Why are my credit card purchases subtracting from balance?

I have one credit card account that has messed up the way a credit card purchase changes the balance. Everything was working fine until July 2020 when the purchases started decreasing the balance. Now my register shows a balance (in the black) but the actual online balance is a negative (in the red). Has anyone had this happen? Thank you in advance.

Best Answers

  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    A charge (purchase) in a credit card account is supposed to make the balance more negative.  You owe the card company more than your did before the purchase.
    AND, the balance column in a card account is supposed to be RED (as in "You're in the red", meaning that you owe money.
    That balance column would be black IF;
    • You overpaid your account, or
    • You didn't record your purchases in the account, or
    • You set up the account with an amount in the Payment column, instead of the CHARGE column.
    Have you been reconciling this account?
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    If you haven’t already, you may want to verify the register is sorted appropriately and there aren’t any unexpected filters being applied:  open the register, select the Date column header (you want the small triangle to right of Date to point up) and Reset.

    Purchases (aka charges) should always subtract.  Usually, a credit card has a negative balance reflecting the amount we owe.  When we enter a charge, the negative balance increases.  When we receive a refund or over pay the balance due, we may have positive credit card balance reflecting the amount owed to us.  When we enter a charge, the positive balance reduces.
  • pferrer
    pferrer Member
    Accepted Answer
    Solution: I am HAD the exact same problem. My Capital One credit card account was SUBTRACTING charges from my balance and ADDING payments to my balance. Completely opposite from what is supposed to happen. How I fixed the problem was I found where my CC payments had started to be booked TWICE a few months ago. When the CC balance went positive (like I had overpaid my balance) then it started adding payments to my balance and subtracting charges. I pay off my CC balance in full each month. I went back and deleted the extra payments..I had several. Then that fixed it. I also checked the RESET button at the top of the register. This is a Quicken programming problem that should be easy to fix.

Answers

  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    A charge (purchase) in a credit card account is supposed to make the balance more negative.  You owe the card company more than your did before the purchase.
    AND, the balance column in a card account is supposed to be RED (as in "You're in the red", meaning that you owe money.
    That balance column would be black IF;
    • You overpaid your account, or
    • You didn't record your purchases in the account, or
    • You set up the account with an amount in the Payment column, instead of the CHARGE column.
    Have you been reconciling this account?
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    If you haven’t already, you may want to verify the register is sorted appropriately and there aren’t any unexpected filters being applied:  open the register, select the Date column header (you want the small triangle to right of Date to point up) and Reset.

    Purchases (aka charges) should always subtract.  Usually, a credit card has a negative balance reflecting the amount we owe.  When we enter a charge, the negative balance increases.  When we receive a refund or over pay the balance due, we may have positive credit card balance reflecting the amount owed to us.  When we enter a charge, the positive balance reduces.
  • Okay, parts of both replies (answers, suggestions, etc....) helped me to figure out what was going on. For some reason (probably more operator error than anything else) when I would update the account online, some of the transactions didn't download (had happened in the savings account too, but I found that) so I went back to the past year and double checked all the transactions (debit and credit/payment)...found the missing debits and corrected a couple of payments that were showing incorrectly. My charges are showing a negative balance (red) while the payments/credits are showing properly with a decrease in balance (to the good) or an actual 0.00 when paid in full.

    So, I guess I need to be more diligent in reconciling in the future. Thank you for your help.
  • DRMcLain
    DRMcLain Member
    In one credit card account, with the initial transaction posted in 2015, charges, payments, and credits, posted correctly, specifically, charges increased the balance and credits decreased it. In late 2019, the problem with charges decreasing balance and credits increasing it began. What I notice is that I had two successive credits, a payment and a cash back credit After that, the posting error began. This is not a sorting problem. I have run a file validation. This appears to be a bug.
  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    What I notice is that I had two successive credits, a payment and a cash back credit

    Should there be the two transactions?  Did they really happen or could they have been the same transaction, just duplicated? 


    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  Subscription  -  Win10
    -also older versions as needed for testing
    -Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • ricejerry
    ricejerry Member
    This same issue is happening to me. The "Charge" column is deducting from the balance owed and the "Payment" column started adding to the balance owed. It is impossible to reconcile because it start doing it after the last reconciliation. It is definitely a bug... just on this credit card account.
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    @ricejerry What color is the BALANCE column in that account, Red or Black?  For a credit card account, it should usually be RED (as in "you're in the Red"), unless  you're:
    • Missing transactions or
    • Have duplicate payments or
    • Set up the opening balance incorrectly.


