The best green, environmentally friendly credit cards are not only good for the environment but also can help you save or earn more money. You’ll find a lot of online stores that offer these types of rewards and incentives in order to keep you satisfied with their site. Take a look at some of the best green credit cards on the market today!
There are many different options when it comes to choosing a green credit card. Some have no annual fee while others may charge an annual fee depending on your spending habits.
It’s important to do research before picking one out so you know what works best for you and your needs.
What is a green credit card?
A green credit card is typically a basic type of bank card that the issuer designs and offers as an environmentally friendly consumption tool.
The defining characteristic of a green credit card is that it reduces or eliminates those environmental costs associated with traditional plastics cards; such as the cost to produce, transport, use and recycle plastic cards.
Issuers may also provide financial benefits to consumers looking for eco-friendly consumption options like lower annual fees and extra reward points on certain purchases.
Possible reasons for consumers choosing this type of credit card include:
- The offer provides value by protecting or reinforcing your good name through low risk transactions (low risk items merchants)
- If you make frequent use of public transit systems like buses, trains and subways – you can earn extra points (transit rewards)
- You want to support eco-friendly companies that are concerned about the environment
- If you buy organic foods, clothing or environmentally friendly products – you can earn extra points (green shopping rewards)
- If you frequently travel out of the country – you can enjoy the peace of mind in knowing you can use your card without having to worry about currency conversion fees (no foreign transaction fees)
- Some cards may offer a “first year fee free” promotion that would be attractive if you’re considering opening a new credit card account with them (upfront bonus points)
What is a green credit card good for?
For the most part, what’s right about a green credit card is nothing new. The points earned by consumers who use these types of credit cards are typically redeemable in the same way as traditional cash back or travel rewards.
There are important factors to consider when deciding between your options:
- How much you spend per year is the biggest factor for choosing a green credit card.
- Most green credit cards offer you more points when you use them to buy organic food or shop at environmentally-responsible businesses like TenTree.
- You can earn even more points when you travel in an environmentally friendly way (public transportation) and make purchases in foreign currency.
Green credit cards vs traditional credit cards: The differences
The main difference is that green, eco-friendly credit cards encourage consumers to reduce their carbon footprint with every purchase by rewarding you for making certain types of purchases.
Using any sort of credit card (green or traditional) correctly, such as paying off your bill on time and staying within your credit limit, will help you avoid paying interest on cash advances and balance transfers, as well as other costs.
Why should you care about your credit score
As you live your life and make purchases, use credit cards, pay bills or get loans – your personal credit report looks at all these activities to form an opinion of who you are as a person.
Fairness warning: some things like bankruptcy cannot be wiped clean even if it happened years ago!
This is not just for fun – this information could have consequences in the future when you want to borrow money for a car, take out a mortgage or buy that new home theater system with cash.
The consequences for having bad credit can be very expensive because most lenders will charge people with poorer credit more interest on mortgages, bank loans, student loans and other types of borrowing.
A good credit score would be 750+ which indicates being able to handle debts well.
There are 3 main types of credit reports:
- Credit report for consumers with no bank accounts or loans (credit report for people who do not borrow)
- An unsecured loan where you use the money but there is no collateral (credit score for student loans)
- Credit report that shows the consumer uses credit cards and has a car loan or mortgage (credit reports of people who borrow or have bank accounts)
What are the benefits of having a green credit card?
The benefit of having a green credit card are that you can use your points to help the environment, to support eco-friendly companies, and for specific other purposes.
Many green cards offer special deals for users who have certain things in common such as buying organic food, traveling out of the country or avoiding currency conversion fees.
The other benefit is that you do not have worry about getting caught up on interest rates.
By using any type of credit card (green or traditional) responsibly such as paying off your balance each month and staying within your credit limit, you can avoid paying interest on cash advances and balance transfers, as well as other types of fees.
However if you are considering opening a new credit card account with them it might be wise to find a card that has a 0 percent introductory rate for several months.
After the 0 percent period is over, you will have to pay a higher interest rate so if you can’t afford to pay off your balance within a few months time, avoid opening a new credit card account with them.
