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I have one free download code for Quicken 2015 for Mac to give away to a lucky reader. Instructions are at the bottom of this article.

It’s been nine years since Intuit released a version of Quicken that was both fully-featured and designed to run on Apple’s hardware and operating systems. The Quicken Essentials for Mac bridged a technology gap between Quicken Mac 2007 and the Windows versions of the software, but many important pieces were missing.

Intuit has no announced their plans to release Quicken 2015 for Mac, and the software is available for pre-order beginning today. I had a chance to take a look at Quicken 2015 for Mac earlier this week. I am not a Mac user; I’ve been using Quicken Deluxe or Quicken Home & Business on Windows for years, and I’ve upgraded every year except this past year. But every time I’ve written a review of the latest Quicken product for Windows, I’ve heard from many readers who have been dreaming of a Quicken Mac version that contains all the features of the Windows version that can be run natively in OS X.

And that’s what Intuit is presenting today. It’s a complete re-write of the Quicken codebase (as it would need to be because of the requirements of OS X). And sometimes, from an application development perspective, when you’ve been modifying the same code for two decades, it’s good to start from the beginning with a fresh codebase.

Mac users will like the improvements. The interface borrows from what has worked well in Quicken’s mobile versions, and in fact, Intuit is also releasing an update mobile application for Quicken (the 2014/2015 mobile app).

The Quicken 2014/2015 mobile app.

Intuit promises the new mobile app will provide faster syncing between your desktop financial information and your mobile. A new feature allows you to easily take a snapshot of your receipts and enter the information for easier entry as a transaction, either on the spot or later. There are many mobile applications that allow you to organize your receipts, but if you’re a Quicken user, this built-in feature is essential.

Quicken 2015 for Mac desktop.

The sleek new interface is a welcome change. This overview screen shows how Quicken has improved its budget tracking features over the years, and most newer Quicken users are interested in tracking a budget. Quicken has really focused on household spending, and this has been seen more in the recent versions of the Quicken mobile app, and the same approach is now being featured in the desktop version of Quicken 2015 for Mac.

But the new version also finally gives Mac users powerful tools for tracking investments. It’s been almost ten years since a version of Quicken for Mac was able to do anything more than track investment balances. Like Windows users, Mac users can now track not only the balances in investment accounts, but the transactions as well. The investment features of the latest software are finally on par not just with the Windows version, but with users’ expectations for fully-featured personal financial management software.

Mac users can now track gains and losses, investment performance over time, and other important facets of all types of investment accounts, from stock trading portfolios to 401(k) retirement accounts.

Automatic upgrades for one year.

Intuit is trying something new with Quicken 2015 for Mac. When you buy the software, you will receive free, automatic software upgrades for one year. This is somewhat similar to how the Windows version works. Every time you open the Quicken software, the software checks to see if any new updates are available. There’s an important difference, however. The Windows updates are only bug fixes. And as most Quicken for Windows users know, there are undoubtedly bugs that need to be fixed with every new version.

However, with Quicken 2015 for Mac, the updates throughout the year will also include new features. According to Intuit, they are closely listening to their community of Mac users to determine what features to include. Any new features for one year will be automatically rolled out to all Mac users.

What’s missing from Quicken 2015 for Mac.

Intuit prioritized the features to include in the software based on feedback from Mac users. But as this is a new piece of software, built from the ground-up, and because Intuit is keeping to a release schedule, there are many interesting features available in the Windows version of Quicken that have not yet found their way into this new release for Mac users.

For instance, there is no calendar view of upcoming bills. The Mac version doesn’t include a debt reduction planner, something that many Windows users have found useful or at least interesting. Quicken for Mac doesn’t support some types of investment transactions, particularly those dealing with employee stock purchasing plans (ESPP). That would have been a deal-breaker for me. The retirement planner and goals planner are among some of the Windows features that are still missing from the Mac.

You can, however, vote on the features you’d like to see added to Quicken for Mac 2015 throughout the year. Intuit plans to listen to its community of users as much as possible, and implement the features that are most desired.

Final words.

For a Mac user that is serious about his or her finances, Quicken 2015 for Mac is a must buy. There’s always the alternative of running Quicken for Windows on a Mac through emulation, but the new interface makes the native version more appealing, but only if you don’t need the features that are currently missing from the Mac version.

The new software is an amazing improvement over what has previously been available for Apple’s operating systems, and the integration with mobile is a advantage worth the upgrade for users still hanging onto Quicken Mac 2007. Furthermore, any version of Quicken is much more feature-rich than any other financial management software available.

Intuit’s own (through acquisition) Mint has captured the interest of a new generation of financially-minded individuals and households, but Quicken holds so much more power, and as someone moved beyond basic budgeting and spending tracking to grown-up financial needs like investing for retirement or being the head of a household, Quicken is an essential upgrade over Mint.

