Charity credit cards seem, in principle, to be an exceptionally good idea. Just by carrying on with your normal spending habits, you can be helping out your favourite charity with no extra effort. You’ll enjoy the convenience of credit along with the warm fuzzies of helping charity, and your spending will actually do some concrete good. Everyone wins!
It might, however, be time to consider leaving your charity card in your wallet next time you go shopping, and using a different type of card instead. We don’t mean you should stop contributing to charity – far from it – but with a little extra effort you could be doing so much more.
There are a new range of cash back cards coming onto the market which offer ever higher rates to tempt in new customers, as the marketing battleground moves from balance transfer cards to ones that offer some kind of benefit to the cardholder. Some cards offer introductory deals with extremely high rates of cash back, and even after this period ends most cards offer at least 1% in the long term.
Compare this to the typical 0.25% donation rate a charity card will offer, and it’s easy to see that your credit card could be working much harder to benefit others.
If you use a card with a good cash back rate, you could donate all the cash bonus you build up to the charity of your choice. Not only will your donation be much higher for very little extra work, you can also choose any charity you like rather than just the ones who happen to operate a charity card scheme.
Sure, it takes a little more effort, and you need to have the discipline not to ‘borrow’ a little bit of the bonus when you receive it, but switching from a charity card to a cash back one could make a substantial difference to your donation levels