During the 2000 presidential campaign, MBNA chairman Charles M. Cawley raised $370,000 for George W. Bush, including $240,000 from his own employees. He also personally contributed
$5,000 to Bush’s Florida recount team and $100,000 to the Bush/Cheney inauguration. All that cash made MBNA Bush’s largest corporate donor. (Cawley, now retired, has pledged to
raise at least $200,000 as a Bush “Ranger” this year.)
The president has expressed his gratitude by promising to sign a bill that would make it harder for maxed-out Americans to declare bankruptcy. Credit card users owe MBNA $82 billion; the proposed law—passed by the House, currently working its way through the Senate—would boost the bank’s profits by $75 million a year.
MBNA is not alone in its political largesse. You might think you’re just racking up frequent-flier miles every time you say “charge it.” But are you also supporting a political party? Below,
the total campaign contributions made by the 10 largest credit card companies in the 2000, 2002, and 2004 election cycles.