Quicken Online Now Free: Joining Yodlee, Mint, Geezeo, Wesabe

Quicken Online is now free. It used to cost $3 per month ($36/year). This established brand name is now directly competing with other free online account aggregation services like Mint, Geezeo, Wesabe, and Yodlee MoneyCenter. I guess they decided it would be better to give this product away for free as well, in the hopes that they can sell you TurboTax or the desktop Quicken later on. ;) I signed up; here is a screenshot:

Although I keep meaning to do a more in-depth review of all these services, I have not done so yet because after trying each of these services briefly I always end up going back to my trusted Yodlee MoneyCenter. I have been disappointed in how they all (including Yodlee) unsuccessfully attempt to categorize my purchases, and I am unwilling to keep manually correcting them.

I prefer the simple “snapshot” feel of Yodlee, where I can see all my balances and investments at a glance, along with recent transactions. I can even keep track of my frequent flier miles and other rewards points. Each day I log in, acknowledge any changes, and am done within 5 minutes. “Get in, get out, get on with your life”.

Other more personal (and lame) reasons include sheer habit, as I have been using Yodlee since 2004. Finally, I have a lot of accounts, and the idea of having to re-enter all those passwords again is not appealing at all.

All of these sites take your logins and passwords, and essentially pretend to be you and scrape the pertinent information off each webpage using a script. Yodlee actually sells its account aggregation services to Mint. Geezeo uses CashEdge. Quicken Online and Wesabe have their own systems. Be aware that in many cases you are giving them limited power of attorney to do this. It’s all in the terms and conditions! Many people wisely are very skeptical of handing over all their passwords to a third party. I have previously posted a modest defense of my use of Yodlee here.

Comments

  1. I agree that Yodlee is by far the best. That they show you all your airline/hotel/misc rewards points is icing on the cake.

  2. FYI – you shouldn’t use blur to hide sensitive information, since it can be undone by someone with a modicum of knowledge of image manipulation (or a proper how-to post on an identity theft newsgroup).

    Black boxes are perfectly secure, but ugly. Try scribbling over the text with the pencil tool before blurring. It’s not perfect security, but it should be a lot less likely to be able to be reversed with a single click in an image editing tool, yet still retains the general look and feel of the website.

  3. Mickey Blue Eyes says:

    How is giving your passwords to the desktop version of Quicken different than giving your passwords to Quicken Online? Either way, you’re trusting a third-party with your password to log in to a financial institution’s website to download data, and not cache the password on Quicken’s server and sell it to others.

    I may give Quicken Online a try to see how it works. The question I have is how will it work with Web Connect sites? For those sites, I log on to the financial institution’s website, click the “download to Quicken” link, and the browser opens Quicken and loads the data into the program. I wonder how that would work when both the financial institution and Quicken are accessed via a browser?

  4. Nate: Don’t think the things he has blurred out there is too sensitive. Purely shows the type of account he has and the monthly bills for the accounts he has added.

    Agreed that at a certain point, these type of tools may be not be a real necessity. I cant imagine needing to log into my QO, Mint, Yodlee etc. accounts more than once per month.

    Still, good move on Intuit’s part to better compete with all these new online PF tools.

  5. I was all excited to read this …. but as usual Intuit Canada is behind the 8-ball and this service is unavailable to us north of the border.

  6. I use Yodlee as a quick overview and an easy place to get my updates from but I track everything using GNUCash. I can’t see myself switching but Quicken online looks pretty good.

  7. Mickey Blue Eyes says:

    One downside of Quicken Online is that you can’t split transactions. I do this regularly on desktop Quicken so QOL is not for me.

    Can one split transactions on Yodlee? Does one have to start from scratch or can one import transactions, e.g., Quicken data file?

  8. I have said in the past that Yodlee is the best among al of those. Now, what we need is a comparison between Yodlee and Quicken. Jonathan, when you get chance, will wait for your update … :)

  9. I have used Yodlee via Fidelity and have liked it as way to get snapshot of all. I have also used Quicken for a long time and also used them online for tracking investments I own but have not been able to since they upgraded to their own server and new look (that is another story in itself) I tried Quicken Online to see and it is not bad. Good to get look at where things are and spent as i do not have quicken on other PCs. Shame that the categories can not be split as mentioned earlier. The only issue I have is some of the accounts I want to access can not be done, Fidelity, EmigrantDirect, and Sharebuilder. Sent them emails with the errors received and also asked them to link up some other accounts like treasurydirect and insurance companies. Will wait and see if they do that.

