Like for anything with personal accounting, it kind of matters why you're tracking the information. If you're trying to have your accounting match what the tax authorities think about your income, you probably want to treat these payments the same way. In the United States in particular, taxability of credit card rebates and incentives is surprisingly not straightforwardly defined. See, for example, this blog post from TaxAct which describes some instances where it seems it may be seen as taxable in some cases, though it may just be seen as a rebate or discount (a "negative expense") in others. This is, if your credit card offers a 1% rebate on purchases, it can be treated as though just all your expenses are 1% lower, just as if the retailer had been running a 1% sale at the time, which would make the rebate not taxable.
One might even expect that if you, for instance, made a charitable donation by that credit card, if it's treated as a rebate, the amount that you could deduct for that donation would be 1% less, since that 1% isn't considered to be an amount you paid due to the rebate. I don't know as the IRS is expecting tracking to that degree, and I'm no tax law expert, but I could see a reasonable argument for it.
So, there are two main approaches to dealing with credit card rebates from a personal accounting perspective:
- Treat it as a negative expense. Either have a general
Expenses:Credit Card Rebates category that you always transfer from, or go through all the effort to actually allocate your rebates to the appropriate category based on what you spent on the card, and have appropriate negative expenses in all those categories.
- Treat it as income. I, for example, use
Income:Other Income:Credit Card Rebates, though you could categorize it as whatever kind of income you want. (Perhaps you don't care about the exact type of "Misc other income" and just want it in a generic "Other" category as you're currently doing, or perhaps you want to have a specific subaccount per card, to see how much you're earning in cash from each credit card.)
Essentially, the main thing to consider with any decision like this is "How do I want this to appear in any reports I look at?" Your books will balance no matter what account you assign to the rebate, so it's really just a matter of how fine-grained and detailed you want to keep track of things for your purposes, and if you want them to match whatever your taxing authorities choose for treating it. Or perhaps you want a mix, using "Income" for most things, but a negative "Expense" for those cases where you need to track it separately (such as where something like a charitable contribution may not be as deductible due to the rebate).