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How and Where to Use Your Meal Entertainment Card for Salary Packaging Benefits

We all love sharing a meal with loved ones. But did you know you can salary package those meals so you pay less tax? In fact, you can use $2,650 of your pre-tax income on meals and entertainment. You can even claim meals enjoyed overseas. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about using salary packaging to save you money each month by using your Meal Entertainment card. All you have to do is pick which restaurant to go to.  

How does it work? 

The meal and entertainment benefit is available to not for profit employers, charitable organisations or anyone who works within the public health sector. Using the Fringe Benefits Tax legislation, qualifying employees can use up to $2,650 of their pre-tax income to pay for meals and entertainment. There are a few exclusions like the fact that food and drinks bought outside a restaurant are excluded, but other than that you’re literally saving money while eating out. It’s all possible through a Meal Entertainment Card, so let’s get straight to that. 

What is a Meal and Entertainment Card?

Meal Entertainment cards are a type of Australian tax office salary packaging that are available to employers who work for the public health service, or those who qualify as not-for-profit employees. The meal and entertainment card allows qualifying employees to expense food and drink, holiday accommodation, and even venue hire while using their pre-tax dollars.

Getting your own meal and entertainment card is easy. They’re available through most salary packaging companies and require a simple application form to be completed. 

What many people don’t know about the salary packaging meal and entertainment benefits is that they extend way past eating out. Let’s look at all the other benefits you get from having one.

Where else can I use my Meal Entertainment Card

Once you’ve received your Meal Entertainment Card, you can use it for: 

Holiday accommodation

Your card can even be used to pay for holiday accommodation, including everything from five-star resorts to caravan parks. You can even use your card to pay for cruises. They all meet the accommodation rule and can be salary packaged. 

Venue Hire

You can use your card to pay for venue hire for any event you plan on hosting. This includes everything from 21st birthdays to engagements. 

Other food and beverages

Anything you purchase and consume at special occasions like weddings and birthdays also meet the criteria and can be salary packaged. 

And of course, your meals

This includes all meals you pay for at cafés, restaurants and hotels. 

What many people don’t know is that you can also include your family and friends in all of the expenditures above, and if you’re paying for a group you can use the card too. 

What can’t I use my Meal Entertainment Card for?

There are a few things that you can use your Meal Entertainment card for. They are:

  • Takeaway food 
  • Bottle shop purchases
  • Grocery purchases
  • Anything bought at movies or musicals
  • Flights to or from your holiday destination

What else should you know?

Here are a few other helpful facts to know about your Meal Entertainment card:

  • There is a maximum amount that can be claimed under meal entertainment – that amount is $2,650 per year. 
  • You can use your card on all qualifying expenses when you’re overseas too. 
  • You can even create a virtual version of your meal and entertainment card and keep it in your digital wallet to make things easier. 

Salary packaging solutions that suit you 

Now, you won’t just be saving by salary packaging every month – you’ll also be using your pre-tax income to go out to dinner, book holidays and even venue hire. There really are so many benefits to salary packaging, it makes you wonder why you didn’t do all of this before? 

When you’re ready to get your Meal Entertainment card, get in touch with CBB The Salary Packaging People. The process is simple and it’ll mean you’ll get even more out of your salary packaging service. As the only not-for-profit provider of salary packaging solutions in Australia, we’re financial experts who support those who help hardworking people make the most out of every dollar they earn – and we’ve been doing it successfully for over 30 years. Get in touch with a member of our team today and let’s make salary packaging work for you.