Not surprisingly, having the Intuit team take me through a demo of the software earlier this week has piqued my interest for the latest Windows upgrade. I skipped Quicken 2014 for Windows, and I’ve been reading that users are still having problems with this version. I’d like to see some of the interface improvements and underlying technology fixed with the next version for Windows. It would be great to see a ground-up rewrite of the code, just like the Mac version, but with a tight yearly upgrade cycle, I doubt that will be the case any time soon for Windows users.

How to buy Quicken 2015 for Mac.

Quicken 2015 for Mac is available today for immediate download from Intuit, the Mac App store, or Amazon.com. If you prefer receiving software in a box in CD-ROM or DVD-ROM format (does anyone?), the software will be available in October in retail locations.

The price today is $74.99.

I have one free download code for Quicken 2015 for Mac to give away to a lucky reader. Instructions are at the bottom of this article.

Quicken 2015 for Mac FAQs.

Here are some of the questions I’ve received so far.

Can you edit investment transactions?

Yes. Unlike Quicken Essential for Mac, the investment features are implemented the same way as all other accounts, so you can add, edit, and delete transactions. The software does more than just track your investment balances.

Can you import old data?

Yes. You can import data from any previous version of Quicken for Mac or Windows into Quicken 2015 for Mac.

Give us your feedback.

Once you’ve downloaded the software and have had a chance to import your data (or begin from scratch), let other potential users know about your experiences. I’ve had a chance to look at the software from afar, and I like what I see, but I don’t have a Mac to run the software for myself. Do you like the new features, and do they work as expected? Are you missing the few aspects of the program that are available on the Windows version but not yet on Mac?

Free download giveaway.

Want to download Quicken 2015 for Mac for free? I have one download code to give away to a Consumerism Commentary reader. In order to qualify, follow these instructions:

  • For one point, post the following to Twitter: Read the @Quicken 2015 for Mac review by @luke_landes and win a copy! http://flexo.me/1pUASYZ #giveaway or just click on this link and submit the tweet easily.
  • Get an extra point if you have over 1,000 followers, another extra point if you have over 5,000, another extra point if you have over 10,000, another extra point if you have over 50,000, etc.
  • Leave a comment below with your Twitter ID and write briefly about your experience with Quicken. If you leave a comment and don’t post to Twitter, you’ll still get one point.

Every point you receive gives you one entry in the giveaway. I’ll choose the winner randomly on September 1.

The images in this post were provided by Intuit.

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The Discover it® card with an 18 month introductory balance transfer offer arrived on the market with heavy fanfare, including lots of television ads and billboards touting personal service and a new rebate structure that frees customers from most cash back traps. This card’s critics have pointed out that other lenders extend far more generous signup offers, dangling hundreds of dollars in bonus rewards for new customers. If you’re carrying no debt at all, those credit card deals might fit better for you. However, Discover’s 18 month balance transfer deal hits a sweet spot if you’re among the millions of Americans trying to shed an “average” credit card balance. Plus, free FICO® Credit Score online and on your monthly statement to help you stay on top of your credit.*

You could save hundreds of dollars with Discover’s balance transfer deal

According to TransUnion, the typical American consumer carries $4,878 in credit card debt. Down from $5,122 the year earlier, the figure shows that we’re making a little headway on our monthly balances, but not much. Using this figure and a 15 percent APR for our example, a $100 monthly payment will zero out your balance in about seven years, costing you $2,700 in finance charges along the way.

Instead, Discover’s deal includes a balance transfer fee of just 3 percent. Buckle down with Discover’s offer by making a $280 monthly payment and you’ll clear your $5,025 balance before the promotion expires. That’s like earning an extra $2,420 over eighteen months.

Even if you can only budget $100 each month toward your balance, you’ll still clear your debt within about four years, paying $1,077 in fees and finance charges. Either way, this deal could save you at least $1,600 if you get serious about your budget — a much bigger haul than sliding a few thousand rewards points into your virtual wallet.

Shifting gears from spending to saving

This deal bucks a trend where major credit card issuers separate their rewards cards from their balance transfer cards. Even though you can find similar balance transfer offers from Discover’s competitors, it’s rare to see this kind of opportunity extend to a card with a minimum 1 percent cash back rebate. That’s important, because if you pull off your “get out of debt” plan with a Discover it Card’s help, you’ll already be in position to start enjoying the benefits of a decent cash back program.

In addition to everyday rewards, you can sign up each quarter to participate in Discover’s quarterly promotions that can score up to 5 percent cash back up to the quarterly maximum spend in purchases on featured purchase categories. Booking travel and shopping through Discover’s online portal can earn you even more bonus rewards.

Can a credit card company ever really be nice?

