Choosing the Best Gay Advocacy Credit Card

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Are you active in the gay community? Are you passionate about gay rights? If so, you might want to choose your credit card according to your belief in advocacy. Both the Rainbow card and the Human Rights Campaign card benefit the gay community through the respective associations. This is a great way to show your support each time you make a purchase, while earning a few rewards along with your good deeds.

The Rainbow Card

The Rainbow card is a Visa credit card issued from Bank of America. It carries no annual fee and a six-month introductory APR of 0%. After that, the interest rates go up to a variable 11.99% – 23.99%, depending on your credit rating and your history with Bank of America. The account also comes with security fraud protection and access to BoA’s MyConcierge service.

One of the great things about the Rainbow Card is that cardholders get one point for every dollar spent. You can later redeem points for cash back, gift certificates and airline tickets, starting at a total of 5,000 points ($25 cash). Points expire in five years, however, and you have to use your card quite often in order to reap any rewards.

The Rainbow Card offers a 20-day grace period on new purchases, but interest rates are calculated based on the average daily balance including new transactions. If you make purchases on the card and carry a balance over into the next month, you no longer have access to that same grace period.

Usage of the Rainbow Card benefit the Rainbow Endowment, which is a funding institution that works with gay advocacy groups. Affiliated organizations include The AIDS Information Network, Gay and Lesbian Advocates, the National Youth Advocacy Coalition and Women’s Educational Media.

The HRC Card

The HRC Card is affiliated with the Human Rights Campaign, which is an advocacy group fighting for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgenders equality (hrc.org). They work to end prejudice, hate crimes, workplace discrimination and a host of other issues that plague the gay community at large.

Washington Mutual issues the HRC Card, which carries the Visa logo, and it carries many of the same benefits as the Rainbow Card. It has a 0% introductory APR, with a variable interest rate thereafter. There is no annual fee, and you also earn points with this card. It carries a high 23.99% cash advance APR, but the grace period is longer at twenty-five days.

Which One Gives More?

Obviously, you’ll want to support the gay community in the best way you know how, which means determining which card, between the Rainbow Card and the HRC card, gives more to the groups they represent.

According to RainbowCard.com, Bank of America gives ten cents of every transaction to the Rainbow Endowment, which is considerable. Of course, you don’t want to confuse this generous gift; it isn’t ten cents for every dollar, but ten cents for every transaction. A purchase of $500 will give the same to the Rainbow Endowment as a purchase of $50.

Unfortunately, the HRC Card Web site (providiancard.com) does not disclose the amount of money donated per transaction. They iterate that  a “portion” of the funds used on each card benefits the Human Rights Campaign, but no specific numbers are given. When I called Washington Mutual, I was told that the amount donated depended on the transaction and was left to WaMu’s (now Chase Bank) sole discretion.

Furthermore, the Rainbow Card gives updates on the amount donated from your card on each credit card statement, which is not the case for the HRC Card. This might have a bearing on your decision if you want to keep track of your good deeds.

6 Comments so far

  1. William-Andrew on February 16th, 2009

    WaMu has been bought out by Chase. Chase is discontinuing its affiliation with HRC and is dropping the HRC affinity Visa card. The replacement card is a standard Visa card with much less favorable terms and higher fees. To date, HRC has not said if they are going to be working with a different card issuer.

  2. Simon Taylor on April 2nd, 2009

    We just found out today that our HRC credit card was replaced by the regular chase visa card, very disappointing!!
    Now, I have 3 chase credit cards. Oh well… :-)

  3. Jeannie Yack on April 17th, 2009

    Sneaky! They just sent you a new card with the same number, and when you activate it…no more money for HRC.

    Oh,and by the way, they have increased by 50% the amount of POINTS REQUIRED to purchase the same premiums as before. (1500 points for a $10.00 gas card)

    I’m going with the Rainbow Card, whatever that is. I’m for transparency and accountability!

  4. Art on June 16th, 2009

    The HRC Credit card is now with Bank Of America.
    Link to apply is here, https://wwwa.applyonlinenow.com/USCCapp/Ctl/entry?directMail=true&sc=UAARK7

    Mine is already on it’s way!! YES!

  5. Charles on October 1st, 2011

    Bank of America just cancelled the Rainbow Card. They will no longer be contributing to the Rainbow Foundation, which is causing the Foundation to close. This is no longer an option.

  6. Sean on October 2nd, 2011

    I just found out too that Bank of America canceled their agreement with the Rainbow Endowment as of September 30, 2011. They sent me replacement cards without the Rainbow logo. Does anyone know why B of A did this?

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