Earning rewards points while paying your tax bill

Information verified correct on September 27th, 2016

Want to get more out of paying your taxes? Read this guide to find out how you can earn rewards for making ATO payments with a credit card.

The Australian Taxation Office accepts payments from American Express, MasterCard and Visa credit cards, both online and over the phone. While there are surcharges for paying the ATO with a credit card, it can also be an easy way to earn more reward or frequent flyer points. Here, we take a look at the range of rewards credit cards that earn points for ATO payments, how to actually make the payment and everything else you need to know to make your money go further when you’re dealing with a tax bill.

David Jones American Express

David Jones Platinum Credit Card Offer

Earn 1 reward points per dollar spent on tax bills, receive 30,000 bonus points and access exclusive in-store benefits.

  • $99 p.a. annual fee
  • 20.74% p.a. on purchases
  • Up to 44 days interest free
  • Minimum Income Requirement of $40,000 p.a.

Reward Cards for paying tax bills

Rates last updated September 27th, 2016.

American Express Platinum Card

Membership Rewards Bonus Points offer updated from 100,000 to 80,000.

August 2nd, 2016

American Express Explorer Credit Card

10,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points + 0% on balance transfers for 12 mos. Offer ends 30 Nov 2016

August 26th, 2016

American Express Platinum Business Card

The 100,000 Membership Reward Points offer has been extended until 3 October 2016.

September 1st, 2016

View latest updates

Jonathan Choi Jonathan
Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Bonus Points Annual fee
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months.
1 $0 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Receive 10,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement. Enjoy 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers and receive a complimentary Virgin Australia domestic economy return flight every year.
1 0 10,000 bonus points $195 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Card
Receive 80,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement and earn up to 3 points per dollar spent. Gain access to travel insurance, $300 Platinum Travel Credit every year and access to 800 VIP airport lounges.
1 0 80,000 bonus points $1,200 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Enjoy up to 50,000 bonus Velocity Points when you meet the minimum required spend and earn up to 3 rewards points per dollar spent. Also receive a complimentary return flight every year.
1 0 50,000 bonus points $349 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Premium Card
Earn as much as 30,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement. Enjoy frequent flyer benefits including uncapped Qantas Points per $1 spent, complimentary travel insurance and Qantas Club lounge invitations.
1 0 30,000 bonus points $249 p.a. Go to site More info
David Jones American Express Platinum Card
Earn 1 membership point per dollar spent on tax bills. Plus earn up to 4 rewards point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
1 40,000 bonus points $295 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Explorer Credit Card
Receive 100,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points on eligible spend within the first 2 months of Card Membership. Also enjoy a $400 travel voucher and two complimentary airline passes per year.
2 100,000 bonus points $395 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Business Card
While paying tax bills earn 0.5 reward point per dollar. Also earn up to 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on eligible purchases.
1 0 $109 p.a. Go to site More info
David Jones American Express
Earn 1 reward point per dollar spent on tax bills. Also earn up to 3 rewards point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
1 30,000 bonus points $99 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Business Card
Better track and manage your business expenses with the American Express Platinum Business Card. Receive 100,000 bonus points and earn 2 points for every dollar spent up to 375,000, reverting to 1 point for every dollar thereafter.
1 0 100,000 bonus points $1,500 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Gold Business Card
Enjoy 24-hour worldwide service plus a great range of tailored expense management solutions designed to help maintain control of your corporate expenses.
1 0 10,000 bonus points $169 p.a. Go to site More info

Which credit cards earn reward points for tax payments?

If you want to earn reward points for using your credit card to make a tax payment, the first thing to do is check that the credit card will consider this type of transaction as an “eligible purchase”. This information could be included in the card’s terms and conditions but is often difficult to find. Often it depends on whether or not the credit card issuer considers ATO payments as “government charges”, which usually don’t earn any rewards. There are, however, some personal rewards cards and business reward credit cards that still earn points for tax payments. The table here outlines the known credit cards that will earn you points when you make a payment to the ATO, including the amount of rewards you’ll get for every dollar you spend.

Who lets me earn points on my credit card when I pay my tax?

