Mint Review

ADVERTISING DISCLOSURE

Mint is one of the most popular free financial tools around. It’s also one of the most well-established products, with a founding date back in 2006. But after so many years, how does Mint hold up against the competition? Is it safe? Does Mint cost anything? And, most importantly, should you use it? Our Mint review will answer all of these questions and more.

Mint Review Score
mint logo

Name: Mint

Description: is a money management app designed to make building a budget and sticking to it easier than ever. They are an entirely free service that offers tools for budgeting, as well as reminders for upcoming bills and a credit score tracker. If you want a way to automate budgeting more, Mint is fantastic.

Overall
4.5
  • Pricing
  • User Experience
  • Ease Of Use
  • Customer Service

Summary

Mint is a money management app designed to make building a budget and sticking to it easier than ever. They are an entirely free service that offers tools for budgeting, as well as reminders for upcoming bills and a credit score tracker. If you want a way to automate budgeting more, Mint is fantastic.

Pros

  • Easy to use UI
  • Account linking
  • Expense categorization
  • Completely free
  • Credit score checker
  • Bill alerts

Cons

  • Synching accounts sometimes requires updating
  • Automatic expense categories aren’t always accurate
  • Customer service options aren’t extensive

What Is Mint?

Mint is a money management app designed to make building a budget and sticking to it easier than ever. They are an entirely free service that offers tools for budgeting, as well as reminders for upcoming bills and a credit score tracker.

Mint’s focus is on giving you a more complete overview of your financial situation. It lets you link all of your bank accounts into one place and keep an eye on your budget, bills, investments, etc. 

If you’re looking for simple but effective budgeting software or learning to pay more attention to your financial habits, Mint may be your best bet. 

How Does Mint Work?

Since Mint is, first and foremost, a tool for budgeting, the main focus is on giving you the information you need to keep track of your money. Although they have a few other bells and whistles that we’ll discuss later, this is the gist of how budgeting with Mint works.

After setting up your account with a username and password, Mint lets you link your bank accounts. This makes keeping track of your budget easier since you can see everything you’re spending and where your money is going.

Mint review transactions image

Mint has a budget tool that shows you exactly where you’re spending your money. They group your monthly expenses by category, including ones like “Restaurants,” “Credit Card Payment,” and “Shopping.”

After using Mint for the last two years, I’ve found they do a pretty good job correctly identifying the expense category. 

But, if you do discover Mint’s algorithm has misplaced a cost, you can simply correct it manually. Mint’s system will then update your budget and remember to categorize the expense accordingly going forward.

Mint also lets you set specific spending limits for each category. Let’s say you’re trying to cut back on how often you eat out. You can tell Mint to limit how much you spend at restaurants or on fast food. This is an incredibly useful tool for policing your spending and building up better financial habits in the long term.

Mint also lets you set financial goals and track your progress towards them. These goals can be anything from planning a vacation to saving for retirement. This is a useful extra feature if you’re someone who likes to see your progress towards concrete goals.

Mint review financial goals image

What Makes Mint Unique?

Oddly enough, unlike most other financial products we discuss, Mint doesn’t necessarily have a single feature that makes it “unique.” It just does the things that make budgeting easier really, really well.

For example, many personal finance experts recommend gathering your expenses and income statements from the past few months to establish a starting point for making a budget. 

Mint automatically does this when you link an account. It goes back and finds your activity for the previous two to three months and compiles it into different categories. 

This means, even if you have no idea where to start when it comes to making a budget, Mint does a lot of the grunt work to set you along the right track.

Pros & Cons Of Mint

Mint Pros

  • Easy to use UI
  • Account linking
  • Expense categorization
  • Completely free
  • Credit score checker
  • Bill alerts

Mint Cons

  • Synching accounts sometimes requires updating
  • Automatic expense categories aren’t always accurate
  • Customer service options aren’t extensive

How Much Does Mint Cost?

Mint is completely free to use. There are no hidden fees or costs, which begs the questions, “Is Mint safe?” and “How do they make money?” But before you get too worried about Mint leaking your bank information, know that there’s not much to worry about here.

Is Mint Safe?

The short answer is yes; Mint is very safe to use. Simply put, they do a great job of protecting your banking information using two-step verification when you log in. So, if someone happens to get a hold of your account details, you’re still safe.

