Monday, May 19, 2008

Quicken, Palm, AOL - once they were good

I can't remember when we first got an Intuit Quicken credit card. It might have been in the 80s, when Intuit emailed us a diskette every month.

I think it was a 3.5" diskette, but I know my first copy of Quicken shipped on a 5.25" floppy.

In those days, except for an unfortunate tendency to corrupt its database, Quicken was a pretty good product - on Windows and Mac alike.

It was never quite as good again. Over the past few years we've weaned ourselves off an increasingly flaky product, even as Quicken lost its transaction network. We're back on spreadsheets now, but we've kept our Quicken VISA card.

Until now.

Intuit has decided to switch banks, and the process is a bleedin' mess. Our VISA number will change (thank heavens I use AMEX for all my net transactions -- they're a class act), and when I went to pay my online bill I came across this message:
If your account was recently converted to a Citi card, you will need to access to continue paying bills and viewing statements...

If you were recently converted to another Citi card, access to register your new account. You will need to re-enroll in Paperless Statements and re-register to make Online Payments.

This website will not be available after June 26th, 2008.

Important Notice: As of May 18th , Paperless Statements will no longer be available. Instead, your statement will be sent to you via first-class mail...
Sounds like a messy divorce.

Palm, Quicken, AOL, Lotus, WordPerfect, Borland, Symantec, Norton, Ashton-Tate. They were all good in their day (pre-internet Mac-only AOL wasn't all bad!)

Those days are gone. Good-bye Quicken.

PS. We're looking for a non-Quicken VISA card. We don't pay interest so we don't care about interest rates. We want service, reliabity, security, a high quality web site, and minimal to no yearly fee.

Recommendations anyone?

Update 8/14/08: We ended up getting an REI VISA card through US Bank. The "signature" card has a seemingly good cash-back program, the usual warrantee protection (though we much prefer AMEX for that), and very good electronic information transfer and Quicken support. So it's in every way better than our old Quicken Visa. We also like REI and the card gives a larger discount there. They do, however, follow the evil practice of many banks -- the due date moves 2 days forward every month. So it's easy to miss the payment. Scum. AMEX sticks to the same day each month. I love my AMEX Blue Cash Back card.


Unknown said...

USAA. Dad and Mom were in the Navy so your wife should be grandfathered in. This is what I use - I have a MC though, not sure about Visa. Do you need a Visa (as opposed to MC)?

JGF said...

Wow. I'd never thought of that. I wonder what other USAA items Emily qualifies for!

I think MC and VISA will work equally well for our purposes. We need a card for small transaction stores that don't do AMEX.

Otherwise I was thinking of the REI VISA card. It's handled through US Bank, there's not charge, there's a 5% added rebate on REI charges, 1% cash back, no aggravating rebate procedures, we respect and like REI, and we wouldn't have to add any new account or password to our collection.

Also I'm familiar with US Bank's transaction downloads -- they're not bad.

Our VISA charges are comparatively modest (vs. the AMEX), so we may opt for the simplest possible relationship and a known web site.

The USAA is a great tip.

I suppose I could also get a card through my U MN faculty position, but again simplest may be the ticket. We just don't do that much with the VISA.