Mint? Wesabe? Yodlee? Is any better than the others?
October 23, 2008 9:03 AM   Subscribe

In looking at online personal finance sites (i.e. Wesabe, Mint, Yodlee, Quicken Online etc), is there any appreciable difference between them?

I know the benefits of the sites in general, i.e. access to your accounts from a number of places rather than from one computer and have read threads where they're recommended, but do any of them have any significant benefits over the others? I switched from Quicken when I got a Mac in April and couldn't get Quicken for Mac to work properly. I also tried some other software that was recommended in these threads and ended up going witih Mint because it was dead simple and did what I needed, even more so now that they allow customized tags.

However I've recently learnt of Wesabe and some others. Is there any good reason to switch or not to, any concrete benefits? Mint seems to do what I need it to -- effectively keep an eye on my balance(s) in one place, track outflow and attempt a budget. It appears to handle all my accounts (save for one at USBank which has an odd login procedure and one Citi credit card that it can't find) well.

Is there anything I'm missing? As always, thanks for the input
posted by TravellingCari to Work & Money (16 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I loved Mint until it stopped being able to log into my bank accounts at my local bank here in MD. The problem involves my bank asking security questions sometimes, but not all the time. The 2 questions are a randomly generated subset of the original 6 or 8 I answered for my bank. So on Monday it might ask me my favorite color and favorite food, but on Tuesday it might ask me my favorite food and the name of my high school.

Mint can't handle the random questions, and even though a Mint support guy tried for a while to help me, it appears that he was merely an interpreter for the tech support folks at Yodlee (which is, I'm told, the back end for Mint), and the Yodlee guy wouldn't believe that it wasn't somehow my fault that the login stopped working. So I gave up. Your question reminds me that since I liked it so much, it's probably time to try Wesabe.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 9:20 AM on October 23, 2008

Response by poster: Improvise: That's exactly the issue I'm having with USBank--although I overlook that because it's simply a holding pen for a 2.9% for life balance transfer so I'm happy to log in there to make sure the payment posted rather than worry about it feeding accurately into Mint. It managed to pick up the starting balance, but that's it.
posted by TravellingCari at 9:26 AM on October 23, 2008

Slate did a roundup of money-management software, which includes Mint, Wesabe, and Quicken Online. They liked Quicken Online the best, in spite of the cost.
posted by mkultra at 9:38 AM on October 23, 2008

I've been using Wesabe for a month and quite like it, but the interface isn't as nice as with Mint. Mint however doesn't allow access to my credit union so it's a write off until they allow me to upload account information as Wesabe does.

The auto-upload of account info to Wesabe has stalled out for me thanks to the same type of random questions that Improvise is getting. But at least Wesabe will detect when I'm downloading account info from my bank and ask if I want to uplaod to Wesabe and that works fine.

Wesabe is ok, but not yet perfect for my needs. Still looking for the one that clicks for me.
posted by arcticseal at 9:44 AM on October 23, 2008

To add to mkultra's note, Quicken Online is now free of charge.

Personally, I use Wesabe since neither Mint nor Quicken work here in the Great White North.

I hear Mint and Quicken are a lot more user friendly but it's nice to know that, with Wesabe, my banking passwords aren't saved on their servers.
posted by thisisnotbruce at 9:48 AM on October 23, 2008

thisisnotbruce: With Mint, banking passwords aren't saved on their servers either. When I signed up with Mint months and months ago, I read on their site that Mint is simply a UI/passthrough for an unnamed "provider." On other sites I learned that that provider is Yodlee, and that Yodlee is the company that manages many, many banks' online account access systems anyway. So the conclusion was that I might not be giving my info to someone who didn't already have it.

And in fact, when you get support from Mint--as I've had to do countless times because of my aforementioned issue--they specifically tell you NOT to tell their staff any of your personal info. They actually provide "support" by relaying all your problems to Yodlee's support staff.

As an aside, I get the idea that Yodlee's support can't handle the huge influx of users of Mint--and therefore the huge load on Yodless support staff--because they appear to have no concern of my not being able to use Mint. Although the Mint staff keep promising "Wait! We'll fix it!" the Yodlee support answer is always faulting me, rather than their login process.