Credit CardPoints earned by paying government charges (pts/$1)
American Express Card (applies to American Express credit cards only, earn rate may differ for companion American Express products)
 0.5 points per $1 paid to the ATO
ANZ 
 0.5 ANZ Reward Points for every $1 you spend on taxation payments
Bankwestn/a
Bank of Melbourne 
  • Amplify Business
0.5 Amplify points per $1 OR 0.25 Qantas points* *Requires opt-in to the Qantas program
BankSA
  • Amplify Business
0.5 Amplify points per $1 OR 0.25 Qantas points* *Requires opt-in to the Qantas program
Citibankn/a
Commonwealth Bank  

Amex: 1.5 points per $1 MasterCard: 1 point per $1
Amex: 2 points per $1 MasterCard: 1 point per $1
Amex: 3 points per $1 MasterCard: 1 point per $1
HSBCn/a
NABn/a
St.Georgen/a
  • Amplify Business
0.5 Amplify points per $1 OR 0.25 Qantas points* *Requires opt-in to the Qantas
Virgin Moneyn/a
Westpac
AMEX: 1 point per $1  MasterCard: None
AMEX: 1 point per $1 MasterCard: None
AMEX: 1.5 points per $1 MasterCard: None

American Express credit cards and tax payments

American Express is the only credit card issuer that currently has information about earning points on tax payments in their personal credit card terms and conditions, with members earning 0.5 points per $1 spent with a card that’s linked to the American Express Membership Rewards program. Earning points for ATO payments made with other AMEX cards, including those provided by banks, will be at the issuer’s discretion. American Express recommends contacting them directly for more details of eligible transactions on individual cards.


tax-word-on-keyboard

How can I make a tax payment with a credit card?

If you have a credit card that earns rewards for tax payments, you have three different options for settling your ATO bills.

1. Using a credit card for tax payments with EasyPay

EasyPay is the Australian Taxation Office’s online payment service and is the most direct way to use a credit card, with transactions processed as purchases rather than cash payments. You can make a credit card payment with EasyPay by following these simple steps:

  1. Make sure you have a secure Internet connection and a compatible web browser. EasyPay recommends the following browsers: Windows IE 8 or later; Mozilla Firefox 4 or later; Google Chrome 4 or later.
  2. Select ‘Make a payment’ on the EasyPay website. You will then be taken to a secure payment page.
  3. Enter your payment details. This will include your Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) number or payment reference number (PRN), which is on your ATO payment slip or debt notice. You will also need to enter your credit card number, expiry and security code, as well as the amount you are paying.
  4. Take note of the surcharge
    • The ATO charges 0.42% for MasterCard and Visa payments and 1.45% for American Express payments. Ideally, the cost of the surcharge should be less than the value of the reward points you earn from your tax payment.
  5. Select ‘continue’
    • The transaction will then be completed.

EasyPay is also available over the phone, by calling 1300 898 089 and following the prompts.

2. Making a tax payment with a credit card through MyGov

Individuals can also pay tax bills through a MyGov account that’s linked to the ATO using the following steps.

  1. Log in to your MyGov account
  2. Select the ‘Australian Taxation Office’ link
  3. Click on the ‘Tax’ column, select ‘Payments’ and then ‘Payment Options’
  4. Select the card payment option and follow the prompts to complete the payment

Like EasyPay, credit card transactions made through MyGov are subject to a surcharge of 0.42% for MasterCard or Visa and 1.45% for American Express payments.

3. Using a credit card for BPAY tax payments

Some credit cards also let you use BPAY to make tax payments. With BPAY, there is no need to register for the service, no additional fees and payments can be made through your Internet banking account.

  1. Log in to your credit card’s Internet Banking service
  2. Select the BPAY payment option
  3. Fill in the payment details, including the BPAY Biller Code and Reference Number (located on your ATO payment slip or debt notice)
  4. Complete the transaction

Keep in mind that some issuers consider BPAY as a ‘purchase’ and others treat it as a ‘cash transaction’, which would attract interest charges at the cash advance rate and wouldn’t earn any points. You can find out if a biller accepts credit card payments by going to the BPAY website, searching for the appropriate biller code and checking what transactions it accepts.

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Case study: Earning rewards points with ATO payments

When the rewards are worth more than the surcharge

Max owes the ATO $8,000 and plans to use his American Express Velocity Escape credit card to make the payment. This card earns one point per $1 for this type of transaction and Max plans to use the points for a Virgin Australia flight from Sydney to Melbourne.

  • Tax owed: $8,000
  • Surcharge: $116 (1.45% of $8,000)
  • Points earned: 8,000 points
  • Points required for flight: 6,900 plus $21.11 AUD Taxes
  • Estimated flight value: $133.89 (based on a standard Virgin Australia Economy price of $155 minus the $21.11 in taxes)
  • His points value outweighs the surcharge by $17.89 

This case study highlights the importance of considering the cost of the credit card surcharge, as well as the points earned and the type of rewards you may want to claim. It’s important to look at all of these factors before you make a decision about using your credit card for ATO payments so that you know it is worth it. Another thing to keep in mind is that the payment fees charged for ATO credit card transactions may be tax deductible under some circumstances. You can check with your accountant to find out if you’re eligible.

