Use green credit cards
Turn your regular purchases into small donations by choosing a green credit card. You get a stylish, green-designed card, and every purchase triggers a donation to an environmental nonprofit, too.
Find it! Green credit cards
To compare the general features of various credit cards, try this tool. Just remember: when researching which card to put your name on, be sure to specifically ask prospective lenders which organizations will benefit from their program (if it's not already apparent from the literature).
You can choose from a variety of nonprofits to support with this card, including Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife, National Wildlife Federation, Humane Society, or Brighter Planet. They all come with unique images and logos to match the cause you’ve chosen.
Give 1 percent of every purchase you make to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) with this card. Since 1995, the program has contributed over $10 million to saving endangered species and protecting endangered habitats. It has no annual fee and a low introductory rate.
Use this card to offset your carbon emissions with every purchase — choose to contribute 1 or a half a percent of your net purchases. On Earth Day every year, the company sends a statement detailing just how much you contributed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Claiming to be the first sustainable community development, environment-friendly commercial bank in the US, ShoreBank Pacific offers this VISA no-fee card that’ll trigger a donation to Ecotrust with every purchase.
Since 1985, Working Assets has been raising money for causes fighting for peace, equality, human rights, and the environment, bringing in over $50 million to date. This card allows you to donate 10¢ with every purchase and earn travel rewards at the same time.
Before you buy
Though using a green credit card will generate donations for eco-nonprofits, the lenders may still be investing in dirty industries, such as unsustainable logging or nuclear energy. Your annual fees and interest dues may be going to support these less-than-green practices, so don’t get caught thinking this’ll totally green your spending habits.
Using a green credit card helps you go green because…
- You’ll be contributing money to environmental nonprofits or offsetting your greenhouse gas emissions with every purchase.
Big banks have often been criticized for funding environmentally questionable industries, such as illegal logging in Indonesia or oil pipelines in Russia. They’ve also been accused of funding political parties and causes that are anti-environment. Banks offering green affinity credit cards hope to give consumers a way to make their everyday purchases work for the environment. For instance, a typical year’s $9,000 spending activity with GE’s Earth Reward MasterCard could offset 10 tons of emissions, or the equivalent of one individual’s annual carbon footprint.
- Design Stream Product Innovation Consultants - Emissary Credit Card Concept A concept credit card (not yet available) being developed in the UK that would give you suggestions for greener purchasing ideas with every transaction.