Credit Cards that earn Rewards on ATO Payments

Did you want to earn points while paying the Australian Tax Office? Compare some of your options.

If you have a points-earning credit card, it is possible to earn rewards and frequent flyer points when you pay your ATO bill, whether it’s for personal or business income tax, PAYG, BAS payments or a HECS debt. There are three ways to make the credit card payment online:

  • ATO EasyPay Service
  • Through your MyGov account
  • Through RewardPay.com.au

EasyPay

The ATO website offers a service known as EasyPay, which allows you to pay your tax bill using a credit card. This option is available to every kind of taxpayer, including incorporated businesses.

To pay your tax bill with EasyPay, you need to provide either your EFT (electronic funds transfer) code or your PRN (payment reference number) and your credit card details. The minimum payment amount is $10 and the maximum $20 million. (Congratulations are in order if you have a credit card with a limit which will accommodate the maximum amount).

MyGov

Individuals and sole traders can also access the ATO’s payment options (including credit card payments) by logging in to their MyGov account and clicking on the ATO option in the ‘My linked services’ section.

To pay through the MyGov/ATO portal you will need to select the tax account to which the payment is to be directed (e.g. Income Tax, or Activity Statement) and then enter the credit card details and payment amount.

RewardPay.com.au

RewardPay is a business-to-business payment service which facilitates the earning of credit card points when paying business expenses. Both the payer and the payee need to have an ABN, so it can be used by sole traders and small businesses when paying the ATO. RewardPay’s revenue source is the 2.4% (+ GST) surcharge it makes on all transactions.

Points to bear in mind when using a credit card to pay the ATO

  • Does the cost of the ATO or RewardPay surcharge exceed the value of the points earned? If so, it would make more sense to pay by BPAY or bank transfer.
  • If your card has a monthly or annual points cap, make sure that the payment will not exceed it, otherwise you may receive significantly fewer points than you expected.
  • ATO payments tend to have a specific due date, but if there is any flexibility, leverage the benefit by timing the payment to occur at the beginning of your billing cycle, thus maximising the interest-free days.

Since your payments to the ATO are unavoidable, it makes sense to derive some benefit from them by paying with a points-earning card that allows points to be earned on ATO transactions. But be aware that many rewards cards specifically exclude ATO payments from earning points. Those that do not exclude them may still have a tiered points table which places ATO payments at the bottom of the pile with the lowest earning rate per dollar spent.

All cards appearing on this page currently allow points to be earned on ATO payments, at varying rates per dollar, but terms and conditions can change quickly and it is possible that a different situation may apply in the future.

