General Electric Co.is introducing a credit card with a rewards programthat allows usersto compensate theirpurchases with carbon offsets.
The company introduced Wednesdaythe GE Money Earth Rewards Platinum MasterCard, which allows cardholders to forgo a one per cent cash rebate on purchases and earmark it for projects that reduce greenhouse gases, the New York Times reported. That means for every $100 US spent on the credit card, GE will offer $1 in carbon offsets.
Cardholders can opt to contribute half the rebate in months when they're short of cash, the company said.
GE will keep track of the amounts, and each Earth Day it'll use the total to buy offsets of greenhouse gas emissions, which will be purchased by GE AES Greenhouse Gas Services, a joint venture between GE Energy Financial Services and the AES Corp.
But environmentalists criticized the offering, saying that GE will be offsetting emissions that it helps createsince it supplies parts for coal-fired plants. Some environmentalistssaid theyprefer a credit card program that rewards only the purchase of green products.
Credit cards with similarrewards programsare available already in Europe, and consulting firm Sustainable Finance said there are five groups in the U.S. that are negotiating with banks to offer similar programs.
American Express said it may introduce such a credit card, too.