Rewards Credit Cards go Green.

Europe has been offering them for years, and now some US banks are getting in on the act.  If you are willing to give up your personal rewards perks, you can help reduce carbon emissions every time you use your credit card.

The Wall Street Journal reports on three banks that have different ways of being green.   Bank of America has a deal with a company called “Brighter Planet” that uses all the “rewards” points/dollars to help finance renewable energy projects.  It also offers a pretty good fixed interest rate starting at just under 10%.

General Electric offers  their “GE Money Earth Rewards Master Card,” which designates up to 1% of your charges to a joint venture with AES corp to expand use of green energy.  The grant is made on Earth day every year.  They are not so generous with interest which starts at 12.99%, and is variable.

MetaBank has a “GreenPay Master Card” that uses some of your charges to buy carbon credits from the Chicago Climate Exchange.  Their interest rate is fixed at 13.25%.

You can figure out which card is the best deal for you by seeing what interest rate you qualify for, and checking terms.   Which is best for the environment is a more complicated question, but they all do seem to offer some benefit.  Just remember, as one environmentalist said, that these cards are only a small part of what we have to do to reduce greenhouse gases.

For more on rewards credit cards becoming more environmentally friendly,  see:

A Fortune Magazine article on the GE Green Rewards Card

MSN Moneycentral and BankRate on Rewards credit cards turning Green

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