In this post, it’s Personal Capital vs Mint in the ring. We actually use both apps in our household for different features, so I know how to compare the two. Personal Capital’s investment monitoring, net worth, and retirement planning features are great. And Mint offers us a good picture of our family’s expenses and has nice budgeting features.
With a range of personal finance applications and money monitoring tools, tech simplified our planning, spending, and investments. Mint and Personal Capital are two of the hottest free money management apps.
But is one better than the other?
Let’s take a closer look at the basics of each unique financial instrument before I get into detail about it.
Personal Capital Basics
Personal Capital started in 2009 and now has over 2 million customers and $9 billion in assets under management. It’s safe to say that Personal Capital is no joke. Sidenote: Is that George Clooney? I don’t think so, but maybe it’s his cousin?
Personal Capital has two services: a premium version that functions more like a Robo-advisor for clients with more than $200K in investing assets and a free version that anybody may use. Since I’m comparing Personal Capital with Mint, I’ll concentrate on Personal Capital’s free version, which has a lot to offer.
Its primary focus is on your net worth, investment tracking, and retirement planning. It accomplishes this with a set of extremely powerful tracking and analytic capabilities accessible in both the free and premium versions, including:
- Fee Calculator for 401(k) Plans
- Tool for allocating assets
- Planner for retirement
Related Reading: My Personal Finance Rules – Check Them out Here
Mint started in 2006. Intuit purchased it in 2009. They now have over 10 million active users and process over 250 billion transactions annually. It’s a mega brand.
Mint’s objective is to provide you with a comprehensive picture of your money by providing a number of personal financial tools, such as:
- Budgeting and analysis of spending
- Reminders to pay bills
- Monitoring your credit score
They include investment tracking and goal-setting tools, although they aren’t as comprehensive as Personal Capital.
Personal Capital vs Mint: Putting These Apps Head-to-Head
I’m going to go down the essential features of each app to help you figure out which one is right for you.
The Signup Process
Personal Capital and Mint follow a similar signup approach to the majority of money management apps. To create a free account, all you need is an email address and a strong password. There are a few differences after that.
Signing Up For Personal Capital
To protect the security of your account, Personal Capital demands a phone number throughout this procedure.
An optional questionnaire asks for some basic information (name, age, desired retirement age, and amount saved), which the program uses to begin creating a customized retirement plan for you.
Signing Up For Mint
Mint asks for your mobile phone number to verify the security of your account.
Mint will ask for your nation and 5-digit zip code, which will help you discover the best deals for you (more on this later).
If you already have an account with Intuit products like Quicken or TurboTax, you may join Mint with the same account.
The verdict: It’s a tie.
The Account Linking Process
You’ll need to start integrating your bank accounts after you’ve made your account. You’ll need to link all of your assets, obligations, and so on – to obtain the most outstanding picture with any money monitoring program. This includes items like:
- Bank accounts (checking and savings)
- Credit card accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Real estate
Both applications include a list of the most popular financial institutions. Remember to link accounts from micro-savings and micro-investing applications such as Stash, Acorns, and Qapital.
It’s a bit simpler to start back up with Personal Capital if you need to take a break from integrating accounts throughout the signup process or forget about anything. All you have to do is click the Plus icon in the top left corner of your dashboard and link the items you want.
I had a few difficulties when it came to integrating my investment accounts to Mint. You may also create an account by clicking on the gear on the left side of your homepage. It took a lot of clicking to find out what was going on.
Instead of providing me the opportunity to join another investment account after linking one, Mint wanted me to click on “Invest now with fewer fees,” which brought me to a page of offers from several brokerages.
The verdict: Personal Capital wins this round.
The Synchronization Process
Money monitoring applications are designed to make it simple to view everything in one location. You don’t have to enter your bank account or credit card companies since everything is shown in front of you at once, with numbers you can trust. At the very least, that is the aim.
Sadly, Mint was not able to keep up with my transactions. This is something that many of my readers have expressed dissatisfaction with. I stumbled into that again when making this comparison of Personal Capital vs. Mint.
At times, Mint won’t display completed transactions in your bank account from the same day, but Personal Capital did.
The verdict: Personal Capital wins again.
Okay, this is where Mint really outperforms Personal Capital, and I’m not going to sugarcoat it. When it comes to budgeting, Mint provides a lot more direction. On the other hand, Personal Capital is more concerned with your cash flow. Cash flow isn’t a flawed approach to budgeting but isn’t for everyone.
Here are a handful of Mint budgeting highlights:
- Mint creates a budget for you based on your spending patterns, but you may also make one on your own to help you achieve your financial objectives.
- There are over 100 budgeting subcategories to choose from, and you can even build your own.
