How Does Mint Make Money? The Mint Business Model In A Nutshell

Mint is a personal financial management company with an app for North American consumers with close to 20 million users, making money through referral fees, advertising, and credit monitoring services. Mint was acquired by Intuit back in 2009 for approximately $170 million.

Origin Story

Mint is a personal financial management company with an app for North American consumers.

The company was created by Aaron Patzer in 2006 through a deal with software firm Yodlee to provide account aggregation services. Three years later, Mint was acquired by Intuit and shifted to using its account connecting system.

Using the Mint platform, users can track bank, credit card, investment, and loan balances using a single interface. Customers can also set financial goals through smart budgeting, receive a free credit score, and use a bill tracker for recurring payments or subscriptions.

At last count, Mint claimed to have northwards of 20 million users.

Mint revenue generation

Mint operates under a freemium model. Full access to the Mint app is free for all users.

So how does it make money?

Referral fees

The company makes money whenever a user purchases one of the financial products the company promotes. In some instances, Mint may also receive a fee for sign-ups.

Since Mint is an aggregation service, it can promote a vast swathe of products and services.

These include (but are not limited to):

  • Investment products – such as Wealthfront or Betterment.
  • Insurance – whether that be life, home, or vehicular insurance.
  • Personal and student loans.
  • Credit cards.
  • Personal banking services from participating financial institutions, including American Express and Bank of America.

The exact fee structure is dependent upon the nature of the agreement between Mint and its partners.

Given Mint’s access to the complete financial history of its customers, referral fees should be a lucrative source of income for the company. By analyzing spending habits, targeted offers can be sent to consumers.

Many have speculated that this valuable data might have been sold to other companies as a further revenue stream. However, there has been no indication that Mint has made modes to sell customer data.


Mint also drives revenue through in-app advertisements. When a customer taps on an ad, the company collects a small fee from the advertiser.

Again, the ads are likely to be highly targeted given Mint’s access to detailed customer data.

Credit monitoring service

Although basic credit reporting is free on the platform, Mint users can also pay $16.99/month and subscribe to the Mint Credit Monitor.

This premium reporting service incorporates data from three credit agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The service also monitors for (and reports on) possible instances of identity theft.

Key takeaways:

  • Mint is a personal financial services company founded in 2006 by Aaron Patzer. The platform is an aggregation tool, allowing users to track all of their financial products in a single app.
  • Mint operates on the freemium model. But as a data aggregator, it has access to vast amounts of valuable consumer data regarding spending and saving habits among other things. As a result, it derives the bulk of its revenue via targeted referral fees.
  • Mint also offers in-app advertising and a premium credit monitoring service that gives users the credit score across three different agencies.

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