I own a business and have a silent partner. I own 51% of the business and my partner owns 49%. When I purchase material for the business I typically use my AMEX card so that I can accrue points that can later be used for airline tickets. The credit card is under my personal social security number (not the business’s, AMEX would not issue a card under the business’s tax ID number). This means that I am personally responsible for any balance on the credit card, not the business. My question is, does my partner “own” 41% of the points or do they all belong to me? Thanks.
The answer to this question depends on the agreement you have reached concerning the allocation of points.
Some companies pool together the miles earned by employees, 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 will be that you can keep the points for yourself (see sources). However, it is recommended to consult with your partner, and set a fixed policy for this matter.
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 the 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), you would be muchzak on the points (in addition, nobody is claiming them at present), so that you can keep them for yourself. However, it is correct to speak this over with other relevant bodies (in particular your partner) and forge a concrete policy.