I have questions on how to use the credit card account with Quicken for Mac

What is the best way to set up a credit card account? I created a separate credit card account for myself and then downloaded the transactions from my credit card company, but when I reconcile my main bank account, the payment does not seem to appear in this account...only in the credit card account.... My husband downloaded his credit card transactions directly into our main bank account for the first time. It is so confusing when I try to reconcile this bank account. I think I am missing something because I don't understand. Is there a "how to" out there for using the credit card download option and then reconciling the bank accounts???

Best Answer


  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2021
    "but when I reconcile my main bank account, the payment does not seem to appear in this account...only in the credit card account..."
    Since I don't know how you are maintaining your Accounts in Quicken - manual entries followed by confirming downloads, relying entirely on downloads to somehow "do your accounting for you", or some mixture of manual and automatically entered downloaded transactions - it's difficult to know what's going on here.  If you're basically relying on downloads to make transactions in your Accounts, and it sounds like that might be the case, I'd expect the payment to show up first in the checking Account and then a day or two later to show up in the credit card Account.  That seems to be the most common event pattern, though I guess there could be exceptions to that.
    If you are expecting that a download payment for a credit card will somehow "know" or "understand" that the other side of that double-entry transaction needs to go to the checking Account and make the offsetting entry, it generally doesn't doesn't work that way, although Quicken can make some guesses about "transfers."   (That word "transfers" is a bit of Quicken-speak meaning that you make an entry in one Quicken Account, e.g., your checking Account when you pay the credit card company, and some or all of the dollars involved show up in another Quicken Account.)
    The correct way to account for activity in a credit card is to set up a separate credit card Account in Quicken, as you've done.  As you charge items or return things for refunds you make entries in this credit card Account, categorizing those transactions as you see fit.  When you receive the credit card statement and assuming everything's been properly entered, you then reconcile the balance per Quicken to the balance shown on the statement.  When you've done that you go over to your checking Account and schedule your payment, with the offset being to the credit card Account.
    Checking accounts and credit card account are separate and distinct accounts and that's the way you set them up in Quicken.  Get those credit card transactions out of the checking Account and get them set up, properly, in the correct Quicken credit card Account.  Reconciliation of a checking Account with credit card transactions in it would be basically impossible, or at least, very, very difficult and could only be done with some "phantom entries" because those transactions simply didn't occur in the checking Account.
  • yes good last point! I figured out how to do the Transfer in the checking account so that the cc account and checking accounts are connected. That is all good. To answer your other question, I do manual entries but I started downloading the credit card transactions to my credit card account.
    The problem is my husband's credit card transactions are ALL being downloaded to our checking account and I can't figure out how to change that and put them in a separate cc account. I tried downloading again by creating the cc account, but by default they go into the checking account.
    any ideas?
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2021
    You have to deactivate the bank Account and the credit card Account.  Move the CC transactions out the checking Account and to the correct credit card Account.
    Then reactivate the bank Account.  You might get some duplicate transactions downloaded and if you do delete them.  Then go over to the CC Account and do the same.
    Make sure you"link" the accounts found at the financial institutions to your existing Quicken Accounts.
  • HelenePoupart
    HelenePoupart Member
    Answer ✓
    thank you so much! It worked! you were very helpful!
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