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Rebates-Bonus and Reporting on 1099-INT

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Question: 
We are rolling out a new rewards program. For members who maintain multiple accounts with direct deposit and have an average balance of at least $XX,XXX, we’re going to rebate X% of each debit card purchase, up to $100 per year. I was reading some compliance discussions that noted if the credit/rebate is tied to a service instead of just opening and maintaining an account, then it would not be considered a bonus or need to be reported on a 1099-INT. In this case, the accountholder would first need to qualify for a certain level on our rewards program based on their products and balance. However, to receive the rebate, they would need to use their debit card to receive the rebate reward up to $50. We are leaning towards the rebates not being a bonus or reported on a 1099-INT as payment is triggered on the use of their debit card, not solely on opening or maintaining an account. Thoughts?
Answer: 

Agree - it would be miscellaneous income and reported on a 1099-MISC, if the reporting threshold was reached for that specific individual.

First published on 08/23/2020

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