Human Rights Campaign’s Pre-Approved Exclusive Invitation For You to Rack Up Debt


If you’re on the Human Rights Campaign’s email list, you just received a giant piece of SPAM. Unless an invitation to sign up for HRC’s Visa credit card counts as a legitimate marketing offer you agreed to when you joined the listserv? Yup, the nation’s “largest” gay rights organization would love to offer you a chance to sink into debt, all while collecting a small fee for everything you charge to the card!

If there’s one come-on that’s in serious bad taste right now, it’s a credit card offer. But that’s the latest ploy from HRC to collect your dollars. And it’s likely they sent the offer out to all 700,000 “members,” just like an obnoxious bank does.

This isn’t a new gimmick; previously, HRC offered a credit card through Washington Mutual, which was acquired by Chase in the Great Economic Bailout, but HRC says “that program has been discontinued. You’ll need to re-apply for this new card if you’d like your everyday purchases to continue supporting HRC.” What that translates to: You need to apply for a new card and subject yourself to a possible “ding” to your credit report, which happens any time you apply for new credit.


But don’t think this offer is total bunk! HRC’s Visa card, through Bank of America, offers a 0 percent introductory APR for the first six months — just enough to tease you into carrying a balance, which, you’re probably aware, is the goal of these teaser rates. Afterward, the rate jumps to a variable rate, currently listed between 12.24% and 20.24%. Not that you’ll find any of this information on the HRC credit card’s application page; Bank of America hid that crucial information in a tiny “terms and conditions” link below the fold.

To be sure, that APR rate is not even the best one you can find online. This Citi MasterCard offers up to 12 months with a 0 percent APR, and then a rate of 10.99% to 18.99% after that, and that was after only 15 seconds of Googling.

Sure, choosing another card won’t leave you with the feel good fuzzies of knowing you’ve got a higher APR because HRC has to take a cut off the top, but so many of you keep telling us that you’ve canceled your regular giving to Solmonese & Co., we figure you’d rather enjoy lower rates instead.

And in customary non-transparent policies, HRC doesn’t reveal how much it receives from your use of this credit card. It it a percentage of what Visa and Bank of America collect? Is it a per-transaction fee? Your guess is as good as ours. (HRC may be contractually obligated not to reveal this information, as it could be considered “proprietary” by Visa/BoA.)

All that said, if you do support HRC, and want your gas, grocery, and Gabbana purchases to support the organization, perhaps this is the right card for you. But now more than ever, be responsible with your finances, and truly consider whether adding another credit to your wallet (no matter what non-profit it supports) is worth affecting your FICO score.

Our only remaining question: Does HRC president Joe Solmonese carry one of these Visa cards? ‘Cause he strikes us as more an American Express Gold Corporate Card kind of guy.

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  • alex

    Let’s see. Queerty wants us to hate Obama, HRC, Barney Frank, Amazon (except when using a Kindle), and a host of other people/organizations. To me, it seems that everything written on this site is so filled with venom. (Except, of course, the adulation associated with the muscle clones.)

    I find it sad to see a website I’ve visited for years going down this current path. I remember reading stories on here that were positive and productive. Wasn’t there a story on here a year or so back about a small town bookstore that stood up for the LGBT community, despite protests? If I remember correctly, that story lead many people from accross the country to support that small store.

    Call me a cock-eyed optimist Nellie Forbush, but I think positive stories can have great power in this world. Also, by focusing on the positive, it makes the occasional angry diatribe much more effective.

  • Fitz

    You guys at Queerty are so over the top in your hatred for HRC that I now want to look into getting this card. Do you do as much as HRC to advance our cause? Do lopsided stories and pictures of waxed young models really compare to what they accomplish?

  • Movement Guy


    Agreed. No HRC fan here, but it is getting a little tired, guys. Is there anything positive any of us can do? Or is it all just shit?

  • TQE / Adam

    I think its pretty clear that Queerty doesn’t like anything.

  • Phoenix (Debt Free Since 2004)

    Why would anyone be for the HRC? Over nearly 30 years they’ve taken in around a quarter billion dollars, and have we gotten anything out of all that money?

  • Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)

    I just wanna give a big FUCK YOU to Joe Solmonese. You don’t stand up for equality. You stand up for the Democrats. Get your mouth out of Barack Obama’s lap and move your ass away from Harry Reid’s hip.

  • Ian

    Yes, that’s the point of credit cards. To make money off of people. I don’t see what’s wrong with HRC partnering up with one.

    I will definitely apply for this card. I only contribute about $60 a year, so if I can contribute a little more indirectly, then I will.

  • Dan

    Yes, the HRC sucks.

    But not was much as Queerty.

  • TomEM

    Yeah, I got that email message from them earlier today. Sure that card might appeal to the totally out, wealthy gay folks but what about the rest of us?