How does social responsibility come into play?
Just like green credit cards offer you more points when you shop at socially responsible businesses, using your card to make purchases in foreign currency rewards you with points as well.
How to find the best green credit card for your needs
Here are some steps to take when considering a green credit card.
1. Find a green, environmentally friendly credit card that matches your spending habits and lifestyle by making a list of what kind of purchases you regularly make.
This will be the basis for finding the best green credit cards on the market today. For example: What type of grocery store do you shop at? Do you eat out at restaurants often? What is your income level?
2. Make a budget that outlines how much you are willing to spend in total on credit card purchases each month.
You can use this budget as a guide when comparing different green, socially responsible credit cards to find the best green, socially responsible credit card for your needs.
3. Decide on a credit card company and find the best green, environmentally responsible credit cards that fit your spending habits and lifestyle.
This is the hardest part: finding the best green, socially responsible credit card for your needs can be difficult if you do not know where to begin comparing different companies for their features and benefits.
Best Green Credit Cards
There are many environmentally friendly credit cards on the market today. There are several sorts of green credit cards available, including those that give points for particular items, such as organic food or travel abroad.
Your best bet may be to locate a card that offers the sorts of rewards you’ll need.
Here are a few green credit cards that you might want to consider.
Amalgamated Bank Credit Cards
Amalgamated Bank is one of our favorite socially responsible banks out there. Amalgamated Bank, which is entirely powered by renewable energy, has a fossil-fuel-free policy, supports immigrants, low-income housing, and labor rights.
Their card is issued with Elan Financial, a subsidiary of US Bank. They offer several credit card options . The card options include:
- A Business Green Rewards Card that gives back to companies with environmentally-friendly business practices. You’ll get 1 point for every $2 you spend, and points can be redeemed for rewards in the following categories: fuel (including green power and biodiesel), food/groceries (including organic and fair trade), travel (including airlines, hotels, trains, and car rentals), gifts/non-profit giving.
- A Travel Rewards Card that gives back to companies with environmentally-friendly business practices. You’ll get 1 point for every $1 you spend, and points can be redeemed for rewards in the following categories: fuel (including green power and biodiesel), food/groceries (including organic and fair trade), travel (including airlines, hotels, trains, and car rentals).
- A Cash Rewards Card that gives back to companies with environmentally-friendly business practices. You’ll get 1 point for every $1 you spend, plus a bonus at the end of the year, and points can be redeemed for rewards in the following categories: fuel (including green power and biodiesel), food/groceries (including organic and fair trade), travel (including airlines, hotels, trains, and car rentals).
The Green America Visa
Green America is a nonprofit dedicated to establishing and promoting environmentally beneficial businesses across North America by locating and supporting green-collar firms.
They also offer its members several credit cards that you can choose from. Each card allows you to support green-collar jobs and small businesses, as well as receive special discounts at retailers with progressive environmental practices.
The TCM Bank Green America Visa supports Green America’s environmental initiatives. Use this card to contribute a percentage of your purchases to Green America’s efforts to establish fair trading systems, advance clean energy, remove GMOs from the food supply, and support green businesses.
The Green America Visa, which is a MasterCard, offers 1% cash back on all purchases made through TCM Bank.
The Amazon Watch Visa Credit Card
Amazon Watch helps to preserve the rainforest. To safeguard ecologically and culturally sensitive environments in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, Amazon Watch works directly with indigenous communities at all levels of government.
They offer their members an Amazon Watch Visa card, which will give you 1% back on all your purchases.
You can support Amazon Watch’s efforts by using this credit card for all purchases.
With every purchase, they will also donate 0.5% of the sale amount to Amazon Watch—up to a total of $1 million per year!
International Living Future Institute’s Affinity Card
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the internationally agreed-upon post-2015 development goals. The Sustainable Living Future Institute (SLFI) is a nonprofit group that focuses on new developments in sustainability and human needs.
They encourage people all over the world to develop innovative solutions to issues like population growth, climate change, water scarcity, and food scarcity.