    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • ricejerry
    ricejerry Member
    It is black. It has been red and working as normal... until last week. I've been using Quicken since 1999 with this same credit card account. Now it appears to happen randomly on and off going all the way back to transactions in 2018. Totally hosed. I can make no sense of it.

    I did purchase a new computer two weeks ago, but I got the data file transferred fine. Everything worked until this week. It is only doing it on this account. The payments are posting correctly on from the checking account side of the transactions so I'm kinda stuck. It is a definite bug. Unless Quicken can fix it the only way I see fixing it is creating another account and zeroing this one out.
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    When was the last time that you Reconciled this account?
    And, I've already explained why the balance in a Credit Card (or other liability) account could be black when it should be red.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • ricejerry
    ricejerry Member
    It is reconciled every month... for decades. The problem just started last week out of the blue... only on this account.
  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    Have you checked as suggested for duplicate payments or missing charges that would make your balance in the "black" meaning that the credit card company OWES you money?
    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  Subscription  -  Win10
    -also older versions as needed for testing
    -Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @ricejerry have you checked the register sort order as mentioned by Sherlock earlier in this discussion?

    https://community.quicken.com/discussion/comment/20126216/#Comment_20126216

    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • JudiF
    JudiF Member
    I am having this exact problem on one Credit Card only. I do not see anyway to correct it as I have checked all the way back to the beginning in 1999 and whatever happened changed it back to the beginning. It was fine last month. All the charges and payments are correct for the last 2 years. Not going back farther than that. I will try making a reconcile for this month and then an adjustment. If that does not work I will leave this as an old account for research and begin again with a correct balance. I believe that something strange happened in my download of charges from Quicken. Very annoying.
  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    JudiF said:
    I am having this exact problem on one Credit Card only. I do not see anyway to correct it as I have checked all the way back to the beginning in 1999 and whatever happened changed it back to the beginning. It was fine last month. All the charges and payments are correct for the last 2 years. Not going back farther than that. I will try making a reconcile for this month and then an adjustment. If that does not work I will leave this as an old account for research and begin again with a correct balance. I believe that something strange happened in my download of charges from Quicken. Very annoying.
    If there are no EXTRA/INCORRECT transactions (most probably credits), then the only thing that can be wrong is the Opening Balance amount.  Just making a balance adjustment is giving into defeat.
    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  Subscription  -  Win10
    -also older versions as needed for testing
    -Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • ricejerry
    ricejerry Member
    This is definitely a Quicken bug with the download on this account. The more I research this, the transaction download is changing RECONCILED transactions going back years. It makes it so that my online balance does not match the Quicken balance for the account. I have used this exact account in Quicken since 1999 with no balance matching problems until last month. I ended up making an adjustment transaction to balance with my bank balance. I downloaded transactions today and it is off again. In total there have been $2,771 in errors in the downloads on RECONCILED transactions. It will be impossible to find them going back 20 years. It would appear the only way to fix this is to zero out this account by moving the balance to a new account in Quicken then disconnect the old account and connect the new account to my bank.
  • ricejerry
    ricejerry Member
    I reset the account on the "Online Services" tab of the "Edit Account" dialog box. If this does not fix it I will deactivate the account, create a new account, and transfer the balance to the new account... then activate the new account.
  • pferrer
    pferrer Member
    Accepted Answer
    Solution: I am HAD the exact same problem. My Capital One credit card account was SUBTRACTING charges from my balance and ADDING payments to my balance. Completely opposite from what is supposed to happen. How I fixed the problem was I found where my CC payments had started to be booked TWICE a few months ago. When the CC balance went positive (like I had overpaid my balance) then it started adding payments to my balance and subtracting charges. I pay off my CC balance in full each month. I went back and deleted the extra payments..I had several. Then that fixed it. I also checked the RESET button at the top of the register. This is a Quicken programming problem that should be easy to fix.
  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    pferrer said:
    Solution: I am HAD the exact same problem. My Capital One credit card account was SUBTRACTING charges from my balance and ADDING payments to my balance. Completely opposite from what is supposed to happen. How I fixed the problem was I found where my CC payments had started to be booked TWICE a few months ago. When the CC balance went positive (like I had overpaid my balance) then it started adding payments to my balance and subtracting charges. I pay off my CC balance in full each month. I went back and deleted the extra payments..I had several. Then that fixed it. I also checked the RESET button at the top of the register. This is a Quicken programming problem that should be easy to fix.
    Thanks for confirming that the problem was with EXTRA downloaded/accepted transactions and NOT with how Quicken's registers work.
    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  Subscription  -  Win10
    -also older versions as needed for testing
    -Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
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