Sustainable credit cards: Why it's worth switching to a sustainable bank

Sustainability à la carte! We explain why sustainable credit cards make the difference and have compared the best ecological bank providers

sustainable credit card
Source & Copyright by Tomorrow Bank

Author: House of Eden

Thanks to digitalization, shopping has not only become effortless, but also much faster. You don’t even have to be Wallets from the depths of his handbag. Simply take out the mobile phone, hold it to the card reader and ping: the purchase process is complete. On average, every person living in Germany uses his bank card eight times a day and most of the time in digital form. If we hardly use plastic cards anyway, why even consider a sustainable credit card?

Within a year, German companies will be approximately 1,1 trillion euros supported by various credit institutions. The bank thereby creates social added value and at the same time supports foundations and institutions of its choice. Which bank we open an account with and apply for a sustainable credit card is therefore directly linked to how we support our society.

What is a sustainable credit card?

Although there are already cards made of wood, for example, the material is not the deciding factor in whether a payment card is environmentally friendly. The key factor that makes a credit card sustainable is choosing the right bank. Unfortunately, most common banks do not fit the keyword sustainability. The big players often give out loans that harm our ecosystem. Our money then works not for us, but against us and therefore against a greener future.

Sustainable banks: What sets them apart

All German banks work with the money we entrust to them in the background. This means that they use it to lend to companies and private individuals, thereby generating a profit through interest. They decide for themselves which companies and projects they want to support. While the large banks often lend money to boost profits, sustainable banks make sure to act fairly, ecologically and socially responsibly.

It is important to green banks that our money represents added value for society and supports companies that, for example, climate protection is important. Sustainability plays a major role and certain sectors are not even considered when granting loans.

These industries and practices are a no-go when it comes to lending:

  • Atomic power
  • Coal and oil industry
  • Defense contractors
  • Tobacco industry
  • Industrial animal husbandry
  • Child labor
  • Human rights violation
  • Genetic Engineering

Why choose a sustainable credit card?

Banks that offer a sustainable credit card are transparent. Since our card is closely linked to our bank provider, we should above all be informed about what our money is being used for. Most well-known institutions rarely disclose who they are giving loans to, or only focus on certain projects. Green banks, however, provide very precise information about how our money is being used and therefore also who and what values ​​we are indirectly supporting.

Even if our credit card is not directly responsible for a better future, our bank can be. By promoting the expansion of sustainable energy supplies such as the construction of wind turbines, banks are counteracting the climate crisis. In addition, they usually offset their CO2 emissions independently. Of course, these are only small steps, but it does make you feel better to know that our money is not actively supporting the waste of precious resources and contributing to the pollution of the planet.

As already mentioned, it is not the material of the credit card that makes it environmentally friendly. Nevertheless, sustainable banks rely on environmentally friendly materials such as wood or vegetable raw materials, which are easier to break down. Considering how many Germans carry a plastic card around with them, it can make a significant difference to use a sustainable credit card.

The top 5 sustainable banks according to the "Fair Finance Guide Germany":

  1. UPS
  2. EthicsBank
  3. Triodes
  4. Tomorrow
  5. KD Bank

Sustainable credit cards and their banks in comparison:

1. GLS

This sustainable bank acts according to the motto "Money is there for people" and wants to do something good for society by creating new social and ecological offers. Loans are only granted to companies in the following areas: sustainable economy, social affairs and health, renewable energies, nutrition, education and culture and housing.

Private customers can choose between three different sustainable credit cards. There is the ClassicCard, the Visa BasicCard and the GoldCard. The BasicCard is a prepaid card. All three variants are made of bioplastic.

Fees: between 30 and 85 euros (the Mastercard Classic and the Visa BasicCard are free for members. The Mastercard Gold is available at a reduced price of 36,00 euros
Credit limit: Credit dependent
Close a deal:

GLS wooden card is held in the hand

Source & Copyright by GLS

2. Ethics Bank

Complete transparency is the motto here. The financial company describes itself as a "transparent bank". Every customer has the opportunity to understand what the bank is using their money for. The granting of loans is disclosed online. In principle, it is important to the bank to grant its loans to companies that do not harm people, animals and nature.

There are three different sustainable credit cards available for private individuals. The service provider is Mastercard and cardholders can choose between the BasicCard, ClassicCard and GoldCard. Each credit card model naturally has its own advantages.

Fees: between 25 and 65 euros per year
Credit limit: Between 2500 and 5000 Euro
Close a deal:

3. Triodos

As the leading sustainability bank in Europe, the company promotes social, ecological and cultural change. They have been promoting the expansion of renewable energies for 40 years. Absolute no-gos for granting loans include companies that are involved in weapons, tobacco, gambling and/or promote unsustainable production processes or working conditions, such as child labor or corruption.

The main advantage of a credit card made from plant-based raw materials from Triodos Bank is that you can withdraw cash anywhere without any fees. However, you are required to open a current account with the Dutch bank. Triodos only offers one credit card.

Fees: 39 euros annually
Credit limit: max. 2 monthly salaries or 5000 euros
Close a deal:

4. Tomorrow

Not a bank, but a banking provider. Through a cooperation with the Berlin bank Solaris SE, the dream of spending money endlessly is still possible - at least until the credit card limit is reached. The company follows the UN's Sustainable Development Guide and invests in sustainable equity funds.

The VISA debit card can be used worldwide and you even have the opportunity to protect the climate at the same time. Every purchase of 10 euros or more supports the ecosystem in Africa. Another small plus point: Tomorrow offers credit cards made of wood.

Fees: 187 euros per year
Credit limit: 3.000 euros daily and 10.000 euros monthly
Close a deal:

sustainable credit card with giraffe print from Tomorrow Bank

Source & Copyright by Tomorrow Bank

5. Bank for Church and Diaconia:

KD is a cooperative bank. Its members are mainly institutions of the Protestant Church and the Diakonie. Accordingly, the financial institution acts according to Christian values. It is important to them to finance quality of life in old age, affordable housing, community life, health and education. According to the current "Fair Finance Guide", it ranks fifth in terms of sustainability.

Just like GLS and EthikBank, KD offers three different credit cards: the BasicCard, ClassicCard and GoldCard, each supported by VISA or Mastercard. The user can decide for themselves which license they would like to support.

Fees: between 20 and 60 Euro
Credit limit: 2000 Euros
Close a deal:

How do I choose the right sustainable credit card?

Have you decided to apply for a sustainable credit card? Great. When choosing a provider, make sure that the bank you are signing with in the future matches your values. The best way to find out about projects that are supported is to visit the sustainability page. You can also visit the “Fair Finance Guide” and find out about the different banks.

The institution creates more transparency and comparability between banks, and private users can see which banks are already acting sustainably. Not only the banks mentioned above are listed, but also the common large institutions.

Conclusion: Sustainable credit cards and their banks as a fair alternative

If a fair world is important to you, you should definitely switch to a sustainable bank provider. Because they create great added value for society and play a key role in shaping our future into a better one. So if you want your money to work for you in an environmentally friendly way, you should switch to a sustainable credit card as soon as possible.


Always informed about the latest lifestyle trends, architecture, design & interior, as well as current technologies around sustainability.

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