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Best Eco-Friendly Cards for February 2024

Lessen your environmental impact while earning rewards.

  • CNET'S PICK
    CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
    4.5/10
    Annual Fee $60
    Rewards Rate
    .5% back The Aspiration Zero rewards every eligible purchase with .5% unlimited cash back on all eligible transactions each payment period and an additional .5% back on all qualifying purchases each month carbon zero is reached.
    Intro offer available Earn $300 by spending $3000 within your first 3 months
  • CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
    5.5/10
    Annual Fee $0
    Rewards Rate
    1% - 6% Earn 6% cashback on select partner brands; 5% cashback on the first $25,000 per year of purchases spent on public transport, electric charging, bikes and scooters, secondhand clothes and furniture and plant-based meat, dairy and eggs; 1% cashback on all other purchases
  • CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
    4/10
    Annual Fee $0
    Rewards Rate
    one point Earn one point per dollar on net purchases. There's no cap on points you can earn and points never expire. Redeem for merchandise and travel rewards. Visit cRewardsCard.com for details.
  • CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
    7/10
    Annual Fee $0
    Rewards Rate
    1x - 4x Unlimited 4x points on dining, take-out & food delivery; Unlimited 2x points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, gas and electric vehicle charging stations and streaming services; Unlimited 1x points on all other eligible net purchases
    Intro offer available $150 bonus (15,000 points) after $500 in eligible net purchases are made within the first 90 days of account opening
  • CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
    6.5/10
    Annual Fee $0
    Rewards Rate
    1.5% cash back Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase. Every day.
    Intro offer available $30 Bonus (3,000 points equivalent) when you spend $600 within the first 3 billing cycles after the account is opened.

Climate change affects nearly all aspects of our lives, including the air we breathe, what we eat and how we travel. While some large financial institutions have been working to limit carbon emissions, some banks have been more successful than others. 

And while the responsibility shouldn’t always fall to the individual when large corporations are pumping billions of dollars into the fossil fuel industry each year (download the Banking on Climate Chaos report to learn more and plant a tree!), being conscious of what purchases you’re making and which financial institutions you’re supporting could go a long way toward building a greener, more sustainable future.

To that end, if you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint and help protect the environment, consider adding one of these eco-friendly credit cards to your wallet.

CNET’S PICK
4.5/10
CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
$300 Earn $300 by spending $3000 within your first 3 months
Annual Fee
$60
Rewards Rate
.5% back The Aspiration Zero rewards every eligible purchase with .5% unlimited cash back on all eligible transactions each payment period and an additional .5% back on all qualifying purchases each month carbon zero is reached.
Rec. Credit Recommended Credit: A credit score is used to indicate an applicant’s credit worthiness and may provide guidance about account eligibility. It does not necessarily guarantee approval for any financial product.
670 – 850 Good – Excellent
APR
15.90% – 25.70% variable

The Aspiration Zero* credit card plants a tree every time you make a qualifying purchase to offset your carbon footprint and gives you the option to round up your transaction (at your own expense) to plant another tree through its Plant Your Change program.

Every month you “reach carbon zero” through this tree-planting feature -- which Aspiration defines as making 60 qualifying transactions or rounding up the change on 30 qualifying transactions a month -- you’ll earn unlimited 1% cash back on all qualifying purchases for the month. Otherwise, you’ll earn 0.5% cash back on all qualifying purchases.

The 1% cash back rate is relatively low compared to other cash back cards, and the card doesn’t currently offer any other perks. Coupled with a $60 annual fee, this card won’t be the best for maximizing rewards.

But the argument could be made that the true reward is helping the environment. In addition to planting a tree with every swipe, you’ll be supporting a bank that doesn’t invest in or fund the fossil fuel industry.  You can track your carbon footprint in the card’s companion app to monitor how well you’re doing each billing cycle. Unlike a typical credit card, the Aspiration Zero credit card is made from biodegradable, plant-based materials that will naturally break down over time.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
N/A
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
15.90% – 25.70% variable
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
.5% back
The Aspiration Zero rewards every eligible purchase with .5% unlimited cash back on all eligible transactions each payment period and an additional .5% back on all qualifying purchases each month carbon zero is reached.

The Aspiration Zero* credit card plants a tree every time you make a qualifying purchase to offset your carbon footprint and gives you the option to round up your transaction (at your own expense) to plant another tree through its Plant Your Change program.

Every month you “reach carbon zero” through this tree-planting feature -- which Aspiration defines as making 60 qualifying transactions or rounding up the change on 30 qualifying transactions a month -- you’ll earn unlimited 1% cash back on all qualifying purchases for the month. Otherwise, you’ll earn 0.5% cash back on all qualifying purchases.

