Mint launches Sneak Previews; starts with Bill Reminders

The online service, which is now owned by Intuit, helps users stay up to date on all their bills--and 300 CNET readers can check it out.

Online personal-financial management service Mint is giving some CNET readers the chance to try out a new feature it's testing.

Called Bill Reminders, the service sifts through the Mint user's bank statements from the prior month and plucks out the bills they pay. From there, users can determine whether they want to be notified about the bills to ensure they're not late on future payments.

Bill Reminders automatically finds bills from user bank accounts.
Bill Reminders automatically finds bills from user bank accounts. Mint

According to Mint, the reminders are sent to users via e-mail, SMS, or both, depending on their preferences. Users of the company's iPhone app will receive notifications about upcoming bills right on their smartphone, but they will not be able to use Bill Reminders from the app. Mint told CNET in a phone interview yesterday that notifications will be available to Android users "at a later time."

In addition to having Mint find bills, the service also lets users input bills the company might have missed. To do so, users need only assign the bill a name, input an amount, choose a date, and save it.

One of the features Mint touts is its timeline. On the main Mint page, users can view the next month, and find out which days they need to pay bills, marked by green bars. The bars come in different sizes, depending on how much the user owes. The taller the bar, the more they owe.

I had a chance to try Mint's new feature, and I was generally pleased. It found several of my bills without any trouble, and inputting new bills was quick and easy.

Bill Reminders has a timeline to show what bills are coming next.
Bill Reminders has a timeline to show what bills are coming next. Mint

However, I wasn't too pleased with the platform's timeline, which could have been a bit more useful. When you want to view a bill, you can hover the mouse over the date it has to be paid, but if you try to click it, nothing happens. To edit a bill, you need to click the "Change your reminders" feature. It would have been nice if Mint allowed you to go directly to a bill from the timeline.

Mint's new Bill Reminders feature is the first addition to the company's new Sneak Preview program, which is essentially a place for a small number of the site's users to try out new ideas in development. According to Mint, 11,000 people will be able to try out Bill Reminders starting today. Those folks can share feedback and report bugs before the feature goes live next month.

But if you don't want to wait for Mint to possibly give you access to the new feature, we have you covered. The first 300 CNET readers who go to a special Mint page and sign up for the company's free Bill Reminders feature can give it a go. If you're interested, get over to the site soon. The offer ends on July 29.

 

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