Have you ever been enticed by credit card offers that offer cashback incentives or 0% APR?
These credit cards seem like a great deal, but what we told you there were credit card companies out there who not only promise money back and no interest rates, but also invest in a more sustainable planet?
In this article, we’ll talk about credit card offers, how to find an eco-friendly credit card, and some of the top cards on the market.
What are credit card rewards?
A credit card reward is an incentive or benefit that credit card companies give to their customers to promote their business.
The incentives are offered to you when you choose a credit card with perks and benefits, which can include cashback rewards, 0% APR on purchases, frequent flyer miles, hotel points, and more. It may seem like credit cards are doing you a favor, but credit card companies are often the ones really getting rewarded.
How credit card offers and rewards benefit credit card companies
Credit card rewards help attract new customers and can increase the lifetime value of a customer.
The longer you stay with a credit card company, the more interest you pay on your balance.
The dangers of credit card rewards are that they entice you to spend more than you might be able to afford and can cause you to buy things you do not need. This causes many people to plunge into debt and not be able to pay their credit card bills on time, hence the incurring of interest rates.
What kinds of credit card rewards can you get?
Flight miles: A credit card offer that allows you the chance to earn flight miles and travel for free. They can be a great way to rack up enough rewards points before you take your next trip, but this credit card perk isn’t as green as it may seem at first glance.
Cashback: A credit card offer that provides you with cashback on all your credit card purchases, which can be a great way to save money. The credit card company takes some of the profit you would have made and offers it back as cashback rewards for users who shop at their business partners.
*Note: These business partners may not be the most eco-friendly choices.
0% APR: A credit card offer that provides consumers with 0% APR on all their purchases and balance transfers. This is a great way to avoid paying interest charges, and for credit card users to invest in themselves, but it is worth bearing in mind that the 0% APR usually only lasts for a limited time.
Reward Points: A credit card that offers users reward points for shopping at different retailers. These kinds of credit card offers are great for consumers who enjoy shopping at a variety of places and can be especially beneficial for people looking to save money on gas since they get reward points for filling up their tanks.
Other incentives: Other credit card offers include hotel reward programs, online savings, and more. Even though these credit cards may not be as environmentally friendly as companies would like to think they are, they may provide people with incentives that can help the consumer invest in a more sustainable planet.
- The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card – This credit card provides you with cashback bonus offers and 0% APR for the first 12 months. It also boasts a 6% bonus cash rewards for U.S. supermarket purchases, 3% cash rewards on transit commuting, and unlimited 3% cashback on gas purchases.
- The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card – This credit card provides you with a $150 sign-up bonus cash rewards offer after you use your new card to make $500 in purchases within the first three months. It also offers 0% APR for 15 months on purchases, as well as no annual fee which is great for consumers looking to save money without having to worry about hidden fees.
- The Citi Double Cash Card – This credit card provides you with unlimited cashback rewards of up to one percent on all purchases, while also boasting no annual fee and 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers made within the first four months. The only downside is that it doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus or any other incentives.
While these can be great offers, there are more sustainable financing options out there–let’s take a look.
What makes a credit card sustainable?
Every credit card company has different ideas about what it means to be sustainable. Some credit card companies may use recycled plastic credit cards while others may use eco-friendly credit cards.
The credit cards may have built-in incentives that are eco-friendly, but it is up to the consumer to decide if their company practices are sustainable.
The most common ways these credit cards are sustainable is through their:
- Materials: Credit card companies may offer sustainable materials to credit card users such as recycled plastics or biodegradable plastic.
- Rewards: Some credit cards have eco-friendly incentives built into their rewards programs like reward points for renewable energy incentives or organic products.
- Energy consumption: How much energy does the company use, and from what sources? Using renewable energy sources and aiming to reduce or offset their carbon footprint can be signs of sustainability in a business.
- Eco-friendly business practices: How much effort is put into eco-friendly business practices that benefit communities, consumers, and employees?
- Influence on consumer behavior: Does the business have a desire to positively impact the planet? Are their ethics influencing the way they operate their business?
These incentives can help people invest in sustainable living, but it does not stop at the incentive program and how much energy is consumed by their business practices. The most important way for these companies to be sustainable is to use sustainable practices in their business processes, too.
These are just some of the questions that you might want to be asking yourself when deciding which credit cards to use, especially if sustainability is a priority for you. You might also want to consider the following questions:
How does the company’s behavior impact the environment?
Every credit card company has different impacts on its environment and they may or may not be environmentally friendly.
When it comes to consumer eco-friendly cards, companies can control what materials they are buying for their products, where they source these products from, and what incentives they use for their business.
What makes a credit card green?
Every credit card company has different ideas about what it means to be green.
Some companies may use recycled plastic or biodegradable plastics for their cards while others are not concerned with the environmental impact of producing new materials. These cards may have built-in incentives that are environmentally friendly, but it is up to the consumer to decide if these actions make the company green.
Credit cards that offer eco-rewards
There are credit card companies out there who not only promise mainstream credit card rewards, they also invest in renewable energy projects and other sustainable practices.
We’ve pulled together the top sustainable credit card offers available in 2021 to give you extra-sustainable spending power.
As a carbon-conscious individual looking for ways to make the world better and greener, you might be looking for an alternative financial solution to fossil-fuel investing by big banks.
The neobank Aspiration is committed not just in word but through its actions–they don’t invest in any fossil fuel projects or other businesses that contribute to the destruction of our planet.
For each swipe of their Aspiration Zero credit card Aspiration will plant a tree on your behalf, in addition to giving you the chance to plant a second tree by rounding up your purchase.
Not only that, but Aspiration helps you work towards carbon neutrality through its easy-to-use app that tracks the carbon footprint of your purchases–even rewarding you in the months you hit carbon neutral.
One credit card–zero footprint. As the most sustainable card on our list, the Aspiration Zero could be a great choice for everyday spending that rewards both you and the planet.
The Green America Credit Card
The Green America credit card is a great way to give back and support our environment.
The TCM Bank Visa has all of the benefits that you would expect from any other bank in addition to actively supporting green businesses.
By directing some money each month toward using The Green America Credit Card, you are not only helping the environment but local businesses as well.
Amalgamated Bank Credit Card
Amalgamated prides itself on being one of the pioneering socially responsible financial institutions in America.
It’s unionized, which means that it not only practices sustainability but also promotes partnerships and unity for better economic equity, while combating inequality from within its company, as well.
Interested in a credit card that reduces your carbon footprint? Meet Aspiration Zero
If you’re looking for a credit card that can help your purchases stay within the bounds of sustainability, we recommend the Aspiration Zero carbon credit card.
This is one of the few cards in existence that rewards you with points for going carbon neutral and offsetting your footprint.
Not only does this offer give you extra sustainable spending power, but it also provides peace of mind knowing that every purchase has been made responsibly. Interested? Apply now to get started today!