Rocket Money Review: Expense Tracking and Bill Negotiation

Chris Butsch

Writer

When Rocket Companies bought Truebill for $1.28 billion in 2021, it wasn’t intending to get second place in the battle for “Best Personal Finance App.” 

Instead, Truebill – newly rebranded as Rocket Money – came out swinging with an impressive one-two punch. First, it’ll help you cancel any unwanted subscription in a single click – regardless of how many hoops the service provider wants you to jump through. Next, it’ll let you upload your recurring monthly bills (for example, cable and gas) and task a team of professional negotiators to lower them for you. If they don’t succeed, you don’t pay a cent. 

Sounds great, but once you’ve slashed your monthly expenses, is Rocket Money a personal finance app worth keeping? How are its budgeting and saving features, and where does it fall short of the competition from Simplifi, YNAB, and others? 

All things considered, is Rocket Money the right personal finance app for you?

Rocket Money quick facts

Rocket Money is an all-in-one personal finance app for Android and iOS that can help you: 

  • Track and automatically cancel subscriptions
  • Monitor your accounts, spending, and credit score
  • Negotiate your monthly bills

From competitors like YNAB and Simplifi, Rocket Money stands out by allowing you to cancel even the most stubborn subscriptions in a single click and by having a lower fee (30%) for its in-house bill negotiation service. 

Pros and cons of Rocket Money

What are the advantages (and disadvantages) of using Rocket Money as your chosen personal finance app? 

Pros

  • The free version is still pretty useful. 
  • Premium costs as little as $36 per year.
  • Cancellation concierge can save you hours of DIY subscription cancellations.
  • Smart Savings accounts are a clever use of AI. 

Cons

  • Custom budgeting and real-time account sync are paid features.
  • You can find lower bill negotiation fees elsewhere. 
  • Smart Savings accounts may not have the highest APYs.

Overview of Rocket Money

Rocket Money is a personal finance app that allows you to monitor all your accounts in one place, track your spending and savings, cancel unused subscriptions, and more. In other words, it’s a direct competitor to other budgeting apps you might’ve heard of, including Simplifi, YNAB (You Need a Budget), and Trim. 

As mentioned, Rocket Money was formerly known as Truebill before Rocket Companies (the folks behind Rocket Mortgage) bought the app in 2021 for a cool $1.28 billion in cash. 

Today, Rocket Money stands out for its sharpened focus on helping you lower your monthly expenses. While most personal finance apps – and even your bank – can help you identify unused subscriptions, Rocket Money goes a step further by canceling them for you so you don’t have to sit on hold or navigate confusing websites.

Rocket Money might be best for someone whose top priority is slashing bills and monthly expenses. Other apps offer a slightly better experience when it comes to budgeting or investment tracking. 

How does Rocket Money work? 

Rocket Money works similarly to other personal finance apps. 

A cellphone showing a net worth: Rocket Money Review
Source: Rocket Money – Bills & Budgets on the Google Play Store

You’ll start by downloading the app for Android or iOS and creating an account. Then, you’ll link all your accounts (checking, savings, credit cards, investments, and more) so you can start monitoring your entire financial picture in one dashboard. 

If you’re concerned about sharing all of your sensitive financial info with an app you just met, don’t worry. Rocket Money uses a service called Plaid, which allows it to peek at your accounts without ever having access to your login credentials. 

Once your accounts are all linked up (this can take 10 to 30 minutes, depending on how many bank passwords you can remember), Rocket will start crunching numbers so you can see your net worth, income versus spending for the month, and more. 

From here, you can create a simple budget, see individual transactions, and view your latest credit score. Each time you log into the app, Rocket Money will automatically fetch your latest data and update your accounts. 

Now that we’ve covered the basics of how the app works, let’s dive into the meat and potatoes and see which features can save you money. 

Rocket Money's key features

In vogue with the times, Rocket Money offers a free and paid version with extra features. The free version offers the core essentials you’d expect from a personal finance app, while its best features are locked behind a paywall. 