My monthly spend: 
$5,000
 
Features: 
All features
Types: 
All types
rewards program
ATO earn rate
sign up bonus
Points earned
Receive 50,000 bonus Velocity Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $3,000 on your card within the first 3 months.
Earn 1.25 Velocity Points per $1 spent, except government bodies where you will earn 0.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent.
A complimentary domestic return flight every year with travel insurance and entry into Virgin Australia Lounges.
More info
Add to comparison
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Velocity Frequent Flyer
0.5 pts
per $1 spent
50,000
points
after spend criteria
Get 55,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $3,000 in 3 months.
Earn 1.25 pts per $1 spent on card purchases.
$450 Qantas Travel Credit each year. (Conditions Apply)
More info
Add to comparison
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5 pts
per $1 spent
55,000
points
after spend criteria
American Express Explorer® Credit Card
Apply by 07 jan 19
5 reviews
Get 100,000 points when you apply online by 7 January 2019, are approved and spend $1,500 in the first 3 months.
Receive a $400 Travel Credit each year towards any flights, hotels and car hire when you book online with this card.
Enjoy up to two entries per year to the American Express Lounge at Sydney or Melbourne Airports.
More info
Add to comparison
Membership Rewards Gateway
Membership Rewards Gateway
0.5 pts
per $1 spent
100,000
points
after spend criteria
Transfers to 75,000
Velocity points
Start your holiday with a $200 Travel Credit every year.
0% p.a. for 12 months for balance transfers and a one-off credit plan establishment fee of 1%.
Point redemption rates will change as of 15 April 2019. Please go to bit.ly/rwd415 for more details.
More info
Add to comparison
Membership Rewards
Membership Rewards
0.5 pts
per $1 spent
-
No annual card fee to pay each year.
Base earn rate is 0.75 pt per $1 spent. Get an additional 1 point per $1 when spending with Virgin Australia.
0% p.a. for 12 months for balance transfers and a one-off credit plan establishment fee of 1%.
More info
Add to comparison
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Velocity Frequent Flyer
0.5 pts
per $1 spent
-
Earn up to 1 Membership Rewards point 1 for every $1 spent until 14 April 2019, after which you will earn up to 1.5 points for every $1 spent.
No pre-set spending limit means more flexibility.
Extend your cash flow up to 51 days.
More info
Add to comparison
Membership Rewards Ascent
Membership Rewards Ascent
1 pts
per $1 spent
-
American Express Business Explorer Credit Card
Apply by 04 feb 19
Receive 100,000 points when you apply by 4th Feb 2019, are approved and spend $3,000 on your card within the first 3 months.
Earn 50,000 business loyalty bonus points when you spend $100,000 every 12 months from the card approval date.
Enjoy up to two entries per year to the American Express Lounge.
More info
Add to comparison
Membership Rewards Gateway
Membership Rewards Gateway
0.5 pts
per $1 spent
100,000
points
after spend criteria
Transfers to 75,000
Velocity points
Receive 20,000 points or 15,000 Qantas Points. (Conditions Apply)
Earn up to 3 points per $1 spent at major supermarkets and petrol stations, 2 points per $1 spent at David Jones, and 1 point per $1 spent elsewhere.
Flexibility to choose Qantas Frequent Flyer points or Membership Rewards points.
More info
Add to comparison
Membership RewardsQantas Frequent Flyer
Membership Rewards or Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5 pts
per $1 spent
20,000
points
after spend criteria
Receive 40,000 points or 30,000 Qantas Points when you apply. (Conditions Apply)
Earn either Membership Rewards or Qantas Frequent Flyer as your rewards program.
Earn up to 4 points per $1 at David Jones, 3 points per $1 at major supermarkets and petrol stations and 1 point per $1 spent elsewhere.
More info
Add to comparison
Membership RewardsQantas Frequent Flyer
Membership Rewards or Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5 pts
per $1 spent
40,000
points
after spend criteria
American Express Platinum Business Card
Apply by 04 feb 19
7 reviews
Receive 120,000 points when you apply before 4th Feb 2019, are approved and spend $5,000 within your first 2 months of Card Membership. (Conditions Apply)
Earn up to 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent.
Platinum benefits including a metal card right out of the envelope.
More info
Add to comparison
Membership Rewards Ascent
Membership Rewards Ascent
0.5 pts
per $1 spent
120,000
points
after spend criteria
Transfers to 120,000
Velocity points
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
Apply by 28 feb 19
100,000 bonus Qantas Points when you are approved by 28th Feb 2019 and spend $3,000 in 2 months.
Earn triple Qantas Points for your business when employees fly on eligible Qantas flights and pay using their American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card.
Earn 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on Qantas products and services.
More info
Add to comparison
Qantas Business Rewards
Qantas Business Rewards
0.5 pts
per $1 spent
100,000
points
after spend criteria
Show more cards

Q&A's about Credit Cards that earn Rewards on ATO Payments from customers

Q: Do all rewards credit cards allow points to be earned on ATO payments?

No. Many rewards cards specifically exclude ATO payments, so the points earned on ATO payments will be zero.

Q: If my card does allow points to be earned on payments to the ATO, will it be at the same rate as other transactions?

Most unlikely. The cards that permit points to be earned on ATO payments usually allocate a lower earning rate to any transactions with government bodies.

Q: Why is the earn rate lower for ATO payments?

Until relatively recently, ATO payments attracted much the same points earning rate as other transactions. Banks were slow to recognise that ATO payments were among the largest payments an individual or business was likely to make where a credit card was accepted and could be used without any significant penalty (such as reduced ability to negotiate a favourable price, which might happen with a car purchase). This would most certainly have been eroding the banks’ overall profit on credit card transactions. Rather than apply more restrictive points caps (which would reduce a card’s general appeal) they decided to target ATO payments by either offering a lower earning rate or excluding them altogether.

Q: What credit card payment methods are available when paying the ATO?

