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HSBC and the not so green credit card

HSBC put out a press release yesterday hailing the US launch of a “green” credit card. Having looked at the details I think it’s safe to say the ecosmart MasterCard is not going to save the planet. 

The card gives you a ‘reward point’ for every dollar spent – you can then use the points to make donations to various environmental causes.

HSBC neglects to tell us how much a point is worth.

But what really got me about this one is the information, not included in the pr, that your points can also be redeemed for, among other things, airfares and car rental!

Is it just me, or does the use of a “green” card to help you subsidise your carbon footprint seem a little off? It doesn't appear very 'eco' or very 'smart'.

In fairness to HSBC, it actually has excellent green credentials, topping a study earlier this year that examined how banks are tackling the risks and challenges posed by global warming and climate change.

It also claims to have invested $100 million in environmental causes and was the first financial institution to become 100% carbon neutral back in 2005.

So why demean the genuinely good work?


Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 June, 2008, 12:43Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

There is emerging a fairly worrying trend of brands introducing "green" in their product portfolios to leverage the current hype. May work in creating awareness, but would not meet the needs of the failry evolved customer segment that truly seeks to go "green".


upendra :


Matt White

Matt White

North America editor


Member since

27 Nov 2006



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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Going green

Assessing the carbon footprint of fintech and looking to the future.

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