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Kiva BusinessCard: A Philanthropic Credit Card

Unfortunately, the Advanta Kiva BusinessCard has been discontinued.

I was really surprised when I heard about the Kiva BusinessCard, a credit card offered by Advanta, because it sounded asymmetric with the types of offers credit cards usually have. Advanta has been really innovative in the types of cards they’ve been offering, trying to capture those smaller markets, and I believe this card is yet another attempt to do so. First, they were offering up a business credit card for online marketers, now they’re offering a business card with a philanthropic twist known as the Kiva BusinessCard.

Kiva [3], a program I’ve only written about briefly in the past, is an international, philanthropic microlending organization. They give loans to aspiring entrepreneurs in developing countries in an attempt to lift them from poverty, you can read more from their about page [4]. It’s the embodiment of the old maxim: “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.” I wrote that in the past I would give it a try but that fell on the back burner as, at the time, many of their loans were 100% funded.

So, what is Advanta offering with their card? If you offer a loan through the Kiva system, paying for it with the Kiva BusinessCard, they will match it dollar for dollar up to $200 per month. In actuality, since Advanta won’t know the exact loan you’re funding, Advanta supplies the funds to Kiva and they loan it out as needed but the intent and effect is still the same – an aspiring entrepreneur gets funds they otherwise wouldn’t get if you used another card. After the loan is repaid, the funds are given back to Advanta, just as they are to you after a loan, but they retain it (you have the option of retaining it or making another loan).

The 5% bonus cash back transaction categories are Kiva loans and charitable donations of up to $1,200 a year; 1% on everything else with no limit. $1,200 isn’t a tremendous amount but that’s 5% more you can give to charitable organizations each year, not counting the charitable income tax deduction you’d get.

Some other notable features of the card:

It’s an interesting offer, wonder how popular it’ll be.