To be clear, this is not from The Onion:

(via Kevin Drum)

Update: Thanks to Scott Klein, currently of ProPublica and formerly of The Nation, who informs me that a Nation Visa card is nothing new; in fact, it’s been around since 1998.

Indeed, per Ben Wyskida, The Nation’s publicity director, the mag has had a Visa affiliate benefits card since 1998—but one that “was essentially owned by a series of different banks.”

Here’s more, from an e-mail from Wyskida:

There was a procession of different companies who just kept buying each other - the last bank we had a Visa Platinum through was Chase, which cancelled us in early 2009. They cancelled a number of smaller “affiliate benefit” cards in 2009, which was a surprise to us because it was making both of us money, but it seems that they opted only to do cards with significantly larger companies.

So for the last 11 months we were cardless. This week we are rolling out a new account, with a bank that we feel is the most responsive (and responsible) bank doing these kinds of programs. Its a much better choice for everyone involved.

So the Nation card existed from ‘98-‘09, took a nearly year-long hiatus, and this week is back in business—literally—as a Visa Platinum. With, no less, a 0% Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 6 months.


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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.