In years past, the run-up to tax day has seen a predictable surge in individuals looking to earn frequent flyer miles for tax payments.
This year, that interest in conspicuously absent.
Taxpayers can use a rewards credit card to charge their payments through Official Payments or LINK2GOV, and thereby earn miles for their taxes, just as they would for any other purchase charged to the card. But there's a hitch: consumers pay a 2.49% "convenience fee" for any payments made through the two intermediary companies. And that seriously erodes the value proposition.
In any case, I haven't received a single reader question this year about the mechanics or desirability of this earning tactic. Nor have I seen a single media story about it. And the question arises: Why?
Is it because consumers are generally less engaged with loyalty programs? Have program members done the math and determined that the fee is a deal-breaker?
These are not rhetorical questions, incidentally. I truly don't know what's at play here. But when I know, or have a theory, you'll read about it here first.