Charities slate affinity cards

Nearly half the charities which raise money through affinity credit cards will dump the partnering bank once their contact has expired, says a survey.

Affinity cards carry the brand of a fundraising organisation and are intended to generate loyalty for that organisation. Nearly a quarter of charities feel the banks fail to market the card efficiently in the long term and 20 per cent feel that even the initial marketing is poor.

The findings come from a survey of 37 charities or affinity groups, conducted by partnership marketing consultancy Affinity Solutions.

Affinity manager of partnership development Jonathan Moakes says: “At the moment the issuer market is dominated by companies which are extremely inflexible in the products they offer. But it is an increasingly flexible market and people will start looking at the smaller operators coming in.”

In addition, 30 per cent of the charities surveyed feel they should be receiving more commission from the bank. A quarter have earned more than 50,000 from the card since launch and 13 per cent have earned more than 500,000. But 19 per cent had earned under 1,000.

The most successful cards are the RSPCA card, issued by the Bank of Scotland; the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds card, issued by Co-Operative Bank; and the Imperial Cancer Research card from Midland Bank, which has raised over 4.5m since launch.

In this country, the affinity card market is dominated by MBNA and the Bank of Scotland.

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