Suppose somebody works for a company, and controls its finances , as a controller or CFO. This CFO has the ability to use his personal credit cards, or credit cards that he has obtained in the company’s name (Corporate Card) by utilizing his credit, to pay bills for the company. He then uses the company’s money to pay those credit card bills, which were used to pay the company’s bills.

The CFO can earn miles or cash back for using his personal credit cards, or the “corporate” credit cards.The invoices paid by credit card or no higher than they would have been had they been paid by check.

Is the CFO entitled to the miles or points or “cash back” from the credit card company? Would the answer be different if the CFO was a partner in the company? If he does need to get consent of the other partners, does he need 100% consent of all of the partners?

Answer:

[I understand that even if the corporate card is used, the miles are given specifically to the person making the payment, i.e. the CFO. The following is based on this understanding.]

The answer to this question depends on the practice in the company. Some companies pool together the miles earned by workers, and distribute them among workers or shareholders. Other companies allow individual workers to accrue miles for personal benefit, without taking them for the benefit of others. The general practice of the company is binding on workers, and policy vis-a-vis air miles can be brought up at the annual meeting.

While no policy has been set, the halachah is that the CFO would be able to keep the miles for himself.

Sources: The case would be comparable to Choshen Mishpat 183:6 (somebody who sends an envoy to make a payment, and the envoy receives a bonus), in which Rema rules that where the seller (the person being paid) gives a bonus specifically to the person paying, the person paying gets to keep it. Although others argue with this ruling (see Shach), the CFO is muchzak on the miles (in addition, nobody is claiming them), so that he can keep them for himself.

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