That brings up one of the key messages this lender wants to project with the Discover it Card. Discover has consistently earned high ranks for customer loyalty and cardmember service from organizations like J.D. Power and Brand Keys. Instead of shipping call center jobs overseas, Discover has hired veterans and military family members to handle inbound phone calls from their home offices.

Furthermore, those customer service agents have received training on how to help callers get through tough life events, like job losses, illness and workplace injuries. Instead of shutting down accounts and imposing penalty rates, Discover has empowered team members to authorize hardship programs with lower rates, lower monthly payments and other forms of assistance.

Of course, they’re not just doing all this to be nice — Discover hopes that you’ll bring other business their way, through savings accounts, student loans and home loans. However, it’s refreshing to see a major lender ditch penalty fees and adjust its approach to add-on services in favor of offering products that can help us manage our financial lives much more effectively.

Discover also offers other variations of this card that may better suit your needs. Be sure to read these additional reviews:

Discover it card

Apply for Discover it cardThe Discover it® card  makes a habit of saying no. No annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, no overlimit fee, no APR hike for a late payment, and in fact, no late fee on your first late payment. Discover’s latest incarnation of cash back cards aims to simplify the relationship between cardholder and card issuer into one of easy cooperation. Plus, free FICO® Credit Score online and on your monthly statement to help you stay on top of your credit.*

Discover it for Students

Apply for Discover it for StudentsDiscover’s made strong inroads into student borrowing over the past few years. Discover it® for Students represents the bank’s latest foray onto college campuses, with pricing and features that resemble full-featured credit cards more than the typically watered-down student accounts on the market.

Discover it for Students with $20 Cashback Bonus

Apply for Discover it for Students
The Discover it® for Students with $20 Cashback Bonus is a great way to get a taste of what credit card signup bonus are all about — without getting in over your head. After making your first purchase on your new Card within three months of approval you’ll receive a promotional award of $20; that’s in addition to the cash back bonus you’ll earn on all purchases.

*Click the link on the card name or click the card art to see rates, rewards and other information.

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Discover’s made strong inroads into student borrowing over the past few years. Discover it® for Students represents the bank’s latest foray onto college campuses, with pricing and features that resemble full-featured credit cards more than the typically watered-down student accounts on the market.

Loading up your wallet for the long haul

For years, student credit cards earned bad reputations for locking college kids into high-APR, low credit line accounts with few added benefits. Discover it for Students, like many of today’s new-look student cards, offers an experience that more closely matches the kinds of cards for which you’ll qualify after a few solid years of professional work.

Your initial credit line may feel a little constrained, especially if you’ve been an authorized user on a relative’s or a partner’s account. However, you’ll have plenty of room to maximize your rewards by swiping your card and paying down your balance as if you were using a debit card.

With 1 percent cash back rebate on all purchases, you can start racking up rewards redeemable as statement credits or on Amazon.com. Quarterly promotions can boost your rebates to 5 percent on purchases up to the maximum quarterly spend in rotating categories, as long as you sign-up each quarter. Shopping online or booking travel plans through Discover’s web portal can earn you even bigger rebates.

A student card that doesn’t feel like bumper bowling

Discover has promoted its new flagship credit card as a revolution in customer service, going beyond the requirements of recent federal regulations into territory that might make you question whether a major bank’s really capable of “being nice.” Other student credit cards have experimented with benefits that expand over time, as a way to prove your worth to a potential long-term lender. Instead, the Discover it for Students card includes all of the card’s perks and privileges from day one.

This card assumes you’re capable of running your financial life, while making some concessions for occasional mistakes and hardships that affect us all. For example, Discover will waive your late payment penalty the first time you miss a minimum monthly payment. In addition, your APR won’t automatically spike to the higher penalty rate common on most credit card terms sheets.

Features that fit both student and post-grad lifestyles

At a point in your life when adventure can pop up anywhere, you want a credit card that can help you accomplish your goals. With no foreign transaction fees and a growing merchant presence in Asia and South America, Discover it for Students makes a great travel companion for both spring break and study abroad trips. The lack of an overlimit fee can also prevent you from crashing your budget if you spend a little more than you intended.

Even though a late payment won’t tank your account, Discover’s flexible payment options reduce the likelihood that you’ll miss a deadline. As long as you submit your payment by 11:59 P.M. Eastern time on your due date, you’ll avoid late payment fees and any potential damage to your credit report. Just watch out: getting this spoiled with customer service at this stage of your financial life can set you up for disappointment if you eventually start dealing with some of Discover’s competitors later on.

Discover also offers other variations of this card that may better suit your needs. Be sure to read these additional reviews:

Discover it for Students – with $20 cash back offer

Apply for the Discover it for StudentsThe Discover it® for Students with $20 cash back is a great way to get a taste of what credit card signup bonus are all about — without getting in over your head. After you make your first purchase using your new Card within three months of approval you’ll receive a promotional award of $20; that’s in addition to the cash back bonus you’ll earn on all purchases.