The 1% cash back rate is relatively low compared to other cash back cards, and the card doesn’t currently offer any other perks. Coupled with a $60 annual fee, this card won’t be the best for maximizing rewards.

But the argument could be made that the true reward is helping the environment. In addition to planting a tree with every swipe, you’ll be supporting a bank that doesn’t invest in or fund the fossil fuel industry.  You can track your carbon footprint in the card’s companion app to monitor how well you’re doing each billing cycle. Unlike a typical credit card, the Aspiration Zero credit card is made from biodegradable, plant-based materials that will naturally break down over time.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
N/A
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
15.90% – 25.70% variable
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
.5% back
The Aspiration Zero rewards every eligible purchase with .5% unlimited cash back on all eligible transactions each payment period and an additional .5% back on all qualifying purchases each month carbon zero is reached.
5.5/10
CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1% – 6% Earn 6% cashback on select partner brands; 5% cashback on the first $25,000 per year of purchases spent on public transport, electric charging, bikes and scooters, secondhand clothes and furniture and plant-based meat, dairy and eggs; 1% cashback on all other purchases
Rec. Credit Recommended Credit: A credit score is used to indicate an applicant’s credit worthiness and may provide guidance about account eligibility. It does not necessarily guarantee approval for any financial product.
N/A
APR
N/A

The FutureCard Visa Debit Card* isn’t a credit card, meaning you won’t undergo a credit check to qualify, but you will need to link a valid bank account. While it’s not a credit card, it’s still a rewarding option for conscious spenders.

Cardholders can earn 6% cash back with a number of sustainable brands and second-hand stores including Patagonia Worn Wear and Northface Renewed. You’ll earn 5% cash back (on the first $25,000 spent per calendar year, then 1%) for sustainable purchases such as EV charging, public transportation, thrift stores and bike shops and 1% for everything else.

You can monitor your environment contributions by checking your FutureScore on the card issuer’s website.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
N/A
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
6%
Earn 6% cashback on select partner brands
5%
5% cashback on the first $25,000 per year of purchases spent on public transport, electric charging, bikes and scooters, secondhand clothes and furniture and plant-based meat, dairy and eggs
1%
1% cashback on all other purchases

The FutureCard Visa Debit Card* isn’t a credit card, meaning you won’t undergo a credit check to qualify, but you will need to link a valid bank account. While it’s not a credit card, it’s still a rewarding option for conscious spenders.

Cardholders can earn 6% cash back with a number of sustainable brands and second-hand stores including Patagonia Worn Wear and Northface Renewed. You’ll earn 5% cash back (on the first $25,000 spent per calendar year, then 1%) for sustainable purchases such as EV charging, public transportation, thrift stores and bike shops and 1% for everything else.

You can monitor your environment contributions by checking your FutureScore on the card issuer’s website.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
N/A
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
6%
Earn 6% cashback on select partner brands
5%
5% cashback on the first $25,000 per year of purchases spent on public transport, electric charging, bikes and scooters, secondhand clothes and furniture and plant-based meat, dairy and eggs
1%
1% cashback on all other purchases
4/10
CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Annual Fee
None
Rewards Rate
one point Earn one point per dollar on net purchases. There’s no cap on points you can earn and points never expire. Redeem for merchandise and travel rewards. Visit cRewardsCard.com for details.
Rec. Credit Recommended Credit: A credit score is used to indicate an applicant’s credit worthiness and may provide guidance about account eligibility. It does not necessarily guarantee approval for any financial product.
No Credit History
APR
13.74% – 23.74% Variable APR

Each time you use the Green America Rewards Platinum Visa credit card*, a portion of your purchase will be donated toward Green America’s social and environmental pursuits, including worker reform, forest protection and better, greener, banking practices. It’s also more travel focused than the other card’s on this list.

It’s not the most rewarding card, but you can’t put a price on bettering society, right? Cardholders earn 1x point per dollar for their purchases, which can then be redeemed for merchandise or travel. The card includes travel accident insurance too, a relatively rare find for a credit card without an annual fee.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
0% Intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles
Intro Purchase APR
0% Intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles
Regular APR
13.74% – 23.74% Variable APR
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
one point
Earn one point per dollar on net purchases. There’s no cap on points you can earn and points never expire. Redeem for merchandise and travel rewards. Visit cRewardsCard.com for details.

Each time you use the Green America Rewards Platinum Visa credit card*, a portion of your purchase will be donated toward Green America’s social and environmental pursuits, including worker reform, forest protection and better, greener, banking practices. It’s also more travel focused than the other card’s on this list.

