Linux Fund Releases Visa For UK Businesses

Supporting Open Source projects is something that is surely close to all our hearts. What better way to support our cause than while buying all manner of gadgets and geekery?

U.S.-based geeks have been able to do just that for quite some time, thanks to the Linux Fund, which offers five U.S. Bank-backed, Linux-themed Visa cards (and a BSD-themed offering to boot). Creditworthy Linuxites can choose from several rewards options, the classic Signature card, a college rewards offering, or the ever-popular Platinum card.

Each time the cardholder uses the card, the issuer makes a contribution back to the Linux Fund, which is in turn funneled back to various Open Source projects. According to the Fund, more than three-quarters of a million dollars has been donated through the program.

UK-based Open Sourcers have not had the same opportunity, however, as card options were exclusive to U.S. residents. In February, the Fund moved to remedy that, and just two months later has brought it to fruition with the MBNA-backed Linux Fund UK Business Credit Card.

Admittedly, the deal isn't quite the same for those across the pond. The Fund's UK card is, as the name suggests, a business card, available only to those who do own a business and have for two or more years. The card's benefits are tailored to meet the needs of business customers, including unlimited additional cardholders with individually-set limits, online account management, theft/accidental damage protections, and insurance against employee misuse.

Among those who benefit from the funds donated to the Linux Fund are the Inkscape vector graphics editor, the Gnash implementation of Adobe's Flash, and the Ubuntu Massachusetts Local Community Team, among others. Past recipients include Debian, freenode, Linux International, and OpenSSH, among many, many others.

Interested UK businesses can apply directly via the MBNA website, or can do so buy phone. Those in the United States can apply for the Fund's consumer cards via the U.S. Bank website.

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Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.

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