New Senate Bill Could Pay For Your Next Vacation

Filed Under: Travel

If newly introduced legislation is passed, the US government (aka taxpayers) could be footing the bill for your next vacation.

Details of the American TRIP Act

The tourism industry is obviously suffering, and I recently wrote about how the Trump Administration proposed a new travel stimulus concept. This was only thrown around as a concept in May, and nothing seemingly came of it, at least for a while. Well, that has now changed.

US Senator Martha McSally, a Republican from Arizona, has introduced legislation this week that would encourage Americans to support the tourism industry following the coronavirus pandemic.

The newly introduced bill is called the American TRIP (Tax Rebate and Incentive Program) Act, and it would:

  • Provide tax credits to Americans who spend money on lodging, entertainment, and other expenses related to travel in the United States
  • Provide funding for Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) to promote the travel and tourism industry across the nation

This bill comes as McSally is up for reelection in Arizona, though she is behind in polls. Maybe it’s not even fair to say she’s up for “reelection,” because she wasn’t elected in the first place — she was appointed by Governor Ducey, as she took over John McCain’s Senate seat after he passed. She had run for the other Senate seat, but lost.

Trump is visiting Arizona today, as McSally’s seat is an important one for Republicans to keep, if they plan to hold onto the Senate in the upcoming election. I mention all of this because it might give a better sense of at least part of her motivation for introducing this bill.

McSally notes that in the state of Arizona, travel and tourism account for more than $3 billion in tax receipts, and employs more than 180,000 people. As a result of the current downturn, this sector is experiencing an unemployment rate of over 35%.

As McSally explains:

“The tourism and hospitality industries were among the hardest hit sectors across the country and their revival is critical to our economic recovery. Arizona has lost billions in revenue this year alone due to the pandemic. My legislation will help boost domestic travel and jumpstart the comeback of our hotels, entertainment sectors, local tourism agencies, and the thousands of businesses that make Arizona one of the best places in the world to visit. It will also encourage Americans to safely get out of their homes and discover or rediscover Arizona along with the rest of the amazing destinations our country has to offer after a difficult several months stuck inside. I look forward to working with both sides of the aisle in the Senate and House to restart an important part of the economy by passing this bill.”

How would this travel stimulus bill work?

How would the American TRIP Act work?

  • This would provide a $4,000 travel tax credit to individuals, an $8,000 travel tax credit to joint filers, and an additional $500 tax travel credit for each dependent child
  • This could be used for travel through December 31, 2021
  • This credit could be applied to all travel within the United States and its territories, so long as the travel and expenses and final destination are 50 miles from the principal residence of the filers
  • Qualifying expenses include lodging, travel, and entertainment
  • For filers who own a second home, expenses related to live entertainment, food and beverage, and transportation qualify, but expenses related to the dwelling would not qualify
  • This would also provide $50 million to DMOs to promote travel and tourism across the nation

When the concept was first floated by Trump, the idea was that the credit would apply towards half of your eligible travel expenses. With the way this bill was introduced, it would apply towards your entire travel purchase.

My take on the American TRIP Act

I love the idea of my household getting $8,000 in free travel. And then I remembered it’s not “free,” but rather we’re all paying for this, should it pass.

While the travel industry definitely needs some support, what’s the right way to go about that?

  • Is it better to give a stimulus to consumers in order to be able to travel, rather than another bailout of the travel industry, worth tens of billions of dollars?
  • The future of jobs in tourism is a real concern, as millions of Americans rely on these jobs to make a living, and if they don’t recover eventually, a lot of businesses may have no choice but to shut down
  • I would assume there’s some multiplier effect here, given the economic cost of airlines, hotels, and other tourist attractions shutting down

All that being said:

  • I think it’s too soon to so directly incentivize Americans to travel on such a widespread basis, especially as coronavirus cases increase in so many states
  • A majority of Americans not traveling say they’re not traveling because they can’t afford to; for many Americans, a tax credit doesn’t really help with that, unless people are supposed to go into debt/take out a loan/finance the purchase with their credit card until they receive the tax benefit of it
  • We’re talking about an absolutely massive credit here; Americans received stimulus checks of up to $1,200, but here we’re looking at a tax credit that’s more than three times as much

Bottom line

The American TRIP Act has now been introduced, which would give individuals up to a $4,000 tax credit for travel. While “free” travel sounds great, I’m not sure this is the best way for the government to be spending money right now.

