Quicken 20% price increase is just wrong

Just got this email from Quicken and I’m not at all happy about it:

20% is a massive price increase when many of us are not getting salary increases, and the cost of living has only gone up. And in this case, they can’t play the “fuel surcharge” card since that’s not a significant cost for their business. How do they justify this price increase? They don’t even try (including in the linked FAQ). The increase in the number of software engineers working from home and therefore not requiring the hefty cost of brick and mortar office space?

It’s bad enough that we’re essentially forced to be on a subscription model nowadays. $5/month was a generous income stream for them for a product that has not changed substantially in 30 years. I’ve been using it since around 1994, and it is about the same feature wise. They obviously have to maintain interconnectivity with banks; but those maintenance activities get amortized over millions of subscribers.

So basically, we’re getting a massive rate hike in exchange for an icon change.

I wonder if the software still functions without the subscription? If so, I’ll probably cancel. It definitely checks that I’m paid up before updates are applied. But how easily it could break without updates is not clear to me.


Alright, I answered my own question:

That’s lousy. Literally, bank downloads are the only reason I use the product. That and some basic reporting.

Now accepting input on alternatives!


As can be seen from another thread in which I’m participating, I’m not a fan of subscriptions (or price increases). The fact you can still use the software but lose access to bank downloads is unfortunate BUT I don’t think it’s totally unreasonable.

I guess you need to ask yourself, is having to manually enter your bank data worth saving $1 a month?


It depends to me on whether Intuit’s cloud is acting as a necessary proxy between my desktop client and the bank or not. There is a ton of bank specific logic in the client and credentials stored there too. If intuit has inserted themselves into the transaction path for good reason that’s one thing. If not, and it’s just to ensure you can’t walk away with their software and happily use it without ongoing fees, then I have a problem with that.

It’s plausible that security is a factor here, and the banks prefer to manage ingress from a single proxy instead of millions of end users. But this just shifts my complaint to whether Intuit is engaged in anti competitive behavior.

Like is said, bank downloads is the main reason I use the product. It’s worthless without that. But I’m not convinced there’s not a cheaper, simpler alternative.

I like the new Quicken and have no objection to subscriptions in principle, but as Dave says 20% is hefty (are you listening Amazon Prime?) and I’ll have to think this through. It’s not clear to me, for instance, whether non-members are prevented from downloading transactions from banks and other institutions (Santander and Vanguard in my case, including non-Vanguard funds & ETFs) directly and importing them into Quicken. I have to do that now to get Vanguard’s detailed transactions anyway, and could live with it for Santander. I haven’t checked my credit card yet, but will shortly. [edit: Yup, I can download transactions from Citibank too.]

If all it takes is a shift to manual downloads, we may in fact have uncovered a major loophole in their subscription model . . .

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Assuming this is the first price rise in 2-3 years, it’s right in line with inflation. 4.99 in 2020 is worth 5.92 now:


I’m a bit annoyed at subscription increases in general right now.

I feel like I probably have fewer subscriptions than many households, but I just did some quick mental arithmetic, and based on the handful of increases I can recall off the top of my head, my household’s subscription costs in 2024 easily will be $300+ higher than in 2023 unless I make some cuts. My ISP raised its rate $3/month, Amazon Prime video wants $2.99 to stay ad-free, Netflix has gone up, Office 365 has increased, Quicken, Dropbox, etc., etc.

$1-$3 more a month across multiple services can add up pretty quickly!

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Thanks for the reply!

I too have several different banks and multiple accounts and would not enjoy having to log into all of their web sites with 2FA every time I want to download, and then doing the imports . If they retain 6 months of data, I could put up with it a couple times a year. Not sure.

I still feel there should be a paid but cheaper solution for my minimal needs.

Even if that’s true, inflation is a coarse average for consumers mostly. The primary factors are real estate, car prices, and fuel, none of which should be major factors for Quicken.

I guess everybody has a different needs and different annoyance thresholds! I find downloading & importing from my institutions simple, and 2FA is becoming easier and easier (<10 second wait for text, autofill the #). The QIF goes to downloads; click to open the icon in the menubar lower right, click on the file, and the it opens directly in Quicken if the account’s already set up, if not, you’re prompted to set it up or match it to one that is.

Once upon a time I managed just fine with a monthly rhythm of paper payments and statements . . . The only practical difference these days being that, since I can check everything daily, I do. I wonder how much time I really save?

I assume that Quicken’s major costs come from salaries and benefits, both of which have paralleled inflation since 2020 (sometimes lower, sometimes higher, but overall in the same ballpark). So the company seems to be passing those increased costs onto their customers, which seems pretty standard.

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The Mac version of Quicken has not supported the import of QIF files for some time. The only exception is when you create a new Quicken file. Otherwise, you need to use another file format like QFX. However, import of a QFX file requires a Quicken Cloud account (even if you aren’t using it to synch data) and you need to have an active subscription to have a Quicken Cloud account.

How are managing to still import QIF files?

Oops, you’re right, of course–QFX it is these days. Interesting about Quicken Cloud. I will need to investigate that.

Thinking it over, I’ve realize that getting my account data updated through Quicken has been its least useful feature for me. It’s never worked very well or very consistently except for my credit card–e.g. it took almost seven minutes to update my bank accounts this morning, Vanguard will not let Quicken get at my detailed transaction information, and my 457a custodian won’t talk to Quicken at all.

For sure, and some cloud servers.

Yea, again, it’s easy to claim that, but I don’t think software salaries have gone up 20% over the past 3 years. Not even close. Many have stayed flat. And don’t forget what I said about the industry cost savings from engineers working from home.

