(Originally published on the SpeedTax Blog)
Ever wondered what to do with all those American Express points?
According to an article on CNNMoney.com, customers can use their rewards’ points to pay their federal income taxes. While this sounds like a great idea, it comes with a small caveat: It takes 200 points to pay $1 in taxes. So, for example, a customer would have to charge $1 million on his or her card just to pay a $5,000 tax bill.
Outrageous? Yes. Logical? Well … yes. There are customers who charge sums this high on their cards. I have a friend, for example, who was responsible for booking his law firm’s retreat in Arizona at a posh Scottsdale resort. Instead of asking for a company check to cover the bill, he charged the $150,000+ bill to his corporate American Express card. The firm’s “perk” for employees was that they got to keep their accumulated points.
While his situation is whole lot less than $1 million in charges, it’s easy to see how high sums could become a reality. The best part of this, in my mind, is the marketing savvy once again demonstrated by American Express. According to the story, the company wanted to give card members a “practical use” for their rewards points.
Now that’s a card I won’t leave home without.