What do you make of the American TRIP Act?

Comments
  1. What a terrible idea.

    Apart from this being wildly expensive, inducing people to go from one zone to another just now runs terribly counter to everything we’re supposed to be doing just now.

  2. I feel like this would lead to people taking trips they can’t afford. (which I’m sure is already a problem, but this would exacerbate the issue)

    I also don’t love the idea of this in the middle of a pandemic, but I’m sure 50 other people are going to describe their issues on that front better than I will.

  3. Yeah, not happening.

    And also, domestic travel sucks. It’s the same McDonald’s, no matter where you go in the US. This country, like a majority of its people is dull, boring and stupid.

  4. Yeah. Amangiri here we come. if the stupid feds wanna subsidize a vacation I would likely not take then bring it on.

  5. I’m just going to repost my post from the other day on why this is bad. As much as I would personally benefit, this is not good policy on balance.

    1) It benefits people with the time (i.e. paid vacation time) and wherewithal to travel, i.e., disproportionately middle, upper middle and wealthy people who would and could travel anyway.

    2) As a corollary to the above, it’s a tax credit, which means that it only benefits people who can afford to spend now and get it back when they file next year; and, unless it is a refundable credit, again, only benefits people who can spend $8,000 _and_ who have $4,000 in federal income tax liability.

    3) why should we incentivize travel and not, say, spending on education or tools for trades or hobbies or home energy efficiency investment or electric cars or literally anything else you can think of that is a reinvestment in society, vs. entertainment.

    4) why would we incentivize travel _during a pandemic_?

    5) if you pay with points, no tax credit.

    6) I will add too that some people have mentioned saving jobs in the tourism industry as a purpose. But, honestly, why (other than the political benefits to those in power now) trickle it down through a tax credit, spending, profit to the owners (who give money to politicians), then finally coming out in the low wages tourism industry workers typically earn? Just give money via unemployment insurance to people who need it, so they can stay home, pay bills, and not get sick. It’s cheaper.

  6. Robin, I’m sorry that you are forced to live in this country. Ever thought of moving to Siberia?

  7. 7) Oh, and this is even _more_ stacked toward the truly rich than the proposal that leaked the other day. It’s not $4,000 total, it’s $4,000 per person, $8,000 for joint filers, which is either an enormous dollar for dollar credit – or if it’s a 50% credit, it’s only fully usable for a family who can spend _$16,000_ on vacations. I am decidedly not poor, and I have never in my life come close to spending that kind of coin on trips in a year. And it includes travel to _your second home_. Enough said on that last point.

  8. Booking travel now, Uncle Sam (or Creepy Uncle Joe…lol) can mail me a check next year.

  9. @Marko

    Nah. I prefer civilized places. Anywhere in the EU, Australia, New Zealand, or Japan will do just fine, thank you.

    You can keep your insane USA all to yourself.

  10. The most important thing any government can to help their economy (tourism and the rest of it) is to gain control over the pandemic. Until you do that, nothing – NOTHING – is going to help. Tax credits for travel is about the worst possible thing you could imagine when the pandemic is raging out of control as it is currently. You might as well give tax credits for going into a public toilet and lick the seats.

    In fact, things will only continue to get worse until steps are taken – and people start to behave – to get it under control. Look at what’s happening now: we are starting to see huge spikes in areas that never got the virus under control, whee they’ve simply given up and “opened” to let the virus run its course (in other words, tremendous numbers of unnecessary deaths). We are starting to see some places “pause” their openings, we will soon see others step back and re-tighten controls. With the current idiots in charge, we will go back to lockdowns.

  11. Sounds interesting on paper but it would never happen. Waste of time even debating the very idea.

  12. @Robin: The world outside the EU, Australia, New Zealand and Japan are uncivilized?

    Interesting.

  13. Please – it’s gimmick press release disguised as a proposal that will go nowhere. Just another politician who put her own interests and sucking up to Trump ahead of the welfare of the people she represents and is now trying to change the subject. It’s a joke proposal.

