Linux Fund Brings Spend-and-Support Model to the UK

Last July, the Linux Foundation hit on the bright idea of combining many geeks' favorite activities — supporting Linux and buying geek gear — with a Tux-themed Visa Card that donates back to Open Source advocacy. The Linux Fund has been offering their own card since 2007, and as of Friday, is extending the opportunity to the UK.

For those unfamiliar, the Linux Fund is a charitable organization that provides support for Open Source groups. Recipients include current projects like Inkscape and Gnash, and in the past have included Debian, freenode, and OpenSSH, among many others. The Fund's major source of income — reportedly more than three-quarters of a million dollars — is its Visa card program, which receives a portion of every purchase made with the cards.

The Linux Fund has been through a number of cards in the eleven years since it was founded, both Visa and MasterCard. The current US selections are Visa cards from US Bank, including the ubiquitous Platinum card and even a student rewards card, as well as a BSD Fund Visa that provides support for BSD-focused projects.

Beginning next month, the opportunity to support Open Source while shopping will cross the pond, as the fund will begin taking applications for a Business Credit Card from UK-based businesses. The card will come with business-friendly benefits, including Employee Misuse Insurance, Purchase Protection, and online account management, among others — as well as a rather attractive (up to) 57-days without interest. The Fund describes the card as "a solid all-around credit resource thanks to its added reporting and competitive rates and benefits, [and] a proven conversation starter with its Tux the penguin mascot."

Those interested in the UK card should keep their eyes peeled, as it is scheduled for a March debut. Those in the United States can apply for their own Tux Card via the Linux Fund website.

Image courtesy of the Linux Fund.

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Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.