Do Credit Card Providers Exist To Collect Interest?

By: Anthony Samuel

When you use your credit card for pleasure items and necessities, the last thing on your mind is the interest you would need to pay at the end of the month. When your card statement arrives however, the interest payable can no longer escape you.

Grudgingly you pay your bill and moan about the little impact your payment has made to the capital owed and you blame it on the interest. You might think that credit card companies exist just to collect interest from you, but this could not be further from the truth. For the purpose of this article let us look at American Express.

In addition to providing credit card products, American Express is actively involved in giving back to the community. In 2005 they contributed a total of $36.1 million to three main areas, Economic Independence, Cultural Heritage and Community Service.

Under the Economic Independence banner, American Express sought to develop and sustain economic self-reliance through programmes that supported the youth. They achieved this by promoting career awareness, employment options, and by engaging young people in training and workplace experiences. There were also programmes on entrepreneurship and small business development.

Recently American Express provided grants to Junior Achievement Worldwide, a program where American Express employees team up with local Junior Achievement organizations to teach students the basics of business, economics and career skills.

Another recipient of grant funding was the National Council of La Raza which supports workforce readiness programs serving Hispanic immigrants in communities throughout the country.

Under the Cultural Heritage banner the credit card provider sought to preserve and protect the natural and built environment so that it could be enjoyed by current and future residents and visitors. Recently funded programmes under this banner included The Constitutional Foundation, an organisation which supports the Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia the aim of which is to increase the number of visitors to the historic Independence Mall. The second recipient was The International Civil Rights Museum. This is an organisation that supports a the building of a new museum that will transform the Woolworth building in Greensboro NC into a museum and learning center intended to commemorate its role in the sit-in movement of 1960.

The final area is that of Community Service, American Express funded the volunteer efforts of thousands of its employees in their local communities through the company's in-house Global Volunteer Action Fund. In addition American Express' responds to worldwide disaster victims via the Red Cross and other relief agencies.
Two of the most recent grants were given to Habitat for Humanity where American Express employees got involved in building homes for low-income families in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Greensboro, NC and New York, NY and Project Angel Food which delivered meals to men, women, and children battling life-threatening illnesses in Los Angeles County.

So the next time you have to pay your credit card bill, remember that the credit card providers like American Express are involved in giving a lot back to others, it is not all about the interest on cards but about the interest in others as well.

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