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Quicken Online Review – Now Available Free

by Ryan Guina

Intuit, the parent company of Quicken recently purchased Mint.com, which is now the free online money management tool. It’s a great piece of software and I highly recommend it!

Intuit announced last week that Quicken Online is now free (it previously cost $2.99 per month). Quicken Online now joins a host of other free online money applications, including Mint.com, Wesabe, Geezeo, Yodlee, and a few others. These other applications are all fairly similar in scope. One difference of note is that these other applications are ad driven, and make money by recommending financial products to users. Quicken does not do that at this time.

Quicken Online is different from the desktop version of Quicken. The desktop version is designed to be a comprehensive tool, while Quicken Online is designed to help people manage their bills and recurring payments. Quicken Online gives users a snapshot of savings, checking, credit cards, and other loans. Quicken Online functions well as a money management and budgeting tool as opposed to a tool for tracking investments and other financial accounts.

Why should you use Quicken Online?

Track all your accounts in one place. With Quicken Online, you input your account information into the system and it automatically scrapes your data from your other online accounts. This allows you to track all your accounts in one place – credit cards, checking and savings, even PayPal.

Quick sign up if you already have a TurboTax, Quicken, or QuickBooks account. Intuit owns all of these applications which makes it easy to sign up for them under one account. (The fewer passwords and logons to remember, the better!)

Track almost every account and transaction. Quicken Online is compatible with over 5000 financial institutions. And just like the desktop version of Quicken, transactions are automatically put into a category (or you can create custom categories). My experience showed that the auto categorization can be less than accurate at times. The good news is that Quicken Online “learns” from your corrections and those made by the community of online users, so eventually most transactions will be correct.

Bill reminders and alerts. One of the nice benefits of using Quicken Online is the ability to receive reminders and alerts via text message and e-mail. If you use this feature correctly, you never have an excuse to miss a payment again!

Security. Quicken Online is very secure and uses the same 128-bit encryption technology as most major financial institutions in the world.

iPhone and PDA compatibility. Quicken Online features Quicken Beam, which allows users to view data on their iPhone or other PDA. This makes it easy to get updates on the go.

Areas for improvement for Quicken Online

Quicken Online primarily gives users a financial snapshot and will not completely replace the desktop version of Quicken in terms of functionality. Quicken Online only tracks bank accounts, credit cards, and loans and gives the user an overall view of money in vs. money out. There is limited investment tracking, but mostly just for balances, and not much else. The desktop version Quicken is designed to track all transactions including investments, which is something Quicken Online doesn’t do yet.

The main goal of Quicken Online is to get people thinking about how they spend and manage their money, and I think it does a great job in that respect. And the  price is free, which is just about right. ;)

Looking for another online money management tool? Check out these FREE online money management tools for a variety of options.


Published or updated April 20, 2012.
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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chris Thompson

Quicken Online fails in one key regard. They don’t allow you to create “manual” accounts. If your bank is not one of the ones they can automatically pull from, you can’t have it listed.

My primary bank is a local small town credit union, and is not automatically downloadable. I can download transaction data in QIF format and upload it to Wesabe. I can’t upload it to Quicken, which is highly ironic seeing as how Quicken INVENTED QIF.

Right now Wesabe is the only service online that allows the upload of QIF transaction data. And that’s what I use. All the rest are worthless to me.

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2 Ryan

Chris: Thanks for the feedback. Weird that Quicken Online doesn’t support that.They are continually upgrading certain aspects of the application, so that could be in work. Personally, I think the other free apps caught them off guard and they had to work overtime to put this together. I think it is a nice application though and does the job for most people. The good thing is that there are plenty of other free applications out there for everyone to try. Find the one htat works for you and stick with it!

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3 The Process Ninja

Such great little apps…such a pity that there doesn’t seem to be anything like this for Australian users – I was so looking forward to setting up quicken online until I found I needed a valid bank account :(

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4 ChuckO

Three weeks into Quicken Online – and I’m dumping it. It is a nice thought, but riddled with issues. The worst of which is the inability to consistently get data synced with your financial institution. You may successfully get Quicken Online to link with your accounts, but then either never get transaction data or a generic “unknown” error. Their outsourced Tech Support for the product is essentially non-existent as you will get nothing more than generalized form letters back and never any resolution. Quicken recently isolated their community forum for the online product from their paid products, and based on the number of complaints and issues in the Online forum, one can take a stabbing guess as to why. Sometimes, things are free for a reason.

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5 ComerP

Like ChuckO, I’m leaving Quicken Online today. I’ve been using the application for several months and all was going well until one day it failed to synch with my bank. The ‘customer support’ was worthless. After multple attempts at fixing the problem (and getting locked out of my online bank account) I am finally throwing in the towel. A pity, since this is the only application I’ve tried to date that had all I was looking for – and I’ve tried YNAPB, Mint, Money, etc. If anyone knows for a program that does what Quicken Online could do – though more reliably – please let me know.

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