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Credit card companies benefit from campaign donations

Emily Crone

Barack Obama in Austin, TexasWhen you donate money to a presidential campaign with your credit card, you may think you are benefiting only your candidate of choice. That’s not the case. Due to the massive amounts of credit card donations received in the current election season, credit card companies are also seeing green.

Every time a person uses a credit card or debit card for a transaction, the card companies (Visa, MasterCard) and issuing banks (Chase, Capital One) receive small fees. “Given the fact that Mr. Obama has raised $135 million from donors giving $200 or less, all those little clicks are adding up,” the New York Times reports.

Bank of America and American Express have raked in $7 million total in credit card fees from donations to the Obama campaign alone, according to the Times. Hillary Clinton also managed to raise $65 million through online donations, which means even more cash for the credit card companies.

The ironic twist is that Obama often criticizes credit card companies and is working toward major reforms in the credit industry, including a new credit card rating system and a credit card bill of rights. By accepting donations to fight this battle, the card companies benefit. In this modern Internet age, however, he doesn’t have much of a choice.

Have you used a credit card or debit card to donate to a candidate this election season?

See related: Presidential candidates have bad credit, Three presidential candidates, 2 credit card reform plans, Clinton, Dodd aim double-Dem barrel at credit card industry

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