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Earning rewards points while paying your tax bill

Find out which credit cards let you earn points for making payments to the ATO.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) 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.

Use this guide to learn which credit cards 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.

American Express Explorer® Credit Card

Receive up to 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points

Offer ends 2 October 2017

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

American Express Credit Card Offer

Earn 0.5 points per $1 spent on ATO payments and other government charges and enjoy a competitive range of top-tier benefits with the American Express Explorer® Credit Card.

  • $395 p.a. annual fee.
  • 20.74% p.a. on purchases
  • 0.00% p.a. for 12 months with 1% BT fee on balance transfers
  • Up to 55 days interest free
  • Minimum income requirement of $65,000 p.a.
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Compare credit cards earn reward points for tax payments

Use this guide to compare credit cards that earn rewards for ATO payments and other government charges so that you can find the right option for your needs.

Credit cards that earn points on ATO transactions

Rates last updated August 18th, 2017
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
American Express Explorer® Credit Card
100,000 bonus points
2
20.74% p.a.
$395 p.a.
Receive a $400 Travel Credit every year and up to two entries per year to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport.
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
1
14.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Receive a $50 credit when you apply online, are approved and spend $750 on your new card within the first 3 months of card membership.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
1
20.74% p.a.
$195 p.a.
Receive a $200 Travel Credit every year and complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
American Express Platinum Card
100,000 bonus points
1
$1,200 p.a.
Receive an annual $300 Platinum Travel Credit, membership to an elite tier of partner programs and access to more than 1,000 VIP lounges.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
10,000 bonus points
0.5
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Receive 10,000 bonus flybuys points if you apply, are approved and make an eligible purchase within the first 30 days.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
50,000 bonus points
0
1.5
20.74% p.a.
$375 p.a.
Receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight each anniversary year and complimentary travel insurance.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
30,000 bonus points
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$249 p.a.
Enjoy two complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year, plus the protection of complimentary travel and purchase insurance.
David Jones American Express Platinum Card
50,000 bonus points
1
20.74% p.a.
$295 p.a.
Receive invitations to exclusive Season Launch Parades and fashion events, complimentary priority delivery and personal shopping perks.
Coles Platinum No Annual Fee Mastercard
10,000 bonus points
0.5
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Receive 10,000 bonus flybuys points if you apply, are approved and make an eligible purchase within the first 30 days. Plus, a higher credit limit.
American Express Business Card
0
1
$109 p.a.
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.
David Jones American Express
40,000 bonus points
1
20.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Earn 1 reward point per dollar spent on tax bills. Also earn up to 3 rewards point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
Coles Platinum Rewards Mastercard
20,000 bonus points
2
0
19.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Suited to cardholders with higher incomes and credit needs, plus collect 20,000 bonus flybuys points if you apply, and meet the spend criteria.
American Express Platinum Business Card
120,000 bonus points
0
1
$1,500 p.a.
Enjoy a platinum business concierge, complimentary Virgin Lounge access, worldwide travel insurance and luxury hotel benefits.
American Express Gold Business Card
10,000 bonus points
0
1
$169 p.a.
Take advantage of no pre-set spending limit, data that feeds to MYOB accounting software and up to 51 days interest-free on purchases.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
20,000 bonus points
2
19.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Receive 20,000 bonus flybuys points if you apply, are approved and make an eligible purchase within the first 30 days.
David Jones American Express Platinum Card - Qantas Frequent Flyer
37,500 bonus points
0
0.75
20.74% p.a.
$295 p.a.
Fly faster with up to 3 Qantas Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary travel insurance when travel is booked on your card.

Compare up to 4 providers

How can I tell if my credit card earns points for ATO 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 this type of transaction is classified as an “eligible purchase”. This information is included in the card’s reward program terms and conditions, which outlines transactions that will and won't be eligible for earning points. Many programs list "government charges" as ineligible for earning points, which usually includes payments to the Australian Taxation Office.

