Mint Review 2017
Mint is a long standing and popular app from Intuit. Intuit is the maker of the quintessential Quickbooks program and the popular Turbo Tax software. Mint focuses on linking all your personal banking, investment, and loan accounts to create a comprehensive budget outlook for you.
While Mint is one of the most well-known personal finance apps on the market, it's also one of the older apps. We're going to examine Mint, how it works, how you can use it to monitor investments, and what it means for your money.
Is Mint still a helpful app for investment and money management? Let's find out.
Fees & Commissions
Mint is actually completely free! I've been using it for years now and have never paid a single penny.
How do they keep Mint free?
Mint has nearly incessant advertisements from credit card companies, loan companies, and investment brokerages. These ads are delivered as "recommendations" and, I'm assuming, Mint makes a hefty commission when users sign up for any of these recommended products.
I have no problem with commissioned earnings. I use them myself for products I truly love and find helpful. However, Mint's interface tends to be annoying cluttered with these and a majority of them don't seem tailored to me at all.
Since Mint is not an investment app, there's no buying or selling investments through them. Therefore, no commissions. You can only link external accounts which Mint will conglomerate and summarize - for free.
Available Promotions & Free Cash
Despite the fact that Mint makes all their revenue from referring their users to other financial services companies, they don't offer a referral reward for me to refer you.
Which is actually fine because of what we're going to learn in the conclusion.
So... read on!
Account Minimums & Maximums
There are no account minimums or maximums with Mint.
Just remember that Mint simply links to other accounts and collects all that financial data in one place. Thus, you'll need to find and understand the account minimums for any other accounts you'll want to link to Mint.
Once you've got accounts established elsewhere you'll be able to link an unlimited number of checking accounts, savings accounts, investments, and debt accounts to Mint.
Watch out, however, as Mint is unlikely to recognize accounts with small brokerages such as Robinhood or M1 Finance. Many of our favorite apps are not supported by Mint.
To be fair, most personal finance tracking apps (such as competitor Personal Capital) do not link with small brokerages either. This is a common shortfall of these apps.
At one point, Mint offered many unique features and they did it better than other apps on the market. Today there are many apps accomplishing most or all of Mint's features, often better than Mint can.
Once you've linked your credit card accounts, checking accounts, and other finance accounts Mint can help you auto-pay your bills.
You can actually pay your bills right from the app. Mint will also intelligently notify you when you're dangerously close to missing a bill. Or if your accounts are low on money.
If you're a ditz with the bills and find it hard to keep track of and pay your bills accurately these features may be nice.
Of course today it's possible to set up automatic payments with most banks for mortgages, car loans, or student loans. Credit card companies such as Captial One offer automated payment options as well.
For these reasons, I wonder just how "unique" this feature is to Mint.
I think Mint is a great app for those looking to find a personal finance, budget, and expense tracking tool. It may be just the perfect app for many users' budgeting needs. You'll need to be able to tolerate a heavy amount of referral selling and ads embedded into the platform, though.
I always recommend budgeting and tracking expenses as an integral part of pre-investing. Have a budget, establish an emergency fund, and be prepared before putting money into the market. Mint is good for this step!
Pros & Cons:
- Tons of advertising and cross-selling
- Lacks power compared to competitors
- Cluttered interface
- May be a little *too* encouraging for users to sign up for unnecessary credit cards, etc.
- Links to all major accounts
- Free to use
- May actually recommend products good for you
There was a time when Mint was one of my favorite apps. That time is long gone and Mint has been uprooted and replaced by superior competitors. It's still a player in the free-to-use budgeting space. However, Personal Capital has come along and beat Mint on nearly every front.
I encourage you to try using Mint to see if it's for you. Overall the app is a bit cluttered and the interface could be easier to use. However, if you're willing to put in the effort it may be a viable budgeting option for many users. Plus, Intuit is a well known and trusted company!