Get extra rewards, discounts for filing your taxes

Unless you’re looking forward to a big refund, filing your taxes is probably a dreaded annual chore.

To make it less of a headache, you may use a tax-preparation service or software. But those services cost money (beyond what you may owe Uncle Sam), and, the more complicated your tax situation, the pricier the service will be.

Luckily, some credit cards and loyalty programs partner with tax-preparation companies to offer discounts and extra rewards. The following table shows which are offering deals and discounts for 2017 (tax year 2016). Be sure to carefully check expiration dates for these offers – some end before the deadline for filing.

Credit card/rewards program offers for tax-prep services

TurboTax H&R Block TaxAct
American ExpressUp to $20 off TurboTax (details)Known to offer discounts via Amex Offers program. Check your offers.N/A
Discover DealsUp to $20 off TurboTax (details)N/AN/A
Barclaycard RewardsBoost500 bonus points (worth up to $5 when redeemed)9 bonus miles/dollar for online purchases.

35% H&R block online

30% off H&R Block software
8 bonus miles/dollar
Chase Ultimate rewardsHas offered bonus rewards in the past. Log in and check your offers.N/A
American Airlines (AAdvantage eShopping mall)400 bonus miles8 miles/dollar

30% off software

35% off online
7 miles/dollar
United MileagePlus Shopping250 bonus miles5 miles/dollar

30% off software

35% off online
4 miles/dollar
Delta SkyMiles shoppingN/A5 miles/dollar

30% off software

35% off online
Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping1,000 bonus points6 points/dollar

5 miles/dollar

30% off software

Fine print to know about

Before cashing in on any of the deals above, make sure you’re acquainted with the program’s rules. Policies will vary, but, in general, watch out for the following:

  • Deal expiration: Don’t assume the discount or bonus you see today will be there in a couple weeks. Some end even before tax season does.
  • You may have to click through or register: Paying with the correct card or being part of a frequent-flier program may not be enough to claim a deal or bonus. You often have to first navigate to the offer via online banking or your frequent-flier account and then click through to the tax-prep services website. With Amex Offers, you’ll often need to sign up for an offer or claim it by Tweeting a specific hashtag.
  • You may not be able to combine offers with coupons: Some programs’ fine print states that using another coupon or discount code invalidates any bonuses/deals they offer.

Another tax-related rewards strategy

If you anticipate owing taxes this year, consider timing your payment with a card offering a sign-up bonus. In normal circumstances, paying taxes with a credit card costs more than you’d earn in rewards. But sign-up bonuses are a notable exception. Often, for a few grand in spending by a deadline, you’ll get tens of thousands of bonus points. If your regular spending wouldn’t allow you to reach a bonus’s minimum spend, consider charging your tax bill on it (and eating any associated fees) – especially if it’s a lucrative bonus.

For example, say you have to spend $4,000 in three months to get a 100k-point sign-up bonus. You’re about to hit that deadline and have spent just $3,500. Instead of trying to come up with a way to spend that last $500 (which would entail spending money you otherwise wouldn’t), pay your taxes with the card – you have to pay Uncle Sam anyway.

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