Quicken, the popular money-management software that lets users track and plan budgeting, spending, saving and investing, now can cost you three times as much as before. With earlier versions, you received the right to use Quicken’s online features, such as online bill pay and bank account statement downloads, for three years. Now if you buy Quicken 2018 directly from Quicken Inc. (as opposed to from a brick-and-mortar store or third-party online retailer), you receive only a one-year “membership.” To continue using the software’s online features, you would have to pay again each future year. The initial amount charged for Quicken 2018 is comparable to prices in past years—$49.99 for the “Deluxe” version, for example—so if you’re not paying careful attention, you easily could overlook the fact that the much shorter time frame effectively triples your long-term cost.
If you buy Quicken from a brick-and-mortar store or third-party online retailer, you receive at least two years of online access, but you still will have to pay a much steeper price than in past years. Example: Quicken Deluxe recently cost $89.99 for a 27-month “membership” if you purchased the “Amazon Exclusive” edition through Amazon.com—that’s the equivalent of $40 per year.
These large price hikes are being imposed as the company moves to a system of continual updates rather than annual changes. The company behind all this is H.I.G. Capital, a private-equity investment firm that in 2016 bought the Quicken brand from Intuit, its longtime maker. Intuit no longer makes or sells the program.
What to do: If you purchased Quicken within the past month and do not consider it worth the new, higher price that you might not have initially noticed, consider taking advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you are using a version of Quicken from 2016 or 2017, you don’t have to upgrade for 2018—the version you have is still good until April 2019 or 2020, respectively, despite the recent changes.