The International Living Future Institute’s Affinity Card is a Visa Platinum credit card that aims to redefine the green construction movement.
This collaboration ensures that a portion of each purchase made with this card goes toward the ILFI’s mission of offering environmentally beneficial building and engineering solutions.
Cards for a Cause
The company Cards for a Cause offers environmentally friendly credit card options that contribute directly to nonprofits. Cards are issued by the Network Branded Prepaid Card Company, which is based out of Salt Lake City.
Each time you use one of their cards, you’ll assist provide clean water and sanitary products to developing nations while also making a difference in people’s lives.
You may also bank online or through the Zions Bank mobile app as a member of Zions Bank.
Salmon Nation Visa Credit Card
Salmon Nation is a carbon-neutral firm that aspires to constantly do the following things: utilize low- or zero-carbon technologies, invest in renewable resources and technologies, minimize usage of disposable plastics/items, and educate their workers on how they may assist create an even more sustainable world.
The Salmon Nation Visa is a program that encourages individuals to help preserve the environment in the “Salmon Nation,” which extends from Alaska to Oregon.
Salmon Nation Visa can help you fund sustainable seafood projects, promote local small businesses with ecologically aware practices, and aid salmon conservation efforts.
The card offers 1% back in rewards on purchases and an average of 1 cent per dollar spent, and each time you use it, you’ll get money back.
In addition, this program will have a beneficial impact on your local community (no matter if you live in the Salmon Range).
The Leaping Bunny Program Visa Credit Card
The Leaping Bunny Program is a prominent cruelty-free certification program that has been instrumental in raising awareness of animal rights and ending cosmetic testing on animals within the United States for over 30 years.
You’ll assist support cruelty-free initiatives all around the world while ensuring that you’re using only vegan, animal-friendly products when you use their credit card to make purchases.
You can earn 1 point for every dollar you spend, whether it’s at the grocery store, online, or with any other purchase. You can then redeem your points for gift cards that are donated to schools and organizations committed to helping animals!
Each time you use the card, you can be confident that 0.5% of your purchase will go to support the Leaping Bunny Program. This is a Visa Platinum Credit Card.
Green Rewards Network MasterCard
The Green Rewards Network MasterCard was created to help individuals understand how to support environmentally friendly efforts, whether they are at home or at work.
You’ll earn points for each purchase you make using this card, which can be used toward rebates, discounts on green goods and services, and more!
A MasterCard Gold Card is the Green Rewards Network MasterCard. There is no charge for using the card each year.
See Related: Best ESG Funds to Invest in Today
Final Thoughts: Top Green, Eco-Friendly Credit Card Picks
A green credit card is a fantastic way to get started. Using a green, eco-friendly credit card is one of the most effective ways you can help your favorite charity and causes.
These are just a few of our current favorites among the best green credit cards on the market right now.
These cards let you earn points for each purchase that you can use to get rebates or discounts on environmentally friendly products and services, as well as contribute directly to animal-related organizations!
It’s never been easier then now in part thanks to these innovative businesses and organizations – so why not start today?
If you know of any other credit cards that you’d like to see added to the list, please reach out to me directly by visiting my contact form.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the benefits of using a green, eco-friendly credit card?
Benefits of using a green credit card include: for every purchase you make, a predetermined amount of money is donated to charity, you can earn bonus rewards for shopping at specific green, environmentally friendly merchant and it is a great way to meet important conservation milestones.
How can I make my purchase with green credit cards?
Generally speaking, you can make your purchase with green credit cards at any type of merchant you’d like. If you drive a gas car, using a green credit card can be a great way to offset your carbon footprint.
Can you use green credit cards for day to day purchases like groceries or gas?
Yes, you can use a green credit card to for day to day purchases.If you own a gasoline vehicle, utilizing a green credit card can help to offset your carbon footprint.
What percentage of each dollar spent is donated when you use one of these green credit cards?
The percentage of each dollar spent varies from program to program, and it is dependent on the type of card you choose. For example, green, ethically responsible credit cards average around 1%.