If I buy something for someone and lay out the money for them. Is this like lending them money where they would have to pay back the exact amount, because of ribbis or is this like buying something and then selling it where I can sell it for more expensive than I paid?
Is it the same when I lay out in form of payment with my creditcard where the amount doesn’t go off my account straight away, and they pay me before the creditcard invoice?
Thank you for your question.
- It depends on what was spoken out between the two people. If the person who is going to buy the product tells the other person that he is going to buy it and resell it to him, then it isn’t a loan, but a regular purchase, the same way a store makes profit, so can he. If, however the other person was asked to buy it for him, then the money that was laid out was a loan, and the correct amount would have to be paid back and not any extra. There is however an option for the person giving a little bit extra to say specifically that he is giving the extra money for service of going to the store for him and picking up the product.
- When you let someone i.e. Reuvain, swipe your credit card for something that you are buying, (i.e. in the grocery store) you are essentially giving that person a loan (by taking out a different loan from the credit card company). The fact that you will be paying for your loan a little later has nothing to do with Reuvain, who you lent money to. The money being paid back to you by Reuvain is not a loan to you, rather a payment for the original loan that you gave to him. Therefore, it is not ribbis to get the money before you have to actually pay back the credit card company.
- It is noteworthy that there are instances that one will use someone else’s credit card and pay the bill early, and the “user” of the card is lending money to the owner of the card. See sources.
- Bris Pinchos 5-17, Poskim
- Shulchan Aruch Horav – Hilchos Ribbis 63, Bris Pinchos Perek 7-18,19, Poskim.
- In a different case, such as when renting a car or hotel room, and the credit card company doesn’t even make a potential claim until the final amount is calculated at the end of the rental. Then, if Reuvain paid the credit card holder early, Reuvain is in fact lending money to the owner of the credit card, and if he gives extra money to Reuvain it is permitted, since the one giving the loan may give more than what he received in return. This however would only apply if the rental company didn’t claim anything yet for the potential claim, however if they made a potential claim on the card, then the credit card holder is considered the one lending the money, and he may not get anything extra money.