According to recent research by Mastercard, there is an 85% increase in consumer interest in the environment and sustainability. Generally speaking, significantly more consumers have a genuine interest in living a more sustainable lifestyle.
Currently, the ongoing pandemic has pushed many credit card issuers, including legacy banks, credit unions, or fintech, to adopt environment-friendly credit card solutions.
Doconomy and Aspiration take the lead on this shift by providing their clients with sustainable banking solutions. In addition, these two fintech companies offer clients credit card alternatives concerned with the negative and positive impacts of their purchases on the environment.
The credit cards by the two companies track a consumer’s carbon footprint, but they differ in how they use these insights to promote a greener planet.
How? Using your Aspiration credit card won’t tacitly endorse fossil fuel projects, and Aspiration’s reforestation partners plant a tree anytime you swipe your card.
On the other hand, Doconomy credit cards show users a breakdown of their carbon emissions. The latest DOBlack card has a carbon emissions cap that prevents cardholders from spending more once they reach the limit.
Let’s get into the details of the two sustainable credit card alternatives and see which one is right for you.
Doconomy credit card
Doconomy is an impact fintech startup that has been around since 2018. The Sweden-based company Sweden focuses on driving positive change by helping consumers be conscious of the impact of their purchases. They are constantly creating tools to combat climate change.
Credit card features
Doconomy, through its partnership with Mastercard, provides customers with the power to take charge of their carbon footprint.
Through the DO App, consumers can determine the environmental impact of their purchases. For instance, the calculator can reveal the carbon emission of their assets plus how many trees are required to absorb all the carbon dioxide generated by each purchase. The app utilizes an Aland Index system to calculate the CO2 produced with every transaction.
The app is tied to the DO Black credit card. This card comes with a carbon limit that cuts off your spending power once you exceed the limit.
The limit on the card equals the national limit as defined by world leaders under the Paris agreement. It is also in line with the 2-degree target for 2030.
Here are the main outstanding features of the DO Black Credit card:
- Carbon footprint limit: The DO Black credit card is the world’s first credit card with a spending limit based on climate impact. The card prevents customers from making purchases once they exceed their monthly CO2 emissions cap. The card also allows users to reduce their carbon footprint by investing in United Nations certified green projects.
- Made from sustainable material: Doconomy’s biodegradable credit cards contain Poly Lactic acid. It is printed using Air-ink and features a pledge signature in place of the traditional signature panel or magnetic strip to ensure it is also recyclable.
- Revolutionary tool against climate change: By cutting your tracking and freezing your spending, the DO Black Card can reduce user’s carbon impact by up to 50%, as recommended by the UN in 2013.
When customers sign up to DO, they receive a free savings account. They also get free access to the DO app, which connects to the DO Black credit card. Connecting to the app enables cardholders to track their carbon footprint for every purchase and compensate for the impact day by day.
DO is a complimentary service to regular banks. Thus, customers can connect their standard salary accounts to their new DO accounts. Once done, they can start enjoying the free services on the app.
Doconomy charges no APR, but there is a competitive fee when using the DO card to invest in funds. Additionally, there may be a minimal administration fee when compensating for carbon emissions affixed to their consumption.
Doconomy focuses on providing its customers, employees, partners, owners, and the entire society with value. They achieve this by promoting a sustainable lifestyle and raising the awareness of climate change. They offer tools and formulas to help everyone make informed purchasing decisions.
As a role model in the industry, Doconomy promotes gender diversity and equality. As such, 50% of the board of directors are female, including the board’s Chairwoman.
Doconomy is also transparent about how they make money and are always offering competitive fees. On top of that, the products it offers are all-inclusive, thanks to its ease of use and accessibility.
The Doconomy DO Black card is a good alternative for customers keen on reducing their carbon footprint. It will limit the amount you spend on carbon-emitting products and services, but that’s as much as it can do.
Unfortunately, the process of investing in carbon-reducing projects may be long and tedious and may lead to many customers aborting the mission.
Aspiration Zero credit card
Aspiration has been at the forefront of climate change-focused banking solutions to customers looking for a bank that shares environmental conservation values. Aspiration is an online financial firm founded in 2013 that provides customers with several financial management alternatives, such as cash management and savings accounts.
Credit card features
Aspiration recently launched the Aspiration Zero credit card. The company promises to plant a tree through their reforestation teams in Kenya, Brazil, Madagascar, Honduras, and the United States for every swipe made by their customers.
What’s more, it is the first credit card to provide customers with rewards based on environmental sustainability. Customers who achieve the carbon-neutral status every month will receive 1% cashback on every purchase. You can even double the rewards when you reach the carbon-zero mark.
To achieve the carbon-neutral status each month, you’ll need to swipe at least 30 times a month, and to reach the carbon zero mark, you’ll need to use the Aspiration Zero card at least 60 times a month. You can easily redeem these rewards like conventional cash back rewards, or simply use the card to plant more trees.
Here are the main features of the Aspiration Zero credit card:
- Partly made using sustainable material: The card itself contains 16% plastic and 84% corn. The material makes the card compostable and thus environmental-friendly.
- Track the environmental impact of your purchases: Aspiration’s Zero credit card caters to consumer’s growing demand for sustainable and transparent purchases. Hence, the Aspiration app provides customers with information on the climatic impact of purchasing certain products from specific merchants.
- Supports sustainable investments: The firm accommodates sustainable investing (never towards fossil fuel investors) allowing customers to align their values with their investment options.
The Aspiration Zero card is still in its pilot stages, and so the complete details on the card are yet to be released officially. However, Nerdwallet reports that the card will cost members $60 annually. You can expect to earn an automatic 0.5% cashback and 1% cashback when you hit the carbon-neutral status each month.
These carbon credit cards work similarly to regular credit cards, and Aspiration Zero credit cards are no different. They offer crest lines to customers at an annual percentage rate. It is not clear how much the APR is due to unavailable information, but you can expect it to be as low as 10.24%.
The fintech company, through its Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM), provides members with a way to determine their sustainability score. The sustainability score includes the impact of business cultures and practices on the planet and the people.
It gives you a closer look at how businesses you purchase from are treating their customers, employees, and community. Some of the social metrics considered when calculating AIM scores include diversity, equality, employee wages, access to healthcare, customer satisfaction, and the impact of business operations on people as a whole.
The Aspiration Zero credit card is a top-performing carbon credit card. It is suitable for individuals looking to eliminate their carbon footprint but has no idea where to start.
The environmental conservation impact of using the Aspiration credit card begins as soon as you join the waitlist. When on the waitlist, customers receive additional information about the card, such as the rates and fees.
Plus, Aspiration plants five trees on their behalf for simply being part of the movement.
Which one is better?
The Aspiration Zero credit card takes the win on this one. That’s because of its very evident environmental impact. It helps customers spend more consciously and responsibly and ensures that their money goes towards fuelling reforestation efforts.
So far, the company has been able to plant 500 million trees globally, and the number continues to grow. On top of that, Aspiration is 100% committed to clean money and has no affiliations with organizations that fund fossil fuel projects. If you’re concerned about the environment and want to help make a difference, apply for a carbon credit card today.