How to Use Credit Card Bonuses in a Sustainable Way

Those Credit Card Bonuses May Be Taxable - The New York Times

Credit cards are a powerful banking tool that has been around for decades. If you know how to use them properly, they can be very useful. There are several reasons why credit cards are so sought after. It’s not just the fact that they provide you with a short-term line of credit for any personal or professional expenses that you may have. 

However, credit card bonuses or rewards are arguably the biggest attraction for people. That’s what compels them to open up a new card when they might have a few in their wallet already. Banks and financial institutions often offer lucrative bonuses on their credit cards to entice people to sign up.

But what’s the best way to use these credit card bonuses, especially if you don’t want to navigate the labyrinthine rewards websites many credit cards often have? One potential solution is to invest your credit card bonuses towards environmentally sustainable projects. We’ll show you how. 

How credit card bonuses work

Customers may be eligible for straight-up cash bonuses on most cards. They could earn statement credits worth hundreds of dollars provided that they meet a spending threshold within a defined time period, often a few months. So they end up getting a straight discount on their purchases up to that bonus dollar amount. 

The rewards programs on cards have become a lot more sophisticated over the years. As users’ tastes have changed, they have adapted to the services that people use these days. So it’s common to find credits for food delivery, ride-sharing services, and other services offered as part of a new credit card signup. 

The number one reason why a lot of people open up multiple cards is to take advantage of the travel rewards offered. There are plenty of cards on the market that provide remarkable travel advantages. The points offered on these cards can be used towards booking flights and hotels across the globe. 

Card issuers have teamed up with some of the best airlines and hotels across the globe for the sole purpose of making their rewards program more appealing to cardholders. 

Customers signing up for a new card are often provided tens of thousands of reward points as a bonus. They’re able to use the points immediately for travel. Often these bonuses can also be stacked with other promotions and offers that may be available to extract the most possible value out of the program. 

The question remains, though, is that a sustainable way of using these credit card bonuses? Traveling across the globe tends to have a massive carbon footprint. By competing in this relentless race to offer the best possible travel rewards, the card issuers are actively incentivizing people to undertake trips that they may not otherwise go on. 

So are there any sustainable ways of using credit card bonuses? That’s what we’ll discuss here today.

Donating rewards points to environmental organizations

A lot of people use credit cards just for the convenience that they offer and the flexible payment terms. They may already be racking up a lot of points based on their purchase volume. They may have no intention of ever traveling by using them. There has to be a better way to spend all of those unused points. 

It’d probably be better to allow customers to exchange their rewards points for cash or allow the points to be donated to an environmental organization. 

Imagine the combined value of such donations if millions of people are donating their unused rewards points every month to countless environmental organizations that are doing work of vital importance to make our planet a better place.

The scale of the environmental challenges faced by the planet is enormous. Be it pollution, deforestation, destruction of natural habitats, or the melting of ice caps, humans’ relentless pursuit for growth and advancement has brought the planet on the verge of destruction. 

Fortunately, there are countless organizations out in the field doing crucial work to reverse some of the damage that has been caused to the environment. It is vital for the future of our species that these organizations be supported so that they’re able to improve the health of our planet for the generations to come.

Opt for cards that provide carbon offsets

Studies have shown that the average American lifestyle produces enough carbon dioxide emissions that roughly equal to more than 41,000 miles driven in a conventional passenger car. It’s also pertinent to note the scientific consensus that man-made emissions are the leading cause of global climate change. 

A lot of work has been done over the years to reduce our carbon footprint. Whether that be through green fuels, renewable energy sources, or electric cars. However, it’s still not enough. Even with these sustainability efforts, it’s not entirely possible to fully eliminate one’s carbon footprint. That’s why carbon offsets are so important.

Many card issuers now provide credit cards that offer carbon offsets to their customers. They’re able to get carbon offsets for everyday purchases. The actual rate of these offsets can vary by issuer. For example, some might reduce the cardholder’s carbon footprint by 2 pounds for every dollar that they spend in net purchases. 

Instead of providing them with rewards points that can be used for travel or other purchases, these cards often provide additional carbon offsets in the thousands of pounds for immediate and lasting environmental impact on the cardholder’s behalf. 

You can also track your carbon footprint and offsets through apps. 

Customers can see whether they’re on track to offset their footprint entirely through their spending alone. Eliminating the footprint by simply linking it to everyday purchases made using a credit card is a great method of reversing some of the damage that has been caused to the planet.

How Aspiration is leading the sustainable credit card revolution

Banks and financial institutions have realized that customers are now more aware than ever before of the impact that they have on the planet. 

Sustainability and environmental protection are social values that countless people across the globe hold dear. And Aspiration has risen to the occasion by offering products that align with those values. 

However, greenwashing — the process by which companies deceive consumers into believing their products and services are more environmentally friendly than they are — remains a major issue with the banking industry. 

The very same banks that provide eco-friendly services are also the ones that are giving away billions of dollars in financing every year to fossil fuel projects and other companies that don’t have the same social values. 

That’s not the case with Aspiration. This neobank has been founded with a 100% commitment to clean money. Not a single dollar from customer deposits is used to fund any fossil fuel projects. 

Aspiration provides customers with cash management accounts that provide them with the benefits of both a checking and a savings account with up to 1.00% APY.

Aspiration also offers a credit card that is on track to become a leading sustainable solution in the credit industry. 

The Aspiration Zero credit card aspires to help its customers achieve a zero carbon footprint. The card actively rewards cardholders for going carbon neutral, and Aspiration will plant a tree every time a customer makes a purchase using the card (or give customers the option to do so themselves).

The app shows their progress each month so that customers are always aware of what they need to do to eradicate their footprint. Cardholders are incentivized to reach carbon zero, and every month that they get there, Aspiration will give them cash back up to 1% of all their purchases. 

Just by joining the waitlist for Aspiration Zero, you not only get in line for this innovative new credit card, but Aspiration will also plant five trees on your behalf.

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