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Is There a Credit Card Rewards Tax? – Gabriel Wood

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When you trade in your credit card rewards for a heap of cash back or travel credit, your moment of elation may be interrupted by a sobering thought: are these rewards taxed? After all, the IRS taxes investment income, cryptocurrency and casino winnings, so it would make sense for there to be some kind of credit card rewards tax. Unfortunately, it’s an issue that takes some digging to get to the bottom of, and even then, the answer isn’t completely clear-cut. To learn about the law surrounding taxes on credit card rewards and find out if you need to fret about giving the IRS its due, keep reading.

The law isn’t clear

This would be an easy question to answer if there was a law that definitively stated whether credit card rewards are subject to taxation, but there currently isn’t one. The IRS may push for such a law soon, since credit card intro bonuses are very generous right now and it may want to start regulating them, but that’s just speculation. Instead, all the legal precedent we have to go on is one IRS announcement and one tax court decision. The announcement, made in 2002, says that frequent flyer miles and other promotional items that you receive as the result of business travel, but that you use for personal purposes, do not produce a tax liability. However, it also says that exception doesn’t apply to travel or other promotional benefits that you convert into cash, or to compensation that is paid in the form of promotional benefits. Since many credit card issuers let you trade their rewards for statement credit or cash, lawyers could interpret that to mean there is a credit card rewards tax.

The court’s decision in the 2014 case Shankar and Trivedi v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue was similar. In the case, couple Parimal Shankar and Malti Trivedi failed to report to the IRS airline tickets that they had purchased with rewards points gained from opening a bank account. The couple argued that the dollar value of the rewards points shouldn’t count as income, since they received it as part of a promotional offer, but the U.S. Tax Court ruled against them.

Tax experts lean toward no

Even though both of the precedents mentioned above make your chances of avoiding a rewards tax look grim, some experts say credit card rewards are largely tax-free. Because you have to spend money in order to earn credit card rewards, whether you’re receiving cash back on your purchases or meeting the spending requirement for an intro bonus, apparently the IRS views those rewards as more of a rebate or discount rather than taxable income. Additionally, even if the IRS taxed credit card rewards, you wouldn’t have to worry about reporting that money unless it met or exceeded $600 per credit card issuer. That’s because $600 is the minimum amount of money you can report on a 1099 form for miscellaneous income, so any amount below that is safe from taxation.

While your credit card rewards are probably safe, the same can’t be said for other financial rewards. In 2012, Citi (a NextAdvisor advertiser) shocked a lot of customers by mailing 1099 forms out to anyone who took advantage of a promotional offer that gave new banking customers a large amount of frequent flyer miles. Citi determined the value of the miles given exceeded $600 per customer, so everyone who received the miles had to pay taxes on them. What’s the takeaway from this? If a reward (including a credit card reward) only requires you to sign up for an account and doesn’t entail spending any money, the IRS is much more likely to view that as a gift, payment or prize and tax it if it’s worth at least $600.

In conclusion, if you’re crazy about earning credit card cash back or points, you shouldn’t fear running into a rewards tax. If for some reason you do receive a 1099 form in the mail from your credit card issuer, though, make sure you factor it into your taxes to stay square with the IRS. For more answers to any credit card question you can think of and then some, check out our credit cards blog.

 

 

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Top 7 Credit Cards for Good to Excellent Credit – Julie Myhre Nunes

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If you have stellar credit, you want a card with the most competitive offer. After all, if your credit qualifies you for the best, you deserve the best. With so many credit card offers, it’s hard to determine which cards are worth their salt. To help, we’re detailing the top 7 cards for those with good to excellent credit (usually considered a credit score of 700 or higher). Keep reading to find the perfect addition to your wallet.

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

With the highest intro bonus of any cash back credit card we’ve reviewed (cardholders who spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening will get a hefty $500 bonus!), the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card is hard to beat. It earns an uncapped 4% cash back on dining and entertainment (movie theaters, tourist attractions and more), 2% cash back at grocery stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases. There are also no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee for the first year (then it’s $95).

Discover it Cash Back

Discover it Cash Back earns 5% cash back on rotating categories every quarter you activate (up to the quarterly maximum, currently $1,500, then it’s 1%) and 1% cash back on other purchases. Discover will match all of the cash back new cardholders earn at the end of their first year, meaning if you earn $300 in the first year, Discover will match that $300 for a total of $600 back! The Discover it Cash Back card has a long 0% intro APR period and requires average to excellent credit (a credit score of 670 or higher) for approval — click “Show Details” to see more.

