Not To Be Left In The Dust – Chase Sends Out 1099’s For Referrals Too

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Chase Sends Out 1099s For Referral Bonuses

Late last week people started getting a present in the mail from American Express.  It was the gift of a higher tax tab come April because they sent out 1099s to anyone who had received a referral bonus. My tally is $1200 so far :(.  It looks like Chase is sending their own out as well.  Chase has valued all points at 1 cent a piece for the 1099s.

Why Now?

Why have banks started sending these out now?  And why are they not sending them out for welcome offers or spending offers?

I think that this is likely coming from the IRS.  With two different banks following the same guidelines I think it was relayed to them to do so.

I wonder if these are differentiated from welcome and spending offers because they are not a rebate on spending.  The IRS has categorized credit card points and cash back as such in the past and has overlooked it for these reasons.  Since referral bonuses are not a rebate on spend I think that is why they may be treated differently.  Referrals fall more in line with bank bonuses.


While this is a trend I am not a fan of the referral greatly outweighs the cost of the tax implications.  You could look at it as buying points at an extremely reduced cost.

What do you think this means going forward?  And will this stop you from sending out referrals going forward?

Hat Tip: DoC


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  1. I’m just going to paste the comment I’ve made on other posts when folks starting getting the Amex 1099s… This is all thanks to the Republican/Trump tax code rewrite. Most little guys are finding they got screwed in the deal, and these 1099s are another example. But hey, the rich took home boatloads more cash.

  2. I believe some thing to do with the new income tax law. These companies milk out all the advantages of new tax law. They get the much lower tax rate now I bet they want more favor deductible. Again it is just my guess.

  3. I think the good old days are coming to an end. I have been traveling with points for the last 10 years usually getting close to $40,000 a year in free travel.
    I do about 20 cruises a year. All of the credit card companies and banks are tightening up. One by one they are all tightening up. Its still possible to get approved for cards, just much tougher. Im not going to stop trying.

    • It is getting tougher for sure. It will go in ebbs and flows though. Banks will have to loosen up at some point in my opinion when the economy takes a hit and finding qualified applicants gets harder. They are making record profits right now and that is why they can turn the flow down right now.


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