Have card, need data
March 17, 2011 2:01 PM   Subscribe

What credit card companies have good online analysis tools and archives?

I just started trying to analyze how I'm using my cards and am stunned at the difference between what my two companies offer online (enough so that I want to switch). Does anyone know of any [Visa, Mastercard-offering] companies that offer:
  • Deep (longer than 18-month) archives of downloadable (xls, csv, etc.) activity data
  • Labeling of transactions by category (automatically)
  • Online analysis tools to see a breakdown of (eg) spending by category for every month in the archive
For example, Discover Card does all this. Any pointers for Visa/Mastercard?
posted by range to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sorry I can't be too much help on this, but I think DiscoverCard rocks on this. I think for Visa and Mastercard they are usually through another bank/financial institute so the metrics would be through that bank instead of through V/MC.
posted by jillithd at 2:27 PM on March 17, 2011

None of the Visa cards I have or have had do that. But I use Yodlee Moneycenter (which is a free) to aggregate multiple credit card accounts along with other financial accounts, and it does all of those things. The auto-labeling is not always 100% accurate, but you can do things like make up your own categories and it is pretty smart about learning patterns of what purchases tend to be in what categories. I think Mint (which uses Yodlee's aggregation on the backend) will also do all of those things but I haven't used it.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:30 PM on March 17, 2011

I've surveyed a number of the big MC/Visa issuers and none of the ones I've looked at offer the things you're asking for. Sorry. Discover is really probably the best in the industry when it comes to transaction history and analysis.
posted by phoenixy at 2:38 PM on March 17, 2011

Actually burnmp3s has a good point. Also Bank of America doesn't let you do what you want through its regular banking UI, but it has an integrated Moneycenter implementation that you could use that does offer those things.
posted by phoenixy at 2:42 PM on March 17, 2011

Best answer: USAA is awesome about this. I have a Mastercard through them that allows me to do all of the above. It also allows you to create spending "plans" so that you can forecast your budgets and try to stick to them. It's a pretty neat tool.

However, I do most of my analysis via Mint.com, because I like the ability to have all this information centralized from all of my accounts rather than just the one credit card. But USAA definitely covers what you are looking for.
posted by CharlieSue at 2:49 PM on March 17, 2011

USAA is pretty good, but I'm fairly sure they have only 18 months of transaction history, not 18+.
posted by phoenixy at 4:23 PM on March 17, 2011

Best answer: I have no idea what my bank(s) offer for analysis tools - I just use mint.com; it pulls in all of my transactions, auto-categorizes everything, gives me nice graphs to show how my spending on various things have changed over time... it's been a fantastic budgeting tool, and I recommend it highly.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:20 PM on March 17, 2011

Personally, I use GNUcash to do this. Most of the big banks support network protocols that let me import new transactions; as a result I have data going back to like 2007. The graphs & reports are very configurable, and the new major version switched to an SQL backend, so you could conceivably write your own analysis if you wanted something specific.
posted by pwnguin at 1:40 AM on March 19, 2011

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