Free features

Rocket Money’s free version is surprisingly robust and may be all you need if you’re just looking for a place to track your accounts and spending. You can access the following features without spending a penny:

  • Account Linking – Link all your accounts in one place so you can track your overall net worth.
  • Balance Alerts – Get a subtle poke when one of your account balances gets too low or your credit spending gets too high.
  • Subscription Management – It’ll find and organize your subscriptions into a single tab for you.
  • Spend Tracking – View your spending within certain categories (e.g., restaurants) or windows of time to see where you may need to cut back.
  • Credit Monitoring – View your credit score over time and get real-time alerts for changes. 

Premium features

As mentioned, Rocket Money’s best features are behind a small paywall. But depending on what you’re hoping to get from your personal finance app, just one of these alone could be well worth the $36 per year. 

Subscription Cancellation Assistant  

Subscription tracking is a pretty common feature among money-tracking apps these days. But. Rocket Money takes it a step further by allowing you to cancel these subscriptions in a single click without leaving the app.

In practice, it’s a lot like how Gmail automatically adds an “Unsubscribe” button to the very top of promotional emails. It erases the need to dig for the sender’s deliberately confusing “Cancel” button and puts precious minutes back into your day.

In cases where canceling a subscription involves more hoops to jump through (like only being able to cancel via phone), Rocket Money will still handle the cancellation for you to the best of its ability. The only caveat is that it can take up to 10 days. So, if you need to cancel ASAP to avoid a charge, you may want to DIY.

Bill Negotiations  

In addition to canceling unwanted subscriptions on your behalf, Rocket Money can also negotiate your monthly bills for you. Just upload a photo of the bill to your dashboard, and Rocket Money’s in-house negotiators will call your provider to try and get you a better price.

If they succeed, you’ll be charged 30% to 60% of your first-year savings as a fee (your choice). If they fail, you won’t be charged a dime.

While undeniably nifty, bill negotiation isn’t unique to Rocket Money. Trim offers it, too, but cheaper (more on that later). 

Smart Savings Account 

Rocket Money allows you to open an FDIC-insured savings account and will actually use AI to automatically transfer some of your cash there based on your spending activity. On paper, this system allows you to make regular deposits to savings without risking an overdraft or missing payment to your other debts.

Smart Savings could be an especially helpful feature if you know you need to save money each month, but you’re not sure when or how much. If you’re not a Premium member, you can still open a Smart Savings Account for $2 per month.

That said, at the time of this writing, we couldn’t determine the APY of a Smart Savings account. We suspect it may not generate the same interest as a high-yield savings account (HYSA), so keep that in mind if you plan to store cash there long term.

Chat with a Money Expert 

Rocket Money claims that Premium users can “get help from a member of our team on your money problems,” but we were unable to find further details of this feature mentioned on any other page.

Premium users can, however, access Premium Chat, which allows you to get support from a “customer advocate” via live chat. Non-premium users are relegated to email tickets. 

Rocket Money Review: Pricing

As of November 2023, Rocket Money lets you choose how much you’d like to pay. When upgrading to Premium, you’ll be given a sliding scale and can choose anywhere from $48 to $60 per year or $6 to $12 per month.

Rocket Money also offers a 7-day free trial, so you can take Premium for a spin before committing. 

Price-wise, Rocket Money Premium costs a little more than Simplifi and Truebill, but a little less than YNAB. Simplifi is currently running a promo for $2.39 per month when billed annually ($28.73 total), but once the promo is over it costs $3.99 per month. Truebill is free to use but charges 15% of any annual savings from its subscription cancelation services (half of what Rocket Money charges).

YNAB, however, is the most expensive, at $14.99 per month, or $99 per year, and it doesn't include any automatic subscription canceling services.

But we wouldn’t recommend choosing a budgeting app on price alone. In the end, finding a budgeting app you enjoy using will save you hundreds more in the long run, so plus/minus $10 upfront won’t make much of a difference. 

Business man using his tablet on a table: Rocket Money Review: Expense tracking and bill negotiation

Who should get Rocket Money?

