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Why I’m Souring On Mint.com

I’ve been using Mint.com for more than a year.

While the free site — which can track most of your financial life and creates budgets based on what you buy — gives an easy one-shot view of my finances, the relationship has started to sour.

I’m tired of all the ads, especially ads that could point me to the wrong financial path.

Mint.com keeps trying to push me into refinancing my mortgage with Quicken Loans. Intuit, which owns Mint.com, also owns the name Quicken Loans, which it licenses to Rock Holdings Inc.

Mint.com also has been double recording some of my transactions, and some purchases from the summer are still listed as pending.

That throws off the budgeting application that Mint.com touts — a budgeting tool I’ve found less than useful.

Mint’s also telling me that my credit score is out of date.

If I click on that alert, it takes me to a prompt to update my credit score, but not until I read offers from Freecreditreport.com and Transunion to pay for credit scores and monitoring for the “special” Mint.com rate of $12.95 per month.

I get that Mint.com needs to sell ads to keep the site free, and it’s going to want to point its database of customers to other Intuit products.

But leading me to Freecreditreport.com?

We think this website is woefully misleading in that you get a “free” credit report only when you agree to buy one or more if its services. (The only place to get a truly free credit report is AnnualCreditReport.com.)

How many Mint.com users are aware of that?

So I signed up for Pageonce.com, another personal finance tracking tool. Like Mint.com, it’s free, but it monitors different things for you.

It does not categorize your purchases, so Pageonce.com does not have the budgeting tool of Mint.com.

It doesn’t allow you to set saving goals, either, but I’m OK with this. I’m not a personal financial newbie. I just want to see the status of my accounts in one place.

Pageonce.com tracks a wider range of items, too: utilities, insurance and — what I’m really looking forward to — travel rewards programs.

When you login, it lists how much cash you have, how much you owe, the value of your investments and how much in total falls into the “Payments Due” category, which is what I’m looking for.

And seeing what is due when is much clearer than on Mint.com.

It’s a good start. I’m not bombarded by ads. Unlike Mint.com, Pageonce.com is not owned by another company. It’s funded by investors.

But it’s not perfect. I have a few quibbles so far.

My mortgage isn’t showing up as its own loan or investment. I must click on the accounts tab to check on it.

I’m self-employed and buy my own health insurance, but Pageonce.com does not allow you to consider it as a monthly bill. It’s my second-largest payment, so not including it throws off my “Payments Due” number.

I’d also like to track my credit card rewards since my main card is the Chase Sapphire Card, which is where I try to collect most of my travel rewards.

The site is free, but Pageonce.com sells ads on its free mobile apps, which I don’t anticipate using much.

The ads are something to consider if you sign up for the free smartphone version. I took a test drive and found ads for AT&T, Gilt.com and something called a “Credit Guard” that’s a credit monitor from Experian.com. Ugh.

You can, however, sign up for a Pageonce Gold subscription that will nix the ads and allow you to pay your bills through the app. That’s $4.99 per month.

For the next three months, I’m going to use both Mint.com and Pageonce.com, and report back on which one I stick with.

Maybe I’ll pick one. I’ll keep both. Or maybe I’ve grown out of the free investment tools and will need to upgrade to something more substantial and ad-free.

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Comments (5)
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5 Existing Comments
  1. George said:
    on December 16th at 09:40 am

    Quicken Loans is not owned by Intuit. It’s owned by Rock Financial which license the use of the name from Intuit.

  2. Mike Cetera said:
    on December 16th at 10:02 am

    George: Thanks for point out our error. We’ve corrected it in the post.

  3. Christina said:
    on December 16th at 11:39 am

    This is a good post. I’ve been frustrated with Mint.com too lately, partly because they haven’t been able to update my student loans ever since the government’s loan website was updated a few months ago. I might need to start looking at other alternatives.

  4. Mark said:
    on December 21st at 06:13 pm

    What about Adaptu.com? Have you tried this site, it seems to be getting a lot of attention lately

  5. Matt said:
    on March 25th at 03:08 pm

    BuckTrak.com is also free. The site allows manual uploading of bank, credit union, or credit card statements (so direct access/synchronization is not an issue – but you’ll have to spend of few minutes downloading a statement and then uploading it). You can create your own budget categories and subcategories, and more reporting tools will be available throughout 2012.