Should Churches Accept Credit Cards for Tithing?
How different churches are responding to plastic for giving.

As more churches embrace electronic giving for their congregations, a number find themselves asking an intriguing question: Should they use e-giving options that allow people to tithe with credit cards?

We asked a number of church leaders whether credit cards are appropriate due to the debt people take on when they use them. Many said they didn't see the issue as a problem, citing a number of reasons. Chief among them: A belief that many people in their congregations responsibly use credit cards; that they pay balances off fully every month as a means of pocketing the points and other incentives offered by banks (and, in many instances, they pocket these rewards and donate them to the church, such as airline miles for missions trips).

But we also found a couple of examples of where church leaders said credit cards were unacceptable.

In an informal, unscientific poll conducted on YourChurch.net, 44 percent said credit cards were an acceptable option for church giving, while 34 percent said debit cards were fine, but credit cards were not, and 18 percent said plastic of any kind was a no-no.

How does your church treat this topic?

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Comments

Displaying 1–10 of 30 comments

Joe G.

June 06, 2014  4:27pm

No matter what, the church must pay a transaction fee of 2 or 3% to receive your funds via credit card. The only reason I can see that a church would pay the fee is because they are so desperate for your money, that they cannot get you to write a check. So ask yourself, is the a bible preaching church?

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Elicia

November 03, 2013  8:35pm

There are somethings that will NEVER change and that is the BIBLE. Technology can change the world for all I care, but conducting the exchange of money in the church is not proper. As a christian the most appropiate thing is to either write a check or place the money in an envelope. Let us be mindful of Matthew 21:12-13. God house is not a house to do such business. To me, that is like going to the store and purhcasing a piece of merchandise then placing yourself in debt or the possibly of INSF. Churches please don't go there it is not in the will of God. God want his people to be free not in slaved. I have come acrossed individuals who have sincerely prayed to God for financial deliverance. Please don't tell me that it is okay to stand in line in a church and swipe a card. That is interrupting with the flow of the spirit. I don't care debit or credit need not be conducted in the church. God's house is a house of prayer and worship and not to stand in line waiting to swipe a card that is doing business in the church and killing the spirit. Churches that do that better be careful what they are doing in the church. God bless

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Dennis

March 13, 2012  12:07pm

I realize I am late to the game by a little over a year, but as I read through the comments I couldn't help but notice the lack of Scriptural references to how the Bible says we are to give. Malachi 3:10 says, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse..." It seems that God wants us to physically attend the service and physically give the tithe in the Church (which would exclude online giving of tithes). The tithe is not a bill, but an act of worship to our Heavenly Father. Proverbs 3:9 "Honor the Lord with thy substance and with the firstfruits of all thine increase." This is not a payment to be deducted at the end of the month (which would exclude giving on credit). 2 Corinthians 9:7 "...God loveth a cheerful giver." The word cheerful literally means "hilarious". The tithe is not something given out of obligation, but out of cheerful love and excitement over how God will use our finances to spread the Gospel and enrich our local church ministry!

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Larr

February 07, 2011  2:30pm

There are several Biblical principles at play here, but the appropriate-ness of using credit cards to pay the tithes and offerings to the church is probably an individual spiritual matter. That is because different individuals are in different places with their stewardship of God's resources. For some, paying off cards in full each month and donating earned points/miles to the church - it may be no problem. Beyond this though, members who use cards should be made aware that they're giving 3% of the amount to the bank or other card processing agent ... and not to the church. In fact, if it were my church, I'd reduce the annual or quarterly giving statements to reflect the actual cash benefit the church received - net of the card charges that went to the processor.

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John Foster

January 21, 2011  4:11pm

If a church is not going to accept credit card donations - should they also refuse personal checks? A personal check is a contract with the bank that the bank will give the depositor that amount of money from the account of the payor. If the "contract" for the same transaction from a credit card account is wrong, then the same "contract" from a bank is wrong. The issue of assuming personal debit is the responsibility of the person in debt, not the church. I am always suspect of a church that takes a position of demanding unrealistic conduct of those who choose to belong.

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Anastasia Wilson

January 13, 2011  9:21am

I don't think that Churches should be accepting credit card payment for tithes - perhaps for other things such as concerts. Debit cards are acceptable since they are like cash. Tithes should be first fruits and the giver should not be incurring interest charges on gifts to God.

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L. Cole

January 13, 2011  8:40am

We use paper money instead of gold, trusting our government to stand behind the paper. We sign for mortgages, time payments for cars, and even tax payments instead of paying the whole amount up front. The promise to pay is no different in plastic, to my way of thinking. It is a matter of responsibility (vs. good but unrealistic intentions) of the payer and trust of the payee. A more basic question is whether or not the Christian organization is responsible to eliminate a temptation for the irresponsible weak. Paul would seem to indicate that, yet does one facilitate their weakness by eliminating the opportunity or facilitate strength by education and oversight? The latter is more risky and difficult, but I believe the more responsible, loving and appropriate approach.

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vangie

January 13, 2011  4:57am

I don't think tithing using credit cards is biblically-accepted. Giving of tithes, according to Malachi 3:10 clearly says, 'bring in the tithes' which requires the physical presence of the tither. Tithing is about the believer's attitude of honoring God with his material possession and the act of bringing it, even laying it on to the altar, should be done with reverence of mind and heart.

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JC

January 12, 2011  10:50pm

No way!!! Churches that allow people to use credit cards to pay their tithes and, etc. are creating more problems than they are solving by seemingly cosigning with the credit card companies high interest rates if the balance is not paid off within a certain time period. Thus, keeping their members in bondage to dept with is against biblical teachings. Specifically, scripture states that the borrower is a slave to the lender. It is better to use a debit card though because it is the same as cash and you do not incur any unwanted interest rates unless you give emotionally, knowing you have no money and incur a NSF fee.

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Sheri

January 12, 2011  6:45pm

Knowing that you are a slave to debtors makes me very uncomfortable that the church would be willing to put people in the potential position of having more than one master...that is truly seldom taught and when you find out who owns the "credit" company - you might be shocked. For example, I believe that Citifinacial was or is owned by a Sheik in Middle East. Cash is the way to go, take the money for God of the top and He won't fail you. We have experienced it time and time again. And just in case you think you won't be tested to keep doing that...you will be...we know that from experience too! Blessings Sheri Whitby, ON

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