Mint comes to Canada, will Canada come to Mint?

Mint has been a favourite destination for people trying to manage their finances; and it’s now available to Canadians!  Well, if you didn’t mind getting American ads you could always use the original Mint site as a lot of Canadian institutions were available.  If you haven’t tried Mint already then it’s definitely worth investing the time to try it out and see how much it can do for you.

On the other hand, if you’re a Canuck who’s already tried Mint then try to pretend that Canada Mint doesn’t exist!  It will save you a lot of pain and frustration (and time spent on Mint’s Get Satisfaction forum).

There’s two major issues: you can’t migrate your Mint account to a Canada Mint account; and you can’t delete your Mint account and re-use the same e-mail address to create a Canada Mint account.

The first problem means you can’t transfer all the history and categorization you’ve done in your original Mint account to a Canada Mint account.  So if you have years of data and trends built-up then it’s stuck in the original Mint  database!  From Intuit’s point of view this makes very little sense, since Mint makes their money by suggesting ways for you to save money from partners and get’s a cut of the referral.  Since Canadians can’t (in most cases) benefit from American offers there’s no value in keeping those customer’s stuck in Mint USA.  If they could transfer to Canada Mint then there would be a lot of built-up data from which to offer these people deals that could interest them.

The other problem affects all those people who’ve signed for the original Mint out of curiousity but now want to actually use it since there’s an official Canadian version.  They can’t!  They can delete their Mint account but when they try to create a new Canada Mint account they’ll be told their e-mail address is still in use.  And it gets worse, they can’t post the issue to the Get Satisfaction forum since they deleted their account!

The other problem I have with Mint Canada, but I don’t know the answer to is where your data is stored. The question has been asked, but there’s no answer. Of course if your data is stored in the USA then it’s subject to, among other things, the Patriot Act, that could allow US authorities access to all your financial information!

So far now I’m not sure I’m going to use Canada Mint.  I deleted my original Mint account and I don’t feel like creating an e-mail address just so I can open a Canada Mint account.  And since since RBC Royal Bank has recently added a budgeting feature that lets me categorize transactions, and they can display transactions from the other financial institutions I deal with I’m not sure I really need Canada Mint as much as their advertising would have me believe.

UPDATE December 6th, 2010: If you use Gmail there’s a couple tricks you can take advantage of if Mint says your e-mail address is already in use after you delete your original Mint account. First off, Gmail doesn’t consider periods so and and are all the same! Second, you can put a plus symbol (+) into your address and Gmail will strip it and everything afterwards so and are the same Gmail address! Happy Minting!!!

Cross-posted on Schultzter’s blog at Mint comes to Canada, will Canada come to Mint?