How it works differs depending on the type of credit card you have and who you have it from. For example, CapitalOne® has The No Hassle GivingSite powered by Network For Good™. CapitalOne card holders can elect to donate cash or rewards to a charity of their choosing. American Express® offers their card members the opportunity to enroll in their Members Give℠ program. Participating in Members Give allows AMEX users to donate in a variety of ways, including using their Membership Rewards® points for the charity.
Some cards are specifically created for the purpose of making a donation. One such card is the HaloCard™. It’s a bank issued card that allows cardholders to donate one percent of their purchases to any charity (the charity has to be a registered 501(c)(3) — this is a tax status that means the charitable organization has been set up and works for exempt purposes).
There are also cards that are referred to as cause cards. These are a type of affinity card (if you have a credit card that has your favorite sports team’s logo on it, you have an affinity card). So-called cause cards are either branded by the organization or let you direct the donation to a specific cause. Examples of cause cards include Bank of America®’s American Heart Association® debit card and the Pink ACE Elite™ Visa® Prepaid Card supporting the National Breast Cancer Foundation® (full disclosure: while we don’t necessarily endorse the preceeding cards, AmOne does feature the Pink ACE Elite Visa credit card as one of our recommended credit cards).
Another way that you can give back using your credit card is to donate points and airline miles. The Make♦A♦Wish® Foundation’s Wishes In Flight® program accepts donations of frequent flier miles from Delta AirLines’® SkyMiles program, United Airlines’® Mileage Plus program (this includes Continental Airlines OnePass miles), and U.S. Airways® Dividend Miles to help cover travel wishes. They are also able to accept TrueBlue miles from jetBlue® via the airline’s TrueGiving website.
Getting miles, points, and other credit card rewards undoubtedly feels good. Giving back when and wherever you’re able can feel even better. Using your credit card to donate to your charity is any easy way to help support those in need. If you’re interested in having your credit card do more for others, check with your card issuer to see if they have any programs in place; or, if you’re looking for a new card, you can make charitable giving one of the criteria you use when reviewing card providers (along with annual fees, interest rates, and your credit score).