Better Dead Then AMEX RED

The American Express RED card is a new, ostensibly fashionable, way to wear your charity on your wallet sleeve.

On the polished face of it, the card sounds like a great idea, donating 1% of all your transactions to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

But as the idland blog points out, American Express actually makes more profit on RED than on a normal credit card.

There’s a Jewish belief about giving that hierarchically rates the different kinds of giving. The highest level is giving where you don’t know who receives it and they don’t know who gave it. The lowest kind is where you have to beg for the donation and the giver makes you feel bad for asking. AMEX Red falls somewhere in the middle.

Also disarming is the card’s website, wrapped in pseudo hip fashionista bubble wrap. Pop pop, that’s your superficial sympathy escaping.

Pictured is model Elle Macpherson spending the first official pound on American Express RED at Harvey Nichols.

The RED Card: American Express Pretends to be Charitable” [idland] (Thanks to Paul!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Spr1dle says:

    With the color red’s connotation with debt, it would seem an odd choice for a credit card.

    Perhaps a good slogan would be: “American Express: Get in the Red.”

  2. El Mystico says:

    Proof that the only time banks are interested in helping customers is if they make money in the process.

  3. matto says:

    Miss Pam! I think the Amex card give me mah-larr-ia!

  4. mark duffy says:

    Spridle’s right. Red not good. I once ate lunch right next to Elle. She was wearing a hat.

  5. Ben Popken says:

    Why is the picture of the credit card so much smaller than the hot chick? The Consumerist needs to get its priorities straight.

  6. Eric J says:

    Actually the highest level is to help someone earn a living so that they no longer need charity. But double-blind donations are next.

  7. OkiMike says:

    It’s so pretty, I want one!

    Why do you all have to be such h@tErz? lol. Can’t u see that there jst trying to help out all those peoplez wit AiDS??