Do Eco-Friendly Reward Programs Make Banks Look Too Green?

by | Feb 7, 2008

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creditcard21.jpgFinancial institutions realize that adding green cards to their product lines boosts their own corporate environmental credentials. But, on the other hand, banks are reluctant to market green credit cards because they don’t want to appear “too green” or “judgmental of their customers’ behavior, ” the WSJ reports.

The green cards have critics too. The article notes some standard cash-back cards pay up to three percent of total spending whereas these cards contribute under two percent to green initiatives. Leslie Lowe of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility worries the cards give users an “easy pass” to go do things that are “carbon ridiculous.”

But all of this hasn’t stopped some banks from issuing green cards. For example, GE’s Earth Rewards MasterCard allows users one percent on each purchase to fund GHG reduction projects while BofA’s card program offers to offset one ton of CO2 emissions for every $1,000 cardholders spend.

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