New Credit Card Promises a Tree Planted When You Make a Purchase

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CEO and co-founder Andrei Cherny says that while many credit cards earn miles, Aspiration's upcoming card is "the only one that takes miles off of the planet."

Aspiration, a socially conscious bank that focuses on stopping climate change, is planning to release its first credit card. True to the bank's mission, the Aspiration Zero credit card will help cardholders go carbon neutral.

When you make a purchase with the card, Aspiration plants a tree. And every month that you reach carbon neutral, Aspiration will reward you with cash back. It's an admirable concept for a credit card, and if you're interested, the waitlist for early access is open now.

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How the Aspiration Zero credit card works

Here's what we know right now about the Aspiration Zero credit card, which will have a $60 annual fee.

Up to two trees are planted per purchase

Aspiration will plant one tree per purchase made with the Aspiration Zero credit card. It will also give you the option to round up your purchase to the nearest dollar to plant a second tree.

According to Aspiration CEO Andrei Cherny, 60 trees planted per month are enough to offset the average American's carbon footprint. If you use your card at least once per day and round up every purchase, then you've reached carbon neutral.

The one thing to watch out for is making unnecessary purchases solely because of that benefit. This is a common trap consumers can fall into with any credit card that rewards consumers for making purchases. It may be good for the planet, but it likely won't be good for your budget.

Track your progress in the Aspiration app

The Aspiration Zero credit card will be connected to the Aspiration app. Through this app, you can track your progress toward reaching carbon neutral every month.

Another benefit of the Aspiration app is that it shows you a score, called an Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM), for merchants where you shop and in your area. AIM includes a people score, which is how a company treats its employees, and a planet score, which is its environmental impact. This measurement is a helpful way to find and shop at merchants that match your values.

1% cash back for reaching carbon neutral

When you use your Aspiration Zero credit card enough to offset the average American's carbon footprint, you earn 1% cash back on your purchases. That's 60 planted trees per month by Aspiration's calculations, so you'd need to do one of the following every month:

  • Make 60 purchases with your card
  • Make 30 purchases and round up every one

With the Aspiration Zero credit card, cash back is just a nice extra. It's not the main feature, and it can't compete with cards that are made for earning cash back.

Joining the waitlist for the Aspiration Zero credit card

To join the waitlist for this card, visit the Aspiration Zero credit card page. Scroll down to the "Get on the waitlist" section, enter your email address, and click "Get early access."

Those on the waitlist will be the first to receive their Aspiration Zero credit cards. Cherny has said that there are currently over 100,000 people on the waitlist, and that people will start receiving their cards "in the coming weeks." However, there's no set launch date at the moment.

Should you get the Aspiration Zero credit card?

If you're interested in a credit card that reduces your environmental impact, jump on the waitlist for the Aspiration Zero credit card. It's a great option if you want to fight the climate crisis but don't know where to start. All you need to do is use your card, and Aspiration takes care of the rest.

From a monetary value perspective, you'd get more out of just about any of the top credit cards. These simply offer much more in the way of benefits, such as:

For the typical credit card, a $60 annual fee and 1% cash back if you use your card enough wouldn't be a great deal.

But the Aspiration Zero credit card isn't about monetary value. It's about helping the planet, making it a great option for consumers who aren't focused on traditional credit card rewards.

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