Using a credit card to make tax payments can be a great way to earn more reward points, however the cards you can do this with are limited. Now that you know more about how it works, the cards that earn rewards and the potential charges, you can find a credit card and an ATO payment option that works for you.

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Frequently asked questions about earning rewards points with payments to the government

Do all ATO transactions count as government charges?

It depends on the credit card issuer. While technically the ATO is a government body, in some cases credit card transactions may not be classified as government charges and points may be awarded at the credit card provider’s discretion.

Can I earn reward points by paying taxes with a Visa or MasterCard?

Unfortunately, most banks no longer allow cardholders to earn rewards points on ATO payments. The providers listed on this page are currently the only ones in Australia that allow cardholders to earn points on tax payments.

Can I use my NAB Platinum Qantas American Express card to earn points on ATO payments?

No. As of 5th May 2015 no rewards/frequent flyer points can be accumulated from ATO payments with NAB. You may like to refer to the following link for other credit cards that earn rewards points with ATO payments.

I have a CommBank Awards credit card that comes with an American Express card as well as a MasterCard. Can I use the AMEX card to earn points on tax payments?

Unfortunately tax payments/business expenses are exempt from earning rewards points on these cards.

What is the ATO card payment fee?

This is another name for the credit card surcharge we have discussed earlier in this article. The ATO incur a fee for processing credit card payments, and this fee is passed down to you. The fee is based on the credit card used to complete the transaction, Visa, MasterCard or American Express for example, and is a percentage of the total value of the transaction.

Is the ATO tax fee tax deductible?

In some cases, you may be able to claim ATO credit card fees and charges as a tax deduction. The ATO has published guidelines about this on their website. Personal or business? You can not claim credit card fees as a tax deduction if you’re paying your personal income tax liability. However, you can claim these fees as a deduction if you’ve incurred the fees from paying your business tax liability. Consult your tax advisor if you plan on claiming ATO credit card fees as a tax deduction.
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Shirley Liu

Shirley is a personal finance journalist for finder.com.au. She is passionate about educating readers about home loans and helping users navigate the area to find the best deal for their financial situation.

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50 Responses to Earning rewards points while paying your tax bill

  1. Default Gravatar
    Bobby | September 26, 2016

    Hi,
    If I have a credit limit of let say $20,000 on my westpac altitude black and have a tax bill of let’s say $100,000 can I put extra $80k from my other account into the credit card account and pay the $100k ato bill with the westpac altitude black Amex to earn the reward points for the full $100k? If yes how many points am I going to earn in total and is the surcharge worth it?
    Thanks for your help.
    Regards,
    Bobby

    • Staff
      May | September 26, 2016

      Hi Bobby,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Your credit card limit is the amount that you are allowed to spend on your card. So if you want to pay your tax bill worth $100K in order to earn points but your credit card limit is only $20,000, I’m afraid that won’t be possible. I suggest that you contact Westpac directly to verify if you can opt out of being able to exceed your credit limit and still earn points on your ATO payments.

      Cheers,
      May

  2. Default Gravatar
    David | August 16, 2016

    Hi everyone

    I have Westpac Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer Platinum AMEX and VISA cards. I know they are no longer available to new applicants. Do they still offer points for ATO payments and if so, how many points per dollar for AMEX and VISA.

    Regards,
    David

    • Staff
      May | August 16, 2016

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Just to confirm, as stated in the T&Cs, a Westpac Platinum credit card that earns Altitude points will let you collect 1 Altitude Points per $1.00 paid to the ATO using your Altitude American Express. Whilst no Altitude points will be earned using Visa or MasterCard for ATO payments.

      For your reference, I have sent you an email that contains the link to the Westpac rewards T&Cs.

      Cheers,
      May

  3. Default Gravatar
    Jason | May 16, 2016

    Hi guys

    I was under the impression Westpac Altitude Black still pays out on ATO points? Any chance you can confirm this?

    Many thanks for your hard work!

    • Staff
      Sharon | May 16, 2016

      Hi Jason, thanks for your inquiry.

      Yes, that is correct. You will earn 1.5 Altitude Points for each $1.00 paid to the ATO using
      an Altitude Black American Express Card.

      Cheers,

      Sharon

    • Default Gravatar
      Aussieguy | May 16, 2016

      Is 1 Altitude Black American Express Card point worth 1 QF or VA point when transferred to their F/F programmes?

    • Staff
      May | May 17, 2016

      Hi Aussieguy, thanks for your inquiry!

      With Westpac Altitude Credit Card, the points you can transfer to Qantas or Velocity FF programs are the following:

      1. For $1 spent on AMEX = 1 Qantas point; for $1 spent on Visa = 0.5 Qantas point
      2. For 2 Altitude Points = 1 Velocity point

      Please feel free to check the links that I’ve sent to your email for further information about transferring of your Altitude points to Qantas and Velocity FF programs.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Cheers,
      May

  4. Default Gravatar
    nfw | April 29, 2016

    What about payments to OSR NSW? What about St George Bank?