  • schlukitz


    If you think that Queerty is the enemy of the LGBT community and Joe Salmonese is our savior, they you haven’t been paying attention.

  • Dabq

    If they give a good interest rate and rebates, I’ll sign up just because of this thread.

  • adamblast

    The HRC Visa has been around along time, and the first one was a lousy card as well. Charity Visas rarely have very good rates, tho since this one is a BofA card, there are plenty of other reasons to avoid it too.

    I’d give money to the HRC before I’d give it to the Democratic party this week, not that there’s much historical difference.

  • InExile

    @schlukitz: That is for sure! At least Queerty tells it like it is! I prefer the truth to the mainstream gay media always covering Obama’s and HRC’s tracks. We need to know what is and is not happening without sugar coating, like it or not. The truth will set us free.

  • TANK

    No one’s gonna replace MISTER KITTY! NO ONE!

  • Eric

    The card, and the HRC, both suck. Queerty’s point is certainly well noted.

  • Celia

    These things are only worth having if you have plenty of money to spend, and are willing to spend it, otherwise the amount of money going to charity is scarcely worth it. Poor people wanting to do something for a good cause can look into donating some of their time volunteering with a local group – local groups are often the people working at “ground level” with needy people, and they will be grateful for the help if you can spare any time.

  • petted

    @TANK: hug – it’ll be ok

  • christophe

    You can’t go ANYWHERE without a credit card these days, you CAN’T check into a hotel without one, rent a car without one, so why NOT support an organization that does help LGBT people??? Queerty, you are really sick and its NOT HRC I’m thinking of dumping, ITS YOU

  • Jed

    Hey, at least you posted a good picture of Joe for a change, isn’t he handsome! And I will be signing up for the card just to spite queerty!

  • Kid A

    A more helpful (and insightful) article would have been a comparison between this card’s rates and other prominent choices. I’m a college student looking for ways to build credit by purchasing with a card then immediately paying it off, and no matter how evil HRC can be to some, if i’m going to build credit with a card, I’d rather it be LGBT related than nothing at all.

    Also, I have absolutely no plans to ever buy anything substantial with a credit card, I abhor the concept of buying things that one doesn’t have the money for. (just anticipating some responses)

  • damon459

    I can’t go anywhere without a credit card ? Well I’ve never rented a car as I own one and don’t fly anywhere so I don’t need a credit card for those things I rent hotel rooms without plastic I just have to give a cash deposit which is given back to me when I check out and just so you know that 100.00’s they hold is no different then the 100.00 the hold on your card except I don’t have to worry about my cash being stolen unlike those card numbers. I’m 30 yrs old and proud to be a pay in cash person credit is dangerous look at the economy it’s in the shitter because people abused credit if people spent only what they had maybe the GOV would start to do the same instead of having a Bank Of China Credit Card. One more thing I’ve said it before why don’t they post anything positive on this site I would like to see Queerty have at least one positive story to every 5 negative stories and btw “stories” about muscle boi’s don’t count towards that quota.

  • Qjersey

    Ah credit cards…and the bail out.

    I try to only use ‘affinity’ cards… from my college alma mater, the Rainbow Card, and my professional member organization… and Bank of America has acquired ALL of them.

    I had a HRC card… which when sold through the bailout resulted in a new “World Points” card showing up in the mail. My regular bank, Wachovia, also sold it’s credit cards…and then a “replacement” card, showed up from World Points in the mail, then Wachovia issued me a new credit card (which i keep only for overdraft protection).

    Credit crunch? what crunch? I have gotten more “new” credit cards in the mail in the last six months!!!!

    BTW: VERY bad idea to have all your credit cards owned by the same bank (BANK OF AMERICAN’T)… which sucks because now I can’t support my affinity cards.

    As for Queerty: Perhaps the problem is that the editor is part of the younger generation who simply hate everything… but I don’t know that many people Japhy’s age that actually visit this site. Talk about a mismatch.

  • galefan2004

    @christophe: The truth is that you can do just fine without a credit card. You are actually more jacked to have any credit card at all. You can check into a hotel without a credit card (although it normally requires a copy of your license to go on file) and you can rent a car without a credit card (although it requires a $250 deposit in most cases).

  • jasPER flat

    HRC is dead. The haters in the comment block who dump in Queerty can go give $20.00 to HRC right now to show their actual support of HRC. No really, right now, go to, donate your money. … waiting … No? I didn’t think so. Because in your heart you know your time and your money would be wasted. HRC has done more to harm than to heal. More to take than give. More to distract than to change.

    HRC = R.I.P.
    HRC != change

    The time for the dead to be buried is long overdue.

    Don’t feed the zombies, they’ll come back for more.

