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Are bonus miles worth paying taxes with a credit card?

by on Thu March 21, 2013 • No Comment

Choice pay credit card tax paymentsPaying taxes with your credit card is generally frowned upon – you’re hit with a fee – 1.88% when you pay with a Visa or Mastercard.

What if you earn miles and points using your credit card?

This usually doesn’t make a lot of sense. You need to value miles at more than 1.88 cents a piece and ask yourself would you buy miles for about 2 cents each? If you were planning on forking over cash for an expensive plane ticket where the number of miles required is worth more than 2 cents each, then this makes sense.

It’s not a great idea to buy miles to pad your account without a specific trip in mind, though.

But there is a time when it can make a lot of sense.

A lot of us are attracted to lucrative bonus mile credit card offers that can quickly give you 50,000 miles or more very quickly. But the challenge is you must spend $1,000 or more within 3 months on the card to qualify for many offers.

What if the extra money you will spend on paying a tax bill lets you hit the minimum spending requirement for a bonus mile offer?

So, if you normally don’t do enough spending to hit the minimums a credit card bonus offer requires, but anticipate a tax bill, this could be an opportunity to grab an extra 50,000 miles or so you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get.

In that case it can be worth it. For example, the minimum spend requirement on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 40,000 point offer is $3,000 over 3 months. Paying a $3,000 tax bill with the card means a fee of $56. Paying $56 for 40,000 points you wouldn’t otherwise be able to earn is a great deal and worth consideration.

Just remember: never EVER pay your taxes with a credit card to earn miles if you don’t plan on paying off the balance with the first statement. The interest charges will wipe out the benefit of the miles you earn.

The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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"These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered."

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