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Compare charity credit cards: How to spend for a good cause

That plastic in your wallet can help contribute to a good cause.

Your credit card is useful for more than purchases: You can also use it to support your favorite charities. You can get a credit card that donates a percentage of your spending, donate through an airline or hotel loyalty program or even join a bank that makes a positive impact on the world.

Here are some ways to support great causes using a credit card.

What are the best charity credit cards?

One of the easiest ways to deploy your spending for good is to get a charity credit card. This category includes affinity credit cards, which sponsor specific organizations and display charity logos front and center.

Usually, a provider donates a percentage of your spending to the charity of your choice. In some cases, you’ll simply receive more credit card rewards for charitable donations.

Best value toward charitable donations

Chase Freedom Flex℠

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At first glance, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card may not seem like a charity credit card. But it can actually earn a lot of points on your purchases and increase the value you decide to donate. With the Pay Yourself Back feature, you can donate your points to eligible charities and get a 25% higher point value than if you redeem your points for cash back.

Suppose you spend $5,000 in eligible 5% cashback categories. You would earn $250 back in points. Donate your points to eligible charities and you get a value of $312.50 for your points. Even if you decide not to donate your entire earnings, you could still donate more than you could earn with any charity credit card and you would have some points left for yourself.

1% cash back donated to your selected charities

Charity Charge World Mastercard® Credit Card

The Charity Charge World Mastercard® Credit Card is a great charitable card on the market. That's thanks in large part to its flexibility: You'll earn 1% cash back that you can donate to up to three charities of your choice. Charity Charge World Mastercard® Credit Card has more than 1.5 million schools and charities in its database.

The card comes with no annual fee, and your donations are automatic and tax-deductible. Furthermore, Charity Charge World Mastercard® Credit Card covers the cost of donation processing fees, so you can rest easy knowing that 100% of your contributions go to your charities.

Donations to Susan G. Komen

Susan G. Komen® Cash Rewards Visa®

When you open the Pink Ribbon card, keep it open for at least 90 days and use it within that period, Bank of America makes a $3 donation to Susan G. Komen. The bank also donates 0.08% of your retail purchases to the organization. Each time you renew your card and meet Bank of America's conditions, Susan G. Komen receives $3.

The card itself is a solid pick. It has no annual fee, an intro APR for purchases and balance transfers, good cash back on everyday purchases and a decent signup bonus.

Get more points when you donate

U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards® Visa Signature® Card

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Terms apply, see rates & fees
The U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards® Visa Signature® Card works differently than other charitable cards. Instead of sending donations to nonprofits, it rewards you for making contributions. Each time you make a qualifying charitable donation, you receive 3x FlexPoints on your donation. Redeem FlexPoints for rewards like travel, merchandise, gift cards and statement credit.

The card comes with a $0 intro annual fee for the first year ($49 thereafter). It's also a Visa Signature, so you'll get benefits such as concierge service and exclusive benefits at the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection.

Donations to the Nature Conservancy

Defenders of Wildlife Cash Rewards Visa Signature® credit card

When you open your Defenders of Wildlife Cash Rewards Visa Signature® credit card card, Bank of America donates at least $1 to Defenders of Wildlife. The bank also donates at least $0.05 per $100 you make in retail transactions.

The card comes with no annual fee, an intro APR for purchases and balance transfers, good cash back on everyday purchases and a solid signup bonus.

How to choose a charity credit card

To find the right charity credit card, here’s what to consider:

  • Rewards rate. The more you earn, the more you can donate. But if you think 1% or less is not enough to help the cause, get a more rewarding credit card and donate your rewards manually.
  • Other perks. Why not get some perks while you do good? Some credit card perks you could find useful are 0% intro APR period on balance transfers and purchases, signup bonus and no annual fee.

Should you get an affinity credit card?

Bank of America charity credit cards — sometimes called affinity credit cards — sound great. You can donate to your favorite charities through everyday spending. But are these cards all they’re cracked up to be?

Strictly based on the math, the answer is no. Consider the BankAmericard World Wildlife Fund card, for example:

  • When you open your card, Bank of America donates $3 to WWF.
  • The bank also forwards 0.08% of your purchases to the organization. If you spend $5,000 on the card in a year, the WWF gets only $4. (When you think about it, 0.08% is a very low rate — less than a tenth of a percent.)
  • In total, that’s $7 a year in donations.

A card like the Charity Charge World Mastercard® Credit Card is a much better choice. At a 1% rewards rate, your $5,000 in spending nets a $50 donation to your selected charities.

So is a charity credit card worth it?

Though 1% is a decent rate, you could still earn more through standard reward credit cards. With the Citi® Double Cash Card, for example, you’ll earn 2% cash back (1% when you make a purchase and 1% when you pay off your card). That means on $5,000 of spending, you’d earn $100. Then you could cash out the money and donate it. Sure, your gift isn’t be automatic, but your charity gets a bigger check.

The buzz factor

Pound for pound, charitable cards don’t accumulate the most donations. However, they can be useful for generating buzz.

For example, your friends might see you use your card, get curious about the sponsored charity and become members of the organization. That could ultimately be worth more than a mere donation.

Some cards lend themselves well to this kind of exposure. It’s helpful if the card sponsors a well-known organization, like the Susan G. Komen Foundation or the World Wildlife Foundation. It also helps if the card is eye-catching, as it’s more likely to start conversations.

