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An ADHD Rewards Credit Card?

Here’s my million-dollar idea: a special credit card for people with ADHD. I should probably start off with a disclaimer that this idea isn’t necessarily the most ethical, but then again, since when have ethics mattered in the financial sector?

Credit CardMy thinking is that you could create a credit card for people with ADHD that has extra perks like a higher cash-back rewards rate than “neurotypical” credit cards.

Why is this justified? Because people with ADHD are desirable credit-card customers. As a group, they will run up large debts, and they will pay you lots of interest.

Part of this goes back to impulsivity. I’m not saying every ADHDer is a shopaholic, but people with ADHD are definitely overrepresented among impulsive spenders.

Then throw in a failure to plan ahead as well as the financial burdens associated with ADHD such as late fees or the cost of treatment. Finally, there’s the fact that having ADHD slashes people’s incomes by a third on average. Put all these factors together, and you’ve got someone who is just waiting to pay a lot of interest to credit-card companies.

So MasterCard, I’m looking at you. Maybe you can team up with CHADD and make the dream happen. The official CHADD MasterCard, with ADHD-level cash-back rewards. Ideal customer: those who are better at spending impulsively than patiently planning out a budget.

If the idea of creating a separate credit card for people with ADHD sounds like discrimination to you, well, you’re probably right. But let me remind you that not so long ago, it was legal for health insurance companies in the United States to deny ADHDers coverage on the basis of having a preexisting condition. In fact, it could quite conceivably become legal once again if our current president and his friends in Congress get their way.

Then there’s car insurance. Fortunately, it is illegal for car insurance providers in the U.S. to single out people with ADHD. That said, people with ADHD probably do pay higher car insurance premiums as a group just because they’re riskier drivers on the whole.

So with this context, I’ll probably be customer number one for the CHADD MasterCard or the NAMI ADHD Visa. After all, if I’m already an impulsive spender, I’m fine if you want to try to court me as a credit-card customer. Just please be prepared to send me a new card when I lose my wallet. And really, whether I ever get around to filling out the application is a question that only time can answer.

Image: Håkan Dahlström

An ADHD Rewards Credit Card?

Neil Petersen

Neil Petersen writes regularly on education, learning disabilities and technology. He received his B.A. in 2014 and was diagnosed with ADHD at the beginning of his college studies. Neil also works for a music education non-profit and hopes to help create an education system that can better serve students with ADHD.

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APA Reference
Petersen, N. (2018). An ADHD Rewards Credit Card?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 3, 2020, from


Last updated: 25 Sep 2018
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