For the last week, since I got my 1099, I was trying to figure how how in the world Capital One came up with a reported taxable income of $1,001.45 for two Venture X referrals and two Spark Cash Plus referrals ($200 each). There just didn’t seem to be any round-numbered way to arrive at that figure.
I tried for the whole week to get official info from Capital One. While I was unable to get any “official” statement on the value of a Capital One Mile, the full report that Capital One sent me back on my own 1099 made things clear.
- Capital One values a Capital One Mile at $0.010029 each. I have no idea why it’s not an even penny, but that is why all of your 1099s end in pennies.
- Capital One reports use of your Venture X Global Entry credit as taxable income.
While the 6 decimal Mile value surprised me, it didn’t surprise me nearly as much as that line item showing my use of the Global Entry credit as taxable. Do other issuers do the same? I don’t *think* they do, but then again I’ve never asked for a detailed breakdown before as generally every 1099 I’ve received for points has made sense. I can’t say I understand why, for instance, the $300 travel credit is non-taxable but the Global Entry reimbursement is. But it is.
We had a small discussion on these 1099s on the MilesTalk Facebook Group and many of you also messaged me with your values – everyone pretty confused. Some people seemed to get Mile values at just over 1.2 cents each (again, to 6 decimal places)
But I think you’ll find that in fact, everyone had a value of $0.010029 per Capital One mile.
Many messaged me a 1099 value for 2 Venture X cards at $601.45, which looks like a 0.012029 value per Mile. But I’d bet that everyone with a $601.45 1099 used their Global Entry credit, taxed at $100.
So while you would not have been 1099ed for just the two Venture X referrals ($501.45 would be under the $600 reporting threshold), if you add the $100 for Global Entry, you are at $601.45 which is over the $600 threshold and reported on a 1099-MISC.
In the end, other than the reason why they don’t use an even 1 cent per mile valuation, I think the mystery of the 1099s is solved.
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