Magazine article American Banker

First NH Affinity Card Gives Something Back to Community

Magazine article American Banker

First NH Affinity Card Gives Something Back to Community

Article excerpt

First NH Bank is joining the growing number of small banks that are turning a profit by encouraging loyalty to a local community.

Consumers are urged to sign up for the new NH Bank credit card because it allows them to support the 400 public schools in the state.

Spending on the card as well as balance transfers are rewarded with a 0.05% donation to the school of the cardholder's choice.

The Manchester, N.H., bank is also sweetening its offer with an introductory rate of 9.49% for people who transfer a balance.

First NH is not the first bank to link credit card spending to education.

Colleges and universities have offered so-called affinity credit cards for a number of years, but the idea of drawing on an entire community or residents of a state to support local schools and commerce appears to be a new trend in the credit card industry.

Colleges and universities traditionally target alumni or current students, rather than the general public, for their card product.

A school board in Worcester, Mass., teamed up with Commerce Bank and Trust Co. to introduce a credit card that helps fund a variety of programs in the local school district.

A portion of the cardholders' spending is donated to the school in addition to part of the annual fee.

Similarly, the municipality of South Orange, N.J. plans to launch a credit card, of which a portion of the interest fees and spending would go toward a redevelopment fund that would help local merchants acquire loans or grants. Also a portion of the fund will be earmarked to refurbish downtown South Orange. …

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