  14. Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    -Me watching OMAAT slowly turn into TPG

  15. Cannot support anything that would give a win to this Senator this year. Let is come back up next year and we’ll see.

  16. If your taxes don’t change, its as good as free to you. You aren’t paying for it any more than you’re already paying for government services. You are just reaping more of a direct reward for it.

  17. In a vacuum, maybe not the best idea for reasons listed by others. However, if the alternative is to give money directly to travel industry companies (which would undoubtedly benefit larger companies disproportionately), this is a much better approach.

  18. @Asdf, I don’t think it says if it’s a non-refundable tax credit or not. If it’s refundable, most people could use it. And unless your children are filing on their own, you only get $500 for each of them.

    There is a valid point to be made about incentivizing travel right now, but the credit is valid until 2022. Maybe there could be certain stipulations to prevent this going into effect until new cases subside.

    Regarding this versus a unemployment check, and unemployment check doesn’t contribute much to the GDP, this does. And it reduces the burden on the states (including the significant burden of administrating the unemployment programs).

  19. @Dave

    No, not what I’m saying at all.

    I’m saying I would prefer a civilized place to live in, of which there are many in the world, including in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. I had merely listed the places I personally would prefer to live in.

    My point is — what the USA has become is shameful and disgusting. The entire world is – rightfully – losing respect and shaking their heads at us. I personally don’t consider the US to be a civilized country anymore. There is no health care, woeful education, the police shoots unarmed civilians daily, and the government is a joke.

  20. This is nothing more than a SCAM by the government! Better to give the people more money and let them spend it as they please! Not everyone wants to travel at this time and with good reason!

  21. These “credits” and “incentives” that keep being introduced show how politicians don’t really understand the problem. The economy is not the problem…it’s a symptom. The problem COVID-19 started, which caused a panic by individuals and governments (justified or not), which caused an economic downturn. The economy will not get back on track until you mitigate the problem (COVID-19 and the related panic). Yet, politicians are going with the “we’ve been held back long enough” crap as justification for economic incentives. COVID isn’t saying “well, you’ve done your 3 month quarantine, so I’ll go away”.

  22. Yes we need more stimulus, but this isn’t it. There are plenty of families who need money to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. This does almost nothing to help those folks. Instead, it’s a giveaway of taxpayer dollars to people who clearly aren’t in that great a need (if you can afford to take a vacation right now, you’re better off than most) that creates an incentive for people to travel about spreading COVID-19. My opinion: NO!

  23. Arizona is flipping blue in November anyways (and is a tipping point state for Dems) – she is toast

  24. Comment section

    -Read the details of the bill and make an informative decision on whether something or not is a good idea+ ====>Never

    -See if this was proposed by a democrat or republican and automatically decide whether its good or not without reading one word of the proposal =====>YES

  25. @ Ben — Will this cover travel to a hospital in another region when mine runs out of beds?

  26. I’m confused, you make it sound like they are reimbursing travel, but I thought “tax credit” meant that you can deduct it from your income for tax purposes? Which would be a smaller savings.

  27. @Steve_CC

    I’m confused by your comment. I read the details of the bill (only a short 7 pages) and all of the key points were described in the article. Is there something that the article is missing necessary to make an informed decision?

    The comments I saw were analyzing its bill on merits (cost, perverse incentives on travel during a pandemic, equity in that it benefits the wealthy and upper middle class most).

  28. @Daniel D: What you’re thinking of is a “tax deduction” — where your “Federal Adjusted Gross Income” is reduced by the amount of the deduction. This lowers your federal tax liability by a small amount, relatively speaking, per $1 of deducted from your income, based on the tax bracket at the high end of your total income — because the highest tax bracket is 37%, that means the *most* you would save for a deduction is $0.37 per $1, but that’s only if you have a very large amount of income.

    A “tax credit” is the equivalent of sending the money to the IRS early (through employer withholdings or quarterly estimated tax filings) because it puts a credit towards your federal tax liability, therefore reducing your tax owed by $1 for every $1 of credit.

    So in this case, it means it’s as good as getting $4,000 (or $8,000 or more if you have the dependents) from the government — if you’ve got the cash in advance to pay for this.