  10. I use BOA’s portfolio and it works great. Just wanted to throw that out since I did not see anyone commenting on it. :)

  11. Does anyone know if there is a website like this that offers cash flow projections?

  12. I still prefer Microsoft Money. It has its quirks and annoyances. But it seems to let me categorize things the way I like and gives me more control on all accounts and tries to be less “smart”.

  13. fyi, Mint now allows you to create your own categories, and it allows you to edit all the rules that automatically assign a transaction to a category…

  14. boa’s portfolio is yodlee

  15. b of a’s my portfolio is actually yodlee :)

  16. i use BofA too. its great, but my checking account bank is not there. :(

  17. when you watch the video it refers free trial. is it a trial or actual free now?

  18. I’d certainly be interested in seeing Jonathan’s review of these different services. In the meantime here’s a link to an article that was published on Slate last week reviewing Quicken, Microsoft Money, Wesabe, Mint and Quicken Online:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2201631/

  19. I see MS Money and Quicken desktop as accounting tools. I don’t think Yodlee or even Quicken Online can match the sophistication of those programs.

    Mickey Blue – It depends on where the passwords are stored – i.e. on your computer vs. on a remote server enticing a hacker.

    All of the following are Yodlee-based:

    Bank of America MyPortfolio
    Fidelity Full View
    HSBC Easy View
    (more)
    Citi and Wachovia used to use them as well.

  20. As to the blurring. I do appreciate the concern. The images are blurred deeply, and then converted to 128-color GIF and not JPG. For the most part, they are effectively grey blocks due to the limited colors.

    Nate – If you can figure out the text from what I have posted, I will send you a $25 reward. Just don’t post it online. :)

  21. Does anyone else use GNUCash, it offers a lot of the strengths of MS Money and Quicken, without costing a penny. I am just curious if it is widely used or not.

  22. Wondering if anyone has suggestions for software to track a stock portfolio. I’ve been using an online service, icarra.com, but looking for something I can have more control over (more reliable). Maybe GNUCash?

  23. GNUCash would provide you that ability. If you are running it in Windows you would also have to install ActivePERL to be able to get the automatic stock quote updates. I currently use it to track both my and my wife’s 401k investments in addition to all of our deposit accounts and liabilities.

  24. TheProfitMaze says:

    Hello,

    Is there on these service that would work in Canada ?

  25. I believe Mint has added the ability to automatically categorize certain repeating transactions to a custom category, or something like that. This was a day or two ago. I believe Quicken Online is adding this feature.

  26. fractalbrothers says:

    you’ll be keeping that $25 reward. The images are far too compressed, and the only way to “unblur” something is not really by unblurring it at all, but brute forcing it by iterating through the possibilities (like a dictionary attack) , blurring those images, and comparing the blurred images by finding the closest match. Since nobody knows how much you blurred it, it would be near impossible (can’t say impossible since there’s somebody out there who i’m sure could do it) to find out the original text.

  27. I’ve tried quicken and Money and I hated them both equally. I’ve been budgeting and tracking my investments in a super simple excel spreadsheet for years and I guess I’m just stuck in my ways, they couldn’t handle some of my accounting quirks and it was too much work trying to make them do what I wanted. I’ll have to look into some of the other online systems, maybe there is one that works for me.

  28. I have been using Money for a long time and have not tried to convert it to Quicken because there is no easy way to do so and my file is pretty large by now.
    However I have tried Q online but it does not seem to update my transactions in a timely fashion.
    One more problem is that it considers transfers from one account to other as payments or expenses and tries to assign categories and tells me I have spent too much over my income.

  29. i was trying quicken online and today when i went to login it said…

    The Quicken Online Beta program has ended. We appreciate your help with getting Quicken Online into shape. Your suggestions, your feedback, and your time spent simply clicking around have helped us mold Quicken Online into a service that we hope will help you reach your financial goals.

