The banking system has come under fire recently, mainly because of the recession and the excessive lending going on for the last decade, therefore it’s a surprise when these same banks start offering environmentally aware credit cards. Are these banks just trying to tap into a green market? Are they offering anything really new to those of us who genuinely have an interest in lowering our impact on the planet? What cards offer what exactly? Here is our run down of 5 cards we think are worth mentioning.
1: Barclaycard Breathe
Breathe has been a huge success and it’s easy to see why, first of all the card itself is made from non PVC material and offers paperless statements, not so different to the competition you might say. But the amazing thing about Breathe is the massive 50% of after tax profit it hands over to government approved environmental projects in the UK, Asia and South America. It’s really easy to now see why the consumers love it so much.
2: HSBC Green Credit Card
Once again we see paperless statements and environmentally friendly plastic used in the construction and manufacture of the product. Nothing new. But HSBC says 0.1% of purchases made will go toward funding local community driven green products such as new community centres and school roofs in highly populated areas. Seems to be a winner in the far east.
3: RSPB Credit Card
Beating a path to direct action using personal finance as a tool, the RSPB launched this back in
1989, years before green was “cool”. From the second you sign up the RSPB get £18 and another
£2.50 if you stick with it 6 months. You also automatically donate 25p for every £100 you spend on
the card making it a very direct response to problems in the wild.
4: Triodos Eco Visa Card
One of the cards people rave about is the Triodos, and when you drill a little deeper you can see
why. Firstly they offer the usual paperless, eco friendly card, then they offer a zero carbon emission running environment, then they say their offices are powered by renewable energy. Plus when you sign up they plant a new tree at their own forest in Spain. Above all that they offer to offset a whopping 1 ton of carbon emissions from the customer if they use the cards 5 times a month for 1 year. What a credit card!
5: WWF Platinum Visa
The World Wildlife Fund launched this back in 1995 alongside JP Morgan, when you sign up JP
Morgan will donate $50 to the WWF and then 1% of your transaction costs to them every month.
Since its inception in 1995 it has put well over $10 million into the WWF purse. So there are tons of options for the green minded consumer who wants to use a regular credit card but add a little green value to their purchases, the question you need to ask is which cause do you think is most worthy.
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