There are lots of great causes that could use your support, like the PenFed Foundation, which helps military families secure their financial future. But if you’re considering supporting your favorite charity this year, there are some advantages to using your credit card to do so. Almost all charities accept donations by credit card, and it’s one of the quickest way to get your money into their hands.
But besides altruism, there are some very good reasons to use your credit card (as opposed to check or cash) to donate.
Earn credit card points. That’s right: by using your credit card to donate, you can help others and get yourself a little reward too. For every donation, you could be earning cash back, travel rewards and more. Your charity donation could earn you a little cash back or help pay for your next vacation. Why not give and get at the same time?
Get closer to your sign-up bonus. If you’ve just gotten a new card, there’s a good chance it offers a bonus if you spend a certain amount in a certain period of time. For example, the PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card gives you a $100 statement credit if you spend $1,500 within the first 90 days of account opening. So why not give the $100 to your favorite charity to help reach that dollar amount — and earn a statement credit in return?
Get a tax deduction. Donating to most charities means a tax write-off at the end of the year — and donating cash (which includes donations by credit card) is the simplest type of donation to write off. Because credit card transactions process immediately, you can donate on December 31 and still write off your donation for the calendar year (even though your credit card bill won’t show up until later). So not only are you helping those in need, you’re earning rewards with credit card points and saving on your taxes when April rolls around. Just remember to save the receipt for your records! Consulting a tax professional is recommended.
Your credit card offers excellent fraud protection. Whether you’re shopping online or donating to your favorite charity online, it’s usually best to use a credit card. This way, if the charity is hacked and credit card information is stolen, your money is safe. Just remember: always keep an eye on your credit card statement and report fraud to your financial institution immediately.
Donate credit card points or rewards. In some cases, you can donate your rewards directly to a charity (though these are not necessarily tax deductible, so check with a tax professional). Many charities are happy to take travel or hotel rewards that can be used to help others. With PenFed credit cards, your reward points can buy Charity Choice gift cards that can donate cash to over a thousand different charitable organizations. If you aren’t using your reward points for anything else, why not give them to charity instead?
Check if your employer will match contributions. You may be able to double your gift if you work for an employer that matches charitable contributions — and your credit card receipt is easy proof of your donation. Many major employers offer matching programs of some kind, so be sure to check before you donate.
Find the right charity. If you can’t decide where to donate, browse through the charities on Charity Navigator. This site catalogs non-profits, letting you search charities by location and cause to see how much of your donation actually goes to the cause itself.
Do you need a credit card to make your donation with? PenFed has a range of cards, one of which is sure to be perfect for you. All of our cards come equipped with EMV chips for extra security, and save you money by having no annual fees or foreign transaction fees. With all of these benefits and our low rates, there’s no reason not to apply. Find the card that’s right for you today!