Is It Wise to Make a Charitable Donation on a Credit Card? 
September 12, 2019

Credit card contributions are a quick and easy way to support your favorite charity. Using their website, or even by texting donations, makes sending money convenient and you often benefit from points or other rewards. According to the IRS, a last-minute year-end donation is deductible in the year it’s made, even if the charge is paid off in the following year.

The fine print

Be aware that in most cases, charities give up part of the donation because of the transaction costs associated with credit card gifts. Outside of rare exceptions, the credit card issuer commonly charges about 1.4 to 4% processing or “interchange” fee and may also tack on a “per item fee” between 5 and 50 cents. The total fees vary widely depending on the type of card used, how the donation is processed (swiped, keyed in, etc.) and the different levels of transaction risk for the credit company.

To avoid transaction fees and to ensure most of your money makes it to the charity, consider using a debit card, a social money transfer app like Venmo, or a direct bank account ACH transfer.

Thomas Talbott

Thomas Talbott

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