- You choose the time range, quantity, and whether or not a surplus can be carried over for each area.
- If you’re on the verge of overpaying in a particular area, you’ll receive reminders.
The budgeting feature in Personal Capital is linked to your financial flow.
The amount of money flowing in every month from all potential sources of income — wages, dividends, revenue from investment properties, earned interest, and so on – is referred to as cash flow.
Personal Capital lets you set your monthly budget to whatever you want. Then it uses your transactions to show you where you are in terms of spending vs. cash floor, or money going out vs. cash coming in. This is a no-brainer, but you should ideally have more coming in so you aren’t in a deficit.
Mint’s general budgeting function is more organized, allowing the typical consumer, particularly those with credit card or student loan debt, to take control of their finances.
Mint’s sole major flaw in terms of budgeting is that they occasionally miscategorize transactions in some weird ways.
The good news is that each money tracking program allows you to go back and reclassify transactions.
The verdict: Mint dominates this round.
You may link any investment accounts to Personal Capital and Mint. Both applications display the performance, value, and allocation of your whole portfolio. But there’s a distinction.
Personal Capital allows you to connect with your assets in a meaningful way.
Some concepts are simple to grasp. For example, I may click on “U.S. Stocks” under “Allocation” and get a detailed breakdown of a big, medium, and small size value, core, and growth. Personal Capital provides a visual depiction as well as the actual figures for each component.
That may sound like a rather serious investment tool, and not every investor will be as enthralled by it as I am. On the other hand, personal Capital offers you the tools you need to understand and manage your investments.
Personal Capital provides a free Investment Checkup that evaluates all of your assets’ allocation, stocks, and expenses if you choose to be more hands-off. There is a comprehensive and easily accessible disclaimer regarding the checkup (super important). The examination can reveal information such as:
- Based on previous performance and future forecasts, PC sets a target allocation for your investments.
- Explains risk and return, as well as the asset classes you’re under or overweight in, as well as which sectors you’re invested in and how much in fees you’re paying for each account and holding.
That’s a lot of investing data for a free money tracker, and it’s one of my favorite features of Personal Capital.
The verdict: Personal Capital gains another point.
Both apps are lacking in this area, so expect to be disappointed. You can set bill pay reminders in Mint. They did offer a bill pay function that allowed you to pay some of your bills via the app, but it was removed.
Personal Capital will notify you of due dates from your linked accounts, but you won’t be able to set reminders for bills that you can’t connect, such as utilities.
The Verdict: It’s a tie.
Personal Capital has a reputation for providing excellent customer service. If you can’t find the solution to your issue using the “Help” button in the bottom right corner of the screen, simply click the “Contact Us” option that appears within the “Help” screen.
You may email about specific financial institutions or services, submit files, and so on, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your inquiry is generally answered within 24 hours. I could get in touch with Personal Capital to answer some of my readers’ questions.
Mint has a chat feature, but it’s more of an email-based assistance system, and I’ve never found it to be really useful or quick.
The verdict: Personal Capital takes this round.
Personal Capital and Mint both use the following methods to keep your accounts and information safe:
Both money management applications are read-only, which means you can’t transfer money in or out of your accounts using them. You, the app, or a hacker can’t do it.
Your complete name and account numbers are never shown on the website.
Your information is highly encrypted, using the same degree of security employed by the world’s most prestigious financial institutions and corporations. Fingerprint login is available on Apple devices that support it.
Mint takes multi-factor authentication a step further, which is quickly becoming the industry standard. Personal Capital isn’t quite there yet, so you’ll need to register your computer first.
Is it safe to utilize Personal Capital? Yes, and I put my confidence in them with my personal information. Data breaches have become the new normal. Using personal financial applications like Personal Capital and Mint means you’re definitely ahead of the game when it comes to spotting any problems.
The verdict: Mint wins by a hair.
Silicon Valley has grown extremely excellent at anticipating consumer requirements and meeting those needs with easy and well-designed apps. This is really appreciated.
Mint has put in a lot of effort over the last few years to iron out the wrinkles. Sure, we need to improve our synchronization skills.
They’ve also tidied up the app a little. However, Personal Capital, in my opinion, provides a far superior user experience.
Personal Capital is straightforward when it comes to managing your money. There’s no clutter, no advertisements, and finding the tools you need is simple. I hope you can see it in the screenshots I’ve included in this post, but if not, go ahead and check them out for yourself.
The verdict: Personal Capital is the clear winner.
Additional Info on Personal Capital vs Mint
Both money-monitoring apps definitely have some excellent capabilities, but I’d like to bring out a few additional distinctions between them.
How Personal Capital and Mint Make Profit
On the other hand, personal Capital is ad-free since it makes money by providing high-level financial services and wealth management tools to high-net-worth people. That means you won’t see advertising even in the free version, which I like.
Mint earns money by giving customers offers for third-party financial services such as credit cards, brokerage accounts, and bank accounts. You are not required to click on any of these, but you should be aware that you will see them.
The Retirement Planner is another beneficial free service provided by Personal Capital, and it works by analyzing:
- All of the data from your associated accounts
- Contributions to your retirement funds that you’re making
- Your present net worth
- Your anticipated retirement age
PC’s Retirement Planner
All of this is combined to show you how you’re progressing toward your target retirement age. You may run many scenarios to determine the optimal strategy for getting you to retirement. This may be a significant wake-up call if you’re behind on your retirement funds. And, terrifying as it may seem, this tool can assist you in getting back on track.
This might be the most powerful tool on the platform in some respects. Several tools and calculators are available on the internet to assist you in reaching your retirement savings target. However, it’s unusual to come across one that helps you consider the opposite side of retirement, namely how much money you’ll need to live on.
You’ll tell us about your retirement plans and when you plan to retire. Personal Capital then assists you in creating a strategy to achieve your objectives. Then you can discover if you’re on pace for the retirement you’ve always wanted.
Unlike many other retirement plans, it begins with the question of how much money you’ll need when you retire, rather than focusing only on a savings goal.
Personal Capital will calculate the probability of reaching your retirement savings goal based on your current retirement savings amount and data from your linked financial accounts. If that number is low, you’ll have time now to make the types of changes that will help you retire in comfort.
PC’s Education Planner
Personal Capital’s Education Planner can assist you in devising a strategy for saving for future educational expenses. If you have children or grandchildren, this is an excellent function alternatively, if you intend to attend college in the future.
The Education Planner is accessible via the Retirement Planner. Once you’ve logged in, you’ll establish a new education objective for your child, filling in his or her name, birth year, and the sort of education you intend to offer.
After that, you’ll input the amount of money you’ve set aside for that objective. You can assign any or all of the associated accounts toward the schooling objective since you may link accounts to it. A dedicated education account, such as a 529 plan or a part of a taxable investment account, are examples.
The planner will also compute typical college expenditures, such as tuition, housing and board, and books. You’ll know you’re working with real numbers if you do it this way.
Following that, you’ll be shown how much money you’ll need to save in order to achieve your schooling objective. The planner will even give a rundown of your tax savings from a 529 plan.
PC’s Retirement Fee Analyzer
Fees may add up quickly, costing thousands of dollars throughout your retirement strategy, depending on how you invest your money. You may make modifications to maximize your retirement accounts by identifying where you’re losing money.
Wealth Management with Personal Capital
Personal Capital also has a wealth management tool. The free Personal Capital edition does not have this function. Personal Capital’s Wealth Management, on the other hand, comes at a reasonable price. You must have a minimum investment of $100,000, and the fees are calculated based on how much you have invested with them.
Wealth Management is sometimes mistaken for Robo-advisors, although the two are not the same. Even though the service uses automated investing strategies and tools, human-guided management is also employed.
Wealth Management is a hybrid of 21st-century Robo-advisors and conventional, human-guided investment management in this way. However, it does it for a fraction of the cost of typical investment advisors.
Mint’s Credit Monitoring Tools
Mint provides you with quarterly credit score updates and information on what’s harming and helping you and why.
What makes this so valuable?
Your credit score is a crucial aspect of your financial life, regardless of what anybody says. A higher credit score entitles you to better mortgage rates, student loan refinancing, and access to some of the most outstanding credit cards for travel hacking.
Credit reports may show you how your hard work is paying off if you attempt to improve your credit score. And, if any fraudulent activity occurs, your credit score and report can assist you in rectifying the problem.
For this reason, I know many folks that use Mint as a supplement to Personal Capital. It’s not a bad idea to check your credit report on Mint. That’s a frequent misconception regarding credit scores: pulling your score and information (like through Mint) won’t damage you, but if a lender or credit card company does, you’ll get a tiny hit.
Related Reading: Why is Financial Literacy Important – See Here
Final Thoughts on Personal Capital vs Mint
I believe both of these products are excellent in picking a winner for the Personal Capital vs. Mint test. Personal Capital, on the other hand, is my first choice. I’m more interested in retirement planning, and I enjoy the way Personal Capital looks in general. That may sound a bit silly, but the design is essential.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t use Mint, which provides an excellent budgeting tool for the price.
Try them both if you’re not sure which one you prefer. What have you got to lose? They’re free. Certainly not money in the bank.