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Credit Card Payment Transfers, How To Categorize

quickish
quickish Member ✭✭
I want to make sure I’m properly categorizing the transfers for payments of credit cards. 

I have multiple credit card accounts. 

I have multiple banks that can pay the credit cards. 


I have several options for Transfer Categories:

Transfer: Credit Card Payment 

Transfer:[Bank Account Name]


Should I be using the transfer that specifies the Bank? Or ... 

Should I just use the “generic” Transfer: Credit Card Payment Category? 

Keep in mind I have multiple credit cards and banks


Though it seems that if you pick a bank, Quicken pops up a message about finding similar transactions and asks about combining them. (or something like that) 


Also, I did test out both (generic and bank specific) and found that neither of these payment transfer categories show up in a Transaction Report for either the Credit Card or the Bank account. They only show up when I view the Account and view the account transactions. 

Shouldn’t these transfers show up in a Transaction Report

Comments

  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited January 2019
    You put the charges on your card in each of the credit card accounts. Then from the bank account that you use to pay a particular card, write the payment and in the category field, you put the credit card account name. The offset transaction will thrn appear in that particular credit card account as a payment against the balance.
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited January 2019
    You can use either category. Personally, I use Transfer:Credit Card Payment.

    But the key is that you enter one transaction that creates a linked transaction in the other account. I think you are entering two separate (unlinked) transactions in each account. 

    Let's start with the basics of transfer transactions. Take a look at this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LcoI3I85cY

    The examples in the video are based in QM2007 and Quicken Essentials, so the details are different, but the concepts the same.

    In QM2019, you should turn on the Transfer column in each account (menu View > Columns). That is where you put the reciprocal account that you want link via transfer. I recommend always keeping the Transfer column visible. There is a shorthand notation such that when you use the category "Transfer", you can show it as Transfer:[accountname]. This is simply there to prevent having to display the Transfer column. When you use this notation, you will see the account name also shown in the Transfer column.

    The message you see about combining transactions is because when you create a transaction with Transfer:[accountname], it is creating the reciprocal transaction in the credit card account. But you already entered the payment transaction there, so it's asking you if you want to link these.

    Bottom line: here's how you should proceed:

    1) Do not enter the payment transaction in the credit card account
    2) Enter the payment in any checking account with category "Transfer:Credit Card Payment", the amount as a debit (negative), and put the credit card account name in the Transfer Column. 
    3) Now that that's done, go over to the credit card account and you will see that the payment has already appeared there as a credit (positive) amount, and the checking account in the Transfer column.

    When you're done, the checking account transaction will look like this:



    And the (automatically created) credit card transaction will look like this:



    It doesn't matter that you have multiple checking and credit card accounts. Just work with whichever pair of accounts is appropriate at the time.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited January 2019
    @quickenish, the process described by @quickenish is the right one. Have separate accounts for each credit card account you hold. Record every credit card transaction in the proper credit card account, properly categorizing each expense. When you pay a credit card bill, there is no expense to categorize, because what you are doing is transferring funds from your checking account to the credit card account. that's why your payment transactions should be entered as a transfer between your Quicken accounts.

    When you refer to a Transaction report, what report are you actually referring to? If you mean a report like a category report (New Report > Subtotal by Category), then your transfers don't show up. Think about why: a report showing all your transactions by income or expense category can't show a transfer of funds, because they are not in any income or expense category. (And they actually do show up in that report: after Income and Expenses, there is a section called "Other", and within that, a subsection called "Transfer", for which the total is likely $0.00 -- and it does list all your transfers.)

    If you're just looking for a transaction list of your activity in a particular credit card account, you can generate such report from your register, not from the reports menu. At the top of the register, set a filter to the date range you wish (by default, it's on All Dates), and then Print. That Transaction Detail report does show all your transfers, because the report is listing all transactions, not categorized income and expenses. (Just remember to clear the date filter after the report, if you want to be able to see all your transactions again.) You can do this transaction report for a specific credit card account, or if you want all your credit card accounts, click on "Credit Card" in the left sidebar to view a register of all your credit card accounts, and her again, you can filter for the date desired and print.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited January 2019
    RickO said:

    You can use either category. Personally, I use Transfer:Credit Card Payment.

    But the key is that you enter one transaction that creates a linked transaction in the other account. I think you are entering two separate (unlinked) transactions in each account. 

    Let's start with the basics of transfer transactions. Take a look at this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LcoI3I85cY

    The examples in the video are based in QM2007 and Quicken Essentials, so the details are different, but the concepts the same.

    In QM2019, you should turn on the Transfer column in each account (menu View > Columns). That is where you put the reciprocal account that you want link via transfer. I recommend always keeping the Transfer column visible. There is a shorthand notation such that when you use the category "Transfer", you can show it as Transfer:[accountname]. This is simply there to prevent having to display the Transfer column. When you use this notation, you will see the account name also shown in the Transfer column.

    The message you see about combining transactions is because when you create a transaction with Transfer:[accountname], it is creating the reciprocal transaction in the credit card account. But you already entered the payment transaction there, so it's asking you if you want to link these.

