What are Charity Credit Cards?

By: Gloria Smith

If you're a person interested in supporting a non-profit charitable institution in your own little way, then perhaps getting a charity credit card will be best for you. With a charity card, you can support the charity of your choice at no extra cost and at the same time benefit from low interest rates. All you need is to just use your card when making purchases, that simple.

Giving to charity is a great way of helping people with special needs and organizations working for worthy causes. Somehow it gives you a feeling of fulfillment being able to give to noble causes in a very simple way and on a regular basis. You may not be able to personally visit the beneficiaries and officers involved but with a charity credit card, you can make a small donation that can go a long way.

Charity or affinity cards have been used by financial institutions for 20 years now to benefit non-profit organizations. This type of card bears the logo of the charity group but a philanthrophic in nature.

Charity credit cards work by taking a small percentage from your purchases, balance transfer or cash advances and donating them to charitable organizations. As long as you're using the card, a small portion of what you spend will be donated to charity. A typical donation rate is around 0.25 percent.

These cards usually carry an annual percentage rate (APR) from 15 to 22 percent. There are some, though, that offer lower rates. Many of them charge annual fees and provide lesser incentives compared to the regular miles or cashback rewards of other credit cards.

In the U.S., various charity cards exist most of them operated by MBNA. The cards have different categories depending on your choice - environmental, animal, health and gender among others. The most popular, though, are the American Express Red and the RSPCA card. The American Express Red is supporting the fight against poverty and disease in Africa and donates a maximum of 1.25 percent from your purchases. The RSPCA card, on the other hand, donates 0.25 percent to the animal charity.

There is also the Anne Geddes credit card that allots a portion of every $1 you spend to the Anne Geddes Philanthrophic Trust which focuses on child abuse prevention. The card implements a point scheme. Anne Geddes is a well known photographer who has a penchant for taking photos of babies.

You may also want to consider the Make-A-Wish credit card. This card donates $0.65 for every $1 you spend on the card. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is the largest international organization that grants the wishes of children suffering from life threatening illnesses.

If you're an environmentalist, the Ducks Unlimited World Points credit card may be ideal for you. Ducks Unlimited is a group that works to preserve land and nature. The card works two ways in that while it allows a user to earn reward points, it also donates a percentage of your purchases to this environment-friendly organization.

There are many other charity credit cards available that you can research on the web. Getting one of them is a good way to start your long desired and lifelong goal of regularly donating to your favorite charity.

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