Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
I am using my debit card for online transactions like booking railway tickets and other shopping, for which I get reward points, and then those reward points can be converted to cash.
I use a credit card and pay all the bills before the due date, so I don’t have to pay any interest. I have added my electricity bill to the SmartPay feature of the credit card. With this, my bill gets automatically deducted from the credit card, and then I receive the bill of the card with 5% cashback which the bank gives me as I am using the SmartPay facility. Using this cashback is allowed.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.
The following answer by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani (Allah preserve him) also applies to the Shafi‘i School.
Contemporary scholars generally agree that it is permitted to use credit cards with the following conditions:
One has the firm resolve and ability to pay the amount before the accruing of interest; and
One will pay it off before any interest becomes due. This means that one has the financial means to do so, and one’s habits and experience show that one will do so.
As for reward points, Mufti Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) mentions:
“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. It is not impermissible to benefit from such rewards.” [www.albalagh.net; posted 10th February, 2002]
I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.