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“Green” Credit Cards Come of Age: Consumers Urged to Break Up With Abusive Mega-Banks in Favor of Issuers With Community Focus
Green America Encourages Consumers to Take the Pledge to Switch to Green Cards; In Addition to Community Development Focus, Credits Cards Offer Low Fees and More Benefits, Including Reward Points.
December 11, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC --
With sky-high fees, nose-bleed interest rates, outlandish CEO salaries, questionable environmental practices, and a host of other flaws, megabanks offering credit cards used to be a necessary evil for most consumers.
But the growth in the number and features of “green” credits cards now mean that consumers have choices. Those who want to opt out of dealing with megabanks collecting $60 billion per year in transaction charges, can now take the pledge (http://bit.ly/switchyourcard) to switch to credit cards that put people and planet ahead of a single-minded focus on profits at any cost. A growing number of the “green” credit cards now feature such bonus elements as travel points.
Green America Corporate Responsibility Division Director Todd Larsen said: “The good news is that rise of ‘green’ credit cards with low fees, good rates, and extra features such as travel perks means that consumer fed up with megabank abuses now have real choices. Changing to a responsible, green credit card is easy. We encourage concerned consumers to take the time now to learn how to put a ‘green’ credit card in their wallet or purse.”
At http://www.takechargeofyourcard.org, Green America is featuring 10 great “green” card choices that consumers can make today – just in time for the holiday shopping season:
Credit Card: One PacificCoast Bank Visa Platinum
Description: Offered from a leader in beneficial banking, this card supports One PacificCoast Bank's mission to lift up communities and preserve the environment in the Pacific Northwest. The card features a low variable APR, no annual fee, and Scorecard Reward Points for travel and merchandise.
Website/Contact: http://www.onepacificcoastbank.com/personal-visa-platinum-credit-card.aspx and (888) 326-2265.
Credit card name: The Green America Visa
Description: This card supports the nonprofit Green America's green-economy programs. Use this card to direct a portion of every purchase toward Green America's work to build fair trading systems, advance clean energy, get genetically modified organisms (GMOs) out of our food supply, and support green businesses. Includes reward points for travel and merchandise
Website/Contact: http://www.onepacificcoastbank.com/greenamerica.aspx and (888) 326-2265.
Credit card name: Salmon Nation Affinity Card
Description: Directs a percentage of its income to growing environmental stewardship of “Salmon Nation,” a bio-region from Alaska to Oregon. The Salmon Nation Affinity Card also offers benefits based on the “ScoreCards Credit Union Rewards Program,” where points earned may be used for travel and merchandise.
Website/Contact: http://www.onepacificcoastbank.com/personal-affinity-card-salmon-nation.aspx; (888) 326-2265.
Credit card name: Amazon Watch Affinity Card
Description: Defend the Amazon rain forest with every purchase! Amazon Watch works directly with indigenous communities and at the regional and international levels to protect ecologically and culturally sensitive ecosystems in Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador and Peru. Offers reward points for travel and merchandise and tickets good on any airline with no blackout dates.
Website/Contact: http://onepacificcoastbank.com/amazon-watch-affinity-card.aspx and (888) 326-2265
Credit card name: The Sierra Club Visa Card
Description: Supports the nation's largest grassroots environmental organization. Offers reward points for travel and merchandise, with tickets good on any airline with no blackout dates. Website/Contact: http://www.onepacificcoastbank.com/personal-sierra-club-affinity-card.aspx; and (888) 326-2265.
Credit card name: The ReDirect Visa
Description: Helps support Sustainable Travel International. The card also earns cardholders discounts at participating green businesses in the three regions served by ReDirect green business guides: Denver/Boulder/Ft.Collins, Portland/Vancouver, and Salt Lake City. Many of the businesses in the Redirect guide offer Web and phone sales
Website/Contact: http://www.onepacificcoastbank.com/personal-affinity-card-redirect-guide.aspx and (888) 326-2265.
Credit card name: Southern Bancorp Visa
Description: Since its formation in 1986 in Arkadelphia, AR, Southern has originated over $2 billion in development loans—primarily to individuals and organizations in the poorest areas of the United States. Today, Southern Bancorp focuses its activities on select areas of Arkansas and Mississippi. Offers one point for every net $1 spent, and an automatic 25% bonus on all points earned each month. Points may be used for cash back, merchandise, travel, or gift cards from popular retailers.
Website/Contact: https://banksouthern.com/credit-card-services/ and (800) 789-3428
Credit card name: The Loop Card Visa
Description: Issued by Albina Community Bank in Portland, OR, the card supports Albina’s mission to lift up Portland. An additional one percent of every purchase helps fund projects in education, social services, environment, the arts, or economic development. You don’t need an Albina account to apply. Instead of offering a reward to the cardholder, the Loop Visa offers a reward to the cardholder’s favorite charity or cause (at no extra charge to cardholder).
Website/Contact: http://www.albinabank.com/personal/pb_creditcard.cfm and (800) 299-9842
Credit card name: Permaculture Credit Union’s Visa Card
Description: Based in New Mexico, PCU is committed to Earth-friendly and socially responsible loans and investments. PCU’s card is issued by the Illinois Credit Union League. It is available to members of Permaculture Credit Union.
Website/Contact: http://www.permaculturecu.org/visa-credit-card; (866) 954-3479.
Credit card name: Hope Federal Credit Union MasterCard
Description: Based in Jackson, MS, Hope has worked for decades to improve lives in the Mid-South. You must be a member of HOPE to apply for the credit card, but membership is open to all. The Hope Federal Credit Union MasterCard offers 1 reward point per $1 spent, and 1,000 bonus points on the first transaction. Points may be redeemed for travel and merchandise at the Credit Union Rewards Center.
Website/Contact: http://www.ecd.org/index.php/our-products/for-individuals/credicards and (866)321-HOPE
ABOUT GREEN AMERICA
Green America is the nation’s leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America (formerly Co-op America) provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses, investors, and individuals to solve today’s social and environmental problems. http://www.greenamerica.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Will Harwood, (703) 276-3255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact Todd Larsen by email