Is the Barclays Blue Rewards Scheme Shariah Compliant?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
The Barclays Blue Rewards Scheme is not Shariah compliant.
The Fiqh (jurisprudence of the Answer):
To earn Barclays Blue Rewards, you must do 3 things each calendar month:
1) Have at least £800 paid into your nominated current account.
2) Make at least 2 different direct debit payments from your nominated current account.
3) Pay the £3 monthly fee.
If a customer does the above, he is rewarded with:
1) Loyalty Reward of £7 every month
2) Mortgage Loyalty Reward
3) Home Insurance Loyalty Reward
4) Loan Reward
The above is non-Shariah compliant for the following reasons:
1) The £800 deposited in the bank is in the ruling of a Qarḍ (gratuitous loan). A deposit in a bank is a loan to the bank. Thus, any conditional incentive in lieu of such an account, whether material gifts, financial incentives, services or benefits falls under the ruling of ribā.
2) The monthly fee of £3 is part of the conditions of the bilateral exchange contract in order to receive a package of rewards which also contain a payment of £7. Receiving more money in return in a bilateral exchange contract is ribā.
And Allah Ta’ālā Alone Knows Best
Mufti Faraz Adam,
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