  29. It wont benefit anyone who takes the standard deduction at tax time, only those who itemize. Other than that its foolproof. Most people who itemize already have plenty of money, and a lifestyle conducive to vacation travel. But they can always use an extra few thousand bucks, amirite? They can travel the country and, like johnny appleseed left seeds, leave tips for the working poor who, if they plant those tips in an investment, like little acorns, will someday have enough saved for vacations of their own.

  30. FUNNY!!!!!!

    Since the last post regarding this. I laughed so hard every time people think this tax credit is about themselves or helping (or not) the low income or high income people.

    This tax credit is all about corporations and companies in the travel industry. This is helping them not us tax payers.

    Is this the best use of government money, probably not.

  31. @dan Wayne: That is simply not true — this, being a tax credit, is not tied to whether or not you take the standard deduction. You would be eligible for this if you take a standard deduction or if you itemize, unless it is otherwise written into the text of the bill before it becomes law.

  32. Another thing to consider — this includes any travel already done this year, so if you’ve already spent $4,000 on “qualifying travel expenses” for the year then you’d be set to stay at home the rest of the year as necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19.

    If you’ve not already spent $4,000 on qualifying expenses, then you could still do so in a safe manner, albeit not quite to the effect that the lobbyists are hoping (e.g. if you primarily drive, pay for some gas + takeout, and stay in a couple of hotels while exploring the country; as opposed to spending it on air travel, Disney World tickets, a couple of NFL games, etc.).

  33. Isn’t it strange that all sorts of money can be found in the US to fund all manner of subsidies to business (‘business socialism’) but there is always a fiscal barrier to funding health care for all citizens. What a pathetic system.

  34. It’s much better for the federal government to give money to consumers who will then choose which service providers (hotels, airlines etc) to spend it on, than to just shovel that money to corporations.

  35. Let’s see… Incentivize travel for people who can already afford it… Yep!
    Encourage people to travel while no solution to the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight… Yep!
    Having any direct impact on those who need employment… No.
    Hope trickle down economics will help those people working in the travel industry hardest hit… Maybe.

    I’d rather my tax dollars either go directly to the funding of small businesses that need to stay afloat (with proper governance and oversight) than to dangle some tax credit to people who can afford to take time off work and travel.

    Better yet, put that money/tax credit towards improving our education system; like universal child care, so working parents don’t have to spend a chunk of their money to have someone watch their kids while they are trying to make a buck to survive.

    This plan totally reminds me of the backwards way the GOP is trying to get the economy up and running again. Like give $600 to those people who get a job… News Flash: the people who are in need the most are those who are unable to find a job because entire industries have shut down due to the pandemic. The out of work people need assistance from the lack of income… Throwing $600 as a bonus to those fortunate enough to secure a job is just a slap in the face to those who are trying to get employment. But I forget, this is from the politicians who said China will be paying for the tariffs, and Mexico will be paying for the wall… Great logic…

  36. So… What happens if I use miles or points? Would there be a way to maximize my points by paying for an economy fare and apply for an upgrade using points?

    I’m sure there’s an angle somewhere…

  37. @Robin
    Agree that travel should be limited right now and well thought out. Every country has it’s share of idiots with the US being no exception. With that said there is much culture and beautiful places in this country. Also wonderful people who have started museums, businesses, restaurants, and cafes that offer unique experiences from small towns to larger cities. Our National parks and nature are incredible.

  38. Not a new idea. Other countries have done similar travel/consumption incentive programs before. Most recently Taiwan allowed people to buy 3,000 TWD (~$100 USD) travel vouchers for the price of 2,000 TWD. I’d love this TRIP credit but seriously 4k per person is absurd. When you stop and think that the vast majority of Americans don’t have $500 in the bank it will only be rich people who can take advantage of this (or those who at least temporarily go further into credit card debt).

  39. Im in no way a big fan of republicans nor of McSally and there are many ways to spend money smartly but the travel industry has been disproportionally hit vs. other industries and that doesn’t sound like a terrible idea.

  40. Assuming this bill were to pass and get signed into law, (I hope not) what about social distancing after the destination is reached? What about local restrictions?

