Is green the new platinum?

The word green has been commonly associated with two things: money and nature. Now, the greens are coming together as more credit card issuers create products that appeal to eco-conscious consumers. Here are just a few of the options:

-UMB Bank recently launched a credit product that gives users credit for spending money on eco-friendly products. The Eco Rewards Visa Card gives users a standard points reward for purchases, but doubles the points when users make environmentally conscious purchases.
-Bank of America’s green card called Brighter Planet redeems points monthly to fund renewable energy products; every 1,000 points funds an estimated 1 ton of carbon offsets.
-Eco-conscious consumers can choose one of many cards affiliated with an environmental group, such as The Nature Conservancy. According to CreditCards.com, the Nature Conservancy’s affinity card program earns them more than $1 million a year. As with any credit product, it pays to shop for the best deal – for the environment and for you. Visit CreditCardWatcher.com for a list of green credit cards.

Interestingly, a survey by CreditCards.com found that nearly a third of Americans are willing to pay a higher rate for environmentally friendly cards. If you are not willing to pay more for environmental benefits, there are other ways to make credit use more Earth-friendly. For example, you can “opt-out” of having pre-approved credit offers sent to you. According to StopJunkMailKit.com, more than 100 million trees are destroyed each year to produce junk mail. For more ideas, read CreditCard.com’s 10 ways to go green with credit cards.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.