Not all charity cards reward our generosity

Love it or hate it, the Comic Relief red nose is at least a vivid reminder to give to charity.

Love it or hate it, the Comic Relief red nose is at least a vivid reminder to give to charity.

So it's a shame that its own affiliated credit card (with Nationwide building society), which lets you give while you spend, is rather less charitable than others. An annual percentage rate (APR) of 16.9 makes it one of the more expensive deals on the market.

The Comic Relief card's one-off £11.30 donation when you sign up compares poorly with £20 on the Halifax's Mencap card and £15 on cards for many other charities. But it does at least offer the best rate on donations with each purchase. This is set at 0.5 per cent, so a £50 purchase will generate 25p.

According to the information provider Moneyfacts, nearly all the other charity cards pay just half this rate.

Most people who choose to use a charity card do so because they want to support a particular cause and not for financial reasons. However, it is always worth checking the rates on any such card you take out. If you're in the near third of Britons who fail to clear their debts each month, your gesture of goodwill could end up costing you dear.

Many charity cards now carry 0 per cent introductory rates like mainstream offers but, also like their high-street brethren, they switch to a higher rate later.

Standard APRs to watch out for at the end of six-month 0 per cent deals include 17.9 at both the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Help the Aged.

Of course, those who religiously pay off their credit-card debt every month don't have to worry about such rates.

There are obviously far more effective ways to give to charity, such as direct donations via Gift Aid. Every £1 you donate secures another 28p from the Inland Revenue. Remember, though, that you can only do this if you are a UK taxpayer.

You could also consider taking out a regular credit card that gives you cashback. At the end of the year, simply donate the equivalent amount to your preferred charity.

Cashback deals range from 0.5 per cent to 2 per cent. A price comparison website such as Moneysupermarket.com will help you find the best ones. Watch out for sliding scales, though. Morgan Stanley's Platinum Mastercard, for example, currently pays 2 per cent cashback on the first £2,000 spent, but the rate drops to 1 per cent thereafter. It also carries an APR of 17.9 per cent.

News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

    £50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

    Loren Hughes: Financial Accountant

    £45,000 - £55,000: Loren Hughes: Are you looking for a new opportunity that wi...

    Sheridan Maine: Finance Analyst

    Circa £45,000-£50,000 + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ac...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

    The masterminds behind the election

    How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
    Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

    Machine Gun America

    The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
    The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

    The ethics of pet food

    Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
    How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

    How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

    Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
    11 best bedside tables

    11 best bedside tables

    It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
    Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

    Italy vs England player ratings

    Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
    Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

    An underdog's tale of making the most of it

    Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
    Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

    Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

    Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat