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Credit cards that earn points for ATO payments

Find out how you can earn reward or frequent flyer points when you pay your tax bill with a credit card.

If you have to settle a bill with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), using a reward or frequent flyer card can seem like an easy way to earn more points. However, there are fees and restrictions for this type of payment, with only a small number of cards actually offering points per $1 spent with the ATO or other government bodies.

Most of these cards offer a reduced amount of points per $1 spent when compared to the points you earn for everyday purchases. So before pulling out your card to pay your taxes, use this guide to check whether or not you’ll earn points. You can also compare cards that offer points for ATO payments and learn more about the fees and restrictions so that you can decide whether using a credit card is worth it.

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Credit cards that earn points for ATO payments

Rates last updated July 21st, 2018
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle - Exclusive Offer
20.24% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
$0 first year annual fee & up to 90,000 bonus Altitude Pts when you meet T&C with this Visa (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex).
American Express Gold Business Card
$169 p.a.
Take advantage of 10,000 bonus points, no pre-set spending limit, data that feeds to MYOB and up to 51 days interest-free on purchases.
American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle - Qantas
20.24% p.a.
$50 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($249 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the criteria with this dual Visa (issued & serviced by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex).
American Express Business Card
$109 p.a.
Earn up to 1.00 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent and extend your cashflow with up to 51 interest-free days on purchases.
American Express Velocity Business Card
$249 p.a.
Take advantage of Velocity Points per $1 spent, no pre-set spending limit, data that feeds into MYOB and up to 51 days interest-free on purchases.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
$450 p.a.
Earn up to 60,000 bonus points, 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases and enjoy up to 51 days interest-free on purchases.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
20.24% p.a.
$225 p.a.
Receive 40,000 bonus Velocity Points, 2 yearly Virgin Australia lounge passes, plus enjoy $0 overseas purchase transaction fees.

Compare up to 4 providers

How can I tell if my credit card earns points for tax payments?

woman's hands with blue credit card, coffee, and laptop

There are two main ways you can check whether or not your card offers points for payments to the ATO:

  • Check the reward program terms and conditions. Look at the credit card’s earn rate details or go to the reward program terms and conditions for a list of transactions that are not eligible to earn points. If “government charges” or “ATO payments” are on the list, then you won’t earn points for your tax payment.
  • Contact your credit card company. Call, email, use an online chat service or leave a message on social media asking the credit card company whether or not your card earns points for ATO payments. If you decide to use social media, make sure you don’t share any personal details and only mention the name of the card (rather than your account information).

Which credit card companies offer points for payments to the ATO?

To help you weigh up your options, this table shows 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.

Credit CardPoints earned by paying government charges (pts/$1)Other notes
American Express

0.5 points per $1 paid to the ATOThese American Express cards all specifically list an earn rate for payments to government bodies, including the ATO.
American Express David Jones credit cards:

1 point per $1 spentThe American Express David Jones credit cards don’t specifically list payments to government bodies as eligible or ineligible for earning points.
American Express Westpac Altitude Rewards Bundles – Amex cards only (issued by Amex):

1 point per $1 spentThese earn rates are specifically listed for American Express Westpac Altitude card spending at government bodies in Australia, including the ATO.

Note that the relevant earn rate only applies to the Amex card when you have an American Express Westpac Altitude bundle (which also comes with a Westpac-issued Mastercard/Visa).

0.5 points per $1 spent
American Express business card options:

0.5 points per $1 spentThese American Express cards all specifically list an earn rate for payments to government bodies, including the ATO.
ANZ

0.5 ANZ Reward Points for every $1 spent on taxation paymentsThese ANZ cards specifically list this earn rate for “taxation payments”.
Bank of Melbourne

0.5 Amplify points per $1 OR 0.25 Qantas points*

*Requires opt-in to the Qantas program

These earn rates are specifically listed for government payments, including those made to the ATO.
BankSA

0.5 Amplify points per $1 OR 0.25 Qantas points*

*Requires opt-in to the Qantas program

These earn rates are specifically listed for government payments, including those made to the ATO.
Commonwealth Bank

Amex: 0.5 point per $1
Mastercard: 1 point per $1
The CommBank Awards program terms and conditions state that payments to the ATO won’t earn points unless they are made with a Business Awards card.
St.George

0.5 Amplify points per $1 OR 0.25 Qantas points*

*Requires opt-in to the Qantas Frequent Flyer Program

These earn rates are specifically listed for government payments, including those made to the ATO.

