Suppose me and my good friend Shimon are in a store shopping. Shimon wants to borrow $100 from me for his purchase. I graciously agree, but instead of giving Shimon cash, I swipe my credit card for his purchase. Later, Shimon will pay me back the $100.

At this point it appears we have a rather simple case of borrowing and lending without interest.

The complication, however, is that the credit card I used is in-fact a cash back rewards card. So for every purchase I make, the credit card company gives me back 1% of the amount.

In this case, while Shimon will be paying me back $100, I will also be getting back another $1 from my credit card company.

So is this allowed? Or is it a case of interest?

  • 2
    "So is this allowed? Or is it a case of interest?" In general, these are not the only two options. For example, הערמת ריבית is not interest but also not allowed.
    – Fred
    Nov 20, 2013 at 3:53

1 Answer 1


The answer, in short, is that it is allowed, and there's no problem of Ribbis.

Basically, Ribbis only applies where the money somehow flows from the borrower back to the lender. It does not matter if there's a third-party involved: if that third-party is being sent by the borrower, Ribbis would still apply.

In this case, however, the one paying the Ribbis is in no way associated with "Shimon" (the borrower). The bank is paying the money of it's own volition which is perfectly allowed.

Source: The above was heard from Rabbi Yisroel Reisman.

Side note: lending a credit card is not always such a wise idea as it can lead to real Ribbis cases where the credit card company charges interest, and you want to pass it along....

  • Is it in his Sefer on Ribbis?
    – Josh
    Jan 23 at 4:46

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