TPG reader Lawrence is wondering if he can use his Delta Suntrust debit card to pay his taxes and earn one mile per dollar spent. Here was his question:
“@thepointsguy: Can I use my Delta suntrust debit cards to pay taxes for my parents/inlaws/brotherinlaw etc? Or only for me? #bigtaxbillscoming”
It’s getting to be that time of the year when the tax man arrives and takes all your money. The good news is, you can use both debit and credit cards to pay your taxes. The bad news is, credit cards will generally charge hefty fees: 2-3% or even higher in some cases to do so. So generally it may be better to use a points-earning debit card to pay them. To give you a comparison, here is the official government list of approved tax payment vendors, and the rates they charge.
As you can see, although many of these services charge a percentage of your tax bill as a credit card processing fee, if you are using a debit card, you often just pay a flat fee that’s between $2.79 and $3.99, which could make putting your tax bill on your debit card worth it.
The answer to Lawrence’s question is yes, you can use the card to pay for your taxes and you can use it to pay for friends and family members’ taxes as well if you want to. In fact, I used this card to pay my taxes last year and it worked like a charm. The fee I paid was $3.50 per transaction and you can pay up to $35,000 per transaction, which is the per-transaction limit on the Suntrust Delta debit card.
At that rate, if you maxed out the transaction limit at $35,000, you’d be minting Delta miles at a rate of 1/100th’s of a cent each – not a bad rate to buy miles at!
What I would recommend if you have a big tax bill coming up is to get the card now. At one point there were some great sign-up bonuses, but right now the best one is 5,000 Delta miles after your first qualifying purchase. This way you will have the card ready and presumably your account funded for when the time comes to pay the tax bill. And remember, don’t wait until the last minute to process your taxes or to get the card because you don’t want to take a chance that it won’t come in time or your account won’t be ready for you to pay when the tax deadline occurs.
The same thing goes for quarterly payments for small business owners – the Delta Suntrust debit card is probably the most lucrative card out there to pay those tax bills thanks to that low flat fee, so it could be worth getting if you’re looking to mint miles on your tax bill..
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