    What does this mean?
    We have moved from the Beta stage and become a subscription-based service. So, to keep using Quicken Online, please subscribe.

    What should I do now?
    Click SUBSCRIBE to add payment information to upgrade to the subscription service. Thank you again for being one of our pioneering customers.

    uhm………. no.

  30. I had the same problem this morning when I logged in. I got the same page mentioned by evan above. I clicked on “SUBSCRIBE” , then I got a page with something like “Sorry Intuit can not find the page”. But basically I can’t get passed this page.

  31. Well, that was very dirty trick.
    They should have told that it was beta service.

  32. Dan Isaacs says:

    yeah, this was a bait and switch. Good product Quicken, but one I’ll no longer be using. Yodleee works pretty well, thanks for the suggestion.

  33. Dan Isaacs says:

    Houston, that’s EXACLTY why I stopped using Quicken Deluxe. As I frequently moved funds from my checking to my MM and back, it got to be absurd that they counted it twice every time.

  34. I signed up for Yodlee but a couple of smaller banks that I have accounts with don’t show up… Is this simply a limitation of Yodlee or is there a workaround?

    (Quicken could access them)

  35. -

  36. enonymous says:

    not sure if you went through the entire process – but as others have noted above:
    it is free until 12/17/08 at which point it converts back to the same $3/month subscription service

    too bad, I was willing to give it a shot and had even devoted a lazy sunday afternoon to setting it up :(

  37. Hmm… I feel like its just a bug, making me go in circles. I can’t log in either right now. Can someone send me a link with the 12/17 date info on it?

  38. man, this totally sucks – I can’t login now
    no way I will pay for it after they pull this – I guess I will try one of the other sites

  39. Does anyone know how long, or if, Mint.com stores transactions? My bank only keeps about 3 months of transactions online. That’s not really enough for any long term budgeting. I liked Quicken online because they claimed it stored 5 years of transactions, but I’m not willing to keep it after they added the fee back.

  40. I have been having the same login problem as those above. One thing that makes me think (hope) that it is a bug rather than a bait-and-switch, is that if you choose “CANCEL”, it says it will delete your information On June 7, 2008.

    However, if you click “SUBSCRIBE”, it sends you to a page with this information:
    ———————————
    Your Subscription Plan
    Review Your Subscription Plan
    > Privacy Statement

    > Quicken 2009 License
    Agreement
    You are signing up for the subscription plan listed below. To proceed with your sign-up process, click the Continue button.
    Item Qty Total
    Quicken Online
    FREE through 12/18/2008, $2.99/month thereafter 1 $0.00
    Remove

    Special Offer Code:
    (10 numbers)
    Subtotal: $0.00

  41. Priya Kapoor says:

    I work with the developers at Quicken and they released a statement about the login issues today:

    “Due to a regularly schedule maintenance of the Quicken Online connections to several financial institutions, the former paid subscription screen was inadvertently inserted prompting some customers with messages around a free trial or paid subscription. This issue was fixed Monday morning and is no longer occurring. Quicken Online is now completely free, and we apologize for this confusion and assure any Quicken Online customer they will not be charged for access to their accounts as of October 13, 2008.”

  42. Priya,
    What happened to the datafiles that were created by new users last week?

  43. working now

    seems that transfers in my fidelity account get categorized as spending on cash, even when they are to buy a bond or mutual fund of some sort – anyone else notice this sort of problem…

  44. Yes, logged in okay now, but my linked accounts are all gone, had to re-add them. :(

    Categorization is always tough for these types of services.

  45. I’m the product manager for Quicken Online, and I wanted to see if I could help some of you out who were having problems with your data.

    @ Houston
    Did you have a problem with your data file? Can you let me know more?

    @Jonathan
    What linked accounts are gone? Can you let me know the FI you are having problems with?

    Thanks,
    Barron Ernst
    Quicken Online Product Manager

  46. I have been using Quicken Online but they have just released an update that removed or broke most of the features that I used. According to the blog, they will be fixing part of this in “a couple of months,” but I am going to have to find another budget tracking tool in the mean time because the new version just doesn’t have the information that I need readily available (ie. the balance in my checking/savings accounts combined).

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