I have composed the following article based on my minimal experience of a year and so of having a credit card with RBC in the hope that you will learn from my mistakes. Please note: there may be more Riba accumulation examples out there.
With regards to the Credit Cards Do’s, all I can say is purchase just about anything except for those I’ve mentioned in the Don’ts.
With regards to the Credit Card Don’ts, all I have to say is, DON’T:
- Pay bills with it if there aren’t authorized payments in intervals(i.e. monthly). As this is seen as a cash advance.
- Make online donations(to some charities, but not all. But don’t take the risk) as this also seen as a cash advance.
- Withdraw money from an ATM with your Credit Card as this is a cash advance.
- Pay your Credit Card payment late as Riba will be charged.
- Pay your Credit Card payment short as Riba will be charged on your entire payment and not on your balance owing.
- Make purchases on new/unknown site as it may be charged as a cash advance. For example, I purchased MuslimKidsTV for my younger siblings, and I got charged the due payment with the addition to Riba because their system retrieves payments like unauthorized bills. An issue that I wrote to them about and Inshallah they resolved on their end.
From my minimal experience, I have shamefully paid Riba on some of these accounts, just because I didn’t know. I remember my first Riba charge of $0.25 and Subhanallah, the pain I felt that day was a different type of pain. Upon that charge, I called my bank to specifically ask what exactly causes Riba to be charged and they Mashallah mentioned some of the points I mentioned, and I had to figure out the rest for myself, the hard way. All I can say is Alhamdulillah, I know better now.
Subhanallah, a few moments ago, I called my bank and this remarkable human being by the name of Michael(may Allah guide or continue to guide him). He informed me that since, I was short $0.14 on my current Credit Card payment that was due a few days ago, according to him would lead me to pay $2 Riba charge on my next Credit Card bill. Subhanallah, through the phone, he probably heard the panic/distress in my voice upon hearing about my future Riba charge and understood that Riba is Haram. As a result, he put a note on my account to credit me the Riba payment a business day after the charge so it would be as if the transaction never happened. Subhanallah, I thanked him repeatedly for this kind, accommodating gesture. Right now, nothing echoes louder than Alhamdulillah in my heart and mind. Alhamdulillah for everything.
Nevertheless, Ya Ummati, learn from my mistake.