Thursday, June 1, 2006

Commandment XI Revealed! Thou Shalt Pay Church Contributions By Credit Card

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics: ,

visa can get you into heaven

Alas, with summer comes severe storms, and with severe storms go my power and internet connection for half the day. So today’s financial nugget of delight is short but still quite sweet.

The lack of electricity and ability to access the outside world has given me a chance to catch up on some paperwork including our new church registration that’s been sitting on my desk for months. Now if you’re a churchgoer like me who still tosses money or a check into the weekly collection basket, you might be able to save yourself a bit of dough by inquiring about making credit card payments instead. Many houses of worship now have systems set up to allow automatic deductions from credit cards each month. There are several reasons why giving by credit card can be more beneficial to you.

  • Set it up and forget it. Once you establish a weekly or monthly credit card contribution, you never need to write another check or make a Sunday morning trip to the ATM again.
  • Better choice for tax purposes. If you’re looking to take a tax deduction for your collection contribution, paying by credit card ensures you’ll have a receipt (your credit card statement), and you can use financial software like Quicken or Microsoft Money to easily track your payments and save time come April.
  • Earn credit card rewards. I haven’t come across a card that offers higher rewards for church donations, but you can still earn that 1% back that so many credit cards now offer.

If your church doesn’t offer automatic credit card payments, ask your parish’s finance council to consider implementing one. Faith Direct offers low-cost credit payment processing for churches; but if the transaction fees turn off your parish committee, just remind them that automated credit card payments never miss Mass. That means more consistent contributions for your church.

Should you be worried about appearing to throw nothing in the basket every Sunday, you can always save a few bucks to toss in or just drop in a collection envelope with a note saying, “I make my contributions by credit card, but I throw in this empty envelope so I don’t feel left out. But that’s just our little secret.”

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