This article was sponsored by Butter.
We’ve all been there…
You see a great new service that looks amazing and you sign up for the free trial (hello Spotify) and then before you know it you’ve been pay $10+ per month for 3 years.
For those who are math-averse, that’s $360 gone forever.
Not that subscriptions are bad, but with all the amazing cloud based apps and services out there these days and with everyone and their mom switching to the subscription model, you need to keep them in check. Otherwise, that $360 can turn into thousands of dollars you’ll never see again.
That’s why my ears perked up when Derek Szeto, the founder of RedFlagDeals, told me about a new mobile-friendly website called Butter.
Butter tracks all of your subscriptions in one place automatically, lets you earn 1% cash back on popular subscriptions and recommends new subscriptions to you that you may be interested in.
Of course, you’ll also get special offers on subscriptions from time to time that might not be available anywhere else.
So How Does Butter Work Exactly…?
1) Create an account:
2) Link your bank accounts and credit cards
Once you’ve confirmed your email address and signed in, then you can start connecting it to your credit card and bank accounts similar to how you would do with Mint.
They support all the major financial institutions – even most investment accounts – but you do have to type in at least one full word of the institution name for it to bring up a match. For example, to find CIBC you actually need to type in “CIBC” because “CIB” won’t work.
3) See all your subscriptions in one place
Next, butter will automatically parse through your transactions and find everything you subscribe to that is currently in the Butter database.
This is harder (for them) than it sounds, because every bank or financial institution records transactions differently even if those transactions come from the same subscription service. So, if one of your subscriptions isn’t being picked be sure to let them know.
Here’s a partial list of currently supported subscriptions:
4) Earn 1% cash back on all your subscriptions
After your accounts are linked you’ll automatically accumulate 1% of your total subscription costs (for supported subscription services) as a credit you can access once your balance reaches $25.
Currently they pay out by Interac e-Transfer automatically every 2 months to whatever email address is associated with your account. Right now, that can’t be changed, so make sure you sign up with an email address you know you’re going to have access to long term.
5) Get special offers on new subscriptions and help with existing subscriptions
By looking at the kind of subscriptions you already have, Butter can suggest other subscription services that you might like and maybe even give you a better deal than the average Joe.
Upcoming offers include special deals from Instacart Express (grocery delivery), Barkbox (pampering for your pet), Fit Factory (fitness club), and Maple (online access to doctors).
6) Manage and modify your subscriptions easily
One of the main benefits of Butter is that you can see all your memberships and subscriptions in one place. That way you always know that you are subscribed only to the services you actually want and use.
Some people even discover recurring payments they had completely forgotten about and don’t use, which is just completely wasted money.
And, for some subscriptions, Butter can actually link you directly to your account where you can modify your plan or update your payment information.
Answers To Some Common Questions
Does Butter cost anything to use?
No, there is no cost to use the service other than giving them access to your transaction information. They will use that information to recommend other subscriptions and products to you. If you avail of these offers, then they will use the proceeds of that purchase to fund their operations.
Who is behind Butter?
Other than Derek Szeto, the former founder of RedFlagDeals, there is also Stephen Evans who is the former CTO of Kijiji.
The entire project is also being backed by the Royal Bank of Canada.
Is it secure for Butter to access my personal accounts?
Butter uses a trusted 3rd party, Yodlee, that has been in operation since 1999 and is used by many similar financial applications to access securely access bank transactions. Yodlee was even originally used Mint up until 2010 when Intuit purchased Mint and started using their own service to connect with bank accounts.
Yodlee uses bank level security and encryption to access your transactions and your login details are never given to or stored with your Butter account.
Can I add subscriptions manually?
Butter works much better when it connects to your accounts and processes your subscriptions automatically, but there is an option to add subscriptions manually as well.
Unfortunately, if you opt to add subscriptions this way, then you won’t receive the 1% cash back that you would normally receive on subscriptions that are tracked automatically.
Do You Think It’s Smooth As Butter?
Butter chose their name because the goal is to make managing your subscriptions as smooth and enjoyable as butter.
But, they’ve just launched and they are still in beta. That means there’s bound to be a few hiccups…
So, let me ask you, is Butter something you would use?
If you sign up and give it a try, leave a comment with your feedback below.