But there are some personal rewards cards and business reward credit cards that do earn points for tax payments. This table 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 bill?

Credit CardPoints earned by paying government charges (pts/$1)
American Express (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
1 point per $1 spent
ANZ
0.5 ANZ Reward Points for every $1 you spend on taxation payments
Bank of Melbourne 
0.5 Amplify points per $1 OR 0.25 Qantas points*
*Requires opt-in to the Qantas program
BankSA
0.5 Amplify points per $1 OR 0.25 Qantas points*
*Requires opt-in to the Qantas program
Commonwealth Bank
Amex: 0.5 point per $1Mastercard: 1 point per $1
Amex: 0.5 point per $1Mastercard: 1 point per $1
Amex: 0.5 point per $1Mastercard: 1 point per $1
Coles
0.5 points per $1 spent (excludes BPAY payments)
0.5 points per $1 spent (excludes BPAY payments)
2 points per $1 spent (excludes BPAY payments)
2 points per $1 spent (excludes BPAY payments)
St.George
0.5 Amplify points per $1 OR 0.25 Qantas points*
*Requires opt-in to the Qantas

Read our full guide on reward program changes in 2017

What else do I need to know to earn points for my ATO payments?

ccf-ato-rewards-250x250While all of the cards above include details of how many points you'll earn for ATO payments, here are some other factors to keep in mind:

  • Credit card exceptions
    There is plenty of anecdotal evidence online that indicates some people have earned rewards for ATO payments on other credit cards – including some that state government payments are not eligible for rewards. However, reward program terms and conditions usually include statements about possible variations, and many reserve the right to make changes or exclude transactions from earning rewards. The bottom line is this: There may be times when you end up earning points on ATO payments with a card that does not define them as "eligible transactions" but it could be risky.
  • Business payments on personal credit cards
    If you're planning to use a credit card to pay your ATO debt for a business, keep in mind that most personal credit cards have restrictions around business spending (including personal business spending). So, for example, if you run a small business and pay with your personal credit card, the transaction may not be eligible to earn any points.
  • Surcharges
    When you use your credit card to make a purchase with the ATO, you'll incur a 1.45% surcharge for using an American Express and a 0.54% surcharge for Visa or Mastercard. Alternatives such as bank transfer or BPAY do not incur a surcharge.
  • Credit card surcharge tax deductions
    The surcharge applied to ATO credit card transactions may be tax deductible under some circumstances, for example, if you're paying your business tax bill. Claiming the fee as a tax deduction could help make earning points worth it. You can check with your accountant to find out if you’re eligible.
  • Other cards that may earn points
    If you have a Qantas Cash or Velocity Global Wallet prepaid debit card, it's possible you could earn frequent flyer points for your payments to the ATO. This is because the terms and conditions for both of these cards don't currently list government charges as ineligible for earning points. However, the terms and conditions for both of these products are subject to change and may be updated to include restrictions around these types of payments. You would also have to pre-load the full amount required onto your card before using it to make an ATO payment.

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.

Earning reward points with ATO payments

When the rewards are worth more than the surcharge

Max is a small business owner who needs to make a payment to the ATO worth $11,000. He decides to use the CommBank Business Awards Mastercard for his payment, which earns 1 point per $1.youngpersoncreditcard

  • Tax owed: $11,000
  • Surcharge: $46.20 (0.42% of $10,000)
  • Points earned: 11,000 points

With 11,000 points, Max could redeem a $50 gift card through the CommBank Awards program (10,700 points) or convert them into 4,400 Velocity Frequent Flyer Points. In terms of dollar value, this means the points value outweighs the surcharge by about $3.80.

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.

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.