Other important details about earning points for tax payments

If you’re planning to use a credit card for your ATO payment, make sure you also keep the following details in mind:

Credit card exceptions

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence online that suggests 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 note that there could be variations. They also typically reserve the right to make changes or exclude transactions from earning rewards. So, while there may be times when you do earn points on ATO payments with a card that does not define them as "eligible transactions", 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 be charged a card payment fee. The cost is calculated as a percentage of your payment, with the following rates for different card types:

  • American Express: 1.45%
  • Australian Visa credit: 0.78%
  • Australian Mastercard credit: 0.4%
  • Australian Visa or Mastercard debit: 0.15%
  • International Visa or Mastercard: 2.7%

Alternatively, there is no surcharge for bank transfers or BPAY payments. However, BPAY payments made from a credit card usually aren’t eligible for points either, so it would just be a way to pay your tax bill without facing a surcharge.

Credit card surcharge tax deductions

The ATO card payment fee may be tax deductible under some circumstances. For example, if you're paying a tax bill for your business. Claiming the fee as a tax deduction could also 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 card, you may be able to earn points for tax payments made before 1 July 2018. This is because the terms and conditions that are effective until 30 June 2018 don’t list government charges as ineligible for earning points.

However, these terms and conditions don’t state that you will earn points (and also note that the definition of eligible purchases may vary). You would also have to pre-load the full amount required onto your card before using it to make an ATO payment, and would only earn 0.25 Qantas Points per AUD$1 (awarded in whole points) spent. In comparison, the Velocity Global Wallet explicitly states that you won’t earn points for ATO payments.

Is earning points on a tax payment worth it?

The cost of the ATO card payment fee means that the value you get from any points is likely to be worth less than what you spend to earn them. However, if you really want to earn points for your tax payment, you can work out the exact value by considering the following details:

  • The surcharge you’ll pay based on the card you use
  • The amount of points you’ll earn based on your tax payment
  • Your reward balance and/or any rewards you’re saving up to redeem

Example: Working out if paying your tax bill with a credit card is worth it

couple with gold credit card looking at their laptop

Say you had a tax bill of $10,000 and wanted to pay with an American Express card that offers 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent with the ATO. Here’s how the costs and points would break down:

  • ATO card payment fee: $145 (based on the 1.45% charge for Amex transactions)
  • Points earned: 5,000 Qantas Points

In terms of rewards, these points could get you a domestic upgrade from premium economy to business (from 5,000 points) or a $25 Myer gift card (from 4,240 points), among other things.

If you really needed an extra 5,000 Qantas Points, earning them in this way would be slightly cheaper than buying them, with the Qantas Frequent Flyer program offering 5,000 points for $182.50. So in this case, the value of the points really depends on how much you want them.

It’s also worth noting that you’ll typically get more value per point with an Australian Mastercard or Visa than an American Express card. This is because the Mastercard/Visa surcharge is just 0.4%.

Either way, looking at the total cost of the fee and the amount of points you’ll earn based on your tax debt and credit card will help you decide if it’s worth it.

How to make a payment to the ATO by credit card

You can pay your tax debt by card using one of the following options:

  • The Government EasyPay service. You can pay by card through this secure service either online or over the phone.
  • myGov. If you’re an individual or sole trader, you can pay through your myGov account, as long as it’s linked to the ATO.
  • BPAY payments. Many credit cards don’t allow you to make BPAY payments, but if you have one that does then you can use this option. Just note that additional fees and charges may apply if your card provider treats BPAY payments as “cash advance transactions”.

Full guide to paying the ATO with a credit card

Credit card companies often update the conditions around earning points for ATO payments, making it hard to assume any particular card will earn points. So before you pay your tax bill, double-check you’ll earn points and make sure you consider the card payment fee so that you can decide if it’s worth it for you.

FAQs about earning points for credit card payments to the ATO

If you want to know more about credit cards that earn points for ATO payments and other government charges, you’ll find answers here to some of the most common questions. Or, if you have another question, get in touch with us by filling out the comment box below.

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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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64 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JudyAugust 24, 2017

    Can I use my ANZ visa card or Westpac Amex card to pay BAS?
    Thanks

    • finder Customer Care
      HaroldAugust 25, 2017Staff

      Hi Judy,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      You can make a payment by credit card or BPAY. To find out more, please see this page.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  2. 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 understand not all cards do this and are being limited. What cards do you know of that are on offer for this service ?
    Thank you

    • finder Customer Care
      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

  3. 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

    • finder Customer Care
      LouMay 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

  4. 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.

    • finder Customer Care
      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

  5. Default Gravatar
    May 4, 2017

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

  6. 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

    • finder Customer Care
      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

  7. 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

    • finder Customer Care
      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

  8. 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

    • finder Customer Care
      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

  9. 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!

    • finder Customer Care
      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?

    • finder Customer Care
      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

  10. Default Gravatar
    nfwApril 29, 2016

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

    • finder Customer Care
      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

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