(Updated) Amex Is Sending Out 1099s for Referral Bonuses & One Valuation in Particular is CRAZY!

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Amex Referral 1099 Information

Amex Referral 1099 Information

One of the nicest developments of the past year for credit card crazies enthusiasts, has been the expansion of the various referral programs for credit cards. Both Chase and Amex have made referring your friends significantly easier and I know many of you have thus received referral bonuses. Unfortunately Amex is killing the good vibes a bit with today’s Amex referral 1099 news.

The Game Has Changed

While you still can earn points for referring people and thus end up with more than you had before, you will now be required to pay taxes on your bounty. While that is a not great news, the way they valued their points is what is really making me scratch my head. Especially when it comes to Hilton Honors.

Worth How Much?

Since Hilton’s Honors program is largely revenue based these days, it isn’t often you can find outsized value. Hilton Honors points are worth about 1/2 cent or less each when redeeming and that’s about it. With that said, how much do you think Amex valued them at on the 1099s they sent out?

If you guessed .5, .75 or even 1 cent each you are wrong. No, they have decided that Hilton Honors points are worth a staggering 1.25 cents each according to Doctor of Credit. That is absolutely ridiculous. 

UPDATE

Doctor of Credit has updated the value.  I guess the original poster was not accurate and the value is .67 cents and not 1.25.  While on the high side that makes a lot more sense.  Sorry for the confusion.

Amex Referral 1099 Information
Hilton Nassau Beach

Need to Know

Here are some things I have figured out about the new Amex referral 1099 based on data points on Reddit:

  • You will receive a separate Amex referral 1099 for each card you earned a referral from.
  • It seems like any Amex referral will trigger a 1099. You don’t need to receive $600 in value from referrals in order to receive one.
  • As always, consult your tax professional when it comes to possibly disputing the value of points and whether that makes sense. Here is a View from the Wing (HT: OMAAT) article with some general information for how to do that.
  • As opposed to Hilton, it looks like Amex is taking a more conservative stance with other currencies. SPG/Marriott, Delta and Membership Rewards are all valued at 1 cent each.
  • For 2017 Chase did issue and backtrack on referral 1099s, so it is possible Amex could change their approach to all or some of this.

Conclusion

American Express has long had a referral program in place, so it is a bit surprising to see them issuing 1099s now. They have long given themselves that option in the terms, but it’s a bit sad to see them taking this position now, especially given the valuation of Hilton. Ouch.

Did you receive an Amex referral 1099? Share your data points in the comments.


The responses below are not provided or commissioned by any advertiser or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser. It is not any advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

3 COMMENTS

  1. At best, I can buy 80,000 X 2 (at their best bonus offer of 100% bonus) for $800. I would argue that if Hilton sells them for $800, they are probably not worth any more than that, at least to me. That’s .5 cent per point, not .6 cents or more as others have offered. Nobody can guarantee what I’ll be able to use them for against a future redemption.

  2. Never enter an airline sweepstakes. The value they put on miles us so high that the taxes will cost you more than the actual cash value.

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