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Credit cards help cure cancer

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) is celebrating 20 years of successful partnership with two major UK credit card companies.

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7 October 2008

Credit cards help cure cancer

Credit cards help cure cancer

The Cancer Research UK credit card has raised over £12 million to help cure cancer over the past 20 years.

Halifax and the Bank of Scotland (HBOS) first partnered with CRUK in 1988 to launch the popular Cancer Research UK charity credit card.

Since then it has become the most successful UK charity credit card on the market. More purchases have been made on this particular charity card than any other.

The scheme has raised over £12 million to help cure cancer over the past 20 years. It continues to raise money despite the recent takeover of HBOS by Lloyds TSB.

Why is it so successful?

One reason for the card's ongoing success is that it offers 0% interest on both balance transfers and purchases for nine months through the Halifax Bank.

New cardholders also earn a £20 donation to CRUK the first time they use their card. Subsequent donations are equal 0.25% of every purchase made.

Other attractive features include a low fee of 3% for the the 0% balance transfer and a typical 16.9% variable APR.

This all adds up to a charity card that works for a good cause while remaining competitive with mainstream credit cards.

Beating cancer

Paul Farthing, spokesman for Cancer Research UK, said: “Our partnership with HBOS has been hugely successful. The money raised in the past twenty years has played a vital role in helping us fund the charity's research into the causes and treatments of all forms of cancer.”

“For example, £12 million is equivalent to running more than 13 laboratories at the charity's prestigious London Research Institute (LRI) for one year.”

Due to the success of the credit cards, CRUK has been able to expand its research and make substantial progress in the fight against cancer.

The rate for cancer deaths has decreased by 20% since the credit card partnership was launched and more people survive cancer now, for longer than they did 20 years ago.

Other life-saving developments, made possible by the increased funding, include the use of early detection strategies, a greater understanding of cancer diagnosis and better treatments for cancer sufferers.

One in three people develop cancer at some point in their lifetime.

Ken Stannard, head of credit cards at HBOS, described the 20-year anniversary as “momentous”.

He said the partnership was: “evidence of the ongoing popularity of charity credit cards and the real difference that they can make.”

“It's great to know that donations made through the HBOS charity credit card has helped Cancer Research UK's life-saving work and we look to continuing this successful partnership in the future."

Other cards

The success of Cancer Research UK card proves that consumer credit choices can have ethical outcomes. But it is not the only card raising money for good causes.

MBNA has a card affiliated with the WWF for the animal lovers among us while the Co-op has partnered with Amnesty International, Action Aid, Green Peace and Help The Aged.

Meanwhile, Halifax has also added a British Heart Foundation Mastercard and an NSPCC credit card to their books.

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