As a further aside, I've been trying for half an hour now to load the Yodlee site, figuring that maybe direct user of their service would be doable. But the site won't load at all.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 9:57 AM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

I use yodlee moneycenter and like it compared to wesabe, but I haven't used mint or quicken online. The very best part about yodlee (and sites that run thru yodlee) is the truly effortless sync with accounts, that works all the time - except when it doesn't. I can't get my cable/internet or my student loan account to work, but everything else - banking, mortgage, investments, utilities, etc -- was a breeze.
posted by Chris4d at 10:24 AM on October 23, 2008

Started with mint, eventually switched to yodlee ( because it doesn't have adds and I like the plainer format. Also can do my education loans, 401k, frequent flyer miles, electric bill, phone bill, on top of general checking/saving accounts.
posted by ejaned8 at 10:59 AM on October 23, 2008

I tried Mint long ago but found that it had a hard time tagging all my transactions and I could never get it to work how I wanted. Plus it took absolutely ages for a change in my account balance to be reflected in Mint so the warnings about low account balance etc. were essentially worthless. I let my account become inactive though I still get mails from them which I ignore. Should probably delete my account some time. My bank is HSBC for what it's worth.
I now use Wesabe which I love. The tagging interface is intuitive and it does a good job of catching all the transactions at the same store and tagging them the same. I also like that you can rename a transaction to something shorter rather than leaving it with that long and unintuitive name that appears on bank statements. It does a good job of setting goals and tracking my savings as well. I also like that I can click a button to get it to update my accounts. For all I know Mint does all this pretty well now too, I just gave up on it after my initial dissatisfaction.
posted by peacheater at 11:36 AM on October 23, 2008

I had the opposite experience from peacheater - Wesabe tagged things worthlessly, couldn't understand "deposit with cash back" and none of the AJAXy featurs worked. Switched to Mint and it's been smooth sailing ever since (except for when I had to call and get 'extra security' taken off of a mutual fund account so Mint could log in to it, but that was fine).
posted by soma lkzx at 12:35 PM on October 23, 2008

Response by poster: mkultra, thanks for the link, that's some interesting reading.

ejaned8: wow, didn't realise Yodlee let you track frequent flyer miles as well. I didn't have trouble with Mint accessing my student loans or 401K, though I haven't tried with the student loans post-consolidation since I don't have the new e-info.
posted by TravellingCari at 3:35 PM on October 23, 2008

Hey, I'm the CEO of Wesabe and would be happy to answer any questions about it.

On the issue of bank sync, I wrote up our reasons for not using third-party data sync services (like Yodlee) here. We think that you having control over your data matters a lot.

We have since launched automatic upload that we built ourselves, and it's working extremely well for nearly all accounts on our site. If yours isn't working drop me a line and we can get it set up for you.
posted by precipice at 11:17 PM on October 23, 2008 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks all -- I think I'm going to wait until I get my new student loan paperwork (consolidated now) and then try others to see if I find an appreciable difference. Like I said, I can deal without being able to access one account, but I'd love to be able to track my student loans.
posted by TravellingCari at 1:05 PM on October 31, 2008

Response by poster: I decided that in order to get my idea of which was best, I'd play with all of them. My thoughts so far:
a) I hate the layout and format of Yodlee Money Center. I didn't play around with it too much, but it hung up on my AMEX (with which Mint had no problem) as well as the challenge question. I'm not inspired to play more with it.
b) I like Wesabe's layout, I like their uploader tool which handled the account with a challenge question with no problem. I haven't played too much with the tagging but it seems more intuitive and seemed to pull in a bigger history than did Mint.
c)None seem to be able to handle my student loan, but I blame Direct Loan's website for that.

Thanks all for your input on this. I may return to the thread to update it for future readers.
posted by TravellingCari at 8:24 PM on November 3, 2008

@TravellingCari - let me know if you want me to help with Direct Loan.
posted by precipice at 9:22 PM on November 3, 2008

Is Wesabe available to users outside of the US? also - can I use it to track frequent flyer miles etc?
posted by darsh at 11:27 AM on January 6, 2009

« Older Stuck with overseas cell contract   |   Which netbook should I get? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.