Much to my delight, you can save the planet when you eat, drink and get merry by using one of these seven green credit cards. You’ll get points for offsetting your carbon footprint instead of frequent flying points. One provider plants a tree every time you swipe the card.
I’ve been with the same bank for 25 years. The same big bank among many that use over $100 billion a year of clients’ deposits to fund pipelines and drill for oil (Source: Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card 2018). It got me wondering what greener options exist out there.
You don’t have to be Leo DiCaprio — the wolf of saving our planet — and start a green foundation or drive an electric car. Just choose an eco-friendly credit card that plants a tree every time you swipe like Aspiration does.
Let’s dive in and green-up our spending in 2021. We’ve reached a critical time to save the planet or face extinction along with one million other species.
1. Use Aspiration / Save the Planet
Aspiration CEO Andrei Chemy believes that profit and purpose should go hand-in-hand. Called a financial firm with a conscience, Aspiration makes its spend and save account available to anyone in the U.S. who wants to make the world a better place by saving the planet.
The debit card can put an extra $545 into the pocket of the average American, according to Chemy, and ensures customer deposits are 100% fossil fuel-free. Aspiration also offers investing and retirement accounts as well as charitable giving guidance.
2. Green America Visa Platinum
3. Sustain Green Credit Card
The Sustain Green credit card advertises that it will reduce your carbon footprint by 2 pounds for every $1 in net purchases. Commerce Bank purchases carbon offsets through the American Carbon Registry each time you make a purchase with your card while also saving the planet.
When you charge at least $1,250 of purchases to the Sustain Green card in a quarter, you receive a bonus 2,500 pounds of carbon offsets.
There is no annual fee for this card.
4. Clean Water Action Credit Card
The Clean Water card is a Visa Platinum card designed to make the world a better place, starting with clean water. There is no annual fee.
5. Amazon Watch Visa Platinum
Beneficial State Bank issues the Amazon Watch Visa Platinum card. A pre-set percentage of your purchases is given to Amazon Watch, the environmental social justice and conservation group. You receive reward points for every dollar you spend. There is no cap on points earned and you can apply your points for merchandise or towards travel.
Every transaction you make with your Amazon Watch Visa® Platinum credit card adds power to our campaigns through a percentage of interchange income. It also helps direct the flow of money into environmentally responsible financial investments and not into the mega projects and companies we seek to stop. With our new credit card, you will be putting your everyday transactions to good use for the Amazon and the planet.
6. Defenders of Wildlife Cash Visa
Defenders of Wildlife is a solution-oriented organization dedicated to saving rare animals and plants, conserving habitat, and building a broad constituency for protecting wildlife and wild places.
There is a $200 Cash rewards bonus offer for joining plus you get to save the planet. Apply here.
7. AmEx Eco-friendly Credit Card
While making your spending “greener” is a good idea, using the “green” credit cards listed above can only help the planet so much.
Being conscious of your purchases might be better for the environment than finding an eco-friendly credit card. If switching to a “green” or eco-friendly credit card is right for you, another option is getting a credit card with good rewards and simply making your own donation to the environmental group of your choice.
Final Word on Being Eco-Friendly with your Plastic
When choosing a card, look closely at the financial firm’s loan history. The Sierra Club reported that 33 international banks-backed polluting fossil fuel projects that cost $1.9 billion from 2016 – 2018.
And before you mourn the loss of giving up frequent flyer miles as a reward, consider how much healthier the air was to breathe in 2020 when most planes were grounded.
“Consumers don’t see the true environmental costs of their air travel because low flight prices don’t reflect their environmental impact. Emissions from flights stay in the atmosphere and will warm it for several centuries. Because aircraft emissions are released high in the atmosphere, they have a potent climate impact, triggering chemical reactions and atmospheric effects that heat the planet.”
—David Suzuki Foundation
If you want to explore ways to save the planet locally, check out KC’s eco-friendly breakfast spot, Happy Gills or our very own Green Dirt Farm.
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