Quicken was traditionally known as one of the best personal finance software options for desktop users. However, the Mac version had traditionally lacked the features found in the PC version, and that was disappointing to many users. Last year, Quicken 2017 for Mac, was more disappointing than ever before.
After our terrible review, the CFO of Quicken, John Eichhorn reached out to me and said: "We do have more work ahead of us - and we take all feedback seriously. We have our work cut out for us, but I do believe we provide a tremendous amount of value to our customers and we are here for the long-haul and will be with our customers as their lives become more multi-faceted – so please do stay tuned with us."
So, how did Quicken for Mac 2018 do? Honestly, it's a great improvement over 2017. However, it does still have some drawbacks, and one major change this year might have some long time Quicken users concerned.
- Big improvement over 2017
- Much better investment tracking and loan tracking
- Change to subscription model and price still a concern
Key Features Of Quicken For Mac 2018
Quicken For Mac continues to build on the many traditional features that Quicken users expect. As always, it comes with great spending tracking (compared to other online options like Mint and Personal Capital), it has investment tracking, and budgeting.
For 2018, they have improved the usability of the platform, but the navigation is still a little challenging. Even after using Quicken for about a week, I still find it hard to get to different reports. It's not intuitive. Here's what the home screen looks like:
Instead of being under reporting, most of the things you'll care about are actually available by clicking on the "Acccount" sidebar - for example, your income and spending isn't viewable under "Reports", but it's actually visible under "Banking".
Here's an example:
Quicken for Mac dramatically improved their investment tracking for 2018. This was one of my biggest areas of concern in the 2017 version, and it's greatly improved.
However, there are still issues here. When I imported my accounts, some positions transferred the cost basis, while others didn't. Not a huge deal, but very odd. Also, it's still missing key reports that I valued in the Windows version - most notably the asset allocation and ability to play with your allocation in the program.
See the investment screen here:
Also, Quicken touts that you can now see investment performance, but it consistently showed "N/A" for every account. My guess is that Quicken calculates this in the program, versus using historical data. That is a good thing in that you get a real snapshot of your performance, but a bad thing in that you need the Quicken app to consistently update to make it happen.
Here's what the screen looks like:
Overall, the software is a big improvement over 2017, but there are still some bugs that could get annoying over time.
Quicken For Mac 2018 Pricing
The pricing for Quicken For Mac 2018 is one of the biggest changes. Quicken changed their pricing model this year to a subscription-based model, instead of a one-time fee. I see this as both good and bad.
It's bad, because many Quicken users kept their software for years, and never upgraded. For users, this was fine - because you could avoid bad rollouts like Quicken for Mac 2017. However, to continue to receive updates and banking information, you had to update every few years anyway or Quicken would cut you off.
It's good, because my hope is with more recurring revenue, Quicken can continue to improve their software and ensure banking connectivity.
Quicken For Mac 2018 has three price points this year (which is also a change). I think 90% of users would benefit simply using the Deluxe version, which is $49.99/yr at full price.
Here's what the pricing looks like:
Basic budgeting, no investments
Users with investments and loan tracking
Users who want BillPay or Premium Support
It's hard to say if Premier is worth the huge additional price. I think Deluxe is the best value, for the added features of investment and loan tracking. But I've never used BillPay, and I highly recommend that most people don't use a service like BillPay because not only does Quicken charge more, but many banks charge for the service as well.
Special Promotional Pricing
As you probably already know, Quicken is notorious for running promotional pricing all the time. Recently, they were offering 40% off their prices - which I think is a fair price for the product.
I would have a hard time paying $49.99 per year for Deluxe, but paying $29.99 per year makes much more sense - especially considering that I would typically upgrade every 2-3 years, this aligns much better with the pricing I'd expect.
However, in our search for deals, we found that Amazon.com is offering a 27-month subscription of the Deluxe version for $89.99. Given the $49.99 price is $4.17 per month, Amazon's deal is $3.33 per month - a savings of roughly 20%. Still not as good as Quicken's own sale, but the second best deal we've found.
Pros And Cons Of Quicken For Mac 2018
As you can see, there are some definite improvements in Quicken for Mac 2018 versus the prior year. However, it's still not perfect and it still has a lot less features than you'll find in the Windows version.
The final verdict is that we're giving Quicken for Mac 2018 four stars. It's hard to compare Quicken because the alternatives are free - notably Personal Capital and Mint.
However, for those that want desktop software, AND if you can get it at a discounted price, Quicken for Mac is a much better piece of software than before.
Have you tried Quicken for Mac 2018? What are your thoughts?
Quicken For Mac 2018
Quicken For Mac 2018 is significantly better than past years, but it still doesn't fully compete with online free options