What Are Green Credit Cards?

N. Madison
N. Madison

Green credit cards attempt to help the environment in some way. Often, they work to help by reducing the waste of paper. For example, this type of credit card may reward account holders who agree to receive electronic statements instead of paper statements. Some green credit cards may also donate a percentage of each purchase to environmental efforts. For instance, a customer's use of a green credit card may, in some cases, translate into the planting of a tree or the funding of an environmental project.

Credit card logos.
Credit card logos.

When a person uses a green credit card, he does two things. First, he borrows money to make a purchase as he would with any type of credit card. Second, however, he makes a contribution to some sort of environmental cause. The cardholder's contribution is often a percentage of his purchase, balance transfer, or advance using the credit card. For example, if a person makes a charge of $500 US Dollars (USD) on this card, his credit card company may take one percent of it, or $5.00 USD, and contribute it to an environmental cause; the cardholder is not charged any additional money for the contribution.

Often, green credit cards also attempt to reduce consumption of paper. For example, many of these credit cards only provide electronic statements and do not offer paper statements. In fact, some may even reward account holders for making purchases using the card instead of making payments that involve the use of paper. For instance, an account holder may be rewarded with $.05 USD for every credit card transaction made in lieu of other types of payments.

In many cases, a person who has a green credit card does not have any choice when it comes to how the percentage of his charges is used. Usually, the credit card company decides how to contribute the money. There are some green credit card accounts, however, that present a list of environmental causes and allow the account holder to choose the one to which his purchases will contribute.

In addition to saving paper and contributing to environmental causes, there is still another way in which a green credit card may help the environment. Some, though not all, green credit cards are made of materials that are friendly to the environment. As such, applying for this type of card provides a person with a way of helping the environment before he even makes his first purchase.

N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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