Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.

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

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

Updated

Fact checked

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.

Compare 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.

1% cash back donated to your selected charities

Charity Charge World Mastercard® Credit Card

Charity Charge World Mastercard® Credit Card logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 1%
Cash back
n/a
Welcome offer
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.

  • No annual fee.
  • Intro purchase and balance transfer APR. 1.99% intro APR for 6 monthly billing cycles (16.24% to 26.74%) variable thereafter.
  • Cashback rewards. Get 1% cash back on all purchases.
  • Automatic donations. When you earn cash back, it's automatically donated to your selected nonprofits.
  • 100% of your cash back goes to your selected nonprofits. Charity Charge World Mastercard® Credit Card pays the processing fees.
  • World Mastercard perks. Get extended warranties, price protection and more.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 1.99% intro for the first 6 monthly billing cycles (then 16.24% to 26.74% variable)
Balance transfer APR 1.99% intro for the first 6 monthly billing cycles (then 16.24% to 22.24% variable)
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards 1% cash back to your choice of nonprofits, K-12 schools, colleges and religious organizations

Donations to Susan G. Komen

Susan G. Komen® Cash Rewards Visa®

Susan G. Komen® Cash Rewards Visa® logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 3%
Cash back
$200
Welcome offer
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.

  • No annual fee.
  • Intro purchase and balance transfer APR. 0% intro APR for the first 15 billing cycles (13.99% to 23.99% variable thereafter).
  • Automatic donations. Bank of America donates $3 to Susan G. Komen when you meet the requirements, and 0.08% of your retail purchases are donated to the organization.
  • Signup bonus. Earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.
  • Cashback rewards. Earn 3% on a category of your choice and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter. Earn 1% after that and on all other purchases.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 15 billing cycles (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 15 billing cycles (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Welcome offer $200 after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
Rewards 3% cash back on a chosen category and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 in quarterly combined purchases, then 1% after that and on everything else

Donations to the World Wildlife Fund

World Wildlife Fund Credit Card

World Wildlife Fund Credit Card logo
Credit recommended (670-)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 3x
Points
$200
Welcome offer
When you open the World Wildlife Fund Credit Card, keep it open for at least 90 days and use your card within that period, Bank of America makes a donation of $3 or more to the World Wildlife Fund. The bank also donates 0.08% of your retail purchases to the organization. When you renew your card, the World Wildlife Fund receives $3.

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

  • No annual fee.
  • Intro purchase and balance transfer APR. 0% intro APR for the first 15 statement closing dates (13.99% to 23.99% variable thereafter).
  • Automatic donations. Bank of America donates at least $3 to the World Wildlife Fund when you meet the requirements, and 0.08% of your retail purchases are donated to the organization.
  • Signup bonus. Earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.
  • Cashback rewards. Earn 3% on gas and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter. Earn 1% after that and on all other purchases.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 15 statement closing dates (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 15 statement closing dates (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Welcome offer $200 after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
Rewards 3% cash back on a chosen category and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 combined each quarter, then 1% after that and on everything else

Donations to the Nature Conservancy

Defenders of Wildlife Cash Rewards Visa Signature® credit card

Defenders of Wildlife Cash Rewards Visa Signature® credit card logo
Credit recommended (-)

Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 3%
Cash back
$200
Welcome offer
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.

  • No annual fee.
  • Intro purchase and balance transfer APR. 0% intro APR for the first 15 statement closing dates (13.99% to 23.99% variable thereafter).
  • Automatic donations. When you open your card, Bank of America donates at least $1 to Defenders of Wildlife. It also donates $0.05 for every $100 you spend on retail purchases.
  • Signup bonus. Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.
  • Cashback rewards. Earn 3% on gas and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter. Earn 1% on all other purchases.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 15 statement closing dates (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 15 statement closing dates (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Welcome offer
Rewards Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement / furnishings and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on the first $2,500 in combined choice category / grocery store / wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%.

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 have to get a charity credit card to make a donation. Some credit card providers allow you to donate through special programs.

  • 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.

Airlines

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.

Hotels

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.

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
$150 after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
$0
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
Citi® Double Cash Card
N/A
Up to 2% cash back on purchases (1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay)
$0
This one of the most valuable flat cashback cards. It comes with 2% cash back (1% when you buy plus 1% when you pay) and 18 months to pay off transfers.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
N/A
4% at gas stations on up to $7,000 annually (then 1%), 3% at restaurants and on travel, 2% at Costco and 1% on all other purchases
$0
Earn valuable cash back on everyday purchases at gas stations, restaurants and Costco as well as eligible travel with no foreign fees.
Charity Charge World Mastercard® Credit Card
N/A
1% cash back to your choice of nonprofits, K-12 schools, colleges and religious organizations
$0
1% cash back to the nonprofits, K-12 schools, colleges and religious organizations of your choice.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
50,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
2x miles on Delta purchases, restaurants and at US supermarkets and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Frequently asked questions about charity credit cards

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site