Don’t just apply for a credit card: have you made sure that your best option is from an ethical credit card company?
Socially responsible banks are ones that contribute to social, environmental, and other important charitable causes through their business. Ethical credit cards contribute to these causes by donating minimal parts of their transactions, usually at no cost to the cardholder.
Ethical credit cards are a better choice and might be a better choice for you.
The choice of a socially responsible or ethical credit card makes a difference you can prove.
It also carries benefits for the user, like reduced fees for your willingness to contribute to these causes – and often, rewards every time you use your card.
Table of Contents
- Best-Of by Category
- Best Ethical Credit Cards to Apply For Today
- 1. Aspiration Zero Credit Card
- 2. M1 Finance Owner’s Card
- 3. Green America Rewards Platinum Visa® credit card
- 4. Amazon Watch Rewards Platinum Visa
- 5. Beneficial State Bank Credit Cards
- 6. Amazon Watch Visa
- 7. Charity Charge World Credit Card
- 8. REI Co-Op World Elite Mastercard
- 9. Susan G. Komen Pink Ribbon Credit Card
- 10. Salmon Nation Visa Credit Card
- 11. World Wildlife Fund Visa
- 12. Visa Climate Card
- 13. Amalgamated Bank Maximum Rewards Mastercard
- 14. Platinum Payback Mastercard
- 15. Working Assets Visa
- Types of Ethical Credit Card Companies
- Community Development Financial Institutions
- Credit Unions
- Affinity Credit Cards
- Is there such a thing as an ethical credit card?
- What is a green credit card?
- Is Capital One an ethical company?
- Is Capital One a green bank?
Best-Of by Category
|Best for Sustainability||Aspiration Zero Credit Card|
|Best for Financial Literacy||M1 Finance Owner’s Card|
|Best for Green Living||Green America Rewards Platinum Visa® credit card|
|Best for Community Support||Beneficial State Bank Credit Cards|
Best Ethical Credit Cards to Apply For Today
Here are the best ethical credit cards / socially responsible options.
1. Aspiration Zero Credit Card
The Aspiration Zero Credit Card is perfect for those looking for a socially responsible option. This card has a low $60 annual fee, and you can choose to have your rewards donated to a charity of your choice.
Zero is the best credit card to fight climate change. With Zero, you can control your carbon footprint and earn up to 1% cashback. Plus, you can use your rewards to plant more trees or receive a statement credit.
Zero is perfect for people who want to make a difference. Sign up today and you can earn $300 by spending $3,000 within your first 3 months. Aspiration Bank is the smarter way to bank and make a difference in the world. Learn more and sign up for Zero by Aspiration Bank today.
Some features of the credit card include:
- You can offset your carbon footprint just by using the card
- Monthly rewards for going carbon-neutral
- Track your progress and see how you’re helping make a difference
- Cashback on all purchases
Like what you are hearing? Read more in our full Aspiration review
See Related: Best Credit Builder Loans
2. M1 Finance Owner’s Card
If you like purchasing the products of the companies that you invest in, then this credit card is for you.
The M1 Finance Owner’s Rewards Card awards you cashback when you spend with companies and stocks that you invest in.
For example, you can earn 10% cashback when shopping with some of the top ESG stocks out there such as Adobe, Dropbox, and Tesla.
Or, you can earn 5% cashback with companies like Starbucks and Etsy. All you’ll have to do is also own these stocks in your portfolio. M1 Finance offers investment brokerage in addition to credit and borrowing options.
Apply now for the M1 Finance Owner’s Rewards Card and start earning cashback from purchases with ethical companies.
See Related: How to Build a Socially Responsible IRA
3. Green America Rewards Platinum Visa® credit card
Green America is an organization that is dedicated to being environmentally and socially responsible. They promote sustainable trade and clean energies, as well as eliminate GMO products and services.
Green America also has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, with an average score of 91.75 out of 100. For those who work within the charity industry, it is important to know that Green America’s CEO earns an annual salary of $174,000.
This is an indicator of their mission and morals, as well as their goals within the industry. The Green America credit card is a rewards credit card, which gives cardholders the opportunity to earn points for every purchase that they make. These points can be redeemed for cash back, merchandise, or travel.
