Intuit recently announced that Mint Bill Pay is discontinued and will cease functioning on June 30.
This feature allowed Mint users to view bills and schedule payments directly from the app. On forums such as Reddit, Mint users are venting frustration that Mint Bill Pay is discontinued. However, in a comment to Lifehacker, a company rep said they simply "did not see a high volume of users paying bills through Mint.”
That's probably because many other automatic bill pay options abound. These include:
Bill pay through bank or credit card. Most banks now make it easy to set up recurring payments, pay bills and transfer money directly from your bank account. Almost all big banks such offer this functionality, as do many credit unions.
If you pay your bills through a credit card instead of a bank, you might qualify for points, cash back, or other rewards. (But you'll also have one more credit card bill to pay.)
Through an app or bill paying service. Dedicated bill pay apps generally offer more features than banks, such as alerts, forecasting, and spending dashboards. Now that Mint Bill Pay is discontinued, many people are moving to Prism, a free app with automatic bill tracking, due date notifications, and easy bill pay.
Direct payments to the provider. For example, when your cell phone company automatically charges your credit card for a month of service.
Pros and Cons of Autopay
It's important to note that while automatic bill payment is helpful, it does carry some risks. Here are the pros and cons:
- Convenient - set it and forget it.
- Never forget to pay a bill - even when you're super busy or traveling.
- Reduce late fees and finance charges.
- Saves time
- Reduces paper (for snail mail bills)
- Overdraft fees when a bill auto pays from an account with a low balance.
- Lack of control depending on how bills are paid.
- Some people have trouble with continued payments even after they move or cancel service.
- Service fees for online autopayments (increasingly rare).
- The potential for accidental overcharges.
Which Auto Bill Pay Method is Right for You?
It can be confusing to choose the best automatic bill pay method. You don't want monthly payments for various accounts scattered all over the internet. But some bills deserve special review or don't qualify for automatic payment.
A Simple Automatic Bill Pay Strategy
Depend on your bank's auto bill pay service first. For most people, it makes sense to schedule nearly all payments directly through your bank account's bill pay service. This works especially well for fixed payments such as mortgages, student loans, and retirement transfers.
By keeping multiple payments in one place, it's easier to track, control, and adjust payments. It's also easier to dispute or suspend charges.
Some people prefer a bit of extra control: they pay everything electronically, but rather than paying automatically, they manually click "send payment" from their bank account.
Schedule variable payments directly Certain variable payments should be paid through the service provider itself. These include credit cards (if you pay them in full) and cell phone plans that fluctuate month to month.
Use billing alerts. It’s a good idea to pair automatic payments with alerts that notify when a bill is due or when your balance is low. You can also create an alert when a charge is over a certain amount, to help prevent fraud.
Also, even though Mint Bill Pay is discontinued, Mint still supports bill reminders and due alerts that many will find helpful.
Here are some tips for putting your scheduled bills on a calendar.
Keep manually tracking your spending, including auto bill payments.
At Tiller, we believe hands-on engagement is key to true financial confidence and control. By auto-paying your bills with Prism, bank account or credit card, and then reviewing your accounts every week or month in Tiller, you can enjoy the best of both worlds: automation and engagement.
You'll stay aware of your spending, know when you've been overcharged, and can identify where to trim expenses and make improvements.
Further reading: Ultimate Budget Automation: Replacing Mint with Tiller