It’s not the most rewarding card, but you can’t put a price on bettering society, right? Cardholders earn 1x point per dollar for their purchases, which can then be redeemed for merchandise or travel. The card includes travel accident insurance too, a relatively rare find for a credit card without an annual fee.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
0% Intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles
Intro Purchase APR
0% Intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles
Regular APR
13.74% – 23.74% Variable APR
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
one point
Earn one point per dollar on net purchases. There’s no cap on points you can earn and points never expire. Redeem for merchandise and travel rewards. Visit cRewardsCard.com for details.
7/10
CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
$150 bonus $150 bonus (15,000 points) after $500 in eligible net purchases are made within the first 90 days of account opening
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1x – 4x Unlimited 4x points on dining, take-out & food delivery; Unlimited 2x points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, gas and electric vehicle charging stations and streaming services; Unlimited 1x points on all other eligible net purchases
Rec. Credit Recommended Credit: A credit score is used to indicate an applicant’s credit worthiness and may provide guidance about account eligibility. It does not necessarily guarantee approval for any financial product.
N/A
APR
19.49% to 29.49% variable

The Sunrise Banks Everyday Rewards+ Card* provides rewards for purchases people frequently make, including at restaurants, grocery stores, gas or EV charging and streaming. Sunrise Banks, the issuer, is also committed to building a more sustainable future and a greener banking industry.

Sunrise Banks is a Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) member. GABV is an independent financial institution network dedicated to creating positive change in the banking industry through social and environmental initiatives.

If you’re looking for a rewarding credit card from an issuer with a smaller carbon footprint than big banks, this is one to consider. There’s no annual fee, an introductory APR offer and a decent welcome bonus to earn.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
0% introductory APR for the first 6 billing cycles
Intro Purchase APR
0% introductory APR for the first 6 billing cycles
Regular APR
19.49% to 29.49% variable
Balance Transfer Fee
Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater
4x
Unlimited 4x points on dining, take-out & food delivery
2x
Unlimited 2x points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, gas and electric vehicle charging stations and streaming services
1x
Unlimited 1x points on all other eligible net purchases

The Sunrise Banks Everyday Rewards+ Card* provides rewards for purchases people frequently make, including at restaurants, grocery stores, gas or EV charging and streaming. Sunrise Banks, the issuer, is also committed to building a more sustainable future and a greener banking industry.

Sunrise Banks is a Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) member. GABV is an independent financial institution network dedicated to creating positive change in the banking industry through social and environmental initiatives.

If you’re looking for a rewarding credit card from an issuer with a smaller carbon footprint than big banks, this is one to consider. There’s no annual fee, an introductory APR offer and a decent welcome bonus to earn.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
0% introductory APR for the first 6 billing cycles
Intro Purchase APR
0% introductory APR for the first 6 billing cycles
Regular APR
19.49% to 29.49% variable
Balance Transfer Fee
Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater
4x
Unlimited 4x points on dining, take-out & food delivery
2x
Unlimited 2x points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, gas and electric vehicle charging stations and streaming services
1x
Unlimited 1x points on all other eligible net purchases
6.5/10
CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
$30 $30 Bonus (3,000 points equivalent) when you spend $600 within the first 3 billing cycles after the account is opened.
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1.5% cash back Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase. Every day.
Rec. Credit Recommended Credit: A credit score is used to indicate an applicant’s credit worthiness and may provide guidance about account eligibility. It does not necessarily guarantee approval for any financial product.
N/A
APR
23.49% – 29.49% variable

The Amalgamated Bank Maximum Rewards Word Mastercard* offers a flat 1.5% cash-back rate for everything you buy, with no annual fee and an introductory APR offer to help avoid interest charges for a time. It’s simple, pairs well with any tiered-rewards cards you may have already, and its issuing bank works to make the world a better place.

Amalgamated Bank supports workers rights, voting rights, reproductive rights and climate justice. The bank pledges to not lend to fossil fuel companies, is a member of the Net Zero Banking Alliance and supports forest conservation. It’s also a certified B Corp, which means it meets the highest standards of environmental and social performance, as well as public transparency, as denoted by the non-profit organization B Lab.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
0.00% introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles.
Intro Purchase APR
0.00% introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles.
Regular APR
23.49% – 29.49% variable
Balance Transfer Fee
5% (minimum $10) applies to each balance transfer you make
1.5% cash back
Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase. Every day.

The Amalgamated Bank Maximum Rewards Word Mastercard* offers a flat 1.5% cash-back rate for everything you buy, with no annual fee and an introductory APR offer to help avoid interest charges for a time. It’s simple, pairs well with any tiered-rewards cards you may have already, and its issuing bank works to make the world a better place.

