What’s the Best Credit Card for Paying Taxes?

Are you trying to get credit card rewards for paying the IRS? Need a little more time to pay your tax bill? Here’s the best credit card for paying taxes.

What’s the Best Credit Card if You Can’t Pay Your Tax Bill on Time?

If you can’t pay the IRS on time, your best bet is to try to find a card with a 0% introductory rate that lasts long enough for you to  be able to pay in full. If you can’t get a credit card with a promotional period or won’t be able to pay it off in time, you may have better options. These may include a lower interest bank loan or an installment agreement directly from the IRS. IRS installment agreements have interest rates of 3% over the federal funds rate, while credit cards are often the federal funds rate plus 10% or more.

If you decide to go with a credit card, NerdWallet lists these cards as having the longest 0% intro offers.

  • U.S. Bank Platinum Visa — 20 months
  • Wells Fargo Reflect — 18 months
  • Wells Fargo Platinum — 18 months
  • HSBC Gold Mastercard — 18 months
  • BankAmericard — 18 months
  • Chase Freedom Flex — 15 months
  • Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards — 15 months
  • Citi Double Cash Card — 12 months

Other banks routinely offer 6 to 12 months from account opening of 0% interest on purchases when you open a new credit card. Check for current credit card offers and what terms apply at the time you need to pay your taxes. Don’t forget that it will take a few weeks to get your new card in the mail, so apply in advance of the tax due date to avoid IRS interest and penalties.

What’s the Best Credit Card for Paying Taxes to Maximize Rewards?

When you pay federal taxes with a credit card, the fee varies from 1.87% to 1.98% with a $2.50 to $2.69 minimum. Anything after that is profit. In addition, even if you only break even or come out slightly behind, it may still be cheaper and easier than sending a check by certified mail.

IRS payments will usually count as a regular purchase. They won’t usually fall under eligible purchases for bonus categories like online shopping. Therefore, you’re looking for a credit card with a high base rewards rate.

  • Citi Double Cash: 2% on everything slightly beats the fee.
  • Bank of America Travel Rewards: 1.5% to 2.625% in travel miles depending on if you’re a member of the Preferred Rewards program. $100,000 in assets in Bank of America deposit accounts or Merrill Edge investment accounts get you the highest return.
  • Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards: Same structure as above but straight cash back instead of travel miles.
  • Discover It Miles: 1.5 miles for each dollar you spend. Doubled at the end of your first year with the card.
  • HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard: 3% cash back in your first year. 1.5% after.
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited: 1.5% cash back, has rotating 5% categories for non-tax items like gas and dining.
  • Wells Fargo Active Cash: 2% on everything.

If you’re opening a new credit card, check for signup bonuses for an even bigger return. Or, if there’s a new card you already wanted, use your tax payment to meet your minimum spend for your bonus.

What’s the Best Credit Card for Paying Taxes to Get a Signup Bonus?

If you’re trying to meet the minimum spend for a new credit card bonus, your tax payments will almost always count. Even if you weren’t planning on opening a new card, the bonus could help offset your tax bill.

These are the current best offers listed by NerdWallet. Keep in mind that you may receive better or worse offers based on your credit profile and relationship with the bank. In addition, offers are constantly changing.

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve — 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in 3 months. Valued at $750 in travel.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred — 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in 3 months. Valued at $750 in travel.
  • Amex Platinum Card — 100,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $6,000 in 6 months.
  • Capital One Venture Rewards — 60,000 miles after $3,000 in spending. Valued at $600.
  • Amex Blue Cash Preferred — $300 statement credit after $3,000 in purchases.
  • Amex Blue Cash Everyday — $200 statement credit after $2,000 in purchases.
  • Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards — $200 cash back after $1,000 in purchases.
  • Wells Fargo Active Cash — $200 cash rewards bonus after $1,000 in purchases.
  • Chase Freedom Flex — $200 cash back after $500 in purchases.
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited — $200 cash back after $500 in purchases.
  • Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards — $200 cash back after 500 in purchases.
  • Various hotel and airline cards — most brands have some sort of bonus offer based on spending. Usually only worth it if you frequent that brand or are trying to cover a planned vacation.

Again, always check the current offers before applying including what spending does or doesn’t count towards the bonus.