Reap cash rewards by referring friends
Do you like your credit card or bank account enough to recommend it to a friend or family member? If so, you may be able to scoop up extra cash, rewards points or frequent-flier miles by making a referral — and your friend may get a bonus, too.
Several major card issuers provide referral bonuses to eligible cardholders. Chase, for example, offers $100 cash back for each friend who signs up for a participating Chase Freedom card (up to $500 total per year), and 15,000 points for each friend who gets the Chase Sapphire Preferred card (up to 75,000 points per year).
Chase also offers referral bonuses for some of its airline and hotel cards, including those that offer rewards from the United MileagePlus, Marriott Bonvoy and Southwest Rapid Rewards programs.
For most of its cards, Discover offers a statement credit of $50 to $100 if you make a referral, and your friend gets a statement credit after making a purchase within the first three months. (See discover.com/sharediscover for the amount available and annual cap.) American Express and Capital One have referral programs, too.
Checking account rewards, too
For checking account customers, Chase offers $50 for each friend who opens a qualifying checking account (up to $500 per year).
TD Bank provides $50 per friend that you refer to a personal checking account (up to $500 per year), and your friend gets $50 if he or she meets certain account activity requirements in the first two months.
Bonuses are taxable
Beware the tax bite, however. Generally, credit card rewards are not taxed if you spend money to earn them (such as “percent back” awards).
But because referral bonuses are not usually tied to spending, you may receive a Form 1099 from the card issuer reporting the amount of rewards you claimed through referrals as taxable income.
Similarly, you may pay tax on bonuses you receive for opening or referring a friend to a bank account.
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