Make Converting Bank Transactions Easier With Sites Like Wesabe Or Mint

One unpleasant surprise about switching to USAA from Washington Mutual is that I could no longer download all my transactions in .CSV format. When I was with WaMu, this made it very easy to import all my banking into my tricked out Excel sheet I use to manage my finances. USAA only lets you download in Quicken or Microsoft Money’s proprietary formats. Cutting and pasting the transactions as they appear on the website, even in Print mode, still is less than perfect. What I found out though is you can use a personal finance management site like Mint or Wesabe to do most of the grunt work for you. UPDATE: Reader Stephen pointed out there is a handy link at the bottom of the USAA page that lets you export as .CSV. I didn’t see this link because I was looking at the “download fund activity link,” which doesn’t have a .CSV option.

Assuming you’ve already signed up with Mint or Wesabe, and gotten over the hurdle of providing your bank account login info to a third-party organization, to convert your bank’s gobbledeegook into useful Excel data:

1 Go to transactions
2 Click “Export all transactions” (at the bottom of the page)
3 Open with Excel.exe
4 Highlight just the first column
5 Tools -> Text to columns
6 Delimited -> Next
7 Select comma as delimiter ->Next
8 Select the columns you want to ignore (like purchase category
9 Finish

I haven’t tried it with Wesabe but here’s what their CEO says to do:

1 Click export at the bottom of your transaction list
2 Then you can export an Excel, CSV, OFX or QIF file from any account, tag, or merchant detail page.

Got a better way to do it? Let us know about it the comments.

P.S. USAA, and all banks, please enable .CSV downloads for transaction histories. Not everyone wants to shell out for a proprietary budget making program, especially when they keep making you pay every two years for pointless forced upgrades.

(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    Ben… you had the option of going to USAA before and you didn’t?

    Excuse me, I’ll be off in the corner laughing.

  2. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    BTW, USAA isn’t a bank. It’s a state of mind, of incredibly awesome service and great rates. I loooooooove USAA’s service.

  3. Norcross says:

    there appears to be numerous apps out there that’ll convert a .qif (Quicken file) to a .csv file. Seems easier.

  4. marcwesabe says:

    Hey, Ben,

    Thanks for the mention. (I’m the CEO of Wesabe.) We’ve made export much easier since that post. You can export an Excel or Google spreadsheet (or CSV, OFX, or QIF file) from any account on the Accounts index, or from any account, tag, or merchant detail page. Just click the “Export” menu at the bottom of your transaction list.

    Hope this helps.

    Marc Hedlund, Wesabe

    • B says:

      @marcwesabe: Hey, do you guys work with Key Bank? I’m currently using Mint, and it keeps locking out my key bank account, currently I get around it by not letting the two talk to each other.

      • marcwesabe says:

        @B: We do support KeyBank, but we don’t yet have automatic upload for them, and you’ll want that. You have three options with Wesabe: (1) just manually upload a file every time you want to update, which works but is a pain; (2) use our Firefox Uploader to record an upload once, and it will do that for you automatically from them on; or (3) drop us a line a support at wesabe dot come and say, “I have KeyBank and I want to help add support for it to the auto uploader,” and we’ll take care of it with your help.

        Hope this helps.

  5. sleze69 says:

    USAA actually has a pretty good website (for what I consider to be a credit union on steroids). Most traditional credit unions have pretty horrible websites.

  6. JTK says:

    Don’t try using mint with paypal though, I tried it and paypal locked down my entire account with them until I did a verification. Needless to say before doing that I removed it from mint to prevent a recurrence and soon afterward stopped using mint since if they’re triggering security alarms even at paypal which is paranoid at best then I don’t want to be using them.

    • usa_gatekeeper says:

      @JTK: I share your concern. I just can’t bring myself to share my online banking info (which is surrounded by its own layers of strong security) with a new web site where I know little about what’s behind its curtain. Too much risk. An “oops” will be too late.

