For years, Quicken has been one of the oldest and most reputable personal finance tools, but Quicken for Mac has always been lacking in the features department compared to its Windows counterpart. Fortunately, over the past four years, Quicken for Mac has been making updates to bridge that gap.
Apple users have high standards because we’re used to clean and intuitive software. So, is Quicken for Mac any good after the most recent updates?
This article is going to answer that question and tell you what you can expect with the newest version of Quicken for Mac.
Quicken for Mac review 2021
New features for 2021
One of the biggest changes for 2021 is that Quicken for Mac and Windows got a new web-based companion. Up until now, Quicken has stood out as one of the few popular personal finance tools that doesn’t have robust online tools, like Personal Capital. Quicken is finally catching up with the rest.
Here’s what you can expect from the web version of Quicken for Mac:
- View balances, transactions, budgets, accounts, and investment holdings
- Check investment performance
- See spending trends
- Customizable dashboard
In my opinion, Quicken is heading in the right direction here. And while not all of the desktop features are available on the web platform, there is enough there if you need a quick check-in.
Another major change Quicken for Mac saw in 2021 is an overall faster experience than previous versions. Start-up, charts, and graphs all now load up to twice as fast. Backing up Quicken for Mac is now four times as fast as it was. While the software is faster overall, navigating through it, especially when you’re trying to get reports, takes a little time.
Quicken addressed over 500 customer-requested improvements and fixes that affected Mac and Windows users. And, they also added the following features:
- Bill center dashboard and PDF download of bills
- Improved ability to track the principal and interest on your loans
- What-if analysis on loans
- Customizable investment portfolio with IRR and ROI
- Tax optimization on investment sales
- Free bill pay with Quicken Bill Pay
- Priority customer support access
Those features aren’t available with all tiers of services, and you’ll read more about this further down in my Quicken for Mac review.
Quicken for Mac past updates
Quicken for Mac 2018
One of the largest changes in 2018 is that Quicken finally adopted a subscription-based payment model. Users can purchase one or two-year memberships, and as long as those memberships are maintained, you will receive updates and access the latest version.
Quicken for Mac 2017
In 2017, Quicken for Mac saw some incremental but still impressive changes:
- A more modern and readable interface that made it easier for users to migrate between platforms
- Quick access on mobile devices
- Customizable reports
- 12-month budget feature
- Quicken Bill Pay
Related to this Quicken for Mac review: Best Budgeting Apps and Personal Finance Tools.
Cost of Quicken for Mac 2021
Quicken for Mac has three pricing tiers – Starter, Deluxe, and Premier. You can purchase a one or two-year subscription that is billed annually. Quicken doesn’t offer free trials, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Here’s a breakdown of each tier:
Starter is best for people who want basic budgeting tools. Deluxe widens your budgeting capabilities and adds loan and investment tracking software. Premier gives you everything plus Quicken Bill Pay.
Those are the regular prices, but you can usually find Quicken for Mac new member promos that will save you money on your subscription. At the time of publication, new users can purchase Deluxe for $44.99/year and Premier for $67.49/year.
You can often find Quicken products on Rakuten (formerly Ebates), which means you earn cashback when you purchase the software through Rakuten.
To run Quicken for Mac 2021, you’ll need:
- Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan), 10.12 (Sierra), 10.13 (High Sierra), 10.14 (Mojave) or newer
- Broadband internet access
- You must activate online
- For the mobile app available on iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch: iOS 9 or higher
What Quicken for Mac still doesn’t have
Quicken for Mac is headed in the right direction, and that makes me really happy as both a fan of Quicken and a Mac user. But, there are still some key differences that make Quicken for Windows a more impressive money tool.
Here’s what Quicken for Mac is still missing:
- Easily export your data directly to Excel
- Morningstar’s Portfolio X-ray tool
- Compare buy and hold options
- Debt Reduction Plan
- Track the market value of your home
- Quicken Home and Business & Rental Property Manager
- Loan amortization
- Free Credit Score Report
- Paystub tracking
- Asset allocation view
It’s important to point out why there are still so many differences in Quicken for Mac and Windows. Quicken for Mac is a native app for Apple iOS. It’s actually a completely different product than it’s Windows counterpart. It’s also been rewritten a couple of times to work better within the limitations of the Apple iOS.
