Elsewhere online
June 24, 2016

New Credit Card Directs Cash-Back Rewards to Causes

Looking to generate social benefit out of credit-card rewards many consumers leave on the table, a new company is producing a card that steers 1 percent of all purchases to nonprofits of the customer's choice, writes Fast Company.

Unlike many giving-linked payment cards, the Charity Charge MasterCard issued by Commerce Bank is not limited to a single organization or cause — as with “affinity” cards — and there is no donation-processing fee, so recipient groups get the entire cash-back bonus. Consumers choose target charities when they sign up for the card and can change them at any time.

"I just want to make doing good part of the routine of everyday living," Charity Charge founder Stephen Garten said. "A lot of people are saying, 'What's the point of [credit-card reward] points?' This is an easy way for them to do good in the world."

A public-benefit corporation set up to achieve social as well as financial goals, Charity Charge levies no annual fee on consumers but earns revenue from Commerce Bank and MasterCard based on the number of customers it brings in. The card can be obtained through an application at Charity Charge’s website and is not limited to Commerce Bank clients.