Learning about credit cards



When to use credit card accounts

You can use Quicken to track credit cards, charge cards, lines of credit, or equity lines. Use the following table to determine the best way to use Quicken.

Record-keeping preferences Account to use Actions to take
You want to keep records of only a few individual transaction and you always pay your bill in full  Checking Record the check that pays the bill in your Quicken checking account. Split the transaction to categorized specific charges. (This method doesn't let you track an outstanding balance, however.)
You sometimes carry a balance rather than paying your bill in full every month and you want to know your outstanding balance at all times. Credit card  Enter and categorize each transaction from your receipts as you make purchases. The credit card register shows your balance.
You want to keep records of some or all of your transactions Credit card Enter and categorize the transactions you want to track (either from receipts or from your monthly statement), and then create one transaction to cover all the charges you don't want to take the time to enter.
You want to keep track of your transactions, but you don't have time to enter them manually Credit card with transaction download  Connect to your financial institution to update your credit card or charge card account automatically every month.

If you'd like, you can set up a credit card account. Otherwise, read the next section to learn how to track your credit card expenditures in a checking account.

What about debit cards?

Although debit cards often carry the name of a major credit card company, they are not credit cards. When you make a purchase with debit card, the money is withdrawn from your account as if you had written a check. Use a checking account for debit card transactions, not a credit card account.

Entering credit card transactions in a checking account

If you always pay your bill in full and you have only a few credit or charge card expenses you want to track, it's easy to just record these expenses in the Quicken checking account from which you pay the bill. You can track some or all of your credit or charge card purchases by entering multiple categories in a split transaction when you write a check to pay your bill.

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Tip: To find out which version of Quicken you are using, open Quicken go to Help menu and select About Quicken.