Italy Offers Cash Back Rewards to Boost Credit Use

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Italy is trying to stimulate its economy through a novel approach: cash back rewards. The unique move is designed to combat not only the coronavirus but also rampant tax evasion.

Italian Government Cash Back Rewards Program

The Italian government seeks to combat tax evasion and stimulate the economy by rewarding citizens for paying with credit cards. The program, which began on December 8th, allows consumers who sign up for a government app to earn 10% cash back when making purchases with their credit card.

To take part, Italian residents need to sign up and download the app, then use a credit card to make purchases in-store. Those taking part can save up to 150 euros during the promotional period.

Rome, the Italian capital, is going a step further in enticing citizens to charge their purchases instead of using cash. The Eternal City is providing a 1,500-euro prize to the 100,000 people making the most credit card purchases in the first six months of 2021.

A Economic Boost an Corruption Barrier

Like other countries, Italy’s economy is suffering greatly because of the coronavirus pandemic. The new plan is just one way to stimulate spending and generate revenue for hard-hit local businesses.

An economic boost is just one goal of the cash back rewards program, however. According to Reuters, the Italian government hopes the app will help tamp down tax evasion, which is estimated at around 109 billion euros a year. This is because digital transactions are traceable.

A Rousing Success

Reuters is reporting that the new scheme is proving a success. To date, over 5.3 million Italians have signed up for the government-backed initiative, which expires at the end of 2020. While 5.3 million may seem like a small figure for a population, it amounts to roughly 10% of the Italian adult population.

Related Article: Fed: Millions Paying Rent with Credit Cards

Featured photo by Cristina Gottardi / Burst

About: Cory
Cory Santos

Cory is's "Jack of all trades" and resident credit expert, covering all facets of the credit card space. Cory holds academic degrees in both the U.S. and U.K. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.

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