Charity credit cards not so charitable

04 March 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
Charity credit cards are a good idea in theory but are not as charitable as consumers might think, as they only deliver 25p per £100 spent, argues Moneysupermarket.com.

Charitable giving and ethical investment are both becoming more popular as individuals become more aware of the huge difference they can make to the environment and the needy people in it, by making small decisions, and charity credit cards can seem like a great way to do this.

But, according to moneysupermarket.com, consumers might do better both for themselves and the charitable causes they wish to support by comparing credit cards and looking for a competitive zero per cent interest deal, then donating the money saved in interest payments to the charity of their choice without putting money in the banks' pockets.

Steve Willey, head of credit cards at moneysupermarket.com, said: "Make sure that by acting charitably, your finances don't become a charity case. Charitable cards, while commendable in theory, are let down by the small percentage of profits that actually end up in the pockets of the charities."

"If, for example, you spent £500 per month on the Nationwide Comic Relief card (which by charity card standards is relatively generous), just £36 will have been donated to Comic Relief after a year. In contrast, the non-charitable Halifax One Online Special card, which offers zero per cent on purchases for 12 months, would save you over £500 in interest.", he said, providing that them minimum amount is paid off each month.

For those that do want to donate by using a charity card, there are still some good deals that pay out well for charities, such as the American Express RED card which gives £1 in every £100 spent to fight AIDS in Africa. The best offers can be found by shopping around and comparing the market.

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