September 26, 2007 —
In recent years, consumers have seen the release of countless credit cards promising low interest rates, free gifts, and cash back. The choices can be daunting, but one card has received praise for its charitable contributions at no expense to the cardholder. Working Assets credit card is seen as a way for consumers to give to charities they care about while going about their daily business. In addition, the card's web site claims: "We're the one credit card that supports progressive causes every time you use it."
Since the mid-1980s, the Working Assets credit card has raised approximately $50 million dollars for a variety of charitable causes—$4 million in 2005 alone. Unlike some other charitable cards, Working Assets donates 10 cents for every consumer purchase at no extra cost to the credit card holder. Unlike some other charitable cards, Working Assets donates 10 cents for every consumer purchase at no extra cost to the credit card holder. The card lets customers decide which issues/organizations they wish to support and donates to charities such as Greenpeace, Planned Parenthood, Doctors without Borders, and Project Vote.
Some activists have criticized Working Assets for its affiliation with MBNA, which many believe taint the credit card’s claim of being progressive. MBNA is a major contributor to the Republican Party and many on the left believe a purchase with a Working Assets credit card helps MBNA (and indirectly the Republican Party) more than other causes. Working Assets has tried to distance itself from MBNA and some of the practices of major credit card companies. Some people question the logic of giving to causes through a credit card rather than directly, but considering that we all use credit cards, Working Assets is worth a look. While it may not serve as a substitute to direct giving, it can help worthy causes supported by progressive shoppers.