Credit card companies have been in the news lately for raising customer’s credit limits without their consent, contributing to the problem of rising consumer debt. There are other ethical issues to consider as well, particularly with cards from the big banks, where lending may be questionable.
Meanwhile charity cards, which were once a popular option for ‘ethical’ spenders who wanted to donate a proportion of spending to their chosen cause, are largely a thing of the past after repeated attacks on their poor donation rates.
In this difficult market, here are some of the more ethical cards to consider.
Nationwide Credit Card
Nationwide changed its terms and conditions last year to rule out automatic increases in credit limits, and doesn’t remove promotional deals if a user misses a payment. The mutual also receives a higher score than the big banks on Move Your Money’s ethical index.
Its card offers a 0pc fee for twelve months on balance transfers, no balance transfer fee in the first three months and 0pc on purchases for the first year. It also has some cashback offers.
Co-operative Members Credit Card
With 1p back for every £2 you spend in the Co-op food stores and 1p for every £3.33 spent everywhere else, this fee-free card offers rewards and incentivises you to shop with the mutual, which has ethical sourcing policies. However, the Co-operative Bank is now owned by hedge funds and some believe that the future of its ethical policy may be in doubt.
Smile Classic Credit Card
Available to Smile customers only, this fee-free card comes with 0.25 per cent cashback on all spending. Smile is owned by the Co-operative Bank, and shares its Ethical Policy.
Metro Bank Credit Card
A challenger bank without the legacy issues of some of the larger players, Metro is rated highly by Move Your Money. It promises to print your credit card while you wait. There’s no cashback, but the card is free to use in Europe, which may sweeten that pill, particularly if you are a regular traveller.
Yorkshire and Clydesdale B Card
Owned by an Australian banking group and ranking just below the Co-op in the Move Your Money index, but above the big banks, including Santander, Yorkshire & Clydesdale’s B card comes with a whizzy app that tells you how you’re spending your money. There are no foreign exchange fees on purchases.
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