New findings from Confused.com reveal that charity credit cards may not be as 'giving' as customers think. After analysing the rewards given on 45 of the UK's top charity credit cards Confused.com found that those wishing to be charitable could provide greater support by ditching their charity card and replacing it with a cash-back reward card instead, potentially earning up to three times as much 'cash' which can then be donated to a charity of the cardholder's choice.
Charitable giving in 2009 was 11% lower than 2008 according to the Charities Aid Foundation, no doubt a result of the tougher economic climate. With 45 charity credit cards currently available, accounting for 18% of the cards on the market, many providers are offering philanthropists the chance to do their bit without dipping into their own pockets. However the 'rewards' earned for charities via these bespoke cards are significantly lower than standard reward or cash-back cards.
For example, someone spending £1,000 a month on the Greenpeace Platinum card from Co-operative Bank would earn a donation of £47.50 over a year. In comparison spending the same amount over a year on an American Express Platinum Cashback card would result in £204 cashback, which could then be donated to the charity of the customer's choice, meaning an extra £156.50 for the good cause.
Chris Griffiths, head of Credit Cards, at Confused.com, said: "Charity credit cards offer the chance to give to a good cause simply by using a designated card ahead of our other plastic when we're shopping. While they undoubtedly have honourable intentions, customers may in fact be able to make a bigger contribution by using a traditional cashback card and donating their rewards to the chosen charity themselves.
"Given that so many providers have corporate social responsibility programmes and extol their own 'green' virtues it would be nice to see them apply the same standards to their charity cards as they do to their best reward cards. Until then it may be better for canny customers to opt for a cashback card and make their own donation."
Confused.com is one of the UK's biggest and most popular price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include car insurance, home insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance, van insurance, motorbike insurance, breakdown cover and energy, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance.
Confused.com is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides a free, objective and unbiased comparison service. By using cutting-edge technology, it has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers with their decision-making, subsequently finding deals on a wide-range of insurance products, financial services, utilities and more. Confused.com's service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators.
Confused.com is owned by the Admiral Group plc. Admiral listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. Confused.com is regulated by the FSA.
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