Contributor, Benzinga
May 24, 2019

Personal budgeting software can offer so many excellent benefits — and the major number one benefit is that you’ll get all your financial ducks in a row. You’ll also get to test drive several nifty sites to see which one is tailor-made for your situation. Before you decide which product to go with, it’s important to weigh the similarities and differences between each potential option. Our review covers a couple of popular platforms — Mint and Quicken — that you can consider in your analysis.

Mint vs. Quicken: Overview

Mint and Quicken have both been “hanging around” for a while — and have become 2 of the best personal budgeting and financial planning tools on the market. They offer some unique features and functionality, and both platforms might appeal to a different segment of users.

Who’s Mint For?

After a free tool that allows you to effortlessly track your bills, manage your budget and stay on top of your bank and credit card transactions? Maybe Mint is just the tool for you.

Mint is a free online personal finance tracking and budgeting tool from Intuit, one of the world’s foremost suppliers of tax, accounting, and personal financial management software. Other Intuit flagship products include TurboTax and QuickBooks.

Who’s Quicken For?

Budgeting, savings and spending are all important factors for investment management and retirement planning, so are you in need of a specialized product to help keep it all straight? Quicken could be for you. Note that unlike Mint, Quicken doesn’t offer a free version.

Mint vs. Quicken: Platform and Ease of Use

Both Mint and Quicken are multi-platform solutions for easy set-up and use, Mint is purely a web offering — unlike Quicken, Mint doesn’t offer desktop installations. Everything you need is available via your browser or the Mint mobile app.

The intuitive design, flexible configuration options and informative querying, sorting and reporting options also means that users of both products can extract the most out of these tools without too much of a learning curve.

What Mint Offers

Mint provides you a real-time snapshot of your finances. You know exactly how much money you have, what your investment portfolios are worth, and how much you owe (bills, credit card payments, etc.). You also get:  

  • Multi-Platform Support: For individuals looking for a multi-platform experience and who prefer to use budgeting apps, Mint offers you mobile app versions of its software. If you use multiple operating environments — like iOS on your phone or your Apple Watch, Android on your tablet and Windows on your desktop — Mint has you covered!
  • Budget Management: Mint gives you access to all the tools you need to create a budget and track. You can categorize income and expenditures, see how you’re doing against your savings goals and can use Mint’s powerful budget reporting tools to help you better manage your finances.
  • All-In-One Bill Tracking: Mint consolidates all your bills into a single portal so you don’t need to log into multiple websites to track them. You’ll know which ones are due and how much you can afford to pay at any given time.
  • Great Summarization: You’ll never again need to download your transactions into a spreadsheet to run reports and graphs about your income and spending.
Weekly Summary from Mint

Mint automatically summarizes and provides you weekly graph views of your spending. This helps bring spending trends to the fore so you can take appropriate action to save or curb discretionary spending.

  • Investment Tracking: Mint makes it easy to track your investment portfolio against multiple accounts, such as IRAs, 401(k)s, brokerage accounts and equity and bond holdings. You’ll also be able to compare your portfolio’s performance against industry benchmarks and make informed asset allocation decisions.

What Quicken Offers

Whether it’s a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone, there’s a version of Quicken that’ll support your preferred device.

  • Cloud-Enabled: The optional Quicken on the Web feature allows you to monitor your finances in the cloud. You can access the latest data from your desktop or mobile device from any place if you have an internet connection.
Desktop, web, and mobile capabilities on Quicken.
  • Budgeting and Spending: Quicken helps you quickly create a personalized budget from transactions downloaded from your linked financial institutions. The powerful cash flow and spending reports make it easy to track spending habits and identify savings opportunities.
  • Flexibility: You can configure the frequency of automatically scheduled transaction downloads or update transactions manually. With connections to over 14,000 financial institutions, you can easily connect to your bank, credit union or money-management institution.
  • Centralized Bill and Payment Monitoring: With Quicken, you’ll never need to remember multiple passwords to connect to different vendor or service provider websites. You can view, pay and manage all your payments through one convenient dashboard.
  • Retirement Planning and Investment Tracking Ease: Quickly find out whether you’re on track to meet your retirement goals. The best way to invest for your long-term goals is to get a comprehensive view of all your investments across multiple account types — 401(k)s, 403(b)s or IRAs — and that’s exactly what Quicken offers.
Retirement planning and investing on Quicken

Powerful portfolio analysis features allow you to easily perform Internal Rate of Return (IRR) or Return on Investment (ROI) comparisons. Set-up stock watchlists and use Morningstar’s X-Ray tool to make portfolio rebalancing decisions.

