Affinity cards are a type of credit card linked to the cardholder’s lifestyle in some way, providing benefits that are more personalized than the commonly available 0% balance transfer offers and the like. Affinity programs include charity credit cards, which donate to a specific charitable organization every time the card is used, and travel rewards cards, which allow you to accumulate points that you can redeem against a hotel chain or airline you frequently use.
Another type of affinity card gaining popularity is the sports team affinity card, aimed at fans of a specific football team or another sporting club. The most apparent distinction between a sports card and a regular one is the card’s appearance, which will typically include the chosen logo or badge of the team. This is a desirable feature for many fans because it is a blatant declaration of your team’s allegiance and will elicit comments from other fans.
However, perhaps the most important aspect of sports affinity cards is financial. A sports card, similar to charity credit cards, allows you to contribute to the financial well-being of your team at no direct cost to yourself. The card issuer donates a small percentage of every purchase to the team linked to the card account. This may seem like a little amount to individual cardholders, but it can build up if thousands or tens of thousands of individuals routinely use the card.
In many cases, the money raised by launching a sports affinity card program will fund the club’s long-term health, often by investing in youth academies and development. This means that by using the card regularly, you’re helping to ensure the long-term success of your team. Using your card can benefit your team and provide personal benefits such as discounts on club merchandise, a rewards scheme to offset ticket costs or priority access to major games.
So, are there any drawbacks? The benefits offered, like all credit cards that provide some sort of enticing carrot to entice people to apply, must be paid for in some way, usually in the form of a higher standard APR or interest rate. Affinity cards are unlikely to be listed in “best value” or “lowest APR” tables. If you borrow with your card, the higher costs may outweigh the sports-related benefits. But if you don’t plan to keep a big balance on your card from month to month, the headline interest rate may not be as important to you as your card will show that you financially and visibly support your team