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I have been trying to put into words what I think might be wrong with this hypothetical -- I'm not even ready to ask about a halachic answer because I'm not clear on what the halachic question is:

I went out to eat with someone else. The bill was sizable but instead of having us split the check and submit 2 credit cards, I volunteered to put the whole bill on my card and have him pay me back.

My motives were not altruistic. If I pay on my card, I get points/miles. The more I pay, the more I earn. But in this case, he is paying me back, so I am, effectively, being rewarded with points/miles for a payment that, in a sense, I am not making. [I could accomplish the same by wandering around and volunteering to pay everyone's bills as long as they pay me back.]

From a halachic stand point, am I defrauding the credit card company, taking advantage of my friend (would it make a difference if he knew my motives?), or somehow else taking interest or engaging in unfair business practices?

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  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. – rosends Jan 1 '20 at 11:16
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    am I defrauding the credit card company... or engaging in unfair business practices? no. the credit card company wants you to use the credit card and doesn't care about your motives for using it. It also has nothing to do with unfair business practice. You are making a purchase. The way the cc company rewards you as a customer is up to them and has nothing to do with your intent when using the card. – Dude Jan 1 '20 at 22:23
  • The points he may have claim to possibly – sam Jan 2 '20 at 3:39
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The credit card company doesn't care why you spend money on your credit card. They make money from transaction fees, paying back only a portion of what they make as rewards. The more you spend, the more money they make. So no, spending money on your credit card for someone else with the intention of being paid off isn't defrauding the credit card company. They are happy for you to do it as they make more money that way.

As for your friend, I see no reason why he should care about the contractual relationship between you and your credit card company. He's agreed to this arrangement so he doesn't seem to object to paying you. He loses nothing this way.

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  • This doesn't address Ribbit concerns – Double AA Jan 2 '20 at 0:15
  • @DoubleAA I didn't address ribbis because the question doesn't elaborate on what specifically might be a concern of ribbis and I don't see anything that seems plausible. – Daniel Jan 2 '20 at 0:18
  • Payer is lending money to friend in return for ability to get points. – Double AA Jan 2 '20 at 0:20

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