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Nonprofits have to juggle a lot of expenses. Day-to-day operating costs, larger projects, and fundraising events can make it tough to manage cash flow and track spending.

One way to stay on budget is using a credit card designed for your organization's needs. Nonprofit credit cards offer unique benefits, including specialized rewards programs and waived fees.

If you're wondering whether a nonprofit credit card is right for you, here's a look at the top 8 cards for nonprofits and the pros and cons for each.

What is a nonprofit credit card?

A nonprofit credit card is a business credit card designed specifically for nonprofit organizations. These cards usually offer benefits for nonprofits, such as waived fees or unique rewards.

These credit cards can be used for any of your organization's purchases, which makes them a helpful tool for managing your finances. Like other businesses, nonprofits have expenses like office supplies, special events, and marketing materials. Using a credit card lets you keep track of your spending and make sure you're staying within your budget.

You'll also have access to statements and can easily track your activity online. This can help you catch any potential errors or unauthorized charges before they become a problem.

Because nonprofits are often subject to more stringent spending rules than for-profit businesses, using a credit card can give you more flexibility with your finances. Understanding and making use of your credit card's features is crucial to getting the most out of your account.

Are nonprofits exempt from credit card fees?

Nonprofits are not automatically exempt from credit card fees. However, some credit card providers offer special pricing or waived fees for nonprofit organizations to show their support for their causes.

This also applies to the donations nonprofits receive. Whenever a donation is made to a nonprofit using a credit card, the transaction typically incurs fees charged by credit card processors. These fees are a percentage of the donation amount and may include additional fixed charges per transaction.

What are the benefits of nonprofit credit cards?

It's not always easy for nonprofits to secure funding. This can make it challenging to cover expenses, especially when you're just starting‌ out. Startup costs can be a huge barrier to entry for new organizations.

Traditional funding sources, like grants or donations, can take time. A nonprofit credit card, on the other hand, gives you the flexibility to make purchases and pay your bills on time, even if funding is delayed. This will help you avoid late fees and interest charges which can further strain your budget.

Unlike business loans and other lines of credit, nonprofit credit cards are often easier to qualify for. The application process is simple, and you may not need to provide as much documentation. Plus, you won't be required to pay a down payment or origination fees.

There are several other advantages that come with using a nonprofit credit card. Here are some of the top benefits:

  • Waived fees: Waived fees can reduce the cost of using a credit card for your nonprofit.
  • Lower APR: A lower interest rate can save your nonprofit significant money over time.
  • Signup bonuses: Signup bonuses, such as cashback or rewards points, can help you earn rewards on everyday purchases.
  • Mobile access: Mobile access allows you to check your balance, make payments, and track your spending on the go.
  • Fraud protection: Fraud protection gives you peace of mind knowing that your nonprofit's finances are protected.
  • Specialized rewards programs: Rewards programs give you cashback for things like office supplies or travel. This can help you get more value out of your credit card.
  • Virtual cards: Virtual credit cards can be used for online purchases. They help protect you from fraud and allow you to track your organization's spending.

These cards can help you save money on expenses and make it easier to track your spending. This makes nonprofit credit cards a valuable tool in the management of your organization.

Best nonprofit credit cards in 2024

The best credit card for a nonprofit offers a versatile mix of value and usability. Ramp offers its own corporate card, so we’re a little biased about the pros and cons of different cards. But to help you make the best decision for your nonprofit, we'll provide you with as much information as we can on the most popular credit cards for nonprofits.

How credit cards for nonprofits can help your organization

Using a credit card allows nonprofit organizations to build business credit. While nonprofits are required to receive at least one-third of their revenue from public donations, sometimes fundraising isn't enough to finance certain projects.

In those cases, nonprofits look to grants and loans, like nonprofit lines of credit, to fund their expenses. Since nonprofits are considered a high lending risk to traditional banks, due to their unsteady revenue and lack of collateral, it's especially important to have a strong business credit profile to secure proper funding.

Consider Ramp's corporate card for nonprofits

Whether you're a small or large nonprofit, Ramp is committed to helping you find the right financial solution with products—including corporate cards—to help you manage expenses and stretch your budget. 

Unlike most business credit cards, Ramp’s corporate cards come with no annual fees and no interest. Our repayment terms mean that you’ll never carry a balance on your card. It’s a good fit if your organization is looking for unlimited 1.5% rewards without any worries about overspending and racking up credit card interest.

Ramp also comes with built-in expense management software. You can be proactive about spending with spend controls at the point of sale and configurable approval workflows to help you enforce your organization’s policies.

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Content Lead, Ramp
Fiona writes about B2B growth strategies and digital marketing. Prior to Ramp, she led content teams at Google and Intercom. Fiona graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English. Outside of work, she spends time dreaming about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail one day.
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