Mint Mobile App
Mint iPhone App

Quicken and Mint are two of the most popular personal finance management tools out there. And while they’re both offered by Intuit, they’re very different products. So, how can you tell which one is right for you?

We wanted to know which is better (Quicken or Mint) as well, so we ran a comparison test. Check out the results below so you can find the app that will help you keep your money in line.

The Most Accessibility: Mint

The most obvious difference between Mint and Quicken is how users access the two programs. While you can view your Mint account from your desktop, many prefer to keep tabs on their money through Mint’s Apple or Android apps. Whether you’re logging in from your phone, iPad, or Kindle, you can easily check your spending, review your credit card balances, and evaluate how you’re doing on your budget from anywhere.

Things are a little different with Quicken. While there is a Quicken companion app that lets you check your accounts from your phone, the software itself is designed to be installed on your Windows PC or Mac. You can use the app to link to your checking, savings, and credit card accounts, but if you’re using the desktop version of the software, then you’ll have to manually sync to load up the latest transaction history. So it basically works almost as well, but with some more manual work on your end.

Why Mint Wins for Accessibility 

Mint gets the thumbs-up for accessibility based on how straightforward it is to use. You can see all of your linked accounts anywhere there’s an Internet connection – meaning you don’t have to take the extra step of syncing them up at the end of the day.

Best Security Measures: Tied

Quicken Dashboard
Quicken Dashboard

Reports of security breaches dominate the news these days and consumers need to be more careful than ever when it comes to protecting their information. The fact that Mint stores data in the cloud may raise eyebrows with some, but the program uses the same 128-bit encryption and security measures employed by banks. Plus, your bank login information is stored separately on Mint’s servers – so even if someone was able to hack your account, they wouldn’t be able to steal your user IDs or passwords.

With Quicken, all of your account information is saved directly to your computer’s hard drive. While that does mean that it’s not floating around in cyberspace, there’s still the possibility that hackers could get their hands on it. Installing security software and setting up a firewall can help keep your information safe, but it’s not a perfect solution. Like Mint, information processed through Quicken’s app is stored in the cloud, so there’s the added risk to consider.

Why Mint and Quicken Are Tied for Security Measures 

This one really comes down to what your individual preference is when it comes to security. There haven’t been any reports of Mint users having their information compromised to date – but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. But if you think you’re safer keeping your information on your own computer with Quicken, remember that Home Depot, Michael’s, and Target all thought the same thing.

How the Features Compare: Quicken

mint quicken apps compared

Mint’s most popular feature is its budgeting tool, which allows you to set up specific budgets. This enables you to see exactly where you’re spending your money and to work towards separate savings goals. You can use the app to create goals for things like saving or paying off debt and then link them to your budget. As for staying on top of your budget, the alerts feature lets you set up reminders for when your bills are due. (And now you can even pay your bills through the app, making your life that much easier). Mint users can also keep tabs on their investments, monitor their credit score, and get personalized recommendations on how to reduce spending and increase savings.

Quicken does pretty much everything Mint does but takes things one step further. Aside from the basics like setting up your budget, you can use Quicken to forecast your cash flow, record your tax-deductible expenses, create reports of your spending, track your investment performance, and pay your monthly bills (either online or by printing checks). You can even transfer money back and forth between accounts through the software, something you can’t do with Mint.

Why Quicken Wins for Features 

If you’re looking for a full-service finance software, Quicken is the real deal. It’s the better choice for people whose money situation is a little more complex and don’t mind spending a more time analyzing the activity in their accounts. But, if simplicity is key for you, you might prefer Mint for offering you the basics of what you need without overwhelming you with everything else.

Weighing the Cost: Tied

One of the things that makes Mint appealing to such a large number of people is the fact that it’s free. All you need to do to sign up is register a username and password and enter the login information for all the accounts you want to link up. No muss, no fuss and, best of all, no cost.

Quicken, on the other hand, comes with a pretty hefty price tag – but it’s worth it if you’re looking to go a little more in-depth with your finances. For 2016, the software starts at $39.99 for the starter edition and goes up to $104.99 for the premier edition.

Why Mint and Quicken are Tied for Cost 

The winner in this category depends on your needs. If you want something basic to manage your money, Mint’s the best way to go in terms of cost. And while some people might balk at the idea of shelling out $39 or more for Quicken, others may see it as a small price to pay for a more complete picture of their financial situation.

Mint vs. Quicken: What’s Better for You?

On the surface, Mint and Quicken look pretty similar – but if you dig a little deeper, it’s easy to see how drastically different they are.

Mint is ideal for keeping track of day-to-day spending and goal-setting – and it’s free. It’s also ideal for people who want to manage their money on the go, with its state-of-the-art mobile app.

Quicken, by comparison, is more useful for analyzing long-term spending trends, monitoring your investments, and recording expenses for tax purposes. All those extra features come at a premium, so it’s important to be clear on what you need and what Quicken will do for you before you make a purchase.

Is An App the Best Way For You to Manage Your Finances?

Technology can be a wonderful thing, especially when it comes to your finances. But just because technology makes the idea of managing your finances easier doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily the best tool for you.