    • Staff
      Ysa | May 5, 2016

      Hi nfw,

      We have confirmed with St.George Bank that you would not be able to accrue points for government charges.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Ysa

  5. Default Gravatar
    Ebony | April 13, 2016

    Hi there

    Found this article after being very disappointed that my bank (anz) took the points away from tax payments. It seems all the banks are doing it? Can you confirm if there are any out there with visa and Amex options that do allow tax payments? I am reluctant to change if there just going to all cut it soon anyway.

    Thanks

    • Staff
      Sharon | April 18, 2016

      Hi Ebony,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Unfortunately, most of the banks no longer allow cardholders to earn rewards points on ATO payments. The providers listed on this page are currently the only ones in Australia that allow cardholders to earn points on tax payments.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Sharon

  6. Default Gravatar
    Rod | February 21, 2016

    The “who lets me earn points on my credit card when I pay my tax ?” question on your site has this info listed below….

    Westpac Altitude – 0.5 Qantas Points per $1.00 paid to the ATO

    Does this mean that the Westpac Black Altitude Mastercard still gives you uncapped reward points at a ratio of 0.5 Qantas points per $1.00 paid to the ATO with no cap on expenditure as well ?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | February 22, 2016

      Hi Rod, thanks for your inquiry!

      As per the Altitude Rewards terms and conditions you will earn “1.5 Altitude Points for each $1.00 paid to the ATO using your Altitude Black American Express Card.”

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

    • Default Gravatar
      Robyn | April 12, 2016

      Today, April 12th I have been telephoning all the banks listed on your pages and I haven’t found one that now allows you to pay the ATO (American Express Cards still allow this but the ATO has too high a charge for me on this card)

      Macquarie Bank will allow payments until June 2016 .

      I’m not sure if my understanding is correct, can you anyway help me, please?

      I wish to make a payment to the ATO and hopefully earn some Frequent Flyer Points at the same time .

      Thank you.

    • Staff
      Sharon | April 13, 2016

      Hi Robyn,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Unfortunately, most of the banks no longer allow cardholders to earn rewards points on ATO payments. The providers listed on this page are currently the only ones in Australia that allow cardholders to earn points on tax payments.

      I hope this has helped.

      Sharon

    • Default Gravatar
      Rod | February 23, 2016

      Thanks Jonathan for getting back to me.

      I question was more towards, does it apply to the MasterCard.

      If not, then is there a Visa or MasterCard out there that accrues uncapped points (that can be linked to Qantas)for payments to the ATO ?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | February 24, 2016

      Hi Rod, thanks for your response!

      Unfortunately MasterCard’s do not earn any points with payments to the ATO: “No Altitude Points for payments to the ATO using your Altitude Visa or
      MasterCard.” At this point of time only American Express credit cards can earn points for payments to the ATO.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  7. Default Gravatar
    Anna | December 26, 2015

    Hi,
    Are there any MasterCard or Visa cards that can be used to make ATO payments? I’d like to avoid the hefty 1.5% ATO fee for Amex, which is only 0.42% for Visa and MasterCard.
    Many thanks, Anna

    • Staff
      Sally | December 29, 2015

      Hi Anna,

      Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, most banks no longer allow cardholders to earn rewards points on ATO payments. The providers listed on this page are currently the only ones in Australia that allow cardholders to earn points on tax payments.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  8. Default Gravatar
    Cengiz | November 27, 2015

    Any advise on which VISA or MASTERCARD, still reward points for paying your BAS statements ?? I can’t find one anymore

    • Staff
      Ally | November 27, 2015

      Hi Cengiz,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Generally, American Express credit cards can earn points for ATO payments. Whilst a number of banks are removing this feature from their cards, Westpac still allows this type of transaction.

      Cheers,

  9. Default Gravatar
    Rhon | October 19, 2015

    Hi there, I know HSBC has changed it’s reward points system, however, do they still pay points for paying your BAS.

    • Staff
      Jonathan | October 19, 2015

      Hi Rhon, thanks for your inquiry!

      Unfortunately tax payments/ business expenses are exempt from earning rewards points.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  10. Default Gravatar
    Adam | October 9, 2015

    Can you pay and get point on ATO payments with ANZ Black still?

    • Staff
      Sally | October 13, 2015

      Hi Adam,

      Thanks for your question.

      According to the ANZ Rewards terms and conditions, cardholders are unable to accrue points on government charges.

      Thanks,

      Sally

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated September 27th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards CreditCardFinder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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