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Bonnaroo and new prepaid card team up, help charities

Emily Crone

Bonnaroo is an annual four-day, multistage music and arts festival held in Tennessee where attendees camp out on the grounds. The famous festival has featured everyone from Kanye West to Radiohead, and this year teamed up with Facecard Prepaid MasterCard for a charity promotion.

According to its Web site, “…Facecard is a debit card, gift card and cash all rolled into one.”  Facecard can be used wherever MasterCards are accepted. It is reloadable, but doesn’t allow over-limit spending, so cardholders don’t have to pay overdraft fees.  Additionally, Facecard allows member-to-member payments, so you can use it to pay back friends, send gifts or make a loan.

Advertisers and businesses have a new method of marketing — by loading Prewards (incentive cash) or edoCash (loyalty money) onto consumers’ cards. With Prewards, cash from cardholders’ favorite retailers, such as Starbucks, Nike and Apple are put on the card, which can be redeemed for goods at that retailer. Sort of like coupons that don’t need clipping. Cardholders receive a text message when they receive Prewards and can check their account balance online.

So how is Bonnaroo involved? Facecard has agreed to make a donation up to $10,000 for everyone from the Bonnaroo community who signs up for a Facecard to various Bonnaroo-sponsored charities. Those organizations include Manchester Arts Center, StopGlobalWarming.org, Common Ground and Natural Resources Defense Council.

The first 10,000 people who sign up for a Facecard will also automatically get $5 loaded on their cards to purchase Bonnaroo merchandise, both at the festival and after the event online. There will be a Facecard tent at Bonnarro where festival-goers can learn more about the card and enter giveaways. Facecard is waiving activation fees and monthly fees for the first 250,000 members.

Not only is Bonnaroo donating to charities, but all Facecard users can link their favorite charities to the card and easily make donations.

My favorite feature of this card is the ability to transfer money between card users. Now that so few people carry cash, it’s hard to pay friends back. I think this is a great innovation and I hope a sign of things to come. This year’s Bonnaroo starts today, June 12, 2008, and if you’re going, have a great time. Just don’t take a nap in the sun. My boyfriend went a few years ago and woke up to medics inserting an IV in his arm.

By the way, my recent blog post, “The identity theft and meth connection,” made it into the second Finance Fiesta carnival, hosted by Wide Open Wallet. Please check out all the other great entries!

See related: Credit cards can fund charities, nonprofits,

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