Commonwealth Bank axes Awards points on credit card tax payments

Commonwealth Bank axes Awards points on credit card tax payments

Commonwealth Bank is the latest financial institution to halt the earning of frequent flyer points when using your credit card to pay the Australian Taxation Office, with the well drying up from November 2 2015.

Affecting CBA’s line of personal credit cards – including standard, Gold, Platinum and Diamond Awards – these payments will earn zero points come November, whether made using a CBA Visa, MasterCard or American Express card.

CBA Business Awards customers, however, will continue to earn Awards points on ATO payments after this date – a handy earner for the obligatory BAS and PAYG settlements.

A Commonwealth Bank spokesperson confirmed the changes to Australian Business Traveller, adding that "from time to time the bank reviews its terms and conditions to ensure our offers remain competitive and reflective of market conditions."

Using credit cards to make personal HECS debt repayments to the ATO or to settle any outstanding end-of-year tax obligations has long been a favourite trick of savvy frequent flyers, but one that other banks have in recent times also moved to restrain.

For example, Westpac halved the number of points awarded on ATO American Express payments in November 2014 – and nullified the ATO earning rate on its Visas and MasterCards – while NAB pulled the plug on all ATO credit card points in May of this year.

Also read: The five best credit cards for paying your income tax

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Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!


  • Brian Roberts


    11 Sep, 2015 01:38 pm

    Would HSBC or ANZ offer the best ff earn rates for Visa / Mastercard for ATO personal payments? Have to pay around $18K so I trying to maximise the points.


    No member give thanks

  • Craig Butters

    Ausie Flyer

    11 Sep, 2015 08:43 pm

    American Express halved the points for ATO payments recently so I switched to Jetstar Platinum MasterCard which offers 1 point per dollar with the advantage of much smaller credit card fees as opposed to Amex. I'm pretty sure it is nearly the only MasterCard offering one point per dollar with no restrictions on spending and with my rather large ATO payments every quarter I am a happy chap again.

    No member give thanks

  • PK


    12 Sep, 2015 02:05 am

    Jetstar Platinum MasterCard is, unfortunately, capped at 100,000 QF points a year. 

    No member give thanks

  • Brian Roberts


    14 Sep, 2015 11:11 am

    Thank you for your help!

    No member give thanks

  • bmc


    14 Sep, 2015 10:28 am


    No member give thanks

  • elchriss0


    18 Sep, 2015 10:41 am

    Do ANZ still provide rewards points for ATO payments?  If so does anyone know how many on ANZ rewards Black?

    No member give thanks


21 Jul, 2019 04:54 am


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