Ethics of using a frequent flyer mileage credit card to pay for elder care.

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Mom is in a dementia care facility. We have DPOA and successor trustee statues over her affairs, but are receiving no pay or benefits for the time and effort we spend on her care and support. Currently her fees are paid by us using our trustee powers to write monthly checks on her checking account to pay her monthly bill.

What ramifications would there be (ethically, tax-wise, etc.) if we were to instruct the care facility to bill our mileage credit card for mom's fees so we can get the FF miles, and then we would reimburse ourselves from mom's account? Does anyone do this or know of someone who does? What is your honest opinion of someone who does this?


I personally don't see any ethical problem with this. There might be a paper trail problem if you ever have to account for payments of Mom's money so I'd be extra careful to keep all the related paperwork together.

Sometimes when a group goes to a restaurant, one person will say at the end, "Anybody paying cash? Would you mind paying me and let me charge it, for the points on my card?" And generally folks who were going to pay cash or write a check are fine with that arrangement. (People with their own credit cards prefer to get their own points!) I don't think that is unethical.

I also do not think it unethical for you to charge a reasonable fee for your services.
Gee, I wish I would have thought of this. Great idea, go for it and just bring something fun back for mom if you use the point on a trip.
Interesting idea! Keep a file w/ a cover page describing what the intention is and all supporting documentation. Airline miles would come in handy for me. If I have time, I make the drive in my car (2 days), but if it is an emergency I have to fly to help my parent and it gets expensive.
I think, if that were my mother, she would be happy (if she were able to understand) that I was able to get some benefit from handling her affairs. The facility just wants to get paid and you are entitled to reimbursement from your mom's account.

Just make sure the paper trail is sufficient to easily figure out . If you have siblings, let them know what you'd like to do so it's out on the table. That way you are covered and no one will be suspicious if they're looking into her affairs later. My sibs would say "go for it".
I don't think there are any ethical problems at all. The facility will have to pay a service fee for accepting payment by credit card, but if they do accept credit cards then they've obviously built that into their business plan. As others have sure to leave a VERY clear paper trail with the additional transactions. That's alotta miles! I'm surprised more people don't do it.
Hi MichMash, I agree with the others that it is not unethical and a smart idea. You are being a good steward. It would cut down on monthly check writing from her account because you would just have to write one check to your credit card. Since credit bills are itemized, you can easily keep track of her expenses.
Wow, great idea, I'm going to pass this on to my cousin! Thanks.
Go for it!!!
I use my mileage credit card to pay for solely for the parents expenses. I have photocopies of all the receipts. All I need to do now is figure out how to scan and cyberspace it file. Our house is very old and I think the electrical needs rewiring. So I try to cyberspace all my ebooks too. Very important to have the paper trail.
I do the same thing for my sis and just write myself one check a month. It saves her checks. I put a lot of miles on my car and buy my own gas without any reimbursement, so I don't feel too bad about it.

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