When you evaluate which financial app is better for you, such as Mint or Quicken, back up for a few minutes first and evaluate which method of financial management is best for you overall. For example, if you feel joy every time you cross a to-do item off a list, you might prefer pen and paper. Or, if you like to build spreadsheets and plug numbers and variations in yourself, then you might be better suited for Excel or Google Sheets. But if you’re always on your phone and consider your apps to be your trusty sidekick, then, yes, an app is the best way to go for you.

The point of thinking about this is that you might find yourself downloading apps and loving the idea of them – but never using them. So you download another app, and another, and another…sending you down a stream of frustration when all along you may have just not been the right personality type for finance apps in the first place. Before you go down that path, take a few minutes to evaluate your productivity style and preferences and match your method to that.

If you’re not sure of what helps you be productive, evaluate your work habits. Do you use a daily planner to stay on task? Do you have a document or task list you created online? Or do you use apps that send you updates and reminders? As soon as you understand what keeps you motivated at work, you’ll know how to do the same in your finances. And then you can get to work on what you really wanted all along – positive, motivated progress with your money.

In Summary

  • Mint is ideal for keeping track of day-to-day spending and goal-setting – and it’s free
  • Quicken is more useful when it comes to analyzing long-term spending trends, monitoring your investments, and recording expenses for tax purposes
  • Before you choose the best app for you, take some time to decide if an app is the best way to manage your finances – or if Excel or pen and paper might end up working better for you
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Ask a Question

  • Money Mike

    Thanks for the breakdown

    • You’re welcome! Did this story help you decide which one to use?

      • dsdignite

        Not really, lol. i have a couple small HBB’s and 2 rental properties. Been using quicken for years but they must have changed ownership or lost their original software developers …because what other software companies would consider minor updates or bug fixes, Quicken calls “The latest upgrades in the all new Quicken 2015 for H & B. So what was this great upgrade that we are FORCEd to purchase (My 2012 version is aboout to become obsolete) Well now we only need 1(one) password instead of 2, lol. Give me a break! PLEASE Someone provide a decent alternative to anything Intuit.

        • Sounds like a lot of people share your frustrations with Quicken and its problems with syncing, reconciling, not being able to reach a live person.

          You may want to try looking through this link on Amazon that has very detailed info about Quicken. Click on the link that says “Quicken Alternatives.” Good luck!

          http://www.amazon.com/forum/quicken

  • Gong Xi Fa Chaii

    Nice write up. I haven’t decided. But most probably with Mint since its free. But hate the privacy because its online. Wondering if Quicken can work offline together with the mobile app, meaning i could keep my data completely off line. In cases where i need to transfer data ill just use cable. Hmm…

    • Hey Gong, that’s a very valid concern, with all the data breaches happening in the last few years. I would say choosing between the two really depends on your lifestyle. I’m a loyal Mint user and I love it. I like being able to see all of my accounts at once and access it easily from my smartphone app. While I do worry about getting hacked, I’ve kind of thrown up my hands at this point, as I’ve already had multiple credit card numbers stolen, a credit card opened in my name, and my debit card number stolen a few times. I am very careful about checking statements!

  • dsdignite

    Since the quicken app is not compatible (at Present time)with my LG3 and it has tons if bad reviews. i’m wondering if i could use the mint app and transfer info to my Quicken 2015 (H & B) when i am home? Been using quicken since 2006 (canadian version) and wish there were more alternatives. so i could dump Quicken completely!
    Any suggestions?

  • Annie Wiens Oper

    I have used Quicken for years and my son suggested I try Mint when I got my new laptop. I am wondering if I can transfer my Quicken files to Mint so I can keep the categories? I haven’t bought the 2015 version for my new computer yet, but still have quicken 2013 in my older laptop. I would love to be able to see everything on my Android.

    • That’s a great question. It looks like the process is very manual, even for Quicken’s 2015 version, so I would imagine it would be just as tedious or impossible for the 2013 version. https://qlc.intuit.com/questions/976079-how-do-i-import-my-mint-com-data-into-quicken-2015

      I also found this: “You can convert from Quicken to Mint.com to manage your finances, but you must already be downloading data from your financial institutions via the Quicken Web Connect feature or manually importing data files you download from your bank’s website. You will need the login credentials for each financial account you wish to import into Mint.com.”

      Hope that helps you Annie!

      • Annie Wiens Oper

        Thanks. I do already download from my banks to Quicken, so I think I will give it a try. Thanks for your answer.

        • You’re welcome, let us know how it goes.

  • Patrick Bowles

    I’m a long time Quicken user, but my son uses Mint and it raised the question in my mind. Your comparison and contrasting above is well done. The details about the long term outlook and tax reporting implications leads me to remain with Quicken. btw, Quicken typically needs at least biyearly software upgrades to get the full advantages.

    • Therein lies the reason that Quicken still remains a standalone product — for the more intricate household bookkeepers out there. Do you ever review your finances on your smartphone? If so, what do you use for that?

  • CH

    Thanks for the great write up, nice and clear.
    I tried quicken years ago, but the learning curve was too steep and I gave up. Things were always going into the wrong category, it was really tedious.
    Do you feel like the function of mint is more user friendly? I don’t have investments to track but do want to keep track of things for tax deductions. As long as I can find the amounts myself in mint, that might be enough.. Thoughts?

