Despite a plastic credit card not being massively eco-friendly, how the companies behind it is run can help you lessen your planetary impact. Climate change action can seem aggressive or inaccessible to some consumers, but gentle activism is now being tied to every purchase we make.
If you are in the market for a new credit card, take a look at the following options before making your final decision. Alongside the usual considerations of APR, balance transfer fees, and annual costs come environmental benefits packages. You might be surprised by how much your weekly supermarket shop could support climate change action. Conversely, it could be disappointing to understand how much your current issuer invests in fossil fuels. Education and awareness are key when putting your money where your ethics are.
1. Aspiration Zero Credit Card
What is it: A standard credit card that offers deferred payments. Regular APR sits between 11.65 percent and 21.45 percent variable.
Who issues it: Beneficial State Bank, headquartered in Oakland, California, U.S. It is a certified B-Corp. Enough said.
Environmental selling points: The card comes with an annual $60 fee, which is used to implement carbon offsetting and sapling planting programmes. Every purchase plants trees and consumers can accrue rewards to plant even more through the plant Your Change and A Swipe for a Tree programmes.
The Beneficial State Bank is a certified fossil-free organisation with an impressive track record in embracing sustainability initiatives. The bank is also a member of 1% For the Planet.
Consumer benefits: A $300 reward will be deposited following spending of $3,000 or more in the first three months of card ownership.
2. FutureCard Visa
What is it: Not a credit card, but still worthy of a mention due to its eco-credentials. The FutureCard is a secured charge card that does not charge interest fees or conduct a credit check upon application.
Who issues it: First Electronic Bank, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Environmental selling points: The card earns holders 5 percent cashback on all climate-friendly purchases. This rises to 6 percent when items are bought from partner companies. Public transport, secondhand clothing and furniture, plant-based foods and electric charging points all qualify. The company states that it doesn’t want to plant trees, but to instigate change through considered purchasing habits. Future Inc, the card’s developer, is a member of the Sustainability Consortium.
Consumer benefits: Cashback on all purchases and access to top tier rewards when more is spent on climate-friendly items.
3. Redwood Credit Union Visa
What is it: A credit builder card that helps people with low scores improve their finances.
Who issues it: The Redwood Credit Union, headquartered in the Bay Area, U.S.
Environmental selling points: The credit union is known for having green motivations. It is partnered with a number of agencies and organisations that seek to protect the environment and offers customers ways to reduce their banking carbon footprint. It also highlights ways to lessen impact through everyday choices. These efforts have led to the union being recognised as a leader in environmental protection.
Consumer benefits: Low APR rates while rebuilding a good credit score. Purchases accrue reward points that can be redeemed against future purchases.
4. Sunrise Banks Visa Platinum Card
What is it: A standard credit card suitable for purchases or balance transfers.
Who issues it: Sunrise Banks, a certified B-Corp and member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV).
Environmental selling points: Using this card will support a bank that in turn uses its profits for sustainable causes. No connections to fossil fuel investment can be found. Sunrise is a certified Community Development Financial Institution that invests capital into struggling neighbourhoods.
Consumer benefits: No annual fee, plus a wide APR range, starting at 14.24 percent, allows savvy shoppers to reap the benefits of their buying habits.
5. Verity Signature Rewards Visa
What is it: A crest card that earns users rewards and reinvests in local businesses.
Who issues it: Verity Credit Union, headquartered in Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Environmental selling points: The union takes a percentage of all purchases and transaction fees and invests them back into local community projects. Microgrants are awarded to projects that improve community well-being.
Consumer benefits: The rewards are relatively low at 1.5 points per dollar spent, but there’s zero annual fee and attractive introductory APR rates.
Green Queen would like to remind its readers that all credit cards carry a risk of financial difficulty if personal circumstances change. Always research the best rates and benefits for your situation.
Lead photo by Blake Wisz at Unsplash.
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