The amount of money donated to charity by debit card increased by 24 per cent in the first four months of this year, according to the UK Cards Association.
The organisation, which represents card issuers, said the value of credit card donations increased by 11 per cent in the same period, compared with the figures from between January and April last year.
Its figures show that £1.19bn was donated to charity on plastic cards in the whole of 2008, an increase of 18 per cent on 2007.
A spokeswoman for the UK Cards Association said debit cards were used more frequently than credit cards for charitable donations, but larger sums were donated by credit card.
"Over the past few years we have seen charities offer donors additional ways to pay, particularly online and with cards, which makes donating extremely easy," she said.