Top 5 ethical credit cards for 2019

Written by Rosie Murray-West on 29th Dec 2018

Last updated 19 December 2018

Credit cards are rarely out of the news, whether it be providers hiking limits without asking to the UK’s growing consumer debt pile to scammers hacking credit files. Added to all this are the ethical concerns many have when choosing a provider, 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 in 2016 to rule out automatic increases in credit limits, and doesn’t remove promotional deals if a user misses a payment. The mutual also ranks within the top three of ethical credit providers with the Good Shopping Guide.

Its card offers a 0 per cent fee for twelve months on balance transfers, no balance transfer fee in the first three months and 0 per cent on purchases for the first year. It also has some cashback offers and a commission- free allowance to use abroad on any purchases in pounds sterling.


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 (so far) unencumbered by some of the scandals that have plagued the likes of the Co-Op. It also promises to print your credit card while you wait. There’s no cashback and it offers one single, low rate of 13 per cent. However, the card is free to use in Europe, which may sweeten the deal, particularly if you are a regular traveller.


Aqua Credit Card 

Designed to help people with bad credit rebuild their credit scores, the Aqua credit card scores highly with the Good Shopping Guide on a number fronts, including responsible lending and environmental policies. It charges a single rate of 35.9 per cent with credit limits ranging from £250 to £1,200.

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