All posts by Leonard Kreicas

Win $10,000 Sweepstakes

You could win $10,000 by depositing your IRS refund in a Visa prepaid card.

Visa Prepaid CardThere are also 60 weekly winners of $25 each until April 16, 2012.

This is a limited-time offer good only until April 16, 2012: so the clock is ticking and get your card before time runs out to win your $10,000 prize.

People can also enter the contest, without having a Visa Prepaid Card, by manually sending entry forms through the mail.

To automatically enroll for your opportunity to win $10,000, get an eligible prepaid Visa card and make a purchase or payment with it from January 15th to April 30th, 2012.

Use your card online, over the phone or in stores where Visa is accepted.

The more you use your card, the more entries you’ll receive and the better your chances of getting that $10,000.

Details of winning the $10,000 are here.

Are Credit Card Rewards Taxable?

Pile of cashCitibank has sent out 1099 tax forms for 2011 to people who received over 24,000 points as an incentive for opening a checking or savings account.

Usually prizes, awards and the such, worth over $600, are reported to the IRS as miscellaneous income.

While the 1099’s were NOT sent out for reward points on credit cards, the recent mailings suggest cardholders might have to pay taxes on all their points sometime in the future, if and when the IRS changes its mind.

Citicard regards any promotion to open an account as a taxable “gift.”

A spokesperson said, “When a customer receives a gift for opening a bank account — whether cash, a toaster or airline miles — the value of that gift is generally treated as income and subject to reporting.”

The IRS currently views reward points on credit cards as a form of “rebate,” which is not considered income, but reduces the price the customer pays for his or her purchase.

As an example, when a customer opens a new Macy’s credit card, he or she gets up to $100 off their first bill on purchases made within 48 hours of opening the new account – the credit reduces the cost their initial statement.

However if Chase credits a new account holder 25,000 points, without even making a purchase, wouldn’t that be considered a gift since nothing was bought?

The IRS treats both promotions the same now as not being taxable.

Stay tuned folks, because the tax situation right now favors cardholders, but Congress and the IRS might want to plug this tax “loophole” in the future.

Stop Scams

When you buy at a liquidation sale do not pay by cash, check, or debit card.

Use a major credit card (e.g., American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa, etc.) to protect yourself against fraudulent claims.

The major credit card company can help you against some very bad people or companies who would rip you off.

If you arrange for home delivery and the merchandise never arrives, or if there is no proof of delivery (e.g., signature upon receipt), the credit card company can intervene and, when appropriate, remove the charges from your account.

As for defective merchandise (e.g., small appliances, etc.), the credit card company will fight for you when the product does not satisfy your expectations.

Be certain you have a valid manufacturer’s warranty on the item before you issue a complaint.

Remember that when your merchandise is absent or useless, the wonderful “discount” means nothing.

MTV Visa Card

Earn up to 5X the points and get rewards that rock.

For those who love entertainment the MTV All Access Visa rewards you with

MTV Visa Card
MTV All Access Card
  • 5 points per dollar spent on entertainment
  • 2 points per dollar spent on restaurants
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • 25 bonus points each billing period you keep your account in good standing by paying on time
  • Points don’t expire
  • There’s no limit to the points you can earn
  • Redeem points for travel, cash, merchandise and more
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee (perfect for travelers)

Plus there is zero fraud liability on unauthorized purchases  and an extended warranty program.

This is the perfect card for movie and concert fans because they get a 5% discount when they buy tickets for their favorite events.

Apply for your MTV Visa card here.