  • Owen Quisp

    @jasPER flat:

    I agree with jasPER

    Queerty Comment Haters to the left because it is so easy to scramble for the moral high ground “Im not a hater because you are the hater first” Well that fools no one “I discount everything you say because you are a hater” easy for haters to say

    We stopped giving hrc money two years ago and we are so glad we did Our firends gave us grief for a while but in the last two years they have stopped too for obvious reasons

    leave “HRC = R.I.P.” in the comment if you agree

    HRC = R.I.P.

  • Robert, NYC

    I was under the impression that the new law to take effect later this year governing credit cards requires that banks be transparent on application forms regarding finance charges and any hidden charges or practices. We need to hold them accountable and if they abuse the law, report them and notify your represenatives as well as the banking commission for your state. Some have given TARP money back to the government, some haven’t. Its up to us, we the people, to keep them honest and above board or face prosecution. These banks were and are part of the economic crisis we are now in. Don’t let them wreak havoc any more than they have, they’re not above the law and need to be reminded, we’re watching them.

  • Ricky Rick Rick

    Queerty does hate a lot AND hrc is crap
    @Owen Quisp:

    HRC = R.I.P.

  • schlukitz


    Have you given any consideration to a Debit Card?

  • Celia

    People can live without a credit card. Perhaps it’s just that I don’t live the same jet-setting life that a lot of the people here do, but I get along okay without a credit card. Boring, but not in debt – at least, not to the credit card companies. Credit cards are for those who can afford it, not for people on benefits, like me.

  • schlukitz

    @Robert, NYC:

    These banks were and are part of the economic crisis we are now in

    This is so true, Robert. The banks became the victims of their own devious financial schemes and financial maniuplation.

    They gave out credit like there was no tomorrow to people who for the most part, had no way in hell to pay that money back if the weekly paycheck ceased for some reason.

    The bank convinced people to go out and enjoy the good life with slogans like “You owe it to yourself” and other similar stupid justifications to get people to go out and spend money they had not even earned yet, like the teacher giving the child permission to go to the bathroom.

    Bad enough that they were responsible, in large part, for putting a nation into such deep debt, that it would take several generations to pay it all off, they began to believe their own hype and looked at all that debt as real wealth that could be used to back yet even more debt, and thus make even more money.

    And that was when the whole house of cards came tumbling down.

    And now, we and our grandchildren will have to pay for that fiscal responsibility on behalf of not only the banks, but all the schnooks who thought that they could just keep on spending on a credit card that they saw as a gift from Santa Claus.

    And that should be proof perfect that there is no Santa Clause.

    He’s not gonna pick up the bill, unfortunately!

  • schlukitz

    Typo: Responsibility should read irresponsibility.

  • schlukitz


    You’re absolutely right, Celia. Credit cards are for those who can afford it, not for people on benefits, like me.

    A credit card should be looked at no differently than cash. If you do not have the money in your pocket (or in your bank account), then you cannot afford the item that beckons you to go into hock.

    Someone (I don’t know who), “Get out of debt and stay out of debt”. It’s the most sensible financial advice anyone can give and I, for one, am living proof of the fact that it can be done.

    here is a link to another couple who have also done it.

  • schlukitz

    The above should read “Someone said”

  • Robert, NYC


    Debit cards are a solution to some of it but vulnerable to identity theft when entering a PIN code that can be hacked and swiped via a wireless connection. Until they encrypt them even more, be careful how you use them. I’ve had my account compromised several times but luckily was able to resolve it. Some are not so fortunate.

    Since March of this year, I can’t tell you the number of times (Chase) has offered me loans that I don’t need. Nothing has changed that much, contrary to what you hear in the media. Its business as usual. I’ve also been offered more credit cards too, its unbelievable, as if the economy has recovered. Maybe its a sign the stimulus package is working.

  • oh yah

    @jasPER flat: @Owen Quisp:

    Yep, HRC is a worse word than crap, they won’t get any more of my $$

    HRC = R.I.P.

  • schlukitz

    @Robert, NYC:

    I am so sorry to hear that your account has been compromised on several occasions. That’s horrible.

    Luckily, I have not had any bad experiences to date and I have been using it exclusively now for over three years. While I still possess several credit cards which I retain only for emergency use, I have not used any of them since I got my debit card.

    Interestingly, BOA closed down a VISA account that I had, simply because I “failed to use the card in over 12 months”. They had issued it to me as a “complimentary” card when I took a small mortgage on my second home a few years back. I paid the mortgage
    off a couple of years later. I guess they were pissed that they did not get to make three times the face value of the 30 year loan.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with me, however. I will take your advice and be mindful of how I use it

  • schlukitz

    *I will take your advice and be mindful of how I use it.”

    Not your advice, but the card. HeeHee

  • Ted C.

    But what does Michael Lucas think about this card?