Pictures: Shutterstock

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

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.
The range of CommBank Business Awards credit cards are currently the only options that state ATO payments made with the Mastercard will earn points. Unfortunately, most other 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.
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.
Unfortunately tax payments/business expenses are exempt from earning rewards points on these cards, unless you have a CommBank Business Awards account.
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.
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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Pictures: Shutterstock

Amy Bradney-George

Amy is a Senior Writer at finder.com.au with more than 10 years experience covering credit cards, personal finance and various lifestyle topics. When she’s not sharing her knowledge on money matters, Amy spends her time as an actress.

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62 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    BethAugust 9, 2017

    I am looking for a visa or mastercard to use to make payments with the ATO to earn qantas frequent flyer points. I undersatnd not all cards do this and are being limited. What cards do you know of that are on offer for this service ?
    Thank you

    • Staff
      RenchAugust 9, 2017Staff

      Hi Beth,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Please note that we are not affiliated with any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      The range of CommBank Business Awards credit cards are currently the only options that state ATO payments made with the Mastercard will earn points. Unfortunately, most other 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.

      You can also have a look on this page for Frequent Flyer Credit Cards (please note that these cards do not earn points for ATO payments).

      Cheers,
      Rench

  2. Default Gravatar
    May 19, 2017

    Hi
    Im with nab at the moment and i convert all my points to qantas ff, can you advise the best card for making large payment to the ato for maximum qantas ff points?
    thanks

    • Staff
      AnndyMay 22, 2017Staff

      Hi Brett,

      Thanks for your question.

      Currently, Westpac’s Altitude Black (AMEX) lets you earn 1.5 points per $1 paid to the ATO. Unfortunately, starting 1 July 2017, this card will no longer earn points for ATO payments.

      After the changes in the coming months, most credit cards that earn rewards points to the ATO will generally earn just .5 points per $1. You can refer to the list above.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  3. Default Gravatar
    DeanMay 11, 2017

    My bill is greater than my card limit. If I transfer funds to my credit card so I have a credit balance. Can I use those funds to pay the ATO and earn the extra reward points.

    • Staff
      LiezlMay 11, 2017Staff

      Hi Dean,

      Thank you for your question.

      Generally, transferring funds to your credit card will not increase your credit limit, it will be treated as an overpayment. If banks accept payment from you in excess of your outstanding balance, your available credit limit will not be increased by the amount of the overpayment and it does not necessarily mean that bank will authorize transactions for an amount in excess of your credit limit.

      It would be best to check with your bank before making an overpayment.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

  4. Default Gravatar
    May 4, 2017

    Can I earn points when I pay ATO bills with my Commonwealth Diamond AMEX/MasterCard credit card?

  5. Default Gravatar
    IanFebruary 22, 2017

    Am I correct to assume that, from reading above, I will earn 3 points per dollar spent in paying the ATO on the CBA Business Awards Platinum card?
    Thanks

    • Staff
      JasonFebruary 23, 2017Staff

      Hi Ian,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      Yes, you can earn Commonwealth Bank Awards points for ATO payments with Commonwealth Bank Business Awards Platinum credit card. You will get 1 reward point per dollar spent when you use your MasterCard and 3 points per dollar spent you use your AMEX card. Points are earned on eligible transactions (most purchases, but not, for example, BPAY transactions, cash advances, payments to the Australian Taxation Office unless made using a Business Awards card, or balance transfers) and are subject to points capping.

      Please check out this link for more information on Commonwealth Bank Business Awards Platinum Credit Card.

      Kind regards,
      Jason

  6. Default Gravatar
    BobbySeptember 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
      MaySeptember 26, 2016Staff

      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

  7. Default Gravatar
    DavidAugust 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
      MayAugust 16, 2016Staff

      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

  8. Default Gravatar
    JasonMay 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
      SharonMay 16, 2016Staff

      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
      AussieguyMay 16, 2016

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

    • Staff
      MayMay 17, 2016Staff

      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

  9. Default Gravatar
    nfwApril 29, 2016

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

    • Staff
      YsaMay 5, 2016Staff

      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

  10. Default Gravatar
    EbonyApril 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
      SharonApril 18, 2016Staff

      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

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