Pros and cons of Quicken for Mac
No good Quicken for Mac review would be complete without a pros and cons list…
There’s finally a web version, and it comes with access to some of the most used Quicken for Mac features.
Even though it lacks many features you find with Quicken for Windows, you are paying the same amount
Because Quicken for Mac is a native app, it still feels like the Apple products you love and can’t stop using.
For anyone who wants to interact with their investments, Quicken for Mac doesn’t offer the same powerful investment tracking tools you get with the Windows app.
Quicken Bill Pay is now available for Mac users.
Navigating the app isn’t as intuitive as other interfaces.
Improved investment and loan tracking tools
Quicken for Mac alternatives
Whether you’re put off by the price, the lack of features, or just looking at what else is out there, here are some of the top Quicken for Mac alternatives on the market in 2021.
✓ Our Top Pick
$84 a year
One-time fee of $69.99
This is the tool my wife and I use nearly every single day to keep track of our investments, plan for retirement, and see our net worth. Personal Capital has the asset allocation tool Quicken for Mac is missing, among a number of other robust investment tracking tools.
Here are a few more top-level features you get with Personal Capital:
- Cash flow spending
- Retirement fee analyzer
- You can play with what-if scenarios to see how something like having a baby or buying a house will affect your retirement savings
- Calculate the future costs of college
- For customers with over $100,000 in invested assets you can add Personal Captial’s Wealth Management services
Besides stellar money tools, Personal Capital is free.When you use my exclusive M$M link to sign up for Personal Capital, you and I both get $20.
This has been a favorite financial tool since 2006, and it’s owned by Intuit of TurboTax fame. Mint is great for seeing an overall picture of your finances. It has:
- Portfolio tracking for investments
- Free credit scores
- Financial goals
- Alerts for ATMS fees, when you go over-budget in a category, unusual spending, and bill reminders
Mint is 100% free to use, but there are a lot of ads. This is my least favorite part of Mint, but it’s how they make money.
Read Quicken vs. Mint: Which Budgeting Tool is Better in 2021? to see how these two money tracking tools stack up.
YNAB (You Need A Budget)
YNAB has a cult-like following of superfans that swear by this budgeting platform. YNAB is much different than Quicken or any of the other alternatives in this Quicken for Mac review because it’s strictly budgeting.
YNAB teaches you how to use zero-based budgeting to gain control of the money that is going in and out of your accounts. The way it does this is by showing you how to implement the following four rules:
- Rule 1: Give every dollar a job. You take the money you earn and allocate every single dollar you make to different expenses.
- Rule 2: Embrace your true expenses. This is saving for infrequent and unexpected expenses.
- Rule 3: Roll with the punches. This rule is about flexibility and teaches you that it’s okay to move money around when you need to.
- Rule 4: Age your money. The purpose of this rule is to help you start living on last month’s income.
YNAB claims it will help new users save more than $6,000 in their first year. But, YNAB isn’t free – it’s $84 a year after a 34-day free trial.
Banktivity is built for Mac lovers only, making it great Quicken for Mac alternative. Banktivity syncs to your iPhone, iPad, and even Apple Watch.
With Banktivity you can link your accounts, track your spending, pay your bills, see your investments, and create budgets. You can also generate reports to give you a better break down of your spending in certain areas, like in specific time frames or from certain companies. You can also easily search for things with Banktivity’s “Find” feature.
Banktivity is not free – there is a one-time fee of $69.99, and you can try it out for free for 30-days. After that, there is a 90-day risk-free guarantee.
For more Quicken alternatives, check out 15 Best Free and Paid Quicken Alternatives.
Quicken for Mac review – the final word
$34.99 - $74.99/year
Macintosh, iOS App, Android App
The latest features and updates in the 2021 release of Quicken for Mac are a definite improvement. Quicken for Mac is inching towards its Windows counterpart and that’s a good thing.
There are still some issues with missing features and how smooth the app functions, and that means that some people will be happier with one of the alternatives on this list. Personal Capital is the best for anyone who wants to do more with their investments.