Money and Finance

Published on April 9th, 2009 | by Guest Contributor


If You Must Use Plastic, Consider a Green Credit Card

Given the recent financial crisis, many banks are going green not just because they want to clean up their image but also because they want to clean up the planet. Financial institutions across America now offer consumers a variety of green credit card and other personal banking choices as part of their commitment to bail out the environment.

photo credit: andresruedaCredit Cards

Credit Cards

Wells Fargo for example, offers rewards cards that let consumers redeem points for eco-friendly purchases, such as seed-growing kits and garden composters, as well as renewable-energy certificates. Going paperless, a move almost all banks offer, enables customers to save trees and lower carbon dioxide emissions while reducing their own risk for late fees and fraud.

Affinity cards are cards issued by a major bank in partnership with a select organization or charity. Each time you use an affinity card, the issuing bank donates a set amount to the partner organization—averaging half a penny for every dollar you charge or transfer, according to Examples of affinity cards include:

• Bank of America’s Brighter Planet credit card, which gives customers one “EarthSmart” point for every dollar spent. The points are automatically redeemed each month in support of renewable energy projects,. The bank says that each 1,000-point increment offsets 1 ton of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of taking a car off the road for two months.

• Working Assets Visa Card, which donates ten cents with every purchase to a portfolio of 50 progressive nonprofit organizations, including ForestEthics and Oxfam America

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