Rocket Money’s two strongest features – cancellation concierge and Bill Negotiation – are designed to help you save money, first and foremost. So, if your number one goal is to get your monthly expenses under control, Rocket Money is an excellent choice. 

Who shouldn’t get Rocket Money?

If you want to budget effectively or maximize your savings rate, Rocket Money may not be the best choice. Once you’ve exhausted its bill-slashing features, you’re left with a solid – if unremarkable – personal finance app that falls short of its competitors in a few ways. 

Speaking of, how do Rocket Money’s closest competitors stack up?

Rocket Money Review: Alternatives to Rocket Money

Personal finance apps are incredibly competitive these days. Therefore, some of Rocket Money’s closest competitors may be a better fit for you, depending on your goals. 

Here are some examples and who they’re best for. 

Rocket Money Review: YNAB vs. Rocket Money

If Rocket Money is all about slashing your existing expenses, YNAB (You Need a Budget) is all about saving for expenses you know are coming down the pipeline.

For example, it’s easy to forget that you owe your car insurance provider upwards of $1,000 every six months until the bill hits you. YNAB will remind you to save “X” dollars from every paycheck to pay that upcoming bill. It can also help with savings goals, such as piling up a “Y” amount for a down payment on a house within the next 24 months. 

In short, if your expenses are currently under control – and you need a no-nonsense budgeting assistant to help keep them that way – YNAB might be the better choice. 

Rocket Money Review: Trim vs. Rocket Money

Like Rocket Money, Trim offers a basic suite of personal finance tools (account management, expense tracking, and so on), but it goes even harder on the bill negotiation side of things. 

Long story short, Trim only charges 15% of your first-year savings versus Rockey Money’s 30%. Trim will also negotiate more types of bills, such as medical bills and credit card APR, and you don’t need a subscription to use the bill negotiation feature. 

But Trim doesn’t have an app (it’s desktop only), so it falls a little short as an on-the-go personal finance assistant. Still, if you’re less interested in budgeting and account tracking and more interested in simply slashing your bills ASAP with minimal hassle and fees, Trim might be a better fit. 

Rocket Money Review: Simplifi vs. Rocket Money

Launched in 2020, Simplifi by Quicken is a relative newcomer in the competitive cauldron of personal finance apps. And even though it lacks key features like credit tracking and bill negotiation – and there’s no free version (it’s $2.99 per month after a 30-day trial) – Simplifi has still garnered a large following through its clean UI and intuitive design. 

In other words, Simplifi is like a base, barebones Porsche 911. It may not have heated seats or parking sensors, but the core user experience is so good that it’s garnered a huge following nonetheless. 

If your top goal is to find a budgeting software that’s easy to use and, therefore, easy to stick with for the long haul, Simplifi might be a strong alternative to Rocket Money. 

FAQs

Rocket Money Review: Is Rocket Money safe?

Yes. Rocket Money may peek into your accounts to see your latest balance, but it never stores your account information. Information is sent back and forth using 256-bit encryption through Plaid.

Rocket Money Review: Is Truebill now Rocket Money?

Yes. Rocket Companies purchased Truebill in 2021 and rebranded it as Rocket Money.

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I'm an award-winning lawyer and personal finance expert featured in Inc. Magazine, CNBC, the Today Show, Business Insider and more. My mission is to make personal finance accessible for everyone. As the largest financial influencer in the world, I'm connected to a community of over 20 million followers across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. I'm also the host of the podcast Erika Taught Me. You might recognize me from my viral tagline, "I read the fine print so you don't have to!"

I'm a graduate of Georgetown Law, where I founded the Georgetown Law Entrepreneurship Club, and the University of Notre Dame. I discovered my passion for personal finance after realizing I was drowning in over $200,000 of student debt and needed to take action-ultimately paying off my student loans in under 2 years. I then spent years as a corporate lawyer representing Fortune 500 companies, but I quit because I realized I wanted to have an impact; I wanted to help real people and teach them that you can create a financial future for yourself.

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Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.