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Quicken Inc has dropped a big hint that both Quicken for Windows and Mac may soon be subscription payment only in the US meaning no more one-off payments for the product. The Canadian version of Quicken 2017 has just been released and is using a subscription payment only model. If users choose not to renew their annual subscription to Quicken on Windows or Mac, they will no longer be able to manually update their accounts, although they will still be able to access them, edit them and run reports. If true, it is likely to push increasingly push Mac users towards better and cheaper Quicken alternatives such as the free Empower.

When it was originally released a few days ago, the FAQ for Quicken 2017 in Canada stated that all future Quicken releases will be subscription products. The big change was slipped into the FAQ regarding connected services:

I don’t like online banking, do I still need to buy connected services?

The new Quicken Canada is designed so that you never go through the upgrade process again. In addition to online banking, you’ll automatically receive new Quicken features, versions, and services as part of your Quicken subscription, so you’ll always have the newest product. To provide you with these new features, a subscription to connected services is a required part of your product purchase. All future Quicken products will be subscription products.

quicken subscription only

However, as protest and concern mounted online that this meant that the subscription model would soon be used in the USA, Quicken has now revised the FAQ to state: “All future Canadian Quicken products will be subscription products”. The company is currently declining to comment however whether this means it will also be rolled out in the USA.

quicken canada revised subscription faqThe FAQ goes on to explain that if a user decides to cancel their subscription, they will no longer be able to update their accounts manually although they will still be able to still access, edit, delete, copy and export data and run or save reports.

What happens to the program when access to Quicken Connected Services ends?

You’ll no longer have access to connected services, like the ability to download banking transactions or investment quotes, mobile access, or premium care. While you can continue to access your data and run reports, you’ll no longer be able to download transactions, or add manual transactions.

quicken connected services

This will essentially render Quicken unable to manage your ongoing finances on your PC or Mac until you renew your subscription apart from being able to view existing data and run reports on it.

The Canadian version of Quicken 2017 is currently available in two subscription versions – Quicken Cash Manager which costs $39.99 per year and Quicken Home & Business which costs $89.99 per year. In place of the normal “Purchase” button is a “Subscribe Now” button:

quicken 2017 canada compare subscription

A protest against the move has already started online on the Quicken Community Forum under a post entitled “Quicken Inc should reverse its decision to change to a subscription that makes the user’s data read-only if they stop paying”. Users can vote against the move at the top of the page and at the time of writing, 59 users have voted against the subscription model and voiced their opinion on the forum. While there are clearly many users against the move with some accusing the company of keeping their data “hostage”, there are also many users that say they are not actually against the subscription model as long as it is optional or offers a better deal than the current one-time pricing deal.

Quicken User Dan Glynhampton states:

Whilst I am not against the subscription model in principle, and for a mature product such as Quicken it makes a lot of sense, it has to be priced such that people feel it is as good a deal or better than the previous purchase model.  Also, if the subscription isn’t renewed, manual access and updates to the data need to be allowed, otherwise the company will be perceived to be holding the customer’s data hostage.

Meanwhile another user Lanka appeals to Quicken to follow the Microsoft Office pricing plan:

I think it is a really bad idea to change to subscription only as a business model. Perhaps the subscription could be an option much like Microsoft does with its Office product. They offer both a subscription service and purchase option. The subscription is annual with a lower cost but the higher priced purchase option still exists. It is up to the customer to decide which is best for them. I have been a Quicken user for many years and I know that I would prefer being able to choose.

To Quicken Inc’s credit, since Intuit was taken over by H.I.G. Capital last year, it has been much better at dealing with customer concerns with Quicken, especially with the release of Quicken for Mac 2017 which addressed issues that have riled Mac users for years. A Quicken representative has already acknowledged protests about the move on the Quicken Community forum and stated that “our development and management teams will be reviewing all of the feedback here”. It’s therefore possible that Quicken will change or modify its policy on this before rolling it out in the USA.

Although as we wrote in our Quicken 2017 For Mac review, the latest version was a definite improvement on previous versions of Quicken, many Mac users have already abandoned Quicken over the years in favor of alternatives to Quicken for Mac. If Quicken Inc chooses to make subscriptions compulsory for Quicken for Mac users in the US too, this will likely alienate Mac users even more – and a considerable amount of PC users too.

If you’re a Quicken for Mac or even a Quicken for Windows user, let us know your thoughts on this latest move by Quicken in the comments below.

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22 Responses

  1. smayer97

    As a result of Quicken reversing its decision to make your data read-only when any subscription expires, instead, they will now hijack about 25% of your screen real-estate for advertising. Quicken has determined that this is the price to pay if you let your subscription expire!

    This is one of the things that has come to light as more and more users that chose to let the subscription expire are seeing. If you dislike this business decision, you can add your VOTE to “Quicken Inc should eliminate or at least minimize the LARGE Advertising space used when a subscription expires” here:

    First, click on the underlined link above to go there, then click VOTE at the top of THAT page, so your vote will count.

    Your VOTES matter!

    You may also want to contact Quicken Support to express your concerns at

  2. Eric Jacobs

    As long as you don’t buy Quicken Starter Edition, the new “subscription model” is the *exact* same as the old Quicken model, except the time frames and prices have changed.

    The old Quicken annual versions had a three-year expiration for online services (downloading transactions, stock prices, and more). You could continue to use them after the online services expired if you were okay with entering your transactions manually. That hasn’t changed at all under the new subscriptions plans. Instead of a once-a-year annual release of a new version, the software gets updates throughout the year as new features and/or bug fixes are created, tested and ready; there is not pressure to hold back important new features for marketing purposes until the next annual release. the expiration of online services is no longer a set date, but a set period of time after you buy and activate your subscription; there are 12-month, 24-month, and 27-month (through Amazon) subscription currently available.

