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!)