Key features of the Green America credit card include:
- You’re supporting a good cause every time you use your card!
- Green America has partnered with a bank that shares its values, TCM Bank.
- Use your card to support clean energy, fair labor, and more.
- Convert your spending into activism and make a difference!
See Related: Most Unethical Banks You Need to Avoid
4. Amazon Watch Rewards Platinum Visa
The Amazon Watch Rewards Platinum Visa is an ethical credit card available through TCM Bank and other banks that support responsible banking.
The specific focus of this card is environmental responsibility, and points give back to environmental causes as part of the Watch network.
It’s one of the best socially responsible credit cards that support ethical online banking.
One of the best benefits of this card is its offer of a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months. Most other cards out there slash this period down to six or don’t offer this benefit at all.
Points are useful, with one point per dollar transaction – and points can be redeemed for a huge list of different rewards including e-commerce and travel benefits.
Zero annual fees are associated with the Amazon Watch Rewards card.
See Related: Reasons to Start Social Impacting
5. Beneficial State Bank Credit Cards
In 2007, Beneficial State Bank was established to offer savings accounts and credit card accounts. The BSE has assets worth nearly $1 billion and is based in California.
Beneficial State Bank (BSB) is a certified B corporation and GABV certified CDFI. It is owned by Beneficial States Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization whose mission is the promotion of a responsible bank account. Bank profits must go towards the Foundation.
The banks have four different cards available for you to choose from and each card has different features and benefits, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
For example, the Beneficial One card offers cashback on all purchases, while the Beneficial Two card offers 0% APR for 12 months on all purchases. Whichever card you choose, you can be sure that your money.
See Related: Best Banks for Low-Income Earners
6. Amazon Watch Visa
The Amazon Watch Visa is one of the best ethical credit cards for a contribution to the natural environment.
Donations are pledged to protected environments in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru – and it’s just one of several credit cards part of Amazon’s corporate responsibility initiatives.
While you might not think of Amazon as one of the world’s environmental banks, they have partnered up with Visa to make a massive environmental difference.
An initial benefit of this card is its introductory APR of 0% for the first 12 months. After this, a variable APR of 9.99% to 19.99% applies, depending on your creditworthiness.
The APR alone makes this one of the superior responsible credit cards available right now.
There are no annual fees, and additional transaction fees are kept very low.
Rewards are high. One point is earned back for every $1 transaction through the card, and these points don’t expire (so can accumulate and carry over when they aren’t used).
See Related: Best Impact Investing Jobs
7. Charity Charge World Credit Card
The Charity Charge World Credit Card is an ethical credit card with one large difference in how it benefits charitable ventures.
It’s one of the only credit cards that allow you to select your individual causes from a list of thousands – and thus, you have a choice in where your charity is headed.
Donations are made with each card transaction at no cost to you, and additional donations can be made to your chosen beneficiaries.
Initial card delivery is free and fast. Minimal transaction fees apply, though there are no annual fees with the Charity Charge World credit card.
8. REI Co-Op World Elite Mastercard
The REI Co-Op World Elite Mastercard is an ethical credit card available through most environmental banks that support responsible banking.
The card carries an international charitable focus, and donates to a large amount of worldwide good causes: a full list is available with your card application.
The card affords great rewards, including a direct 5% back in points on all purchases. No annual fees are tied to this card, and the rest of your fees are minimal. As an additional benefit, no fees for foreign transactions with your card.
First card delivery is free and fast.
See Related: Impact Investing Apps
9. Susan G. Komen Pink Ribbon Credit Card
The Susan G. Komen Pink Ribbon Credit Card is an ethical credit card option available through the Bank of America. It’s one of the best ethical credit cards for donations to a good cause, and one of the best for cashback benefits.
All contributions made through this card contribute to Susan G. Komen and the fight against breast cancer: contributions also help to better available health resources and promote awareness of the condition.
Donations of more than $10 million have been made to the foundation through the card since its start in 2009. It’s one of the socially conscious credit cards that makes a difference.
An introductory 0% APR is one of the first benefits of the Susan G. Komen card. A 13.99% to 23.99% APR applies from there, though the card carries zero annual fees.