    Domestic travel – spend $8,000 for air plus hotel and incidentals for a tax credit. That does not sound very exciting.

    What about the thousands of Americans that are not working who will not have any tax to pay – how will they get this credit? What incentive do they have to travel?

    There is no language in the proposed bill I read that said the credit would be
    refundable regardless of tax liability. Very unfair and discriminatory.

    I think the lady lawmaker who concocted this idea is misguided.

  41. McSally is toast. And who in their right mind would travel to Arizona, an epicenter of COVID with rapidly dwindling hospital beds. She would be better supporting a bill to provide masks to the morons in Arizona who aren’t wearing them. If the government is looking to support the economy another handout to lower-income people makes a lot more sense than free vacations for the upper class.

  42. Can we just stop for a moment and apply some rational thinking?
    The pandemic is causing the travel industry to collapse. Why would a stimulus getting people to go all over the country and ignore isolation be a good idea? You are literally fueling the pandemic to continue with taxpayer money, and killing the travel industry even further.

    Had the US done what other normal countries have done, you guys would be slowly opening up by now. Hell, even Canada has gotten things under control, and are now slowly going back to normal.

    It’s ironic those idiotic anti-mask people keep yelling “you can’t isolate forever”, when the US wouldn’t need to isolate forever had they just done what other countries have done.

  43. So should I charge that 4K on chase sapphire/ amex plat/ citi prestige? Just want to make sure I get the most points for my hotel stay! I have always wanted to stay at Amangiri. Lol.

  44. I guess I’ll start planning my dream vacation now. Maybe I’ll share a house with a few friends and their spouses. With 20k+ to blow (I mean stimulate), I’ll prob start in Alaska, then head to Hawaii. Governments gonna waste trillions of dollars either way (Republican or Democrat). I’ll take the free vacation (especially since I’m one of those actually paying taxes). And if that causes us to all get the virus, then I guess we were all gonna get it eventually anyway. Assuming we don’t all die (we won’t)…well I would finish this thought but I’m done pooping and have better things to do

  45. Awful idea. The folks hit hardest by the current recession don’t have the financial wherewithal to pay their rent or buy food, let alone travel around the US on vacation. This would be yet another massive cash transfer to better off Americans while ignoring those hit hardest and providing them no benefit.

    Not to mention that it isn’t the time to encourage people to travel.

  46. The comments here are very unusual, considering this is a travel blog!

    Even if a low-income individual needs to take out some credit card debt for travel expenses in the near-term, they will be reimbursed at tax time later. At worst, this becomes a subsidized vacation (less interest fees on the credit card) instead of a free one. Also, there is no mandate to spend all $4000 per individual or $8000 per couple. Anyone who can’t afford this much probably also received a CARES stimulus payment earlier that would cover most accruing interest charges between now and tax time. Finally, who says one needs to hop a plane and travel across the country? A 50 mile road trip to a nice restaurant would suffice and mileage, food, and beverage expenses can all be applied toward the credit.

    The objective of the bill is to revitalize a depressed sector of the economy while providing direct benefit to taxpayers that wish to support. I suppose we could just introduce another income-capped stimulus payment, but many of the people who need the money most are the ones who lost their jobs in this sector of the economy. Most people I know would rather have a job instead of a temporary handout.

  47. Trump will sign it with an asterisk: *At least 50% of travel-related expenses must be spent at a Trump property.

  48. Roger, you mention that a low income person could take out credit card debt and then be reimbursed by the government, so effectively their vacation would be free? How does that make any sense at all??

    – take out debt and begin paying interest immediately in the range of 15%+
    – get 50% of the amount originally spent back in the first part of 2022 when taxes are filed

    After taking into account months of CC interest on an expense that is only 50% refunded, how would this make any sense for anyone who couldn’t afford to travel in the first place?

  49. I hope alcohol is excluded. Otherwise we will have a lot of people traveling 50 miles for free alcohol and killing people on the way back

    All in all I think it’s a good idea that needs some tweaking of the numbers. If the travel industry doesn’t make money, then they don’t pay taxes. Instead of not receiving tax payments, incentivize people to spend the money which helps the travel industry. Not sure a 4K credit is right. Probably a partial credit or deduction makes more sense. I think incentivizing the middle/upper class to stimulate is the right idea. Sorry if you can’t afford to travel and I hope you do get help, but another stimulus to pay off credit card debt or buy groceries doesn’t stimulate the travel industry, which is the very intent of the bill.