Discover it card

Apply for the Discover it cardThe Discover it® card makes a habit of saying no. No annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, no overlimit fee, no APR hike for a late payment, and in fact, no late fee on your first late payment. Discover’s latest incarnation of cash back cards aims to simplify the relationship between cardholder and card issuer into one of easy cooperation. Plus, free FICO® Credit Score online and on your monthly statement to help you stay on top of your credit.*

Discover it

Apply for the Discover itThe Discover it® arrived on the market with heavy fanfare, including lots of television ads and billboards touting personal service and a new rebate structure that frees customers from most cash back traps. Discover’s 18 month introductory balance transfer deal hits a sweet spot if you’re among the millions of Americans trying to shed an “average” credit card balance. Plus, free FICO® Credit Score online and on your monthly statement to help you stay on top of your credit.*

*Click the card name link to see rates, rewards and other information.

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Once upon a time, applying for a student credit card got you a cheesy T-shirt, or a hat, or a beer koozie. Often, that same card saddled you with a higher-than-average APR and a bare bones set of features compared to regular credit cards. Instead of spiking your finance charges, the folks behind the Discover it® for Students with $20 Cashback Bonus card want to set you up with 1 percent cash back and competitive finance charges. And, rather than stick you with a promo, they’re just going to give you twenty bucks.

Kicking off your cash back with a $20 balance

Although you can easily find an application for the regular Discover it for Students card, hunting for this special offer earns you a $20 bonus after you make your first purchase with your card within three months of approval. You’ll see your reward show up in your Cashback Bonus balance about eight weeks later. After that, you can cash it out as a statement credit, or pay with Cashback Bonus at Amazon.com, iTunes, and a handful of other major online retailers.

Very few student credit cards offer cash-back rewards. However, Discover helps you maximize your earnings with a 5 percent cash back on a series of promotional categories that rotate every three months. All you need to do is sign-up each quarter and you can start earning 5 percent cash back up to the quarterly maximum in purchases in the promotional categories. So far, scheduled promotions have included restaurants, home improvement stores, movie theaters, gas stations, department stores and online shopping. All of your other purchases rack up 1 percent cash back.

Get spoiled early in your financial life with few fees

Where other student credit cards, like offerings from Citi and Capital One, reward you for financial responsibility over time, Discover unloads its whole arsenal of perks and privileges on new cardholders from day one. With no annual fee, no overlimit fees, and no foreign transaction fee, the Discover it for Students card can shield your budget from unexpected expenses. In fact, Discover will even waive your late fee the first time you miss a minimum monthly payment. (Don’t let it happen again, okay?) It’s hard to find this set of privileges on a typical rewards credit card, let alone a student card.

The Discover it for Students card even has a narrower APR spread than its standard-issue sibling. Although its lowest variable rate is just two percentage points higher than the standard card’s, the student card’s maximum rate is actually a few points lower. Considering that you may want to hang on to this card for a while, you’re still getting a decent deal even if you get stuck at the high end of the rate spectrum.

Strong phone support from friendly voices

At a time in your life when you’re thinking about your career, it’s nice to do business with a company that’s made a public commitment to keeping jobs in the United States. When you call for help with any aspect of your Discover it for Students with $20 Cashback Bonus, you’ll have access to a customer service agent based in the United States. To keep that service available, Discover hires members of military families who answer your calls from their home offices.

And, as you’re figuring out how to use a credit card for the first time, you can call Discover’s agents for help with any aspect of your account. Discover set the bar very high for their competitors, and a card like this could help win your loyalty for decades to come.

Discover also offers other variations of this card that may better suit your needs. Be sure to read these additional reviews:

Discover it card

The Apply for the Discover it cardDiscover it® card  makes a habit of saying no. No annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, no overlimit fee, no APR hike for a late payment, and in fact, no late fee on your first late payment. Discover’s latest incarnation of cash back cards aims to simplify the relationship between cardholder and card issuer into one of easy cooperation. Plus, free FICO® Credit Score online and on your monthly statement to help you stay on top of your credit.*

Discover it

The Discover it®Apply for Discover it® arrived on the market with heavy fanfare, including lots of television ads and billboards touting personal service and a new rebate structure that frees customers from most cash back traps. Discover’s 18 month introductory balance transfer deal hits a sweet spot if you’re among the millions of Americans trying to shed an “average” credit card balance. Plus, free FICO® Credit Score online and on your monthly statement to help you stay on top of your credit.*

Discover it for Students

Discover’s made strong inroads into student borrowing over the past few years. Apply for Discover it for StudentsDiscover it® for Students represents the bank’s latest foray onto college campuses, with pricing and features that resemble full-featured credit cards more than the typically watered-down student accounts on the market.

*Click card name link to see rates, rewards and other information.

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Barclays Online Savings Review

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Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card

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Aurora Bank Review

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