THE BLOG
09/25/2015 04:35 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Credit Cards For Good Samaritans

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As Pope Francis tours the United States this week, many individuals may be inspired by his urging to be more generous to our neighbors, and to become more charitable people. What some consumers may not know is that there exist certain credit cards whose rewards programs are geared toward helping out good our neighbors, and the planet as a whole. Consumers who wish to be good Samaritans, with every swipe and purchase they make, can use the following cards to achieve their goals.

For Saving the Environment: The Sustain:Green Mastercard - Most credit card rewards give you points, miles, or cash back. The Sustain:Green Mastercard, from Commerce Bank, gives you carbon offsets. Every dollar you spend using this card will reduce your carbon footprint by 2 pounds, by purchasing carbon offsets through the American Carbon Registry. To maximize this benefit, we recommend finding carbon offset providers who accept credit cards as form of payment - using the Sustain:Green to pay there will result in the greatest decrease of carbon emissions.

For Aiding Cancer Research Treatments: The Expedia+ Card - If you like vacationing with the help of the popular travel site Expedia, you can sign-up for their Citi credit card - the Expedia+ card. You will rack up points with every purchase, and these points in turn can be used in a number of different ways. While you can reward yourself with the points this card provides, one option is to turn them into money donations to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Every 3,500 points you trade in, will grant the organization a $25 donation.

For Breast Cancer Research: The Susan G. Komen® Credit Card - This credit card resides on the opposite side of the spectrum, when it comes to the balance between selfish/selfless rewards. The Susan G. Komen® Credit Card provides 1% cash back on purchases, 2% at grocery stores and 3% on gas for the first $1,500 in combined grocery store and gas purchases each quarter. Plus, for every $1 you spend using the card, Bank of America will donate 0.08% to Susan G. Komen®'s breast cancer research organization. While this card provides the least money per $1 spent towards a charitable cause, it does provide cardholders with decent rewards who don't want to sacrifice as much of their rewards for a cause.

If readers need further incentives to sign-up for charitable credit cards, they don't need to look far. On top of helping out whichever cause a credit card may be partnered with, opening a new line of credit is a good way of building credit history -- provided you use the account responsibly. Therefore, opening a "cause-based" credit card account benefits both cardholders and the world.

While Pope Francis is unlikely to urge Americans to rush to a bank and open a credit card, we hope he'd be supportive of the benefits the above-mentioned cards can have on mankind. And, while the debate to answer, "which credit card is best for me?" is full of turmoil, answering the question of "which card is best for the future of the human race?" is far less contentious.