Even if someone gains access to your account, Mint won’t let them transfer money out of your account from within the app. This adds a nice extra layer of protection in the unlikely event someone can get into your account.

All in all, although leaks can always happen with any company, odds are you’ll never have any issues with safety when you’re using Mint.

How Does Mint Make Money?

Mint earns its revenue mostly by partnering with third-party financial services. In exchange for either a flat fee or a commission from those companies, Mint shows ads.

Ultimately, the ads are pretty easy to ignore and don’t put a major damper on the end-user experience. But, it’s important to be aware that Mint has them on their platform.

How Is Mint’s Customer Service?

Though Mint has a chat feature, it’s often very slow, goes through answers that resemble pre-written FAQs, or is simply unavailable. In short, Mint’s customer service fails to stack up compared to alternatives like Personal Capital

What I Wish Was Different About Mint

Customer service complaints aside, the one thing I wish was different about Mint was the removal of their occasional technical glitches. While these are never serious and often only take a few seconds to resolve, it’s still inconvenient to deal with.

Most of the time, these bugs are related to a bank account de-synching, or an expense categorized inaccurately. In the case of the bank account issues, you can update your bank details and fix the problem that way.

For the expense categories, as we discussed earlier, Mint does get better with time. But, it’s surprising they don’t aggregate their users’ data to get a better initial picture of how to categorize your expenses.

As I said, it’s mostly minor stuff, but they seem like easy fixes. 

How Does Mint Fare Against Competitors?

Mint review making a budget image

Against almost any other current budgeting tool, Mint does well to outshine the competition. However, it’s important to note that Mint isn’t perfect for all things personal finance. 

If you have a lot of investments that you want to track as part of your financial planning, Mint’s simple investing tools likely won’t do the job. You’ll be better off sticking with another application.

But, as we mentioned in our Mint vs Personal Capital comparison, there’s nothing stopping you from using Mint alongside other financial services. Since it’s free, you could use Mint to handle your budgeting needs while using different tools to manage the rest of your financial picture.

In terms of budgeting specifically, Mint does a better job of automating budgeting to make it simple and easy to do. You’ll be hard-pressed to find better places to keep track of your budget.

How To Get Started On Mint

Getting started on Mint only takes a few minutes. It’s a super simple process! It’s also worth noting that if you already have a TurboTax account, you can skip the account creation process altogether. Just sign in using your TurboTax login.

When you first open Mint or go to their website, you’ll create an account with a username, password, and email address. Then, go ahead and add any of your bank accounts that you want to be included in your budget. 

Mint has many of the most popular banks to choose from, including Chase, Capital One, and Citibank. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding your accounts.

After linking your bank accounts to your Mint account, you’re taken to the homepage. This is where you’ll find a broad overview of any account balances, transactions, upcoming bills, and sponsored offers.

Having all of your key information summarized in one place helps get a quick overview of your financial situation. But, if you’re interested in delving deeper into any aspect, you can simply click on that area to find an expanded menu.

This is where you would input custom categories for expenses, add notes for yourself, mark bills as paid vs. unpaid, etc.

Mint review upcoming bills image

You can also investigate the current trends in your spending habits. Mint gives you a colorful pie chart that breaks down your spending habits by category. 

When you first create your account, this section will use the past few months’ data. But, as you continue to use Mint, you’ll build up more data over time, which is great if you want to figure out where you might cut back on spending.

Should You Use Mint

Mint shines when used as a way to track all of your different bank and credit card accounts. If you have several checking, banking, and credit accounts, connecting them to Mint is an easy way to get a solid overview of where you stand.

Most users agree that Mint is best used as a budgeting tool. If you’re struggling with how to build a budget or simply want to automate the process a little bit more, Mint is perfect for you.

Similarly, if you’re looking for an easier way to keep track of your bills and avoid late payments, Mint’s bill alerts system can be a lifesaver.

Ultimately, since Mint is entirely free and everyone can benefit from having a budget, there’s no reason not to give Mint a try!

FAQs

Is Mint really free?

Yes, Mint really is free! They make their money by recommending specific products from other companies via advertisements. But, this still means Mint is free for you as an end-user.

Does Mint sell your data?

Mint does not sell your bank account or any other compromising information, however, they do sell mass data on consumer habits. This is ultimately done to allow advertisers to target their ads to you, and Mint says they keep all of the data they sell anonymous.

Leave a Reply