I do not understand how Quicken handles Credit Card Transactions


I have my credit card set up as, Credit Card. I download the transactions directly from my credit card company. They post as negative amounts, I assume is correct, however when I pay the account balance as a Transfer from my Checking Account, it posts as a positive, and appears to ADD to the credit card balance, instead of reducing it in the amount of the payment. What am I doing wrong. It doesn't make sense. I am somewhat new with Quicken.



  • Jon
    Jon SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    Credit card transactions should be negative amounts which make the balance more negative (or less positive), and credit card payments should be positive amounts that make the balance less negative (or more positive). Here's an example of a credit card account register:

    It might be a little easier to understand if you customize the columns in the register view by turning on the Charge and Payment columns and turning off the Amount column; that way the charges & payments are a bit more explicit:

    (You can customize the columns by clicking the Columns button in the lower right when looking at the register.)

  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    Are the charges and payments in the right columns? Or is just the balance is going the wrong way? Here's some ideas. If you are just using the Amount column we suggest using the Charge and Payment columns and drop the Amount column.

    First make sure you are sorted in Date order with the newest date at the bottom. If you are not then click the DATE Column heading to sort.

    Sounds like you're running a credit balance. Is the balance in red or black? Look back through your transactions and maybe you'll spot one that was entered backward. Or a payment in the charge column or a charge in the payment column. Look around back where this first started happening. Or maybe you are missing some charges?

    If the balance is in Black, it means you have a credit on the card. Like if you overpaid the bill or got a refund for something you returned. When you enter a charge it will reduce (decrease) the credit you have available on it. And a payment will increase the balance.

    Also make sure you have the right starting balance. If it's zero you might need to add a beginning balance for when you started the account in Quicken. I've been reading the opening balance might have got changed during an update or when syncing.

    The credit card balance you OWE should be in RED. If the balance is Black then it's showing the credit card company owes you and you have a credit balance. And then when you make a payment it's like the cc owes you more. So you need to go back though your entries and find where the balance switched to black to being in your favor.

    See this for more info…..


    I'm staying on Quicken 2013 Premier for Windows.

  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just in case you are entering your credit card bills the wrong way…..
    The proper way is to set up a credit card ACCOUNT and enter the charges into it when the purchase is made and assigning it to a category. Then when you pay the credit card bill you TRANSFER the payment from your checking account to the credit card account (not a category). Then if or when you download the payment from the bank you match it to the one you already entered.

    When you enter the payment in your checking account you put the credit card account name in for the category using square brackets around the name to indicate it is a transfer...like this… [credit card] or newer Mac versions have a separate Transfer column.

    I'm staying on Quicken 2013 Premier for Windows.

  • CaptnM
    CaptnM Member

    Thank you so much for your response. I will try these ideas.

  • jeeper
    jeeper Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 23

    this is how things should look with a Credit Card - like mentioned above -
    and NOT using the Amount field which becomes confusing -
    all entered numbers are actually Positive -
    Charge - is the amount you "charged"
    Payment - is the amount you "paid off" the Balance
    Amount - is the plus/minus amount against the account - better to use Charge & Payment fields -
    Balance - ongoing Balance
    it's just the column they are in that dictates how the math is calculated and the resulting Balance -