Which finance platform should you use — Personal Capital or Mint?
This is a common question because both companies offer popular online finance tools.
At a glance, they seem similar. Both Personal Capital and Mint provide secure, cloud-based financial tools for linking and viewing all your financial accounts in one location, at no cost to you.
But each offers distinct features for managing your money. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Personal Capital and Mint.
Basic Overview of Personal Capital and Mint
What is Personal Capital?
Personal Capital is a digital wealth management company that provides:
For this comparison, we’ll be talking about Personal Capital’s free online tools for your big-picture financial planning. This includes long-term goals like retirement, college savings, or homebuying. The online tools allow you to analyze your investments, uncover hidden fees, and ensure you’re on track toward your goals.
“Budgeting apps are convenient in that most automatically sync to your bank accounts and credit cards so that you can easily track your cash inflow and outflow. If you have money in the markets, however, you likely aren’t able to extensively analyze your investments in the same app you use to keep an eye on your everyday spending.”
— CNBC Select
>>Read More: Why Choose Personal Capital Over Mint?
What is Mint?
Mint is an online personal money management platform known for its budging capabilities. It brings together information from all of your financial accounts so that you can keep tabs on spending, stick to your budget, and track your credit score. Mint, like Personal Capital, enables a holistic view of your financial life, rather than seeing snippets across all your financial accounts.
Mint’s financial tools are free. It monetizes its service via in-app ad banners and recommended services from which it gets a commission.
Features of Personal Capital and Mint
Personal Capital is built for investors.
Your Dashboard automatically updates your net worth and helps you set your goals based on when you plan to retire. You can see how well your investments are performing — and get insights on how they could do even better.
Earlier this year, NBC’s TODAY named it the best app for investors. “Personal Capital has really good tools for investors who are able to see their portfolios, all in one place,” Erika Giovanetti, a personal loans and debt writer at LendingTree, told NBC’s TODAY.
Using the Investment Checkup, you get a personalized analysis of your holdings. You can compare your current portfolio allocation to the ideal target allocation that’s designed to minimize risk and maximize returns.
With the Fee Analyzer, you can identify hidden fees to save yourself thousands of dollars over time.
Gregor, who uses the Personal Capital Dashboard, shared how he uses the tools.
“The Personal Capital Dashboard has been a replacement for Mint, and it has helped me increase my focus on financial wellbeing,” he said in a testimonial from August 2020. “It, along with several other tools I’ve built myself, provides a comprehensive overview of my financial standing and allows me to easily track progress over time.”
Like Personal Capital, Mint allows you to track your investment accounts and offers a fee analysis. Mint’s feature is designed primarily to track subscription fees but can also identify advisory fees, transaction fees, and 401k fees.
With the Retirement Planner, Personal Capital can help you determine how much you need to save for retirement within just a few minutes. You can build certain information into the planner, such as the amount of your annual contributions. You can also incorporate major life events, like saving for college, paying off your mortgage, or having a child.
Test out the feature with this simplified version.
The Retirement Planner helps you confidently prepare for retirement. With the Retirement Planner, you get access to:
- Projected portfolio values
- Retirement forecasting
- Variables that may affect your retirement goals
- Personal evaluation to know if you’re on track
>>Read More: How To Calculate Your Retirement Number
Personal Capital also provides a 401k analyzer.
>>Read More: 401k Calculator: How Much Should You Have Saved?
Mint does not offer a retirement planning overview, projected portfolio value, or other retirement-focused features.
The purpose of these two companies’ free tools is to help you track your money and spend it wisely. A large part of that, of course, is solid budgeting. How do the two stack up?
With Personal Capital, you can establish a budget by setting monthly spending targets. Throughout the month, you can compare your income to spending in a 30-day window. With this view, it’s easy to monitor your cash flow, pay your bills on time, and check out your spending habits over time. If you prefer greater detail, you can also drill down into your transactions and categorize every expenditure or income source.
One Personal Capital free tools user, Connor, digs into the budgeting features.
“I created my own fields in the budget section so that I can categorize my spending,” he said in a testimonial given February 2021. “Every morning, I check it and update my recent purchases. I love this platform. I’ve told all my siblings, my friends, and my friends’ siblings. The ability to look at all my accounts through a single pane of glass is a game-changer. I canceled my Mint account.”
Personal Capital highlights the value of knowing your net worth, which is the sum total of your assets minus your debts. Your Net Worth Tracker helps you stay focused on the long-term value of budgeting, saving, and investing your money.
Mint is known for its budgeting features. The free tool categorizes all of your financial activity. You can either rely on the default categories, or, as with Personal Capital, you can customize them to fit your own preferences.
Mint will also provide you with alerts to let you know when certain bills are coming due or when you may be going over a credit limit.
The application also has a feature for creating goals in certain areas of your financial life, such as building up your emergency fund or paying off debt. After you establish your goals, you can track your progress in reaching them.
Whereas Personal Capital’s Dashboard focuses on building your net worth, Mint provides you with access to your free credit score.
>>Read More: 3 Ways Wealthy People Leverage Their Credit
Security is a critical factor to consider when providing financial information to any website.
Both Mint and Personal Capital’s services are read-only, meaning you cannot perform transactions (i.e., transfer cash from your checking to savings account) via the services if you are solely a free tools user.
“We wouldn’t trust our savings to just anyone — and we don’t expect you to, either,” said Eric Sekercan, Personal Capital’s Security Team Lead. “In this age of advanced cyberattacks, fraud, and scams, we owe it to you to explain what we do to keep your financial information and data safe when you register for a Personal Capital account.”
>>Read More: Is Personal Capital Safe?
Deciding Which is the Best Choice for You
So which free, online money management tool should you sign up for? Nothing prevents you from using both Personal Capital and Mint.
Up first, Stephen, a free tools user, shared this testimonial in June 2020:
“Up-to-the-minute insight into all finances. Used Quicken for years, then Mint for years, and now only use Personal Capital. Best simple tools for managing budget, household expenses, and financial outlook. No debate.”
>>Read More: How to Master a Household Budget
Next, there’s Nham, a free tools user who said this in July 2020:
“I’ve used Mint for years, but never really liked the investment portion of that tool. Its features were really bare and didn’t give the level of detail I was looking for. Personal Capital’s tool definitely changed all of that, and it’s the perfect tool for any finance nerd to play around with. I used to have a number of Excel models to track my net worth and performance, but with Personal Capital, I no longer needed them.”
>>Read More: How to Keep Track of Your Investments
Finally, here’s what Brian, another free tools user, said in March 2021:
“I had been using Mint for years and was becoming more frustrated by the poor customer service. Although I was reluctant to switch, I am glad I did because I am thrilled with Personal Capital. The interface is very user-friendly. Managing my accounts is effortless with tools such as viewing transactions by type, account, date range, and even custom tags. On the few occasions that I have needed help, I was amazed at how quickly customer service responded. I recommend Personal Capital to everyone.”
>>Read More: Reviews of Personal Capital
If you’re looking to track all of your financial accounts in one place, analyze your investments and uncover hidden fees, keep a close eye on your cash flow, and plan for long-term goals like retirement, you can join Stephen, Nham, and Brian (and more than 2.8 million others*) in using Personal Capital.
*As of February 29, 2021. Advisory services are offered for a fee by Personal Capital Advisors Corporation (“PCAC”), a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Investing involves risk. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. You may lose money. PCAC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Personal Capital Corporation (“PCC”), an Empower company. PCC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Empower Holdings, LLC. © 2021 Personal Capital Corporation. All rights reserved.