Can You Tithe with a Credit Card?

Is it wise to pay your tithe with a credit card? Some say it’s better than not tithing at all.

I’ll be upfront with you: If you’re tithing by going into debt, this is careless. But why is it wrong to give with your credit card?

Giving Your Last Fruits

If you pay your tithe with a credit card, you’re giving God your last fruits, not your firstfruits. Exodus 23:19 says, “The best of the firstfruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God.”

By tithing with a credit card, you’re giving your last fruits because you’re typically not making the payment until your next credit card cycle date. So you’re not paying your tithe until weeks down the road—and that’s assuming you’re making the whole payment and not just the minimum payment.

If you’re making the minimum payment, then you’re paying your tithe months—sometimes years—after you approved the transaction. That’s the last of the last fruits. You’re giving first to the desires of your own heart.

Tithing with Borrowed Funds

If you tithe with your credit card, you’re going into debt to give to God. Paying your tithe with a credit card means you’re likely making the minimum payment each month, so you’re paying interest on the money you tithed. By using the credit card, you’re avoiding having to face the issue of spending more than you make—which you justify by saying, “Well, I’m tithing.” In reality, you’re going into debt and buying things on borrowed time. You’re spending God’s money which should have been given to him first.

Why is this so serious to God? Proverbs 22.7 says: “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” The poor will be ruled by the rich until they steer clear of debt. No one wants to be a slave—yet anyone who is drowning in debt knows how enslaving it feels.

This passage had special meaning to its original audience, as Israel had been enslaved before in Egypt. You don’t forget bondage. Debt is bondage.

With that said, God doesn’t want you going into debt to tithe. Does that mean you shouldn’t be tithing at all? No, not at all.

Giving Less Than You Think

Another issue to consider is that tithing with a credit card can cost your church additional convenience fees. Let’s say the best-case scenario here is you’re putting your tithe on the credit card to get the reward points, and you pay the balance in full every month. You’re still costing your church upwards of 5% convenience fees that they have to pay to the credit card company.

This means you’re shortchanging your church on the amount of money you gave that they can actually use. Every time you tithe with your credit card, your church isn’t getting the full benefit of your tithe. Five percent might not seem like a lot to you at first, but if you’re tithing thousands of dollars each year, that can add up to hundreds of dollars the church can’t use toward its ministry because it goes to pay fees.

Alternatives to Tithing with a Credit Card

If you’re using your credit card because it’s convenient, I’ll let you in on a secret: There are several other options that would accomplish the same goal. Here are two options where you can give your tithe and set it automatically:

  • Bill Pay: Most banks and credit unions offer Bill Pay as a free service on their app. The bill pay service will send your church a check or electronic transfer of the amount you designate. You can set up recurring payments so the amount is automatically withdrawn on your paydays.
  • Electronic Payments: Use your church’s website or app to set up electronic payments. If you provide your account and routing number, they withdraw the tithe from that account. Again, here you can also set up recurring donations. That way, it’s immediately taken out first—as the firstfruits—and you don’t have to go into debt by putting it on your credit card and then having to worry about paying it off later.


God doesn’t want you to be weighed down by and enslaved to credit card debt. He wants to be first in your life. Ultimately, he wants you to have a heart that says, “I’m not buying more things I don’t need. I need more of Christ.” You wouldn’t go take out a loan just to give your tithe, but in effect, that’s what you’re doing when you donate to your church with a credit card.

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