Personally I am very happy with Quicken. After Quicken stopped development, it seemed like I would have to find other software and I spent time reading about various other solutions but managed to hang on with Quicken 2007. The new Quicken took a while to regain some capabilities but I now find it saving me a bunch of time for reconciling and reports. At this point I am grateful for not having to spend hours evaluating other software. In our case, it is a business expense and it has saved me from going to Quickbooks or similar more complex software. Our tax guy has mentioned that he would prefer real business accounting software with Balance Sheets. However I have handled that with a spreadsheet of account balances by year. I am especially happy with Quicken’s reconcile feature. I have memories of scouring lists for errors to fix reconcile errors. At this point I am happy to pay for development so that Quicken remains a viable product and doesn’t sink into abandonment again as it did in the Quicken dark years.


I’ve found I have to keep an eye on it. The trouble I’ve had seems to have something to do with duplicating (and once re-duplicating) Santander’s data for entries I’ve either made (as a paper check) or scheduled (a recurring debit or credit) directly in Quicken. Eliminating the problem, which has twice created spurious entries several months back, takes a printout of the bank’s monthly data and a pencil.

Works fine for my credit card, perhaps because I don’t enter anything in that register.

Still the best thing out there, I think.

I’m concluding that based on the evidence of inflation (which has led to average price increases of 20% over three years) and wage & benefits inflation (which has seen the same thing).

Tech salaries seem to have gone up even more since the pandemic started, per the Wall Street Journal:


As to the financial benefits of working from home, do you have evidence of that effect? As I remember it, a lot of companies were locked into leases so they ended up paying rent anyway.

All the evidence I’ve seen suggests that a 20% cost increase (from 4.99 to 5.99) once in three years is exactly in line with how much their expenses have increased over those years and not an attempt to extract more profit. I don’t find that problematic.


I’m not an expert on the subject. But I have been in the line of work for 35 years, and juggle these forces every day. And at the very least, your data is missing a lot of variables.

For one thing, your data is about American workers. The push for offshore software labor has only increased. And while offshore labor has also gone up, it still can be a ton cheaper than in the US, including its rate of inflation. Think 1/3rd the price of an average US engineer, or maybe 1/5th of someone in Silicon Valley. And with COVID forcing companies to be remote-capable, domestic businesses that always resisted overseas labor forces have now found it to be perfectly plausible and they are taking advantage of it. So ignoring the fact that IEEEs data on raises is barely half of what your WSJ link shows, the COVID-enabled global labor market is exerting a force that’s much more significant than domestic salary bumps.

Next, besides requiring lower “salaries”, many of these shops work on a contract basis. and so don’t require benefits. So chop another 30% off the SG&A costs required just a few years ago.

Yep, and now 4 years into COVID, many of our leases are coming due and companies are downsizing their brick and mortar footprint. Many have been making this move all along. Some big techs have dragged engineers back into the office. But many of those engineers refuse. But many firms are happy with the new arrangement, and enjoying the cost benefits.

A quick look around will also show a ton of vacant office space going for cheap.

Btw, many companies are still cashing in on PPP benefits, which is also new since COVID. These are loans that they don’t have to work hard to justify forgiveness for. The program formally ended, but they’re accepting renewals, too. It’s free money. I have no idea if Quicken is benefiting from it, but it’s very commonplace.

Anyway, like I said, I’m not an expert on the topic. But there are a couple other factors affecting my view here:

  1. I appeal again to history. Almost 30 years ago, I was using Quicken with nearly the same feature set. I paid maybe $25 and could use it for years, download all my transactions, etc, and only pay for an upgrade when something particularly compelling came out… or, more likely, when it was SO OLD that it wouldn’t run on the modern Mac OS. So inflation-adjust that $25 and let me walk away until I want an upgrade. But as I previously mentioned, Quicken’s feature set has been essentially flat for 30 years. We had budgets, and reconciliation, stock/investment tracking, and even CheckFree automatic free check-writing service (since removed). Since Quicken knows they aren’t providing any new value, and hence little reason to upgrade, they shifted to a subscription basis as a way to extract a new revenue stream in the absence of any new value. I have a problem with that.
  1. Quicken has a corner on the market. There are alternatives. But economy of scale is a huge factor here. You write code once to consume an API to fetch data in some new format Wells Fargo requires, and the cost of that engineer’s time is amortized over millions of subscribers. Independent shops like SEE Finance have to do just as much work for their tiny base. The monopolistic nature of the fixed costs of this industry stifles competition and makes it painless for Quicken to raise their prices.

I will probably stay with Quicken for now because I don’t need another headache to worry about at the moment. But I think the fact that they already get recurring revenue from me every month is generous; and raising that 20% feels usurious.


Based on this page, I’m not sure that’s true of Quicken. Free lunch and snacks seems to imply that these positions are in an office.

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There is a bit of entitlement being expressed here - I paid for my software and it should just work - perhaps ad-infinitum. Life isn’t like that. Software today requires continuing updates due to changing security needs, OS upgrades, licensing fees, and additional features. The developers don’t do this out of the goodness of their hearts - they need to make a living. And many decide it’s not worth the effort and just disappear. So, if the increase in price seems too high, stop using the software. No one is forcing you to use it. Example: I no longer use FotoMagico as it now requires a subscription and I no longer use it enough to justify the expense. However, I use Quicken daily, expect it to be secure, convenient and regularly updated. So it’s worth it to me to pay the freight. As soon as I feel it’s not worth it, I’ll cancel. I have a few clients today that use software that I developed some years ago and are incensed because they expect it to be upgraded today for free - 5 to 10 years after it was purchased. Sorry, not happening.