Cashback rewards are one of the best benefits. An automatic 2% cashback applies for selected transactions, and a 1% cashback applies to others. Instead of just benefits or points, you’re getting your money back every time you use the card.
There’s one more great thing: you’ll receive an extra $200 in online rewards if you buy more than $1,000 in the first 90 days of card activation.
See Related: What is Sustainable Investing?
10. Salmon Nation Visa Credit Card
The Salmon Nation Visa is an ethical, environmentally-focused credit card available from Beneficial State Bank. The specific charitable focus of this ethical credit card is support for the Salmon Nation of the United States, a protected and crucial habitat.
It’s one of the best socially responsible credit cards you’ll find, available through some of the best banks for the environment.
A 0% APR applies to the card for the first 12 months: this is longer than the comparative 6 month period that even some of the best ethical credit cards offer.
After this, a variable 9.99% to 17.99% APR can apply depending on your creditworthiness.
Great rewards for the cardholder apply to the Salmon Nation Visa credit card. Points can be earned back on all card purchases and transactions: these points can be redeemed for rewards, including accommodation and travel.
Charges apply to some transactions, but these charges are minimal. Zero annual fees are associated with this card, which makes it one of the best low-cost credit cards.
Contributions made through this credit card all help to protect the livelihood and longevity of the Salmon Nation.
See Related: ESG Investing Trends
11. World Wildlife Fund Visa
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Visa is one of the top ethical credit cards you can choose through the Bank of America.
The focus of the World Wildlife Card is clear from the name, with all donations going to the WWF to aid the natural environment and most important world habitats.
One of the best benefits of this card is direct 1% cashback on all transactions and purchases. More points can be accumulated with time, and these can be redeemed through various affiliated channels where these points are spendable for rewards.
Another benefit of the World Wildlife Fund ethical credit card is that it has zero annual fees. Small fees might be charged on an individual transaction, but these are minimal and much lower than “regular” credit cards.
First card delivery is quick and free.
See Related: Best Impact Investing Books to Read
12. Visa Climate Card
The Visa Climate Card is one of the best ethical credit cards, available through the Bank of America and select other responsible banks.
The focus is a difference in climate change, and a partial amount on every transaction gets donated to fight international climate change.
It’s great as a fossil-fuel-free credit card option that gives back benefits.
First card shipment is free, and the card offers a 0% introductory APR for the first 6-months of signing up. An 11.65% to 21.45% APR applies after this, depending on your individual creditworthiness.
As another added benefit, the Visa Climate Card also carries zero annual fees. Cardholders will earn one point back for every dollar transacted: the points can be redeemed for vouchers and purchase discounts. Travel and accommodation benefits also apply.
Higher credit limits are another benefit advertised with the Visa Climate Card.
A list of specific causes and organizations can be requested.
It’s one of the best low-fee, high-return ethical credit cards – and you know that you’re doing your bit to fight climate change.
See Related: Quotes About Sustainability to Know
13. Amalgamated Bank Maximum Rewards Mastercard
The Amalgamated Bank Maximum Rewards Mastercard is an ethical credit card option from the First National Bank of Omaha, available to U.S. residents with creditworthiness in good standing.
One of the first benefits of the Maximum Rewards card is a 0% introductory APR for the first 6 months of signing up.
A variable APR of between 18.24% to 28.24% will apply, dependent on your creditworthiness.
The Maximum Rewards card is great for giving back to ethical causes while being able to enjoy
the benefits of a low-fee, high-reward credit card.
It’s one of the best social justice credit cards with low fees and great returns.
See Related: Best Socially Responsible Mutual Funds to Invest In
14. Platinum Payback Mastercard
The Platinum Payback Mastercard is a socially responsible credit card from Mechanics & Farmers Bank – or M&F as they are sometimes known.
Community development is where this card sends its corporate responsibility and donations.
Platinum Payback is great because it’s a low-fee ethical credit card with plenty of associated benefits for the card-holder. It carries no annual fees and donates a fraction of each transaction to a charitable community cause.
A 10.99% to 21.99% variable APR applies to this card and depends on your creditworthiness.
Other Platinum Payback benefits include redeemable points on transactions, travel benefits, and much fewer fees when compared to non-ethical credit cards.
