Socially Responsible Credit Cards

Personal credit cards tempt us with their promises of points, cash back, and bonuses. What they don’t tell us is that many credit cards are backed by big banks that fund the worst fossil fuel extraction projects. JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America together account for one-quarter of all fossil fuel financing identified over the last six years. However, socially responsible credit cards are becoming increasingly available. Do you have a credit card backed by one of the “dirty dozen” banks? If so, read on to learn your socially responsible credit card options.

Fossil fuel financing from big banks
“The Dirty Dozen” Banks (Source: RAN 2022)

Credit unions

Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members. They are member-owned and cooperative institutions that are often limited to people within their community. Credit unions regularly fund local small businesses and provide financing for sustainable projects. Credit cards from credit unions can be competitive in terms of interest rates and points. Additionally, credit unions are designed to enable financial inclusion, which means that they may offer a line of credit to individuals or businesses who are unbanked or have low credit scores. 

The National Credit Union Administration (an official government entity) offers a handy tool to help you find your local credit union. Socially responsible credit cards are offered by most credit unions.

Credit union credit cards

Amalgamated Bank

Amalgamated Bank is a nearly 100 year-old socially responsible bank. It aims to further economic, social, racial, and environmental justice. It is a politically active bank that doesn’t fund fossil fuels projects.

Amalgamated offers two credit cards

  1. Maximum Rewards® World Mastercard®: Rewards. Low Intro. Bonus offer.
  2. Secured Mastercard®: Establish or improve your credit.
Amalgamated Bank credit card

Beneficial State Bank

Beneficial State Bank (Beneficial State) opened in 2007 under a unique foundation ownership model. It is a socially responsible community bank that does not fund fossil fuels, private prisons, weapons manufacturing, or fracking.

Beneficial State offers three credit cards:

  1. Beneficial Builder: Perfect for those building, repairing, or new to credit.
  2. Beneficial Resilience: Great if you desire simplicity or if you tend to carry a balance.
  3. Climate Card: Earn rewards for everyday purchases and support climate-related nonprofits.
Beneficial State credit card


Aspiration was founded in 2013 and aims to help customers make money while making the world a better place. Aspiration does not fund fossil fuel projects.

Aspiration offers a carbon neutral credit card, Zero. Spend daily with Zero to neutralize your footprint and earn up to 1% cash back.

Aspiration Zero credit card