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Not about splitting checks but about the old credit card vs cash payments

I go out often with friends who "claim" to have no cash and want to put the meal on their credit card and I can then give them the cash. Since they get air mileage (and this has happened more than once, try every time and these are expensive meals) I have now taken to telling the waiter to put my portion on my credit card as I too have no "cash", I also get air mileage. it has taken me years to do this. I figure during that time I have paid for at least a third of several peoples trips to Europe. Anyone else in this predicament?

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  1. I think you're being paranoid. There was a time when I never had cash and charged everything. It certainly wasn't part of my evil plan to claim all the airline miles in the world. Besides, there's absolutely nothing wrong with splitting a check on 2 cards.

    1. Twenty five years of going out with married couples and people with SO's and never gave it much tought.

      On the flip side some of my friends in cash businesses always want to pay with cash and have asked me if i would like to put the whole thing on my card so i can get the miles and they will give me the cash. I normally thank them but decline cause it feels lousy when the amex bill comes.

      1. I do this with Amex all the time and find it to work well for me. (Taken several first class mileage flights.) What I'm less successful at, is KEEPING the cash I've been given and paying the AMEX bill with it!


        1 Reply
        1. re: TexasToast

          My problem as well. After a night out with 4 people, if I've placed the entire thing on my CC, I feel like I've got a large wad of 20s burning a hole in my pocket. Ahhh I am so weak!

        2. What's done is done. You can't undo the past. See it as your part in being a generous person giving to others. And now you have the ability to claim rewards and gain mileage from those who still use cash.

          1. I used to have a friend (note the word "used to") who always did this to me where she or she and her husband would claim "no cash" would take my cash, charge the meal, and since her husband is in his own business, would expense the meal. I, like you, wisened up and starting charging my half of the bill too. Of course some people unexpectedly might run out of cash, but when it happens all the time with the same person, you do realize it is a bit of a scam. I say good riddance to my former friend.

            1. I'm sorry, I don't get it -- ending friendships and being picky about airline miles??

              Maybe it's because I don't have an airline-mile-producing credit card. I can't imagine being offended by this situation.

              1. I think calling it a "scam" (even a bit of one) is a bit harsh, unless you feel the people are deliberately misleading you with some bogus story that keeps you from offering up your own credit card. You are always free to do that to get your own miles or whatever other reward your card offers. That said, I certainly understand that there are people who would presume to take control of that situation to their own benefit. A real friend would 'fess up' to their reasons and offer you the same choice.

                1. It's hardly a "scam." I mean, how are you "conned." What's your loss or harm?


                  1. I never seem to have cash on me anymore. My friends and I usually take turns on who picks up the bill. Everyone wins since we are usually the same group all the time and have similar bills.

                    1. I really don't see the big deal here. Whether or not they get miles out of it isn't really relevant in my book. What does it matter if you give the cash to the restaurant or to your friend. Your friend still has to pay the CC bill and so what if they get some miles out of it. If you aren't comfortable with it, ask the waiter to split the check or pay on your CC as well.

                      I only have a problem if your friend is not paying at all or even worse, making money out of it. If they are dining on the company expense account and then you paid them your half, then that is wrong because they got a free meal and you just gave them money they are going to pocket.

                      When I go out with my buddies, we play the credit card game (which makes this problem a non-issue). We all put our credit cards into hat and have the server pull out the credit cards one at a time. Last credit card pulled out covers the bill. If it's a really large bill, we'll usually all throw in a some cash to help the loser out. This doesn't seem to work so well when I go out with my wife and other couples, but it's great when I'm with the guys.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: rcheng

                        People actually do that? I just thought it was something you see in the movies.


                        1. re: TexasToast

                          Oh yeah, we pretty much do it everytime the guys go out. Then again, many of my friends are degenerate gamblers. If you are to do this I recommend making the last CC pulled out the one that pays (versus the first one pulled out is the one that pays). This adds drama to the game.

                      2. For the odd $15-30/person, I'm usually the only person interested in charging. I pop the question by asking "Does anyone want miles?" Sometimes it's also true that I don't have enough cash, but that's lame excuse. There's usually an ATM nearby. The interesting thing is that I almost always put in a few extra bucks when I'm charging it, so anyone peeking at the signed charge slip can't complain!

                        (That credit card game sounds like fun.)

                        1. Well, at least they had a credit card! One of my friends always *forgets* her wallet (says that she switched purses and forgot to put her wallet in it) and I've been left with the bill. I don't think she does it on purpose but I also don't think she realizes how bloody annoying her habit is.

                          It became such a pattern that now I call her the next day and ask her to drop the cash off asap.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: shazzer65

                            Where I come from, there's a bad word for that kind of behavior.