportunities
With Mint, you have more options on how to save and get a budget that matches your spending.
You also have an opportunity to apply for home loans with Rocket Mortgage. In addition to this, you get other benefits like credit cards and investment offers to earn and save more.
For basic users, the available investment opportunities may be great. However, Personal Capital offers a better investment tool, which may seem more appealing to higher investors.
No matter how good something is, it cannot be perfect. Mint has its good sides and areas they are not too good as well.
Before now, there have been reasons customers frown at Mint. While they may have improved on some of these services, some have not.
Demerits Of Mint
Demerits of Mint are not about the issues that come up with upgrades like password errors, difficulty signing in, poor UI interface lags in updates and so on.
These can happen to any app when there is an upgrade. More so, the support team can always fix them although it makes users quite frustrated at the time being.
The demerits are about the features they lack that could have improved the quality of their services.
1. Intruding ads
Many find this annoying when ads are all over the place. Although banner ads are one of the ways Mint makes their money from offering free services, there could be a much better way to make it less intruding.
2. Poor customer services
Those who may want to reach Mint customer service only have to communicate with an email. Better still, there is a chat button available too.
This does not go well with many people, as the response rate is very slow. People need a faster and better way to explain their issues through phone calls.
3. Poor transaction Reconciliation
Mint support transaction reconciliation banks provide them. It comes with a monthly statement of your account with dates.
However, this information is limited to what the bank provides, as they believe it is true. That means you cannot reconcile against your monthly bank statements. Users cannot make corrections for duplicate, missing or incorrect transactions.
The ability for users to be able to reconcile their transactions is a feature many will greatly appreciate.
4. Report generation is not great
Mint can only help you generate reports on your financial activities to some extent. It has limited functionality in this area when compared to Quicken.
You can only export and download a CSV file to an Excel spreadsheet. Conversely, you cannot import QFX and QIF files. In fact, you cannot attach files to your account.
5. No multi-currency support
Mint only recognizes dollars and no other currency. It may be because it only offers services to Canadian and US citizens, in addition to supporting banks and financial institutions only in these areas.
That means you can only add your USD bank account, as it does not support dual currency or even encourage currency conversion.
6. Online synchronization issues
Mint automatically synchronizes customer’s current account information as soon as they update them.
However, this may not be so every time as many users complain about lags in updates. Some accounts do not even update at all.
This is a cause for concern for many, as this kind of service needs a consistent account update.
Now that you have seen some of the services, pros and cons of Mint, you may want to sign up and explore the amazing features they provide.
How To Sign Up For Mint?
Signing up for Mint is really simple. Below are the steps you need to follow:
First, log in to the Mint website
Click on sign up at the top right to create an Intuit account
Fill in your contact and account information
Agree to the terms and conditions and submit
Note that information is kept confidential.
How To Add and Link Your Account In Mint
Make sure you are logged in to the Mint website
Go to the top left corner to click on the menu icon
Tap the “add account” button
Search for the account name provider
Chose the option that fits your provider account
Enter the details as required and tap done
When you are through the steps, Mint will display your account details by automatically connecting to the provider’s site.
Also, note that Mint bills support many account types regardless of what type of bank it is. Thus, there is no need to worry even if you operate a utility account or banks with a small credit union.
On the other hand, if your account provider is not available yet, then do not fret. However, there is an option to vote for your provider.
Tap setting→support→new provider request. Complete the form and submit it. Furthermore, the criteria for adding a provider depending on their popularity and ease of aggregation.
I have compiled a few frequently asked questions and answers many people have about Mint. Therefore, you do not need to go far looking for answers, just read through.
Other Frequently Asked Questions About Mint
Is Mint Safe?
Mint is safe. If you are concerned about the data extracted from your bank accounts by Mint, you need to worry less.
That is known as Data masking or data obfuscation. This form of data only serves a useful purpose in reports. Therefore, no one can have access to your sensitive information with that.
Does Mint only make money from premium services?
Mint does not only make money from the premium services they offer. They also benefit from the freemium services.
Mint makes money from the banner ads displayed on the app.
They get some referral fees when you save with Ways To Save feature in the app.
They also recommend various financial services like car loans and mortgages to their customers. They earn some referral fees from the service companies.
Mint acts as financial aggregators. Therefore, they make money by selling aggregate financial data to providers.
In summary, they simply generate revenue from promotions and ads, credit/debit card transactions.
Is Mint worth it?
Maybe, it depends on what you want. Although, the app is not perfect it works great for most of the intended purposes.
Irrespective of its flaws, many cannot easily give it up due to its free services, ease of use and quick accessibility.
Is Mint popular?
It is undoubtedly true that Mint is one of the top-ranking financial management companies in the US and Canada.
Coupled with the fact it has over 24 million users who use it to reach their financial goals makes it even more popular.
However, for Mint to gain more popularity, have more customers and retain them there is a need to improve on some of its services (demerits).
If not, many users may start looking for other alternatives that best satisfy their needs.
Are there other alternatives to Mint?
Definitely, many alternatives are available such as Personal capital, Quicken and more. What feature one may lack, may be an important feature for the other.
These alternatives make it easier to choose what meets your needs.
If you are a Canadian or US citizen and in need of one of the free and top financial management services available, then you can try Mint.
However, if it does not meet up your expectations, try other alternatives as mentioned.
Thanks for reading, please let me know your thoughts and comments below.
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Sagar Sridhar is a personal finance blogger from Canada. His genuine passion for personal finance coupled with his unique style of writing is what stands out. Professionally, he is a computer engineer, agile certified and has a master’s degree in Project Management. His writing has been featured or quoted in the leading Canadian publications such as Credit Canada and many other personal finance publications. While he is juggling between his day job and blogging, he is the main author on this blog and has miles to go before making the final pit stop.