Do Your Part to Change the World with your Credit Card

You may already volunteer, give money to worthy causes and help out your neighbor whenever possible. But if you’re looking to do even more to give back, the great news is you don’t have to look any further than your wallet.

Several credit card companies — including Discover — are making charitable giving easier than ever. Donations of money and rewards are available at the click of a button or a tap on your smartphone.

We’ll take a look at some of the ways you can get started today.

1. Traditional donations

Since the advent of credit cards and online payments, giving to nonprofit organizations has become easier than ever. Hear about a charity that you’d like to donate to? Look it up online and simply add your credit card information to their online giving form.

One big advantage to donating with your credit card means you’ve got a paper trail to document your donation for tax deduction purposes.

Another advantage is that donations with your credit card accrue rewards or points just as your other purchases do1 — so you’ll be helping yourself while you help others. Win-win.

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2. Recurring donations

Here’s another idea: to make sure your gift really makes an impact, consider setting up a regular automated donation, such as $25 per month. Smaller gifts add up significantly over time, but they don’t make the huge dent in your budget that one large gift does. Chances are, you’ll hardly notice the expense — but your designated charity definitely will!

3. Donating rewards

Money isn’t the only thing you can give to a nonprofit. If your credit card gives you rewards —in the form of miles, points or cash — keep in mind that you can pay these forward, too. For example, you can donate your airline miles to military service members through organizations such as Hero Miles, which provides round-trip transportation for service members who are injured or sick and their families.

Discover’s Cashback Bonus program allows you to redirect your accrued funds to a charitable organization, such as the American Red Cross or the Make-A-Wish Foundation, that can put the money to use immediately.

This is the simplest form of giving — just by using your credit card, you’ll have helped make a difference.

4. Donating goods

Many local organizations in your hometown, such as homeless shelters, women’s shelters or food pantries, are in need of nonperishable goods and household items. Consider donating these items and using your credit card to pay for them. Once again, you’ll be accruing the rewards that you typically do, and if your credit card offers bonus points or rewards for spending in specific categories (such as grocery stores), you can often double-up on your rewards while filling an urgent need.

5. Exploring charities online

On the fence about which organization should get your donation? Check out websites such as Charity Navigator or JustGive (a partner through the Discover Giving program). These are clearinghouses for information about charities.

JustGive features more than 1.5 million organizations in its database. Not only can you set up one-time or recurring donations through your credit card account, you can also purchase gift cards for birthdays, holidays, weddings and other special occasions. These will allow the recipient to designate which charity will ultimately receive the funds on his or her behalf.

Sources

1http://thepointsguy.com/2014/12/maximizing-charitable-donations-this-holiday-season/

Legal Disclaimer: The articles and information provided herein are for informational purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice. 

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