  50. Potentially great idea as it allows the market (i.e. travelers) to choose where to spend. This is a more efficient allocation of resources than the current method (whichever companies are most effective at lobbying or filling out forms) and therefore benefits small businesses more effectively. If they do pass this bill, I would recommend that they get rid of resort fees once and for all as a stipulation, probably tipping too while they’re at it 🙂

  51. Cash for Clunkers was an equally bad idea from a different administration and it came to be, so who knows.

  52. @Ryan

    Good question. Imagine I purchase $X worth of travel expenses on January 1, 2021. This is the worst case scenario for timing, since any expenses realized in 2020 would be processed for the 2020 tax year, due on April 15, 2021. For a purchase made on January 1, 2021, however, an individual must wait until roughly April 15, 2022 to file taxes and recoup the expenses as a 100% tax credit (the 50% you reference was a different plan floated by Trump).

    Okay, there are roughly 480 days in which a person must carry a balance between the beginning of January 2021 and the end of April 2022. At a 15% APR, even ignoring minimum monthly payments, this exponentially compounds daily to an aggregate balance increase of just under 22%. Thus, in April 2022, I would owe roughly $X*1.22 in credit card debt. I file taxes, receive a tax credit in the amount of $X and then use it to pay off my credit card. Now, I only owe $X*1.22 – $X = $X*(0.22) in credit card debt. This essentially constitutes a vacation realized with a 78% discount. That’s still a great subsidy…assuming you can afford to pay the remaining 22%. If not, maybe plan to pay for a vacation closer to tax filing time so you’re out of pocket for a reduced duration.

    For the $4000 vacation scenario, I end up owing close to $4,880 in credit card debt after 15-16 months, but then I get a $4000 tax credit, thereby allowing me to have enjoyed a $4000 vacation for only $880.

  53. Roger, unfortunately this program is just another invitation for abuse, like PPP or PUA. Even if I would absolutely prefer the funds to go to those really deserving in a way of food support, decent health care, rent subsidy, child care support, I would not say ‘no’ to a dream vacation to, lets say The Virgin Islands, in Business Class, and stay in a decent hotel for a week, all expenses paid. I would even donate a trip like this to anybody who deserves it, but unfortunately that’s not the way it works.

  54. @mauipeter

    Yes, I’m sure there will plenty of alcoholics abusing this, if possible. Plus, I doubt any wealthy couple would spend their usual $8000 on a trip and then turn around and leverage this tax credit to make an $8000 charitable donation.

    The real issue is that this is a nonrefundable credit. Thus, a married couple needs to have a taxable income of about $70,000 to fully capitalize on the entire $8000 credit. This is taxable income, not gross or AGI. So, it kind of sucks that couples making less than this are limited in their ability to draw a full benefit. For this reason alone, I doubt we’ll see this get passed into law.

  55. Correction…I don’t believe the bill stipulates that it is nonrefundable. If so, a person could have $0 of tax liability and still receive it. We’ll see.

  56. @Roger There is also many a credit card offering 0% on purchases for upwards of 12 – 18 months, so infact, interest could be $0. I agree, there is no reason, the non-rich, couldn’t take advantage of this.

  57. Interesting idea here and it goes through December 31, 2021 through all of next year. I would think that COVID would be eradicated by early 2021 if not sooner and then you’d have another year give or take a few months to be able to travel.

    The point here is that for every $1 that goes into the economy (spending on airline tickets, hotels, restaurants and other allowable expenses) that turns over 7 times. More people are employed that get paid that then use those funds to buy goods and services and so on and so on and so on.

    I think the restriction of the US is acceptable. There are many places I’d still like to see in this country, Newport RI, Mount Rushmore, the UP of Michigan, the Redwood forest of California and other Pacific Northwest places and I’d gladly return to Yellowstone in a heartbeat.

  58. Who can best stimulate the travel industry??? People with 8k to spare in the bank??? Or, people who don’t have any money to spare??? Makes perfect sense to incentivize the people who can stimulate to stimulate. Those who can’t already get tons of free stuff, including CARES and not having to pay taxes to begin with. I hope this passes and I will stimulate every penny of it. I may even visit the Grand Canyon on my way back from the Virgin Islands 🙂

  59. Not a fan of this bill, but if it passes I may consider a trip to Guam with a long stopover in Japan. Us pays for my flight and Guam stay. Japan pays for part of my japan stay.

  60. Heck I’ll even take the $160 in cash back rewards I get on the $8k spent and buy some AAL stock

    Anyone know if you can get this credit if you pay with miles???

  61. Mike L, I even have a better one. Open a new credit card, with first year fee waived. Hit $ 3 K spending requirement for 70K bonus miles in one swoop, get a free business class ticket to Europe with it.

  62. Yeah, I’m 72, disabled and can barely pay rent and utility bills. I’m certainly not about to take a Covis19 trip on any type of transportation. Just put the credit in $ and I can pay the Landlord his rent.

  63. @Scott

    Sorry to hear about your situation. I wish you the best, but the travel industry is also greatly suffering. They need help too. Paying your rent doesn’t help the travel industry, unfortunately. I hope things turn around soon. Hang in there!

  64. Is this seriously still being considered by some rich folks , probably over drinks, as best practice to juice the economy, pandemic or not? By the same folks stating that non-essential travel should be avoided? And this can help the poor because they can use their no interest credit cards to float the money? And poor people can just go out and receive instant approval for these cards?

    Newsflash: There are people, real people, in this country who, if they could get a credit card with 0 interest would use it to pay the rent, or get health insurance during a pandemic or buy groceries et al. Would I love another free Vaca, of course….and pay for it at the end of the month with my CC that builds my miles for the next one. If we as a nation have so much money and wish to spread stimulus around, let’s provide it to those really in need. We’d still get the velocity of money as people buy groceries and grocery stores, in a poor neighborhood likely a small business, hire and pay wages and those wages pay someone else’s rent…. I’ll use my 3 million miles and points to travel again for free when the time is right and let the money go to those who really need it.

  65. The article is incorrect in stating that it is $8,000 in free vacation money. No it is not 4k or 8k free money to vaca. It is 4k or 8k credit. Meaning that if you spend that much on vaca – your not paying taxes on that much meaning the amount you are really getting is an $800 to $2600 to go on vaca depending on your tax bracket.

  66. Mark S. No need for this somewhat underhanded attack. I am all in favor for this money to be given to those who really need it, to the ones with crappy FICO scores, and without credit cards. And if me not taking that trip will do the trick, I am completely for it, sign me up. But if me not taking that trip does not make a difference, why should I not? And if I know about the credit card game and know how to play it properly, why not? If I can book a trip for a deserving person with my card, anytime. But unfortunately the system doesn’t work like that. Unfortunately, as long as we have politicians that are so removed from reality and without the slightest bit of empathy, what can I do ? I know the US capitalist system is in it’s very nature utterly anti social, and as soon as somebody comes up with a truly social solution, it’s being decried as socialist, or ‘marxist’, mostly by folks who have no idea what they are talking about. It’s just like the health care system. Due to my age I am on Medicare, pay a fixed amount, and my annual co-pay is limited to 3K. I know there are people who go bankrupt and homeless over 150K medical bills, but I cannot help them by not paying my Medicare dues as little as I can help people by not taking that vacation, or not getting cash for a clunker and drive off in my dream car.

  67. @Katrina Rief-Derrico: That is factually incorrect. This is talking about a *tax credit* which is directly applied to your *tax liability*. You are referring to a *tax deduction* in which your “federally adjusted gross income” would be reduced by the amount you spent and would only have a small impact on your tax liability.

  68. @Roger: The first paragraph of the bill does indeed say it’s a nonrefundable tax credit.

    Additionally, the proposal would be inserted into Subchapter A, Part IV, Subpart A, which is the “Nonrefundable Personal Credits” section of the tax code.

  69. @AT

    Thanks, you’re right. I stand corrected on my own correction. Not as great then, for married couples with taxable incomes under $70,000.

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