The Affinity Card

An affinity card (often referred to as an 'Ethical Credit Card') is a special type of credit card which enables you to support a particular cause or organisation by donating a small portion of what you spend on your card at no extra cost to you. There are a wide variety of causes and organisations which offer affinity cards, and many customers are happy to know that others are benefiting from their spending. What may seem like tiny donations to you add up to huge amounts of extra income for the affiliated organisation. Millions of pounds have been donated to UK organisations from affinity cards within the past decade.

Affinity cards frequently offer good introductory interest rates, but their typical APR (Annual Percentage Rate) will be higher than that of a standard credit card; these cards are therefore best suited to customers who pay off their outstanding balance each month. It is also important to check the card's terms and conditions, as these vary between providers. The card provider also reserves the right to withdraw their partnership with the chosen organisation at any time.

Charity Card

A charity credit card offers the same functions as a standard card, such as an interest-free period on purchases and balance transfers, but the card itself is affiliated with a registered charity. The card is provided by a bank, partnered with this charity. Charity cards offer you an easy way to ensure that your chosen charity receives donations, without incurring any extra costs yourself.

Typically, when you take out a charity credit card the affiliated bank will make a one-off donation to the charity, usually of around five pounds. Thereafter, any purchases you make using your card will also result in small donations to the charity; usually, 0.25 % of the amount you spend will be paid to your chosen charity. Several charity card providers also pay a flat fee to the relevant charity for each year that your account is active, often around two pounds. These donations do not cost you anything: you make them merely by using your credit card. Even small percentages can make a difference over an extended period of time. For example:

 

  • James wishes to donate some money each year to charity.
  • He takes out a charity card which donates five pounds outright and agrees to donate a further 0.25% of any purchases made.
  • James spends five thousand pounds on his charity card over the year: £5,000 x 0.25% = £12.50.
  • In total, James' charity card has donated £17.50 to his chosen charity.
  • The next year, James' card provider donates two pounds to the charity because his account is still active.
  • James spends ten thousand pounds on his card over the year: £10,000 x 0.25% = £25
  • Over a two year period, James' charity card has resulted in total donations of: £5 + £12.50 + £2 + £25 = £44.50 at no cost to James, and without his needing to make any direct donations.


Football Club Credit Card


A football club credit card is aimed at dedicated football fans. It will also offer the same functions as a standard credit card, but will provide extra benefits for you and your chosen team. The card is designed to feature the team colours or the team emblem, but you may be able to choose the exact design of your card from a range of options. As with charity credit cards, a one-off donation is made when you first use the team credit card. Thereafter, an undisclosed percentage of the amount you spend on your card is donated to the football club. The percentage is undisclosed due to the sensitivity of the commercial partnership between the bank and the football team. In exchange for your donations, football teams tend to send cardholders promotional offers entitling them to discounts on merchandise or entry into a prize draw.