    And yes, the pricing is generally higher now compared to the old releases, unless you had always purchased each year’s release. But there’s nothing inherently different or evil about the “subscription model” compared the the Quicken versions the past. So when you say “Quicken, you need to give us a choice” it’s not clear what you’re asking for. Aside from perhaps not wanting to pay the current pricing, what is the issue?

  3. Gene

    I’ve been using Quicken for a long time, but I will not use the subscription model – never! Quicken, you need to give us a choice, or lose us!

  4. smayer97

    BTW, it appears that Quicken’s current pricing is not reasonable either, representing paying up to 145% over the old pricing (based on a 3 yr buying cycle) (this means you end up paying up to 2.5 times the old pricing) and it is a 64% increase vs buying every other year.

  5. Hans Castorp

    All these comments are missing one key point: How much will the subscription cost? Set a reasonable price and I’m “in”. Set an outrageous price: “farewell”. The kicker here is the definitions of “reasonable” and “outrageous”.

  6. Herb

    I purchased Quicken 2017 from Amazon and, after reading the outrageous privacy policy, am opting to return it for a full refund. I’ll find another product to fulfill my needs.
    The only way we will get these companies to stop capturing and selling our personal information is to simply refuse to accept these terms. Read the privacy policy and make your own decision. I for one have stopped blindly checking the Accept box and will vote with my wallet.

    • smayer97

      Agreed. Thanks for sharing.

      But please also let your voice be counted by adding your VOTE at the protest link above in the article. This has gained a lot of momentum. As long as we keep it up, they are paying attention. Hopefully it will cause them to change their ways.

  7. smayer97

    To all, If you have not done so already, please take the time to add your vote on the protest link provided in the article to have your voice counted.

  8. Earl Sifford

    Bye bye Quicken, be that managed by Intuit, H.I.G, or XYZ. I’ve not been happy with their sunset clause for years, why do I need to update software that is meeting my needs just fine. Now they add onto the pile and say that I have to subscribe to an automatic update! Might as well give them complete access to everything on my computer including my private financial data. I’m 95% complete in transitioning to Banktivity (recommended as a Quicken alternative by How2) and will shortly be able to completely stop using Quicken. Now if I can find an alternative to Quickbooks my goal will be complete.

  9. Lloyd Morris

    Annual sub is okay if, if the price is right. I would happily pay $20/year or may be even $25 but more than that, no way. I appreciate the efforts made to improve the product (tho it still has a ways to go) and to listen to feedback. I was just about to upgrade my years old Mac app (list $79.95?) but, now I will wait to hear what it will really cost. Upgrading very 3 or 4 years, if it really is an upgrade, is okay but, the annual fee should not be more than an upgrade price of say,$50 or $60.

  10. AZSnowbird

    While I am not against a subscription model having bought Quicken’s new version every year in Canada and in the US for the past six years, I am totally against being held ransom to manipulate my own data after a subscription should end and not be renewed. My data is MINE and not for Quicken to shut me out of making any manual entries at a later point. Although I will be writing to Mr. Dunn to advise him that we’re considering “dumping” Quicken for something else, I will be researching all alternatives and plead that all customers write to Mr. Dunn to express their concerns. Pretty sad to dump on customers like we have been since the earliest DOS versions and that’s going back many years.

    • AZSnowbird

      On the Quicken Community Forum I also included the address for the two co-CEOs of H.I.G. Capital (Quicken’s owner) along with the address, however, Quicken staff removed this information from my post.

    • el viejo

      I admit to being cynical about this change . I have no intention of giving the new owners the benefit of the doubt. And, my cynicism leads me to think there is a rat in their business model. My guess is that they will offer a low to modestly low opening subscription price. But, subscribers shouldn’t be surprised when they are hit with annual price increases. By holding the subscriber’s data hostage, the probability of individual users renewing after each price increase goes up many-fold.

      In this scenario, hostage holding turns into a form resembling petty extortion.

  11. Eric Jacobs

    For an otherwise pretty-accurate report on the situation, the writer and editor seem to have missed the memo that Intuit is no longer involved with Quicken. As noted near the end of the story, Quicken was sold to a private equity company last March, and operates independently as Quicken Inc. So why does the story says “to Intuit’s credit” and solicit feedback here “on this latest move by Intuit”?

    • MacHow2

      Apologies. Intuit actually still owns the Quicken trademark (scroll to bottom of the website and you’ll see “© 2017 Quicken Inc. All rights reserved. Quicken is a registered trademark of Intuit Inc.”) but the developer is now Quicken Inc as you say. The article has been revised to reflect this.

      • Eric Jacobs

        Sorry, but your correction needs a correction. You revised the article to say that Intuit was taken over by H.I. G. Capital last year. This is completely wrong. Intuit was, and still is, an independent, publicly-traded company.

        Let’s recap. Quicken WAS a division of Intuit. In 2015, Intuit announced it would sell off Quicken to a buyer who would focus more on the Quicken products, which were not part of Intuit’s core vision moving forward. In March 2016, Intuit sold Quicken to H.I.G. Capital. The products (as well as nearly all the staff of the Quicken division), became Quicken, Inc.

  12. Bill wille

    I’m a mac user and I will look for an alternative if they insist on this, they promised to make the mac software as good as the pic version and so far it stinks

  13. smayer97

    Great write-up. Thx!

    To others reading this, if you are concerned about this move, please be sure to add your vote at the protest list provided above. Also, write to Eric Dunn, the CEO of Quicken Inc to voice your concerns.


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