15. Working Assets Visa
The Working Assets Visa is an ethical and environmentally-friendly credit card from a company that bases its business model on ethics. Working Assets was founded by Peter Barnes with corporate responsibility in mind.
Working Assets donations are focused on community investment, the environment, social justice, and other non-profit organizations and charitable causes. A full list of the causes associated with Working Assets can be asked for with your card application.
The Working Assets credit card carries no annual fees, and first card delivery is free and quick.
A 0% APR applies for the initial 6-months and a 10.99 to 19.99% variable APR after this.
How does this card help?
According to their pledge, it donates at least 1% of all card purchase charges to a good cause (and at no extra cost to you).
See Related: What are the Three E’s of Sustainability?
Types of Ethical Credit Card Companies
There are a growing number of ethical credit card companies that offer a variety of benefits to their customers.
These companies typically have strong environmental and social policies, and they often donate a percentage of their profits to charity.
Some even allow you to choose which charity your donation goes to.
See Related: Ethical Dividend Stocks to Invest in Today
Community Development Financial Institutions
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are financial institutions that focus on providing banking and other financial services to underserved urban and rural communities. They are often the only option for residents of low-income and minority communities who need access to affordable credit and other financial products.
There are a number of CDFIs across the United States, so reach out to a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in your area to learn more about their products and services.
Socially responsible credit unions are a great way to help those who want to make a positive impact on the world. These credit unions offer products and services that allow their members to make a difference in their community. They also offer rewards for those who use their products and services.
Affinity Credit Cards
Affinity credit cards are credit cards that are offered through specific organizations or groups, such as universities or professional organizations. These cards offer special benefits to members of the affiliated group, such as lower interest rates, waived fees, or bonus points.
For socially responsible banking, you can gain access to affinity cards that partner with services that meet your needs and values.
Is there such a thing as an ethical credit card?
An ethical credit card is a credit card that offers benefits to the environment or society. These benefits can include donating a portion of profits to charities, using recycled materials for the card, or offering rewards for sustainable purchases. Ethical credit cards are becoming more popular as consumers look for ways to align their spending with their values.
What is a green credit card?
A green credit card is a credit card that is designed to promote environmentally-friendly practices. These cards often offer rewards or benefits for using them to make eco-friendly purchases, such as buying from sustainable businesses or donating to environmental causes. Some green credit cards may also offer carbon offset programs to help reduce the environmental impact of card usage.
Is Capital One an ethical company?
Capital One is a financial services company that offers credit cards, loans, and banking services to consumers and businesses. While the company has faced some controversy in the past, it has taken steps to improve its ethical practices and has received recognition for its commitment to sustainability. For example, Capital One has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute for four consecutive years, and it has committed to using 100% renewable energy by 2020.
Is Capital One a green bank?
Capital One is not considered a green bank. While Capital One has taken steps to reduce its carbon footprint and invest in renewable energy sources, it does not have a specific focus on environmental sustainability in its banking practices. Customers looking for a green bank may want to consider alternatives such as Amalgamated Bank or Aspiration.
Kyle Kroeger, esteemed Purdue University alum and accomplished finance professional, brings a decade of invaluable experience from diverse finance roles in both small and large firms. An astute investor himself, Kyle adeptly navigates the spheres of corporate and client-side finance, always guiding with a principal investor’s sharp acumen.
Hailing from a lineage of industrious Midwestern entrepreneurs and creatives, his business instincts are deeply ingrained. This background fuels his entrepreneurial spirit and underpins his commitment to responsible investment. As the Founder and Owner of The Impact Investor, Kyle fervently advocates for increased awareness of ethically invested funds, empowering individuals to make judicious investment decisions.
Striving to marry financial prudence with positive societal impact, Kyle imparts practical strategies for saving and investing, underlined by a robust ethos of conscientious capitalism. His ambition transcends personal gain, aiming instead to spark transformative global change through the power of responsible investment.
When not immersed in the world of finance, he’s continually captivated by the cultural richness of new cities, relishing the opportunity to learn from diverse societies. This passion for travel is eloquently documented on his site, ViaTravelers.com, where you can delve into his unique experiences via his author profile.