  • Beyond Personal Finance: You’ll find a host of other Quicken features that make it easy to track your expenses and other related transaction activity if you run a small business or own and rent property.   

Better Platform: Quicken

Both platforms offer great flexibility and easy-to-use features. As a first time user personal finance management and budgeting tool, Mint has everything you need to get you started for free. If you also want strong investment and retirement planning functionality, then Quicken is a better choice.  

Mint vs. Quicken: Pricing

Pricing is always a concern for anyone looking for a product or service. When you decide on a personal budgeting tool, pricing may not be the most important deciding factor.

Mint’s Pricing

Mint is a freely available tool for all to use. But there is an “indirect price” that you’ll pay by way of exposure to periodic corporate promos and third-party service offers. And while there are free features built-into the tool, like Mint Credit Score, you’ll have to pay for more exhaustive optional features such as Mint Credit Monitor.  

Quicken's Pricing

Quicken comes in four flavors: Starter, Deluxe, Premier and Home and Business.

Pricing and packages offered by Quicken

Each offers a unique set of features at different price points, depending on whether you opt for a 1- or 2-year subscription/license.

Better Platform: Mint

The free Mint platform makes a compelling case for anyone new to personal finance software and budgeting tools. If you can afford to pay for your software, Quicken’s additional features are worth the subscription.

Mint vs. Quicken: Educational Offerings

Though in-tool help text does play a part in how effectively you use the tool, other educational offerings are equally, if not more, important.

What Mint Offers

In addition to offering a collection of free online money and finance learning resources, Mint has an established network of third-party training providers that offer Mint-specific training content.  

And because the software has been around for so long, there are plenty of free YouTube resources available for Minters to tap into. The company’s blog is also a great learning resource.

What Quicken Offers

Quicken has a large store of curated video learning resources at its Quicken Video University. You’ll find videos on an array of topics ranging from downloading and installing the product to using more advanced features of the software.

Tools and video tutorials on Quicken

These video resources supplement a collection of other video-based learning resources on Quicken’s own YouTube channel. Users also have access to other FAQ-type support resources online that can walk you through issues or act as a source of first-line (DIY) problem resolution.

Better Platform: It's a Tie

Both products offer a broad array of proprietary as well as third-party educational offerings. Tapping into these learning resources will help you make the best use of both platforms.

Mint vs. Quicken: Security

You’re putting your entire financial life on the line on both platforms, so it’s important to take a closer look at how secure both software solutions are.

What Mint Offers

The Mint Alert function ensures that you always stay on top of your bills before they become overdue — which helps you avoid costly late payment fees and surcharges. If you spend more than you budgeted in a certain category, the software will immediately alert you when you go over budget. You’ll even receive text and email alerts about unusual transactions in your accounts.

Your credit score has a deep impact on the rest of your financial life. Mint protects you from potential exposure to online fraud and identity theft by providing you access to your score for free. Additionally, you’ll get alerts anytime credit bureau TransUnion® updates your credit profile.

Other security features include encryption, multi-factor authentication and the use of secure, trusted online connections.  

What Quicken Offers

Quicken also offers multi-level security with its encrypted data transmission protocols and password protected access. Quicken also implements Face ID and Touch ID verification on some of its platforms for an additional layer of security.

Sensitive about having your login credentials compromised? Quicken’s got you covered. It stores your credentials on a secure cloud server — not on your device.

Better Platform: It's a Tie

Both platforms come with industry-standard features that offer a safe and secure user experience.

Mint vs. Quicken: Customer Support

When you’ve got an issue with your software, you need to know that there’s someone/somewhere to turn to for help and support.

What Mint Offers

Mint’s customer support is primarily accessible via secure Chat, 7 days a week between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. PST. However, users have access to a vast library of help and support FAQs online, as well as 24/7 access to the Mint Community, where you can benefit from the experience of others with questions and support requests similar to yours.   

What Quicken Offers

Quicken offers customer support through its Quicken Support Services arm, where you can get the help you need through various channels, including Quicken Chat Support, 24/7 phone support or email support. You can also reach out to the support team via a web form. Quicken’s Premier and Home and Business versions come with priority access to customer support.

Better Platform: Quicken

When it comes to the number of ways the product is supported, Quicken clearly offers a better value proposition over Mint.

Final Thoughts on Mint vs Quicken

Mint, which has been around since 2007, officially joined the “big leagues” when finance/tax software giant Intuit acquired it in late 2009. Quicken has been on the scene for over 30 years and has established a following of loyal customers. When it comes to credibility and trustworthiness, both platforms have a credible track record.

If you’re new to online budgeting and personal finance, Mint might make a great starting tool for you. Otherwise, Quicken has one of the best investment apps available today.