  • damon459

    @schlukitz: I have one but oddly enough I rarely use it something about the power of cash I always know what I have. I was raised by a family who didn’t believe in credit and didn’t have much faith in banks and yet we all have done well enough for ourselves you learn to appreciate what you have rather then searching for what you “need”. I should also add I own my home free and clear as well it may be small it may be modest but when others around me lost their jobs and in turn there homes I was sad to see their hardships but also greatful I grew up knowing you spend only what you have and saving for those big purchase’s the only loans I had were for college and I paid those as quickly as I could. As to the HRC and this site blaming them will not get us the rights we want stop blaming the HRC and Queerty and Obama until we stand up as a united group well will never get what we want.

  • Dave

    The HRC is a joke. Keep having your galas for rich white gays. It’s disgusting – thank you queerty for keeping the heat on HRC.

  • PuddyKatz

    I often hate on Queerty but this is one of the few times they are right on the money (as it were.)
    The credit card thing is full of gimmicks.

  • Freda Talmuck

    I will never forgive HRC for their blundering Prop 8. From board members taking vacations prior to the vote to systemic incompetence to arrogant ignorance to vapid greed. Tomfoolery like this credit card scam shows where their motives are. Does 100% of th money from the credit card scheme go to repealing Prop 8? or does 100% go to our brothers who are suffering with HIV? or does 100% go to HiV/AIDS prevention?

    No.No.No and No.

    HRC don’t come asking for a penny from me. ever. again.

    @oh yah: you know it. H.R.C = R.I.P.

  • Robert, NYC


    You are more than welcome and I hope my advice helps others.

  • mikeandrewsdantescove

    The rate going up to 18.99% is unbelievable. Everytime, I’ve reached out to the HRC they have never returned my emails.

    Alex Castro, Sarge Logan & Bryan Hawn

  • mark

    NO PROBLEM not getting anything related to HRC.
    They lost any of my support with the non inclusive ENDA.

  • Tim in SF

    And it’s likely they sent the offer out to all 700,000 “members,” just like an obnoxious bank does.

    “Likely”? Why don’t you people do your job and do a little research?

    This blog is circling the drain.

  • Ben

    Yet another rant against HRC? Really? This seems to be an unhealthy fixation.

  • dontblamemeivotedforhillary

    So IKEA! Must have rock solid rates held together by an allen key…

  • schlukitz


    The rate going up to 18.99% is unbelievable

    And bank savings accounts are paying less than 2% post intro rate
    and in many cases under 1%?

    That’s a profit of nine to ten times over what they pay to borrow our money. Who, in his right mind, would want to play at their casino table with such horrible odds?

    You get fucked going in (savings accounts) and you get fucked going out (credit cards). These people are worse than the Mafia.

    Like you, I never got one response to any of the email I sent them, despite years of supporting them with my annual membership and donations for special causes. To be sure, my email probably never even got read, much less answered.

    Joe Salmonese bawls Obama out for the hateful DoJ DOMA brief and then turns around and goes to Washington a few days to lick Mr. Obama’s hands for the few crumbs he tossed us from the abundant Washington DC banquet table before going back to the HRC’s own abundant banquet tables. Guess he told them, eh?

    Again, who needs to to be used by such self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing people like this? They are no better than the Catholic Church and the Mormons looking for a tithing of 10% of our annual salary, passing the collection plate around twice through each mass and then expecting everyone to leave their entire estates to them when they die.

    How generous of all of these buzzards to allow us to keep a portion of the money we work hard for while we are alive while they live in luxury.

  • schlukitz


    There is nothing unhealthy about blowing the whistle on people who take your money, but choose to ignore you or support civil-rights for the LGBT community.

    Ever heard the expressing “Holding their feet to the fire?”

  • schlukitz

    Typo. Espressing s/b expression

  • Cam

    I see the HRC employees got to this article fast to post the first few responses. Why would I want to give money to an organization that has presided over no movement in national gay rights? All movement has been at grass roots and state levels which HRC not only stays out of, but in many cases fought against. (Remember, they asked couples in MA. to drop their cases for marriage as it could hurt our cause according to them) as far as I’m concerned, they are not at the point now where they have to prove they are helping us…they are at the point now where they actually need to offer me proof that they aren’t hurting us.

  • edgyguy1426

    @Cam: Agree wholeheartedly

  • edgyguy1426

    @alex: I remember reading stories on here that were positive and productive.

    Did you read the story before this one?

  • HHunter

    @Freda Talmuck:

    You are right, HRC sucks for these reasons and a million others.

    Dear Queerty,
    Please do an investigation into which of these comments belong to HRC employees and their bfs, fbs, cronies, etc. I have to wonder if the comments here can be from the public at large or if HRC is up to their old tricks. I have noticed that in previous HRC stories the comments near the top are similar in tone to the ones here, and in opposition to the volume of comments which follow.

    Suppression of opposing views is right up their alley. {gotta preserve their jobs: big-buck, bs gigs don’t come around often, right girls?}

Comments are closed.