Credit Card and Loyalty Schemes

Credit Card and Loyalty Schemes

Credit Card and Loyalty Schemes


What is the ruling on the additional benefits provided by some credit card companies, for example, loyalty points or travel miles?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم


The loyalty points or travel miles and similar rewards and bonus schemes provided by credit card companies are permissible to benefit from, they are incentives and are to be treated as gifts (hibah). It is important to note that the use of credit cards is only permitted when there is a need to do so, on the condition that a person is certain he will not default and incur interest charges (the best way to avoid this is to setup a full direct debit). As many people default on their payments, this is why credit card companies provide such incentives, as they generally benefit more financially from interest payments. These incentives do not constitute usury. The same ruling applies to cash back provided by credit card companies.

Shaykh al-Islām Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (b. 1362/1943) writes, “If a Credit Card is used for purchases and the bills are paid promptly without requiring to pay interest on late payment, it is permissible and the benefits given by the Credit Card Company as rewards can be availed of. It is not impermissible to benefit from such rewards.” (Al-Balagh website, also refer to Fiqh al-Buyūʿ, 1:462 and Fatāwā ʿUthmānī, 3:357).

جاء في المعايير الشرعية (ص ٨٢) الصادرة عن هيئة المحاسبة والمراجعة للمؤسسات المالية الإســلامية (أيوفي): يجوز منح حامل البطاقة مميزات لا تحرمها الشريعة، مثل أن يكون لحاملها أولوية في الحصول على الخدمات، أو تخفيض في الأسـعار لدى حجوزات الفنادق وشركات الطيران أو المطاعم ونحو ذلك، انتهى. وقال شيخنا محمد تقي العثاني في بحوث في قضايا فقهية معاصرة (٢/١٦٤): الجائزة التي يقدمها مُصدر البطاقة إلى حاملها هي جائزة من قبل المُقرض إلى المستقرض، فهو تبرع محض، لا قمار فيه ولا ربا، أما القمار فلأن حامل البطاقة لم يعلق شيئا من ماله على خطر، وأما الربا، فإنه يتحقق بإعطاء زيادة من المستقرض إلي المقرض، وليس في العكس، انتهى

Allah knows best

Yusuf Shabbir

16 Rajab 1440 / 22 March 2019

Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmed and Mufti Muhammad Tahir