The World Wildlife Fund Credit Card stands out, and it can help you recruit new WWF members.

Sometimes, a charity credit card is about more than just donations. It can offer a reason to talk about your charity, an easy way to recruit new members or simply a warm feeling each time you buy something.

Charitable rewards programs

You don’t necessarily need a card that advertises charity to make a donation. Many credit card providers allow you to donate through special programs, or even their rewards programs. Chase’s is the latest to allow this feature, adding it to their “Pay Yourself Back” program.

  • Chase’s Pay Yourself Back program let’s you donate to eligible charities and use the program to “pay yourself back” using your available Ultimate Rewards. This feature is available until September 30, 2021.
  • Through American Express’s Members Give, you can donate to more than 1 million charities. Donate by charging your card directly, redeeming Membership Rewards points or buying Members Give Charity Certificates.
  • Capital One’s No Hassle Giving lets you donate rewards or cash to the charities of your choice.
  • Discover makes it easy to donate cash back bonuses to its partner organizations that include the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross and World Wildlife Foundation.
  • Through Citi’s ThankYou program, you can redeem points for donations to such organizations as the American Red Cross and Smile Train.

Charitable programs

Starting at 2,500 points, you can redeem ThankYou points to make charitable donations.

Charitable loyalty programs: donate points and miles

Several travel loyalty programs let you donate your earnings to good causes. Travel is a huge expense for many charitable organizations, so your gifted miles can go a long way.


Several airline rewards programs make it easy for you to donate your spare points to charities.

  • Alaska Airlines. Through the Charity Miles Program, you can donate your miles to such organizations as Dream Foundation, Hero Miles and Make-A-Wish.
  • Aeroplan. Aeroplan’s member donation program allows you to donate miles to more than 200 charities. Make a one-time donation or recurring donations of 2% of your mile earnings. And on top of whatever you donate, Aeroplan donates another 10%.
  • American Airlines: American Airlines lets you donate cash to its Miles to Stand Up and Miles for the Cure programs (you’ll receive miles as a reward). Or donate your miles to the airline’s Miles of Hope, Miles for All Who Serve and Miles for Kids in Need programs.

Donate points and miles

American Airlines lets you donate miles for various charitable categories.

  • Delta. Through Delta’s SkyWish program, you can donate miles to charities like Children’s Miracle Network and Habitat for Humanity.
  • Frontier Airlines. As an EarlyReturns member, you can make donations to organizations like the American Cancer Society and Make-A-Wish. To donate, call the EarlyReturns line at 1-866-263-2759.
  • Hawaiian Airlines. Donate your HawaiianMiles to around a dozen organizations. At the end of the year, Hawaiian Airlines matches the miles donated to each charity — up to 500,000 miles each.
  • JetBlue. Donate points to more than 2.5 million causes through the TrueBlue program.
  • Southwest. Donate Rapid Rewards points to nine charities.
  • United Airlines. Donate your MileagePlus miles to around 50 charities, including Feeding America, March of Dimes and Ronald McDonald House Charities.


Donating hotel points can help charities provide accommodations for staff, members and beneficiaries. Some hotel programs convert your points into cash donations.

  • IHG Rewards Club. You can donate points to the IHG Foundation, which teaches hospitality skills to community members, provides disaster relief, invests in local communities and helps protect the environment.
  • Marriott Rewards. Donate points to the American Red Cross, Hotels for Heroes, or International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
  • Hilton Honors. When you donate Hilton Honors Points, Hilton Honors forwards a cash donation to an organization of your choice. Donate points through PointWorthy.
  • Wyndham Rewards. Donate points to Hotels for Heroes or Polaris.
  • Choice Privileges. Donate points to eight organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club and Armed Forces Relief Trust.
  • Marriott Bonvoy. Donate points to Clean the World, American Red Cross, UNICEF and more.

Is my charitable donation tax-deductible?

When you make a cash donation through your credit card, your charitable gift is tax-deductible. On the other hand, donations of credit card rewards — such as points and miles — aren’t tax-deductible.

In some cases, cashback donations may be tax-deductible — for example, if you redeem your cash back and then make a cash donation.

Banks with a ‘triple bottom line’

Affinity credit cards and charitable credit card programs get the lion’s share of attention. But there’s another way you can support causes you care about: Do business with a bank that adheres to the so-called triple bottom line.

This type of bank, like every other financial institution, looks to turn a profit. But it’s also committed to social responsibility — such as supporting fair labor — and promotes initiatives in environmental sustainability.

Triple-bottom-line banks

Beneficial State Bank is an example of a bank with a triple bottom line.

When you apply for a credit card from a bank like Beneficial, you indirectly support its social and environmental causes. This could be a good option if you like the bank’s mission, and especially if you’re not thrilled to get a card from a big bank.

Other credit cards that help you donate

Even if you don’t have a “donation” credit card, you can likely still use your card to donate. That’s because many cards have a feature that makes donating easier or more lucrative.

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Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

2x miles on every purchase, every day, 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5x miles when you book on Turo, the world’s largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months ​from account opening.
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
Earn unlimited 1.25x miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
Capital One VentureOne Rewards for Good Credit
Capital One VentureOne Rewards for Good Credit
1.25x miles on every purchase, every day and 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
The same rewards and $0 annual fee as the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, but for those with good credit.

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Frequently asked questions about charity credit cards

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