Using orbit points on current account in interest-based bank
Fatwa No: 363961

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. I am using acurrent account just to keep my money safe. I hate getting interest. I want to clarify an issue; my bank has launched a new scheme through which they give every customer some ''orbit points'' on different sort of transactions or money deposits, money deposited, using cards, doing shopping with cards, etc. according to their terms and conditions. And this one orbit is equal to one Pakistani rupee, but you cannot draw money by cash. They give the offer to purchase some products, like mobile phones etc., using these orbit points. I do not want to buy these products at all by using these orbit points because I do not want to get any benefit from the bank at all. Is there any issue in my case? And even if these orbit points are in my account but I do not use them? Thanks.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Opening a current account or any other kind of accounts in an interest-based bank is forbidden in principle, but if there is a valid need for opening an account in one of these banks because there is no Islamic bank or it is difficult to reach it, and you fear to lose your money and the like, then there is no harm.

Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said,"If you need to open an account in a interest-based bank, then there is nothing wrong with it. But if you do not need it, then do not open an account there."

In this case, one should limit himself to a current account because it is a lesser evil.

For more benefit, please refer to fatwas 84356 and 87149.

You mentioned that the bank gives points on current accounts and that they can be replaced with certain products. In this case, do not leave the points to the bank; rather, you should replace them and give the products to those who would benefit from them of the poor and the needy and the like.

Allah knows best.

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