    Bottom line: here's how you should proceed:

    1) Do not enter the payment transaction in the credit card account
    2) Enter the payment in any checking account with category "Transfer:Credit Card Payment", the amount as a debit (negative), and put the credit card account name in the Transfer Column. 
    3) Now that that's done, go over to the credit card account and you will see that the payment has already appeared there as a credit (positive) amount, and the checking account in the Transfer column.

    When you're done, the checking account transaction will look like this:



    And the (automatically created) credit card transaction will look like this:



    It doesn't matter that you have multiple checking and credit card accounts. Just work with whichever pair of accounts is appropriate at the time.

    @RickO: I was typing my answer below as you posted, so apologies for the partial duplication.

    For clarification, why do you use the category "Transfer: Credit Card Payment." I never enter a category for my credit card payments; I just select the account I'm transferring to in the transfer column, and Quicken actually fills in the category as Transfer: [account]. The "Transfer: Credit Card Payment" category is a special one created by Quicken to not appear as an expense in category reports (since it is a transfer of funds, not an expense), so it seems to me it actually accomplishes nothing; it's like a placebo. There's no harm in using it, but I haven't seen a use for it, either. So I'm just curious why you use it. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited January 2019
    RickO said:

    You can use either category. Personally, I use Transfer:Credit Card Payment.

    But the key is that you enter one transaction that creates a linked transaction in the other account. I think you are entering two separate (unlinked) transactions in each account. 

    Let's start with the basics of transfer transactions. Take a look at this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LcoI3I85cY

    The examples in the video are based in QM2007 and Quicken Essentials, so the details are different, but the concepts the same.

    In QM2019, you should turn on the Transfer column in each account (menu View > Columns). That is where you put the reciprocal account that you want link via transfer. I recommend always keeping the Transfer column visible. There is a shorthand notation such that when you use the category "Transfer", you can show it as Transfer:[accountname]. This is simply there to prevent having to display the Transfer column. When you use this notation, you will see the account name also shown in the Transfer column.

    The message you see about combining transactions is because when you create a transaction with Transfer:[accountname], it is creating the reciprocal transaction in the credit card account. But you already entered the payment transaction there, so it's asking you if you want to link these.

    Bottom line: here's how you should proceed:

    1) Do not enter the payment transaction in the credit card account
    2) Enter the payment in any checking account with category "Transfer:Credit Card Payment", the amount as a debit (negative), and put the credit card account name in the Transfer Column. 
    3) Now that that's done, go over to the credit card account and you will see that the payment has already appeared there as a credit (positive) amount, and the checking account in the Transfer column.

    When you're done, the checking account transaction will look like this:



    And the (automatically created) credit card transaction will look like this:



    It doesn't matter that you have multiple checking and credit card accounts. Just work with whichever pair of accounts is appropriate at the time.

    I think the answer is same as Edmund Hillary said: because it's there. No good reason really. I supposed if I ever wanted to pull just credit card payments, I could do that using the category. But never have needed to and probably never will. I could really just use any old category there. BTW, I don't use the budgeting feature, so that's not relevant to me.

    That said, I hate the bracket notation. It has never been implemented properly (i.e. the Preference setting doesn't work). It's a carry over from QM07 that, IMO, doesn't fit. I always use the Transfer column. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited January 2019
    RickO said:

    You can use either category. Personally, I use Transfer:Credit Card Payment.

    But the key is that you enter one transaction that creates a linked transaction in the other account. I think you are entering two separate (unlinked) transactions in each account. 

    Let's start with the basics of transfer transactions. Take a look at this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LcoI3I85cY

    The examples in the video are based in QM2007 and Quicken Essentials, so the details are different, but the concepts the same.

    In QM2019, you should turn on the Transfer column in each account (menu View > Columns). That is where you put the reciprocal account that you want link via transfer. I recommend always keeping the Transfer column visible. There is a shorthand notation such that when you use the category "Transfer", you can show it as Transfer:[accountname]. This is simply there to prevent having to display the Transfer column. When you use this notation, you will see the account name also shown in the Transfer column.

    The message you see about combining transactions is because when you create a transaction with Transfer:[accountname], it is creating the reciprocal transaction in the credit card account. But you already entered the payment transaction there, so it's asking you if you want to link these.

    Bottom line: here's how you should proceed:

    1) Do not enter the payment transaction in the credit card account
    2) Enter the payment in any checking account with category "Transfer:Credit Card Payment", the amount as a debit (negative), and put the credit card account name in the Transfer Column. 
    3) Now that that's done, go over to the credit card account and you will see that the payment has already appeared there as a credit (positive) amount, and the checking account in the Transfer column.

    When you're done, the checking account transaction will look like this:



    And the (automatically created) credit card transaction will look like this:



    It doesn't matter that you have multiple checking and credit card accounts. Just work with whichever pair of accounts is appropriate at the time.

    Got it!

    I also don't typically type the bracket notation in Quicken 2019 (although I used to do it that way in Quicken 2007); I usually just use the Transfer column. And if you do that, Quicken fills in the Category column with the bracket notation for a transfer. Since that's the way all my historical data imported from Quicken 2007, I just keep doing it that way.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
This discussion has been closed.