Amalgamated Bank supports workers rights, voting rights, reproductive rights and climate justice. The bank pledges to not lend to fossil fuel companies, is a member of the Net Zero Banking Alliance and supports forest conservation. It’s also a certified B Corp, which means it meets the highest standards of environmental and social performance, as well as public transparency, as denoted by the non-profit organization B Lab.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
0.00% introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles.
Intro Purchase APR
0.00% introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles.
Regular APR
23.49% – 29.49% variable
Balance Transfer Fee
5% (minimum $10) applies to each balance transfer you make
1.5% cash back
Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase. Every day.

What is an eco-friendly credit card?

Eco-friendly credit cards are credit cards that do more for the environment than standard credit cards. They’re typically created using recycled or sustainable materials such as recycled plastic, metal or wood.

Their rewards may revolve around sustainable products, or a portion of the rewards or purchase might be donated toward environmental initiatives. Many of them are designed to help offset your carbon footprint, minimizing your environmental impact.

The issuing bank typically won’t lend to fossil-fuel companies or other harmful industries and is likely involved in supporting the environment or social movements through non-profit organizations or other programs.

What are the benefits of an eco-friendly credit card?

Some of the ethical benefits include reducing your carbon footprint or impact on the environment, supporting green initiatives and having a cleaner conscience. Some eco-friendly credit cards are also rewarding in terms of spending. If you don’t have a flat-rate cash back card or a credit card that offers rewards for your everyday purchases like gas or groceries, consider one that also works to better the environment while earning rewards.

How to choose the best eco-friendly credit card

Choosing the right eco-friendly card will come down to your spending habits, which financial institution you prefer to support and making sure your card is made from sustainable materials.

Material

Eco-friendly credit cards are usually made with sustainable materials, which could include recycled plastics, metal or wood. Be sure the card you choose isn’t built from harmful plastics that could lead to more waste.

Rewards

Choosing the best rewards credit card -- eco-friendly or otherwise -- comes down to where you typically spend money. You’ll want to make sure that the card’s rewards match how you spend and won’t encourage you to either overspend or to make purchases you otherwise wouldn’t have.

While there are some rewarding options listed above, some of them are designed to encourage better, more environmentally-conscious spending choices, and provide less rewards than a standard rewards credit card.

Annual fee

Consider whether or not the card carries an annual fee, and if you’re able to generate enough rewards to cover it through your normal spending habits. An annual fee can be worth paying as it can translate to greater rewards and better card perks. But in some cases it could be more of a detriment if you’re unable to offset the cost with the value of the card’s rewards.

Banking institution

A major aspect of choosing the right eco-friendly card is taking a look at the issuing bank. You’ll want to make sure the issuer isn’t involved in funding any environmentally-harmful industries like fossil fuels. Instead, look for financial institutions that support the kind of non-profit organizations or initiatives that align with your values.

Should you get an eco-friendly credit card?

If you’re concerned about your impact on the environment, consider choosing a credit card that’ll help to minimize it. Not only can you find some rewarding options, but you can also swipe your card knowing you’re helping to better the world for you and everyone else.

On the other hand, eco-friendly credit cards typically won’t be the most lucrative option from a pure rewards standpoint. If maximizing your credit card rewards and benefits is your primary goal but you still want to help the environment, consider getting a regular cash back card and donating your rewards to nonprofit organizations that support the environment. You can also practice environmentally-conscious spending habits regardless of what payment method you use. 

How to apply for an eco-friendly credit card

Follow these steps to apply for an eco-friendly credit card:

  1. Choose the card that best aligns with your beliefs and spending habits
  2. Follow the link above to be taken to the card issuer’s website
  3. Fill out an application with all of the required personal and financial information
  4. Use your card responsibly and always pay on time

FAQs

Eco-friendly credit cards might be made from sustainable materials and their issuers typically support non-profit organizations or other initiatives that work toward bettering the environment. This may include forest conservation, limiting carbon emissions or other green initiatives. Some eco-friendly credit cards are issued by banks that avoid doing business with environmentally-unfriendly industries, like the fossil fuel industry.

Plastic credit cards themselves can be harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly. In addition, many large banks that issue the cards invest in environmentally-harmful industries like fossil fuels.

The FutureCard Visa Card will be the easiest to qualify for because it’s a debit card and not a credit card. That means there’s no credit check required; all you need is a valid bank account to link.

*All information about the Aspiration Zero, FutureCard Visa Debit Card, Green America Rewards Platinum Visa credit card, Sunrise Banks Everyday Rewards+ Card and Amalgamated Bank Maximum Rewards World Mastercard has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

Evan Zimmer has been writing about finance for years. After graduating with a journalism degree from SUNY Oswego, he wrote credit card content for Credit Card Insider (now Money Tips) before moving to ZDNET Finance to cover credit card, banking and blockchain news. He currently works with CNET Money to bring readers the most accurate and up-to-date financial information. Otherwise, you can find him reading, rock climbing, snowboarding and enjoying the outdoors.