Payments can be made through EasyPay (via the ATO website), through an individual taxpayer’s MyGov account, or through rewards credit card payment service Rewardpay.com.au. Surcharges are levied on all these payments.

Q: What about surcharges on ATO credit card payments?

The ATO also levies a surcharge for making payments through EasyPay or MyGov using a credit card. Currently these charges are 0.54% for Visa and MasterCard and 1.45% for using American Express. The ATO says that these charges are identical to the charges made by its own bank for processing the transactions, so the ATO is not making a profit on transactions.

The ATO credit card surcharge is tax deductible for businesses (so this should include Activity Statement payments for anyone with an ABN) but not for an individual’s income tax payments.

Q: When does it not make sense to use a rewards card for ATO payments?

Assuming that you are satisfied with the rewards points return you are getting on normal transactions when offset against your card’s annual fee and any other benefits, the additional cost of ATO rewards points lies in the surcharge levied on card payments by the ATO or RewardPay.com.au. The surcharge rates are 0.54% for Visa and MasterCard and 1.45% for AmEx if paying directly through EasyPay or MyGov. Payments through RewardPay.com.au attract a surcharge of 2.4% for any kind of card.

So the question you need to ask yourself is whether the cost per ATO reward point exceeds the value of an ATO reward point?

In fact, the value to you of any reward point depends not on the type of payment you are making, but the type of redemption you choose. Long haul flights usually offer the best value redemptions, while retail gift cards are amongst the most popular.

A Qantas economy return flight to the UK, if booked well ahead, costs around $1,870 for a base fare (i.e. excluding taxes) or 120,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points. This puts a value of about 1.5 cents on each QFF point.

A $100 retail gift card costs 13,500 American Express Membership Rewards points, valuing each point at around 0.75 cents.

So Qantas points need to cost less than 1.5 cents each in surcharges to be worthwhile, and AmEx Membership Rewards points need to cost less than 0.75 cents, before the cost exceeds the value.

This means that, if you are paying directly through the ATO, a Visa/MasterCard needs to be earning points for ATO payments at the rate of more than 0.36 points per dollar (if redeemed for long haul Qantas flights) and more than 0.72 points per dollar (if used for retail gift cards). An AmEx card needs to be earning at the rate 0.97 points per dollar (for flight redemptions) or 1.9 points per dollar (for gift card redemptions). Payments through RewardPay need earning rates of 1.6 points per dollar (flight redemption) or 3.2 points per dollar (gift card redemption).

In a nutshell, if your Visa/MasterCard earns at least 0.5 points per dollar for ATO payments, or your AmEx card earns at least 1 point per dollar, and you intend to redeem the points for long haul flights, go ahead and pay the ATO by AmEx card through EasyPay or MyGov because you will be on the winning side of the cost/benefit calculation. But it’s not worthwhile if you intend to redeem points for gift cards, and payments through RewardPay will only be beneficial if your card earns 2 points per dollar or more for ATO payments.

More comparisons like this one

Rewards Credit Cards
Altitude Rewards Credit Cards
Amplify Rewards Credit Cards
ANZ Rewards Credit Cards
Black Credit Cards
Citi Rewards Credit Cards
flybuys Credit Cards
Gold Credit Cards
Gold, Platinum & Black Credit Cards
Hotel Credit Cards
Membership Rewards Credit Cards
Platinum Credit Cards
Priority Pass Credit Cards
Sign Up Bonus Credit Cards
Store Credit Cards
Featured in
Credit Card Compare rocks! They helped me get the right credit card to get the most out of my frequent flyer program - which helps me to travel around the world in comfort
- Guy Turland, Bondi Harvest, NSW
Thanks Credit Card Compare. Your prompt replies to my questions have been really helpful and most important fast. Will recommend you to my friends and acquaintances definitely!
- P. McGowan, NSW
Credit Card Compare was invaluable in saving me the time of wading through all the various caps etc. that are now in place. Good service.
- D. Jones, NSW
I found Credit Card Compare one of the easiest to use, relevant, and up to date sources of credit cards available in the Australian market. An essential resource to bookmark to your favourites!
- M. Paulton, WA
Absolutely love this site... it's the best and most updated going. Instant online chat and advice. Thanks!
- S. Hucker, NSW
Connecting millions of people with credit cards since 2008
Compare these cards: