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Personal Capital vs Mint: Are You Budgeting, Investing, or Both?

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Person budgeting: Personal Capital vs MintShould you use Personal Capital or Mint for your personal finance needs? Depending on your financial goals you may choose one over the other. More specifically, do you want help with budgeting and spending? Or are you looking to plan ahead for the future – college education for your kids, retirement, etc.? Your answer to these important questions will determine which company is best for you.

Visit Personal Capital’s Website | Visit Mint’s Website

Personal Capital’s co-founder and CEO, Bill Harris, was previously the CEO of Intuit. Intuit is the creator of Quicken and TurboTax and acquired Mint in 2009. So, you would think Personal Capital and Mint would be fairly similar in regards to performance and features. However, there are some points where the two differ greatly.

Personal Capital logoMint logo
Best for BudgetingCheckmark
Best Customer ServiceCheckmark
Best Dashboard UsabilityCheckmark
Best Security FeaturesCheckmark
Best for Tracking InvestmentsCheckmark
Overall WinnerCheckmark

Best for Budgeting

Mint.com’s primary focus is more on budgeting and managing debt, while Personal Capital’s seems to be on investments. Mint lets you analyze your spending for each category to give you an idea of what you need to budget for or where you should cut back some. This is available in both the app and on the website.

Personal Capital’s budgeting tool allows you to see your expenses per category and set a monthly goal but you cannot break it down by category or create your own category. This feature is also only available on their app.

Winner: Mint

Best Customer Service

Personal Capital offers email, phone and FAQs while Mint offers email, live chat and FAQs. So, while they offer similar forms of support, their customer support reviews differ. Personal Capital users report they are pleased with customer service. It’s not too difficult to reach customer service and their issues are resolved. On the other hand, Mint users have reported frustrations with their customer service experience. It is also difficult to get to the email form on Mint. You have to click a button that reads Contact Mint, Support or some other form of customer service help phrase five times until you get to the actual email form.

Winner: Personal Capital

Best Dashboard Usability

Although this category is more subjective we still decided to include it because we thought that you would want to know our thoughts on user friendliness. Mint takes a little bit to sync up all your financial accounts but in the mean time you can check out your overall financial picture. They have your alerts on your dashboard, which includes any alerts on over spending for a category, checks bouncing, etc. Also in the dashboard are upcoming bills, monthly budget, goals, Mint’s Ways to Save and tons more.

Personal Capital has less going on for its dashboard, which you may love or hate. Included on its dashboard are your overall net worth and a graph with the ups and downs over the past 30 days. Also included on the dashboard are cash flow, portfolio balances, investment holdings and more.

Overall, this is based on preference but for us we lean towards Mint’s dashboard. Both have a clean interface but we like that Mint has everything on one screen and their alerts are a great added bonus.

Winner: Mint

Best Security Features

Since there are many elements of security, we have divided this into multiple sections.

Two-Factor Authentication

Both Mint and Personal Capital have a version of two-factor authentication (2FA). Neither one is true 2FA though. You have to register each device before you can access Mint or Personal Capital on them. A PIN is sent to you though email or phone call for you to input on the device. After you have done so, you can login to the device over and over without having to re-enter the PIN. We aren’t crazy about this form of authentication and think both should implement true two factor authentication.

Read-Only

Neither service allows you to perform any transactions. You cannot transfer funds through their platforms. They are read-only, so if your account is compromised no account numbers for your financial institutions are vulnerable.

iOS Login

For both Mint and Personal Capital, on iOS devices you can login to your account with your fingerprint (if your device supports it).

Download Personal Capital’s iOS App | Download Mint’s iOS App

Data Encryption

Personal Capital encrypts your data with 256-bit AES and Mint uses 128-bit SSL. 256-bit AES is more secure than 128-bit SSL so Personal Capital is better in this category.

To learn more about data encryption and why higher bits are better than smaller bits, watch this video.

Winner: Personal Capital (by a hair)

Best for Tracking Investments

Mint displays portfolio values but other than that they really don’t offer any type of retirement planning or investment analysis. This is where Personal Capital’s primary focus is. You can see your projected portfolio values, retirement predictions, items that may change your goals for retirement and an overview to see if you’re on track. Mint does not go as in-depth as Personal Capital does in this area.

Winner: Personal Capital

Overall Winner

This is one of the tightest races we’ve seen on Safe Smart Living. We’ve gotta hand it to both Mint and Personal Capital for being two of the best personal finance software companies we’ve reviewed. Overall, Personal Capital was just a tiny bit better. However, if you’re looking for strictly a budgeting tool, we suggest going with Mint. If you’re looking for a holistic look at your finances from budgeting to investing we suggest Personal Capital.

Winner: Personal Capital

Have you used Mint or Personal Capital? Which do you like better?

Kimberly researches everything before she buys. She wants to make sure she is getting the best bang for her buck by purchasing the best product/service, which is why she loves her work. She has a degree in Multimedia Journalism and has been researching and writing professionally since 2013 to help consumers make more educated decisions.

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1 Comment on "Personal Capital vs Mint: Are You Budgeting, Investing, or Both?"

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Brandon S
Brandon S

I’ve been a mint user for years but ever since setting up I kind of forgot about it and disregard all the emails they send me. Need to start budgeting again and excited to see your great remarks on Personal Capital so will give them a try, especially since it’s free!

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