    • Mint is much more intuitive and easier to grasp but, from my experience, the categorization of transactions isn’t perfect. There are times when it does categorize certain purchases incorrectly.

  • Richard Broders

    Lol this article needs update or actually use mint

  • Ken RItter

    I have been a long term Quicken Rental Manager user but recently signed up for Mint for the mere fact that is will alert me on my iPhone of upcoming bills and allow me to pay them through the app.
    I have the Quicken app on my iPhone as well.
    Is there a way to set up upcoming bill alerts through the Quicken app, as well as pay them through the app like in Mint?
    In my opinion since they are basically two different stand alone apps that don’t actually sync, If there is a way that I can get my Quicken app to alert me and allow me to pay the bill through the app… I would just use the Quicken app.
    Is this possible?
    Any additional thoughts?

    • Ken, unfortunately, the Quicken mobile app doesn’t have the two features that you find to be so useful. This would be valuable feedback that you can send to the Quicken team — maybe they’ll add those features in the future.

  • Alex

    Thanks!

  • Jessica Smith

    I have been considering a change to Mint after many years with Quicken. The biggest problem I had with the Quicken app is since I had my bank accounts tied to my desktop Quicken for easy transaction downloading, the app wanted to sync to my bank as well and, for unknown reasons, kept adding a new account to my Quicken. Ex: Checking was on my desktop, then the app added Checking (2) which then jumped to my desktop when I’d sync. I just wanted to be able to enter a transaction in the app as I did them, then sync to the desktop when I got ready to work on my finances.
    Other than that I have always used Quicken and it’s great for me. Most of the upgrades from one year to another deal with stocks and investments and we do not have any stocks or investments to track, just personal finance and credit cards. I have been able to use the same version for several years. (I had 2009 and had to update to 2014 finally to keep the bank sync.Still have ’14) I like being able to code my transactions for taxes so I only have to look at certain reports when it’s tax time.
    If the app would work like I want it to I wouldn’t even consider a change.

    • albaby2

      I received a email saying that if I did not upgrade Quicken I would not be able to download transactions. BTW, My computer has been a POS for about 9 months. One trip and 3 online diagnostics by the Geek squad helped but did not solve the major problems. I was getting ready to buy an Apple computer when I revisited my attempts to correct the problem and one thing occurred to me. In neither my visit nor online attempts was my wireless mouse used. I bought a new mouse and the big problem went away. Now I’m left with trying to undo the other stuff I changed if I can remember what it was I did.

  • albaby2

    Quicken has prevented me from downloading account transactions from my CU, and other financial institutions even though I can get the info from the CU or fin. inst.using the same passwords manually. Quicken says it’s not their problem, the CU IT Dept. says it’s not theirs, so I guess it’s mine. Geek squad could not find the problem either. My previous version of Q did the same thing. It serves the purpose-while it works.

    • Jim y

      I’m running Quicken 2010 which dropped direct download access a few years ago. I found I could manually download a qxf file from bank or credit card and open in Quicken to get the same result.

    • Tom Mulhern

      Same problem with Mint. I guess Intuit is committed to not offering appropriate customer support.

  • Charles Hill

    Can I mark checks as tax deductible in areas like taxes, medical charity
    In mint

    • Daniel

      Not exactly, but there is a very easy way to handle it. You can categorize every transaction. You would categorize the relevant payment transactions as “charity” or “medical,” and so on. Then you can easily search and aggregate the transactions. There is also a TAGS functionality that allows you to create and assign tags, You can use a ‘Tax’ tag if desired.

  • Angela

    When a user is required to sign up to the company web site and hand over his/her account numbers, user name, password etc …it raises a major concern about security and data usage.

    I believe that perhaps private information should remain private and not stored or viewed by anyone else than the actual owner of the information.

    That is why i use Geltbox Money – it doesn’t use any third party Aggregation site.

    It is a new way of aggregating data privately.

    You can create financial downloaders to any website and have them aggregate your data automatically and privately in your computer. No external service is needed.

  • Terri

    I have been using Mint for years and has met my needs for budgeting and tracking my finances. The issue with Mint is the reliability, for 2 months Mint has not been able to connect to my checking account. I have spent countless hours trying to get the issue resolved but have not been able to. The only tech support they have is via email or online chat, neither have been helpful. So, now I’m trying to find another option. Quicken is looking like my best bet but spending the money and not knowing if it will work for me is a draw back.

  • Richard Jett

    I find the only drawback with Mint is that you can not export to a spread sheet for tax time. Does anyone know of a third party software that can handle that task. Thanks in advance, Richard

  • Pentool

    The only drawback I found to Mint is that I could not even test drive it. In order to try it out you HAVE TO hookup a bank account (or credit card). WHY!? I can’t even test it with manual sample data. Not to mention, there’s NO WAY I’m hooking up my bank account to an online anything. I don’t care what it does and how secure they claim it to be.

    I use Quicken with manual entry and that works for me just fine. Wanted to try Mint, but I guess it means I won’t.