Free Gifts Only To Selected Employees

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about perks for some and not others:

The company I work for has a corporate account with a credit card which offers membership rewards to the cardholder. The cardholder earns points every time they use the corporate card and in turn can use the points they earn towards receiving free items for their personal use. My question is, is it legal for a company to allow only the cardholders to benefit from these free gifts while others, who are not cardholders, do not have this benefit?

Signed, Left Out

Dear Left Out:

There are no laws governing how a company wants to implement its credit card rewards. Most credit card companies that offer rewards encourage employers to reward the employee using the card by letting them keep and use the points.Many governmental agencies and groups do not allow any employees to use credit card rewards. And some businesses prohibit it to avoid the concern about excessive purchases solely to build up points. But many companies do as yours does. One executive I spoke to said employees who are given a card in his company usually have it because they travel a tremendous amount of time, or they are in purchasing and keep the company going, or they are senior employees. He views letting them use their credit card points as a way to thank them for their pivotal role in the company. Another executive said they solved the conflict that was created by that practice by not having cards with reward points. They only use a standard, low-interest business card.

The answer to your question is that the only way there could be some illegality involved would be if there was a government regulation about such issues for your specific company. I doubt that is the case.There really is no perfect solution to this issue, since eliminating credit card rewards would anger some employees, but allowing them frustrates others. The best solution would be to not have a card with reward points at all.Good luck with whatever viewpoint you happen to have! This is not an issue worth drawing a line in the dirt over, and will perhaps change over time.Best wishes.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.