Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mint promises to save me $35,977

I have previously written about the scalability issues that have crippled Mint since the public launch a few days ago - and those issues prevented me from adding even a single account.

Today I was finally able to take one giant leap and get one step further in the process of testing this site to see if there was anything to the hype. After numerous attempts over the past few days, Mint was able to connect to one credit card company today in the late evening (out of the four banks that I tried to add):


I was, of course, delighted beyond belief, when Mint promptly informed me that it did not only just load 50 days of transaction history (about 210 transations), but it immediately found some great savings for me to realize:


So let me see if I got the math straight here...

I currently use an American Express credit card which has a 0.00% interest rate and I pay my full balance every single month. By switching from 0% interest on American Express to 13.89% on CapitalOne, my interest rate just went up by a factor of, say, approximately ∞. But despite this monumental increase in my interest rate, Mint actually promises me that I will be able to save $35,977. I have no idea what mathematical theory would support that calculation (or what planet the math genius is from, who came up with this theory), but I am intrigued by the promise to "GET DETAILS AND COMPARE", so I click on the link and get this:


Turns out I can not only save $35,977 - I can actually do it in just 10 minutes....

Here is some free advice for the creators of Mint: if you are offering a financial software, you better get your math straightened out pretty damn fast...

Never mind that most blog comments in the last couple of days talk about people's anxiety to entrust your software with the login info to access all their bank accounts - if they can't trust you to do the math right, then why should they use your software at all!

Unless, of course, you don't have any mathematician on staff and this entire thing is nothing but a big advertising machine trying to lure unsuspecting customers with false promises...

The only hypothetical question remaining is: if I did indeed sign up with CapitalOne and then was not able to see $36k in savings, who would I have to sue for false advertising? Mint or CapitalOne?

5 comments:

Florian said...

You can sue both!!
I agree with you about all the high hype around Mint...

Knight said...

Hi, I'm jason knight the CEO of Wesabe (a Mint competitor).

You should check us out.

http://www.wesabe.com/

We offer a significantly different, and I believe better, service than Mint. After you try Wesabe please email me jasonn@wesabe, and tell me what you think.

Peter Glyman said...

Hey Alexander,

I'm Peter Glyman, Co-Founder of Geezeo (a Mint & Wesabe Competitor).

You should check us out.

http://www.geezeo.com

We offer a more significantly different, and even better service than Mint and Wesabe. LOL

But wait there's more...we're based out of Framingham. Go Sox!

Pete Glyman
pglyman@geezeo.com

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing the calculation is what they think all those "Rewards Miles" are worth. You're not really "saving" money as much as getting a service that they feel is worth $36k. As long as you pay off your balance every month, the interest rate on cards doesn't really matter.

A.Falk said...

Hmm, interesting point about the value of reward miles. However, I would argue that the reward points that I am currently getting from American Express are actually better than the reward miles I could get from Capital One. Also $35k still seems excessively high for the value of reward miles...