The 7 Best Business Credit Cards For Your Nonprofit Organization
From purchasing office supplies to taking staff out for dinner or traveling to events, nonprofit organizations have plenty of reasons to sign up for a credit card. And, because a nonprofit is technically a business, it may make sense to apply for a business-specific credit card. Consumer cards can work, if you use them correctly, but business credit cards usually offer rewards and benefits that better suit professional organizations.
There are also credit cards out there designed specifically for nonprofits. Depending on your location and your organization’s situation, you may find that one of these credit cards will actually work better for you than a business-centric card.
Curious to find out what’s out there in the world of credit cards for nonprofits? Take a peek below to find out which business credit card might work best for your nonprofit organization.
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Best Credit Cards Designed For Nonprofits
While they may not be the most common type of credit cards, cards built for nonprofits do exist. The most notable thing about these cards is that they require no personal guarantee from applicants. This means that the card issuers won’t look into the personal credit history of individuals listed on the application; instead, they’ll simply consider the organization’s financial records. Let’s take a deeper look at a few credit cards designed from the get-go for nonprofits:
Charity Charge Nonprofit Business Card
Charity Charge is an issuer dedicated to helping nonprofits thrive. Besides its nonprofit business credit card, Charity Charge offers other cards that automatically donate cash back to a nonprofit of the user’s choice.
This co-branded Mastercard, meanwhile, was designed from the ground up for nonprofits to spend with. First appearing in the summer of 2019, the Charity Charge Nonprofit Business Card could make a solid option for your organization. There simply aren’t many credit cards dedicated to working for nonprofits — and certainly none of the others come from a company built around giving back to such organizations.
Besides requiring no personal guarantor, this card will generate 1% cash back on all of your purchases as an automatic rebate to your monthly statement. Going beyond rewards, Charity Charge promises online expense reporting and card management, dedicated customer service, and fraud protection. Charity Charge also markets this card to schools and associations.
U.S. Bank Community Card
In partnership with Mastercard, U.S. Bank offers its community card for nonprofit organizations. With this card, you’ll be able to apply without needing a personal guarantee. U.S. Bank also offers an online tool to analyze your organization’s spending. Plus, employees can get their own cards for free.
When it comes to rewards, you have two options. You can either pay $99 per year and gain access to 1% cash back on all purchases. Or you can choose to pay no annual fee — but you also eschew rewards. It’s also worth noting that going the annual fee route opens up the possibility to earn points for taking credit card payments and making purchases with U.S. Bank’s Encore Relationship Rewards program.
Unfortunately, you’ll need to live near a U.S. Bank location because you must apply in person for this credit card. While the bank operates in over half the states in the U.S., if you don’t live in Ohio or further west, there probably isn’t a U.S. Bank near you.
Visa CommUNITY Card
Introduced by Visa several years ago, the Visa CommUNITY Card is available at local banks and community credit unions throughout the country.
Because this card is issued through various banks, the exact terms may vary from location to location. You’ll generally be able to earn rewards for this card (usually either 1% cash back or 1 point per $1 spent) and the annual fee is low ($99 per year) or nonexistent. You’ll also be able to access high credit lines. Like the above two cards, no personal guarantee should be required when applying.
You’ll likely need to apply in person for a Visa CommUNITY Card. Several banks and credit unions issue this card, so you might be able to find a location near you. Issuers include:
- Bangor Savings Bank (Maine and New Hampshire)
- bankHometown (Massachusetts)
- Beacon Credit Union (Indiana)
- First County Bank (Connecticut)
- Fulton Bank (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia)
- PCSB Bank (New York)
- Shelby State Bank (Michigan)
- South State Bank (Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia)
- Sunrise Banks (Minnesota)
- United Community Bank (Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee)
There are also a number of other banks that offer a Visa CommUNITY Card, so be sure to call around locally if none of the above financial institutions are near you.
Best Business Credit Cards For Nonprofits
Unfortunately, it’s pretty slim pickings when it comes to credit cards designed specifically with nonprofits in mind. Because of this, you may find it better to apply for a business credit card that offers a set of rewards, benefits, interest rates, etc. that best suit your organization. Here are a few of our favorite business credit card picks for nonprofits:
Best For No annual fee
Spark® Cash Select From Capital One®
No one likes an annual fee. While paying a yearly charge is often a requirement of some higher-tier credit cards, there are a few solid options without one. Spark® Cash Select from Capital One® is one such option.
The Spark Cash Select card features a strong 1.5% cash back on all purchases. What’s most impressive about that rewards rate is that there’s no cap on how much you can earn. You’ll also be able to take advantage of a 0% introductory APR rate for your first nine months, free employee cards, and a welcome offer worth $200. The card also includes other standard credit card perks like extended warranty and fraud protection.
Best 0% APR introductory period
American Express Blue Business Cash
14.24% - 20.24% (variable)
If you know you’ll be carrying a balance right off the bat, going with a credit card that has an introductory rate period could be a great possibility. When a card has an intro rate period you won’t have to pay interest until the period is up. The Blue Business Cash™ Card from American Express has one of the longest intro rate periods for business credit cards at 0% APR for the first 12 months.
Outside the 0% intro rate, you’ll be able to nab 2% cash back on the first $50,000 you spend every calendar year (the cash back rate drops to 1% after passing the $50,000 threshold). There’s also no annual fee and Amex allows you to spend above your credit limit. Otherwise, standard credit card features come along for the ride, such as extended warranty and purchase protection.
Best For Travel
Chase Ink Business Preferred
17.49% – 22.49% (variable)
Should your organization require frequent travel, finding a credit card with travel rewards and perks may be wise. One of the most well-rounded travel cards on the market is Chase Ink Business Preferred℠.
This card has a nifty rewards scheme — you’ll net 3 points per dollar spent on travel, shipping, internet/phone/cable services, and advertising. You can then redeem those points for 25% more when booking travel through Chase’s own online portal or you can transfer them on a 1:1 basis to an array of travel partners. In terms of perks, Ink Business Preferred promises trip insurance, extended warranty, and cell phone protection.
Best For Low Credit Users
Spark® Classic from Capital One®
If you or your organization lacks a strong credit history — or doesn’t have one at all — the Spark® Classic Card from Capital One® might work best for you. Designed for credit-building users, this card can help you strengthen your credit — allowing you to eventually graduate to a better credit card down the line.
Even though Spark Classic was constructed for those with weaker credit, it still comes with some decent perks. Its 1% cash back will see you earning rewards at a nice clip. Beyond that, the card comes with other standard benefits like free employee cards, no foreign transaction fee, and extended warranty.
Didn’t Find What You’re Looking For? Check Out Our Other Resources For Nonprofit Organizations
If a credit card isn’t the next step for your organization, Merchant Maverick has a few more tools that can lend a hand. In case you’re curious about the difficulties nonprofits face when it comes to financing, check out our guide to loans for nonprofits. Organizations in need of a grant may find our in-depth article on grants helpful. Or, if you’d like to try raising funds with a more modern approach, read up on crowdfunding for nonprofits.