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Track credit card rewards

It would be nice if we could have "linked" accounts to track rewards in credit cards.

There are few type of rewards money (cash back), points (membership rewards, hilton, etc) or miles.

There are few patterns as well, usually based on category, sometimes this category can change quarterly. Just let us update the rules/criteria and points/miles/% per dollar each period and keep accumulating this items and showing them along with the linked account.

This way we could track and add transactions in case of redemption.
3 votes

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  • jrf40jrf40 Member ✭✭
    Great suggestion. Would be great to project what our rewards should be for a month as we categorize expenses with the credit card. Charged item number 1 is in a 2% category and the expected reward can be anticipated in the separate rewards account, charged item number 2 is in a 3% category, etc.

    I love the idea that categories can have an associated % reward that can easily be tracked and adjusted during each period.

    Great idea!
  • NotACPANotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    NO NO NO, there is NO dollar amount associated with reward card points (or airline/hotel points) so they don't belong in your Q data file.
    Track these in a spreadsheet.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • jrf40jrf40 Member ✭✭
    I disagree. First, many cards offer cash back, monthly or annually. Obviously, cash back does have a dollar amount. Second, reward points do have value in that spending them will save $$ on hotel rooms and airline rooms, so I respectfully disagree. Especially when I purchase two tickets and use points for a third. I know exactly how much I value them in $$. I'm currently tracking them by manually entering them in a separate unlinked account with a self-created currency. Quicken is the perfect place to track these and it would be great if the points earned could be connected directly as GPO suggests above.
  • jrich75jrich75 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2020
    I can see the benefit of tracking certain types of rewards in separate accounts but believe the process of linking them to a credit account would become unmanageable. As the OP stated, the rules for receiving rewards can vary greatly and change frequently.  Discover Card is a good example of a complicated award system.  You would have multiple cash back categories that would change at least quarterly and generally not match up well with established categories (e.g. Club Warehouse?).

    If you want track awards in Quicken, why not just set up a separate account and enter the awards whenever they accrue? It is generally when the statement comes in and you need to reconcile accounts anyway,  I do this for Discover Rewards since I use them frequently for Amazon purchases.  I just enter a deposit for "Earned this Period" as reported on the statement.  Then I can use those funds to offset the cost of items purchased later.  This seems much easier to me that having to update the award rules frequently and it does not become a new feature that Quicken Support has to deal with (we have enough of those already).  :'(
    Quicken user since 1995
    Win10 Deluxe Subscription thru 2021
  • NotACPANotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    edited September 2020
    And the value (what you can actually buy) with Points varies greatly.  They behave more like a security than cash.
    BUT since there's no pre-determined cash value for points, they still don't belong in Q.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • Chris_QPWChris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2020
    If I could vote against this I would.

    To me it isn't if the rewards have a dollar amount or if you can't somehow shoehorn them into an account.  The real issue is what @jrfaris points out.  There isn't any system to get this information automatically.  And the rules of how they accumulate and de-accumulate (yep return something and the points go away) are way to complicated and varying to setup a system in Quicken to calculate them.

    So you are back to manually tracking them.  And as @jrf40 pointed out you can already do that.

    The last thing Quicken needs is another complicated system that "sort of works".
    (I'm using the latest Quicken subscription version)
  • @Chris_QPW said:
    "There isn't any system to get this information automatically.  And the rules of how they accumulate and de-accumulate (yep return something and the points go away) are way to complicated and varying to setup a system in Quicken to calculate them."

    That pretty much sums it up. And since Quicken can't keep up with all the issuers, at best it would come up with a flexible, programable rule-based system for your Sunday night pleasure and entertainment. Imagine that YOU, the user, will have to digest all your many credit cards individual and ever-changing rules and then program them into Quicken (if it offered this option), account by account. Good luck with that.

    Not to mention that you buy gas hoping to get 3x the points, but because the business has a grocery or convenience attached, you only get one. Now go figure that. In Quicken.

    Instead, I've created an account called Cash Rewards (I disfavor miles - hard cash is my thing) and simply let the card issuers themselves do that math. In this account, I have a transaction line for each credit card, and I chose to categorize these transactions as Other Income.

    Every so often I visit the issuers' websites, check the points, convert them to ca$h (typically just divide by 100), and then in Quicken simply adjust the value of each of these "transactions" to reflect updated amounts, without creating new transactions. The account balance at the bottom then reflects my entire trove of rewards, which in turn adds (slightly) to my Net Worth. That works well because I let points accumulate for a while before cashing them out.

    When I do cash them to either check or to pay the credit card itself, I freeze the original balance and add another transaction with the same credit card name/number (I use their last 4 digits as tags, as well - this allow me to report on 'rewards by card' later), but with the cash-out amount as a decrease. And that updates the account bottom line while keeping records of how I used the rewards.
  • Chris_QPWChris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2020
    @Ninguno Solsticio Sounds like a good way to track it.

    My system is even simpler.  I don't count my money until I get it.   :)
    And yeah, me too, cash is what I want.

    So every once in a while I log into by credit card account and select for it to give me the cash back and as a credit card "credit".  These come in with a payee of "Redemption Credit", which I have a memorized payee for, and have the category of Cash Rewards (no tax line).
    (I'm using the latest Quicken subscription version)
  • dmulligdmullig Member ✭✭
    Good suggestions, and I'll probably use a category for Cash Rewards. What I wonder is if cashback rewards should be applied to an existing category. For example, for one card, we use it mostly for groceries. So would it be a good idea to use the Grocery category instead of Cash Rewards? It would be harder to track the rewards, and it would probably skew the Grocery category for that month.

    As for tracking rewards, I read a tip last year to use a separate application for that, and their suggestion was https://awardwallet.com/. I'm using it, mostly to make sure any rewards I have don't expire unknowingly.
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