credit card points

Q: Salaam,  I receive points with my debit card for running my card as credit, instead using my debit pen.  These points add up, so that I can redeem them for money.  Is this permissible to do?  Is it considered interest?
Time: Saturday August 13, 2011 at 3:13 pm

A: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

Point 1) Condition that makes it permissible: In communicating with a credit card company, the following has been established: the purpose of these incentives is to entice the consumer in spending more money with a given credit card given company. Thus, credit card companies hope, by giving consumers points consumers would utilize their credit services. As a result, they give you a ‘gift’ for using their credit card. A muslim is allowed to take a gift from any one. (However, I prefer taking a gift from a pious person rather than a credit card company! This is just a preference.)

Point 2) Condition that makes it impermissible:  Some credit card companies entice a person to use the credit card by offering ‘specials,’ these specials trap a person to ‘over spend’ for greater point earning which causes a person indulge in riba. Should such occur, then such gift taking would not be permissible. One cannot indulge intentionally in haram to attain a ‘gift.’

Solution/answer: If you are paying your bills on time and in the process they award you a ‘gift’ through a point system, you can utilize such points in the form of cash, airline tickets, etc.

Allah Certainly Knows Best.

p.s. on a personal note, I do not take anything from credit card companies, to me they thrive of giving massive penalties and fees to what I view as the innocent, additionally they thrive on the desperation of people, etc. Such wealth to me is tainted. Thus, even if a ruling allows as in the case of the above, your piety should assist you in being more cautious.

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