Finally we solved our dilemma. Neither Juanita and I nor JEM uses a mega-bank. We despise their rule of the world, undermining governments and Earth’s life-giving gifts to us. But we also use a credit card. AND, if you haven’t noticed, your credit card probably uses a mega-bank. We dutifully paid all our bills on time so that the bank made no interest or fees from our account. BUT, we knew that the bank still charged the store a fee everytime we used our card. We didn’t like that, but how could we avoid it? Stop using a card? Hard to do in a credit economy going more and more online.
For several years Juanita and I used the Working Assets credit card because every time we made a purchase Working Assets contributed ten cents to the support of over forty organizations making our world a better place. And, in a practice of democracy, we could vote every year on which organizations we wanted Working Assets to support. But despite the good Working Assets does with its credit cards, they have not avoided using mega-banks to service them. Currently it’s Bank of America.
Enter the Green America credit card serviced through One PacificCoast Bank. No mega-bank involved. One PacificCoast Bank is a community development financial bank whose charter obligates it to serve communities that mega-banks don’t. Their loans support sustainable development in those communities—the kind the communities want, not the kind imposed from outside. Most of the 2% transaction fee for each purchase with the Green America credit card goes to One PacificCoast Bank; the other fraction goes to Green America, a nonprofit whose magazine Juanita and I have subscribed to for years. They’ve helped us green our lives significantly.