How you can use your credit card for good

How you can use your credit card for good
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If you would like to donate more to charity without straining your budget any further, using a charity credit card is a great option, letting you raise money for a good cause while you shop.

Charity credit cards offer the same features as traditional credit cards (such as a competitive interest rate and low transfer fees) while donating funds to a nominated charity or cause. The Bendigo Bank's RSPCA Rescue Visa card is a charity-based rewards program donating a percentage of your credit card payments to the RSPCA's Adopt-A-Pet Program.

The Community First Credit Union's McGrath Pink Visa card, donates $20 of the annual fee to the McGrath Foundation. According to a Community First spokesman, for every 6000 cards they issue the foundation can employ a nurse in a regional community.

The great news is that the feel good factor won't leave you out of pocket.

  • Community First's McGrath Pink Visa Card boasts an interest rate of 8.99 percent on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers
  • Bendigo Bank's RSPCA Rescue Visa Card has an annual fee of just $24 and an introductory rate of 7.89 percent for the first six months

In Australia, small banks and credit unions are leading the way on charity credit cards, offering highly competitive products supporting worthy causes. Unlike the UK, where these cards are offered by institutions, our big banks have yet to embrace the concept. In the United Kingdom, they have become a vital source of funds for many organisations, generating an estimated £16.7 million (AU$27.5 million) a year in donations, the UK's Guardian reported.

Whilst the concept isn’t new in Australia it’s still relatively unheard of with few “affinity” cards being offered currently. If, like most Australians, you have a credit card with a major lender, switching to a charity credit card might just inspire the big banks to follow the example of their community-minded counterparts. Or, at the very least, you'll make a difference while you shop this Christmas.

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