How to remove the credit card category

I'm a longtime YNAB 4 user and recently got my girlfriend onto YNAB. I tried out the new version but went back to the tried and true because the new version was forcing me into budgeting a way I don't want to, and was missing some key functionalities.

One is that the app is forcing her to have a credit card budget category, which is causing her to budget to show as overspent. We don't want any sort of CC budget line because we use them as delayed debit cards where we pay off the balance regularly and collect the points. 

For some reason the credit card category can't be removed, and even when its hidden it continues to cause her budget to be shown as overbudgeted. Are there any easy workarounds for this?

I also find it a bit of a slap in the face that YNAB is choosing not to convert YNAB 4 to a 64 bit version because they know it will stop being supported by Mac soon and they want people to sign up for the (in my opinion inferior) online version for the recurring revenue. I bought this program specifically because I would pay only once and have the program for good. Anyway, I digress...

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  • Some people convert their credit cards to checking accounts. You can do this by creating a new account of type “checking” and moving all the transactions into that account. However, if your credit card is showing as overspent, this is a mistake in the budget that won’t be rectified by making it a checking account—you have budgeted money to other categories that is in reality reserved for paying the card. Your available funds will still drop by the amount of the overspending, but it will do so automatically via TBB. 

    I have quibbles with the web app credit handling, some of which I think are just straight up bugs, but I have never had trouble having a paid in full card using the default handling. It’s not that difficult to understand, and unless you frequently redeem rewards, buy gift cards, or overpay your card, it’s not that onerous to keep up with. YMMV. (And making it a checking account solves the issues with those three actions.)

    And as far as I know, YNAB isn’t refusing to update version 4 to force people to move: they never intended to update version 4,  just as they did not continue updating version 3 after version 4 came out. The web app has been out for three entire years. That’s basically light years in OS development. I don’t expect any other software I use to keep updating its old version just so that I don’t have to buy the new version. If I choose to stick with the old version, I expect to encounter some roadblocks as operating systems continue to improve. 

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  • You need to learn how credit cards work in the current version of YNAB. I am a paid-in-full credit card user, and I was confused by YNAB's credit card handling at first. Then I learned how it works, and it's fine. There's a free class you can take (and even ask questions live during the class) via YNAB's website, and there's also this doc:

    You can also do as WordTenor suggests and turn your credit card account into a checking account. This makes it impossible to choose to incur debt with that card, but that's probably a good thing, right?

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  • You need to take the credit card class so you can inderstand how credit cards work in the new version. If her credit card is showing an overspent she probably didn’t set aside any money to pay off the credit card which she needs to do. 

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  • You can use the YNAB4 approach for a paid-in-full CC in nYNAB, but understand that CC is currently not setup in a paid-in-full configuration. I highly recommend that you first try to fix that. To do so, budget whatever is necessary to make the CC Payment category match the account balance, and then ensure TBB is non-negative.

    If the rest of your categories have enough money after the dust settles from this adjustment, then you might consider switching to the YNAB4 approach at that point since it does simplify paid-in-full operation.

    It is often the case that people that think they are paid-in-full are really riding the CC float (interest free, but not able to pay the entire account balance -- not just the statement balance -- in full). The stock approach can easily handle this as you work toward true paid-in-full status. 

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