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Guy Accused Of ‘Manipulation’ After Putting Friends’ Group Restaurant Tab On His Credit Card For Points

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Every now and then, you run into a friend who has a bugaboo about something seemingly innocuous and hard to understand.

A guy on Reddit found himself in this situation when a friend of his got mad that he always uses his credit card to pay for everyone when they go out in order to collect amenity points on his account.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by the username formyjagiya on the site, didn’t understand what the problem was.

So he went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

OP asked:

“AITA for using my credit card to pay for our group tab when my friends and I go out?”

He explained:

“I (32M[ale]) found a fun little hobby of using my credit card amenities at any given opportunity to get free flights, dinners, etc.”

“I do this by making my regular purchases on credit and immediately paying the off to prevent interest.”

“Today, I met with some buddies for lunch and the waitress came to ask if the bill was together or separate but got pulled away by another table.”

“I saw my friends pulling out cash and debit cards and offered to just use my card to pay and everyone can venmo/apple pay/zelle me their tab.”

“I told them not to worry about the tip and I would cover it from my own pocket.”

“The main reason I did this is because 1) my credit card was offering extra points for dining at this particular chain and 2) Paying the tab would push me past a points margin that would get me a free first class flight.”

“No one complained or mentioned anything at the time but later one of them pulled me aside and said he thought it was manipulation and I’m taking advantage of them, even though no one else had the intention of paying with a credit card.”

“I told him to relax and that if it bothers him I’ll be sure not to pay for his portion of the tip next time and he called me a jerk. AITA?”

People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

And for the most part, OP’s fellow Redditors had just as hard a time understanding what was so offensive about this as OP did.

“I do this all of the time and I’m super open about it.

“Pre-pandemic, I told everyone I was like 10,000 points away from the snow blower I wanted on amazon and it would be free.”

“It became a group activity to get me my snow blower. NTA” –SimplySam4210

“I think if you are upfront with your friends, it is fine. (And wonderful of your friends to be so supportive.)”

“But I also use my credit card for everything and pay it off every month. So I’d be annoyed if a friend paid the tab and expected me to give cash.”

“Especially with bonus points for restaurants. Plus, I get cash back at certain restaurants. None of which happens if I don’t get to use my card for my meal.” –StreetOfChimes

“NTA – who cares how you pay as long as the bill gets paid. I used to do the same thing when I had a card like that.”

“Anything I could pay (bills, etc) and then just pay off the balance every month. Not really that odd.” –KimWexlers_Ponytail

“NTA. I thought everyone did this.”

“If you take on the extra admin work of taking on the charge, dividing up the bill, and making sure your friends pay you back the correct amount, you earn any side benefits you happen to get from your card.”

“Your friends earn the convenience of not having to deal with the admin and also not making the server’s life harder by splitting up your bill a thousand ways.”

“It would be taking advantage of your friends if you somehow made them pay more than they would otherwise pay separately so that you could get your points.”

“But you did the opposite and your friend is taking offense at nothing.”

“Maybe you should help him find a new credit card with a good points system so he can start earning some himself.” –fizzbangwhiz

“NTA i dont understand why your friends wouldnt encourage this? If my friend told me she was that close to a free flight id be like oh yeah you pay and I’ll send you the money!” –Affectionate-Emu1374

“Someone let me know if OP is TAH because I do this too so if they are TAH I will be too by extension and will have some reflecting to do 😂” –fitnessfightsfinance

“A friend of mine used to do the same thing.”

“However, we’d all give him our share of the bill, including 15% tip, he’d pay the total with 5% tip and pocket the difference.”

“Needless to say, once we we noticed, we don’t let him pay the whole bill any more… While I am not suggesting you are doing this, perhaps your friends think you are.” –Newfster

“NTA – offering to use your card is perfectly fine. “Taking advantage of them” is only when someone doesn’t understand the concept of simply paying a bill.” –Iamhuntingwerewolves

“NTA. I don’t get what your friends problem was. Everyone does this” –BlueLavender0104

“NTA, but I am familiar with these types of credit card point churning activities, and you are really not coming out ahead if you are paying the tip for the whole table.”

“Plus, you have to deal with the hassle of people possibly not paying you and having to nag them. Not worth it.”

“Your friend is weird for agreeing to this and then calling it manipulation though.” –dragon-queen

“NTA imo your “friend” was overly sensitive. So what if you were using you card for the points? I use mine all the time.”

“If I’m paying for someone, I am honest with them ‘hey I’d like to get the points. Mind if I use my card to pay and you can pay me your share?'”

“Also I personally think its damn decent of you to cover the tip. Kudos.” –AgentBarb

“NTA. The waitress probably loved you for doing one tab rather then having to deal with multiple tabs/payments.”

“TBH, you put yourself at risk by trusting that everyone would pay their share.”

“Did you benefit? Sure. Who cares? (aside from the friend)” –454_water

“NTA. You’re getting a benefit from using the card, you used the card. I don’t see why your friend has such a problem with it.” –Throwaway51276

“NTA. People have been doing this openly for decades, to the point where it’s a meme.” –mofa92777

“NTA”

“But this would get on my nerves. I just want to pay with my card and be done with it. I don’t like people paying for me, even if I will pay them back.” –melodyharper

“NTA. I always do this. Literally when the check comes with our group of 6-16 group of friends, someone always asks the table “who wants the points”?”

“Usually, it’s between me and another girl, who currently aren’t grad students.” –kschin1

“WTF… here’s how your friend should have handled this: OP: ‘I’ll pay the tab, I want the points.’ Friend: ‘Nah, separate tabs, I want the points too.’ OP: ‘okay.’ the end. NTA” –ginsengtea3

“NTA- that’s weird reaction for your friend to have. How is it manipulation?”

“They’re paying their share to you instead of the restaurant and you’re paying the restaurant directly.”

“My friends and I actually take turns doing this, so we all get a turn racking up rewards points, frequent flyer miles, etc.”

“Also wanted to note that what you are doing with your CC (using it, then immediately paying off the balance) does wonders for your credit.”

“I actually used this tactic to repair my damaged credit – my score went up 120 points over the course of a year.” –sportsfan3177

“If he didn’t like how you handled the situation he didn’t have to join in. He could’ve have declined your offer and paid his own tab/tip.”

“You getting free points is no different than him receiving a discount because he didn’t have to pay the tip. Everybody benefited. NTA” –nerdgirl71

“NTA but I personally hate private splitting with people. I didn’t have Venmo in college so I had to carry cash for it.”

“Once Zelle came around, that part got better. However I feel like there’s still awkwardness over them seeing how much I tip and whether I can just pay for my own items rather than even split.”

“I’ll do it at Chinese places that won’t split the check (this is happened twice in my life) but anywhere else I’d prefer to pay for myself.” –ConcentrateRegular79

“NTA A dangerous game because they might not Venmo their fair share but if you are willing to take the risk, you get the rewards” –LogicalVariation741

Hopefully OP’s friend can learn to loosen up a bit.

Written by John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.