Thoughts on the Mint Shutdown & Credit Karma Transition (from a Former Mint Insider & User)

Intuit Announces they are Shutting Down Mint

I was sad to see the recent news that Intuit will soon be shutting down the iconic personal finance management app, Mint. In its press release, Intuit promises that it will be integrating some of Mint’s features into another one of its popular apps, Credit Karma, but not all Mint features will survive the switch. For disappointed Mint users, nothing in that press release really documents the true reasons for Mint’s shutdown, so I’ll give a little history on the two companies (as a former Mint insider, user, and fintech space observer) and some Mint demise insights, and also discuss what I think could be next for the millions of homeless Mint users. Even if you aren’t a Mint user, as a reader of a personal finance site like this, I think you’ll find this story and overview of the fintech space to be of interest.




The Mint History Timeline (with a Special Guest Appearance)

Mint.com launched in September of 2007. As a budding personal finance nerd, I was an excited early user. More than that, I was a Mint insider. I was one of the first writers for the Mint.com blog (later re-named the Mint Life blog) back in 2008, starting just a few months after both Mint and 20somethingfinance launched. I even had the opportunity to meet the Mint team, including its founder and CEO, in a tiny corner office out in downtown Mountain View, California. At that moment, they were thrilled that one of my articles had just hit the front page of Digg, gaining the tiny startup a lot of new exposure. Ah, Digg… those were the days.

Mint Shutdown to Credit Karma

Mint’s growth was explosive. A free tool with eye-catching visuals and big promises to help people better consolidate and track their personal finances? Yes, please! It seemed like every few weeks, there’d be a new press release highlighting how many hundreds of thousands of new users Mint just added.

That growth garnered fintech industry attention. In 2009, less than two years after launching, Mint.com was purchased by Intuit (owner of TurboTax, Quickbooks, etc.) for the then-hefty price tag of $170 million. The purchase sent shockwaves through the personal finance community and came with the standard big promises of synergy and growth for both companies.

Then… Mint slowly died.

The Harsh Reality with Personal Finance Management Apps

The promise of a one-size-fits-all personal finance management app is enticing. The reality of tracking all of your personal finances in one space is a lot messier. It’s not uncommon for individuals to have dozens of personal finance related accounts – bank accounts, credit unions, credit cards, taxable brokerage accounts, 401ks, HSAs, IRAs, pensions, loans, crypto – to name just a few. Each one of these accounts – assuming they could be linked to Mint – required their own logins, passwords, and now 2-factor authentication.




I distinctly remember getting constant alerts that Mint could not connect to such and such institution. I’d try to re-sync only to get another alert soon after that Mint could not connect. Add a new account? Sync. Change a password? Re-sync. Even just one institution not syncing results in an incomplete picture. And even if a sync was successful, a lot of the categorization was imperfect. Getting the whole thing to work right required constant updates and work on the behalf of the user. And if they were successful? What’s next? What actions could those users then take to improve their financial situation? That part was always lacking.

The great promise of reaching personal finance nirvana was replaced with a series of OCD chores. My guess is that most Mint users simply got tired and lost interest over time. What little user data we have from Mint reflects that. In a 2016 blog post, Mint states having over 20 million users. According to Bloomberg, that number had dropped to 3.6 million users in 2021. It’s probably further declined since.

There’s also the Intuit side of things. All of the syncing, charting, categorization, security – that requires a lot of computing and engineering resources. From Intuit’s perspective (as a publicly traded company with revenues exceeding $14 billion per year) – Mint was probably seen as dead weight. Why continue putting engineer and computing resources towards a free product with a declining active user base that is generating very little in revenue because its users have lost interest?

Why is Mint being shutdown? The unfortunate reality is that it’s nearly impossible to have a good, automated, functional, one-size-fits-all app for personal finance tracking and management that adds continuous value for users. Many of Mint’s users came to that conclusion over time. Intuit came to a similar conclusion, but with the added challenge of also trying to make it “free” and “profitable” as well.




At the same time, another big Mint acquisition – Credit Karma – now claims to have nearly 130 million users and growing. Credit Karma is free for users, and while the feature overlap between Credit Karma and Mint is minimal at the moment – it is a great free personal finance tool in its own right (I’ve shared an extensive Credit Karma review and appreciate the free Equifax reports, free TransUnion reports, and free credit monitoring that Credit Karma offers). Transitioning Mint users to Credit Karma makes a lot of sense for Intuit.

The Mint Transition to Credit Karma

Given the comparative user base between the 2 apps, it’s easy to see why Intuit would want to transition Mint users to Credit Karma and not vice versa. Here’s what Intuit had to say in their press release about the transition,

Last year, the Intuit Mint team joined Intuit Credit Karma to help build one of our newest experiences that will help millions of members know, grow and protect their net worth. This marks the next evolution of Credit Karma, one that combines the money management product expertise and momentum of Mint with Credit Karma’s scale, technology and vast product ecosystem. 

Credit Karma is thrilled to invite all Minters to continue their financial journey on Credit Karma, where they will have access to Credit Karma’s suite of features, products, tools and services, including some of Mint’s most popular features. We know the most active Minters use Mint to monitor their cash flow and track their spending, and not only does Credit Karma offer these capabilities, but we’re able to take things even further for our members. 

Mint’s shutdown, originally planned for the end of this year, has been pushed to March 23, 2024.

What Mint Features Are Transitioning to Credit Karma?

Mint has already added net worth tracking to Credit Karma. Mint users that transition to Credit Karma will be able to transfer eligible linked financial accounts, supported transactions, and your entire net worth history. Additional features that Credit Karma has that are similar to Mint’s include:

  • See your linked financial accounts in one place
  • View your transactions
  • Track your spending
  • View your cash flow
  • Expense categorization

What Mint Features Are Not Transitioning to Credit Karma?

The biggest Mint feature not transitioning to Credit Karma is budgeting. Credit Karma states,

Credit Karma does not currently provide budgeting features the same way that Mint has in the past. We know that many Minters love our budgeting features, so we understand this may be disappointing. While Mint’s budgeting tools are not available, Credit Karma does have several money management features which will allow you to view your current month’s spending broken down by category, your average spending in each category, and how much your current month’s spending differs from the same period in the previous month.

Budgeting is one of those things that can easily be done by spreadsheet, thankfully. I have a free budgeting spreadsheet that I put together for readers. I know it’s not aesthetically as pleasing as what Mint offers, but it does the job.

Should you Transition from Mint to Credit Karma?

I would recommend transitioning from Mint to Credit Karma. They are obviously not the same thing, but I think there is value in Credit Karma. I’ve used both services for well over a decade, and while my Mint use had stopped a number of years ago, I’ve continued to use Credit Karma to this date. You’ll get some new feature capability, you will lose some old feature capability. Credit Karma is free, so there is no cost involved.

How to Transition from Mint to Credit Karma

If you already have a Credit Karma account: you’ll be able to use your existing account when you move your financial account data over from Mint. You’ll be alerted when you can make the move and sign in with your existing Credit Karma account credentials during the migration process.

If you don’t already have a Credit Karma account: you will be prompted to register for an account. You can create a new Credit Karma account any time at creditkarma.com.

Mint users can also download their transaction data following these instructions.

I know this isn’t great news for Mint users, but this can be one of the frequent downsides of “free”, unfortunately.

Mint to Credit Karma Transition Discussion:

  • What are your thoughts Mint shutting down?
  • If you were a heavy Mint user – what features are you hoping to replicate elsewhere?

4 Comments

  1. Bobby
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