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa Card

If you prefer a straightforward low APR credit card, the Wells Fargo Platinum Visa Card is right for you, as it offers an 18-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (with an intro balance transfer fee of 3% for 18 months, then it’s 5%). This card also comes with no annual fee and free access to your FICO credit score. On top of that, those who use their Wells Fargo Platinum Visa Card to pay their monthly cell phone bill will receive up to $600 phone protection against covered damage or theft (with a $25 deductible per claim and a maximum of 2 claims per year).

Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card

The Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card offers a $200 bonus to cardholders who spend $500 on purchases in the first 90 days — that’s like earning 40% cash back on the first $500 spent! On top of that, you’ll earn 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to the first $2,500/quarter on gas/grocery/wholesale club purchases). Cardholders will also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases and pay no annual fee. Click “Show Details” to learn about the card’s 0% intro APR period, the customer bonus opportunity and more.

Citi Double Cash Card

The Citi Double Cash Card offers an 18-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers (with a 3% balance transfer fee, $5 minimum). On top of that, you’ll earn 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% cash back when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay for the purchase. The cash back rewards do not apply to balance transfers, but we don’t think it is that big of a deal since the card has so many other strong features, like the long 0% intro APR on balance transfers. The Citi Double Cash Card also has no annual fee and offers free monthly FICO scores.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Travel is easy with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. That’s because this card not only earns an unlimited 2X miles on all purchases, but it also offers 50,000 bonus miles — that’s worth $500 in travel — to cardholders who spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, cardholders will earn an unlimited 10X miles when they book through Hotels.com/Venture through Jan. 31, 2020 and pay no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee for the first year (then it’s $95).

Citi Simplicity Card – No Late Fees Ever

The Citi Simplicity Card – No Late Fees Ever (a NextAdvisor advertiser) offers a whopping 21-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers. The balance transfer fee is a bit higher at 5% with a $5 minimum (other cards usually charge 3%), but 21 months is the longest 0% intro APR we’ve seen, usually making the fee worth paying. Cardholders will also get a 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases. Rounding things out are no annual fee no late fees and no penalty APR, which means paying late won’t increase your APR.

Want to learn more about the cards detailed in this post? Visit our reviews of the best credit cards to see how they compare to other cards on the market.

 

 

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5 Black Friday Credit Card Strategies To Add To Your List – Kimberly Palmer

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Now that you can almost smell the turkey roasting in the oven, you might be in the mood to shop: NerdWallet’s 2018 Holiday Shopping Report found that the nation’s consumers plan to spend an average of $776 on gifts this year, which is $116 more than they said they planned to spend last year. They’ll also be buying more of those gifts with credit cards — almost three-quarters of shoppers surveyed said they plan to buy presents with a credit card, while just 58% of shoppers said that last year. They estimate it will take them just over three months to pay off those purchases. Meanwhile, more than 1 in 4 people who purchased gifts with credit cards last year are still paying off those balances today………..

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kimberlypalmer/2018/11/08/5-black-friday-credit-card-strategies-to-add-to-your-list/#151846321343

 

 

 

 

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Your Whole Wallet In One Card – Unbox Therapy

The latest and most recently updated version of Mobile app and OTA firmware is now released. This update will protect our customers’ high-level security information so that a safer and more secure use of our Product can be ensured……

 

 

 

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Brex Has Amassed A Valuation Of $1.1 Billion In Under Two Years – Donna Fuscaldo

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Brex, the provider of a credit card for startups, has raised $125 million in venture funding, propelling the company into unicorn status with a $1.1 billion valuation. Earlier Friday the San Francisco-based startup announced it closed a $125 million Series C round of funding with Greenoaks Capital and DST Global leading the investment round. This comes on the heels of $50 million raised in June. Since changing course a little more than a year-and-a-half ago, Brex has been able to amass a valuation of more than $1 billion…….

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/donnafuscaldo/2018/10/05/brex-has-amassed-a-valuation-of-1-1-billion-in-under-two-years/#47f0025b65a1

 

 

 

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How To Never Miss A Credit Card Payment Again – Kimberly Palmer

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While forgetting to make a payment might seem like a pretty boneheaded move, it was actually the most common reason people gave for making a delinquent credit card payment, defined as being late by 30 days or more, according to NerdWallet’s recently released 2018 Consumer Credit Card Report. (Other common reasons given were that they needed the money to pay for essentials or for an unexpected emergency.),…..

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kimberlypalmer/2018/09/05/how-to-never-miss-a-credit-card-payment-again/#2a1502563188

 

 

 

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