The Simple app immediately shows transactions as they are made.

I'd love to have this for my credit card too.

I think I can get 80% of what I want with Mint. What other options are there? Are there credit cards that have really good apps? Are there third party apps/services that provide this?

I've turned on all the notifications on the Chase app, but it seems that they still aren't what I'm looking for (the docs aren't very good).

  • While there is no technical reason not to (clearly), there might be a conspiracy-esque deal where a bank can use those sums of money for a couple of days. Nothing is provable.
    – MrChrister
    Aug 9, 2012 at 17:45
  • 1
    @MrChrister - In general, many banks don't have this technology. They could have it, but they don't: they haven't invested the money into building it, because it's probably not a profitable investment so they don't care. They have old systems. This is why see more half-measures like text-message notifications. John mentions that Simple has good technology. There's a simple reason for that: it was built more recently. Reliable bank-scale apps/webapps are hard to pull off. The technologies enabling them are new. Heck, even in the past 6 months many snazzy advances have been made in data stores.
    – user296
    Aug 14, 2012 at 22:46
  • @fennec - I could understand that. It doesn't make it right or acceptable, but I suppose I shouldn't complain as I have moved on from the dinosaur banks.
    – MrChrister
    Aug 15, 2012 at 3:34
  • The Chase app and the American Express app for iPhone both show me pending charges within minutes of them occurring, at least for the credit cards I have. I'm not sure if those get reported to Mint immediately, I think it might take until the end of the day. I'm not sure if you could set up notifications for every charge though, if that's what you're looking for.
    – Craig W
    Aug 29, 2013 at 15:37

2 Answers 2


It depends on the bank and the transaction. Technically, as opposed to what MrChrister said, the credit card transaction doesn't necessarily get reported to your card issuer when it happens. Some transactions get authorized, and then you see them in the "pending" list, some don't.

They post on your account when the transaction actually arrives to the issuer, which in some cases takes days after it had actually occurred. Credit card companies process transactions on a daily basis, and transfer to the counterparts. If there are several steps on the way (especially common with international transactions), it takes at least a couple of days until the transaction reaches your bank.

Debit cards (as the "simple" in your example) work differently. The transaction has to be authorized by your bank, thus it has to be known to your bank as it happens, and will be put in the pending list immediately.

You shouldn't expect credit cards to behave as debit cards. The whole point is that they don't.

  • Except I have simple, and they do get reported right away. I am not shopping at new businesses, but now I see it within minutes on my simple card opposed to at least a day on my previous card. It is important to note that I see pending transactions sometimes. Like a sub shop shows the initial pending charge, and a day later shows the settled tally after the merchants settles up. I could allow the my previous bank only showed settled transactions.
    – MrChrister
    Aug 9, 2012 at 22:58
  • Also, just to be defensive, the CC issuer must authorize the transaction, so the CC issuer knows in the same time frame that the bank knows.
    – MrChrister
    Aug 9, 2012 at 23:01
  • Who says the CC issuer must authorize transactions? Not true at all. "Simple" is a debit card, not a credit card.
    – littleadv
    Aug 9, 2012 at 23:03
  • 1
    I don't claim to know everything, but I did make shopping cart software in a previous life. The bank via a merchant account authorized the card at the time and settled up at night. That is what those terminals do in stores too. (but I didn't make an answer because I believe it is true, but I can't be authoritative)
    – MrChrister
    Aug 10, 2012 at 1:50
  • I worked in a bank and in fact worked on the program that does all that. While internet shopping carts are likely to require authorizations, physical retailers are not necessarily required to do so. It depends greatly on the kind of the business, the risk, the type of the card, and the relationships of the retailer with the merchant account processor.
    – littleadv
    Aug 10, 2012 at 1:53

In simple terms the credit card company has to decide to expose that data to you. They can decide to show pending transactions, or they can wait until the transaction is final.

It can be debated if they have to approve each transaction, but they get to decide when you can see the transaction.

You might be viewing the data on a webpage or on a mobile device, but you can only see what they expose.

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