  7. toddkravos says:

    Key Bank does not allow to access your data. In fact, when mint tries your online access to gets blocked.

    Just an fyi for those of you using Key Bank.

  8. Voltron's Underwear says:

    USAA is definitely the way to go, you can call them any time, they’ll work with you to fix anything, Deposit@Home, mobile access, what else can you ask for? I’ve moved all my accounts to them except for my mortgage which I will if I ever re-fi…

    Losing the .xls function temporarily is a small price to pay for the awesomeness of USAA. Note I said temporarily because I bet they’ll see this post and add the function in the near future… just wait and see

  9. youbastid says:

    Hey, it’s great that USAA is great and all, but are there any good banks that don’t require you or a blood relative/spouse to be in the military? Or do you just get a kick out of talking about how wonderful it is to people who aren’t eligible?

    • 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

      Once again I’m going to strongly recommend “Yodlee MoneyCenter. I’ve been using it for a while now (year and a half or so). It has access to everything has plus some (plus quite a bit from a quick search). Yodlee is a service provider to mint to some degree, I’m not exactly sure what their role is though, maybe the backend?)

      I just tried to export to Excel, and it worked perfectly, and all I had to do was click the “Export” link on the bottom of the page.

      Definitely worth checking into!!

  10. BeldenNasica says:

    Ben, are you sure that you’ve never been able to get account data from USAA in an open format? I have the option of exporting a “Comma-Delimited (CSV)” file underneath the list of transactions in my checking account using the “Export Account Activity” feature, along with QIF for Quicken and Money. You may want to look again.

  11. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    USAA recently expanded it’s membership deal, but yeah, it’s pretty much military families.

  12. "I Like Potatoes" says:

    I also love, love , love USAA. Customer service is awesome. It’s too bad that it’s only open to military and families.
    I hear that the military is hiring right now….

  13. ryelvert says:

    Huuuuge USAA fanboy here. Love everything about them. Especially love my prime + zero credit card rate and deposit @ home. I pity those who are USAA eligible but don’t take advantage.

  14. JohnQPublic says:

    I’ve had a USAA account (mutual funds) forever. I’m not in the military. And I have access to all the perks that USAA offers.

  15. FreshFocus says:

    I found Mint to be about useless.

    I got notifications of things in my bank account almost two weeks after they had occurred. For doing other things Mint might be great, but for relying on email alerts, it’s garbage as far as I am concerned.

  16. imrcly says:

    The Best decision I ever made was to switch to USAA, I have never had a problem other than mistakes I have made. Do wish Mint could sink with it.

  17. ECLyons says:

    I’ve had a USAA checking account for a few months now, my car insurance has been with them since I was 16 and called to talk to them and they convinced me to open a checking account, but I didn’t use it. I had been using Wachovia, but since I’m not sure I can trust their board members or Citi’s I am going to start using USAA.

    I like the fact that they actually give you the option to talk to a person when you call them about anything.

  18. ddanckaert says:

    USAA… I love USAA. I’ve been with them since 1997 and when they had the old PC based online banking. I was one of their beta testers on their web access banking a year before it went into production.

    Their customer service and everything about them is just terrific. I hope they never do anything that changes their current practices/focus.

    I also have Wachovia and a Citibank Credit Card. I only use Wachovia for small dollar budget based accounts (e.g., groceries, gas, etc.) so I’m not too concerned about the takeover, but if Citibank messes up the terms of our accounts, I’m leaving them.

  19. zausner says:

    Not impressed with Mint at all. Tried loading in my USAA accounts (one of 6 worked!), PNC (1 of 3 worked), Chase (0 of 1 worked). I seem to be on a roll here…..

  20. Elvisisdead says:

    In terms of upgrades, the last time that USAA changed the file format they were offering for download into quicken, they gave me a free current version of Quicken – 2006, I think.

    That’s why I love them and will never leave them. Simply put – they take care of me and do me right at every step.