value to be shared with the organization by simply harnessing the existing purchase behavior of the cardholder. The cons are that it might include a subtle inducement to spend more than you might otherwise, due to the feeling that it is going to a good cause. Getting into debt and incurring interest charges would more than offset the value of the earned reward or donation.”
If you, like Evans, are considering a green credit card, do your research. John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education for Credit.com, encourages consumers to focus more on the contract terms than on whether or not the card is “green.”
Credit.com, CreditCards.com, and CardRatings.com are among Websites that can help you compare rates and incentives such as cash back, rewards, and balance transfers. Consumers can also use the credit cards they already own to help the planet.
“While green credit cards boast about how much they benefit the environment, standard no frill, cash back credit cards usually offer considerably higher rebate percentages,” says Curtis Arnold, founder of CardRatings.com. “Wise consumers can just take their annual cash rebate from a regular cash back card and donate it to the green cause of their choice without any strings attached. Using this strategy will give you the most bang for your buck.”
This article originally appeared in the March 2010 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.