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New products, Rewards

Buddha wants you to shop

Emily Crone

“Finally, a credit card for people like me,” the Web site says. “I practice yoga. I recycle. I eat organic. I donate to nonprofits. I put my money where my heart is.”

With the new Enlightenment Credit Card you can spend your way to nirvana. Its Web site calls it a “socially conscious” card. “How money is used determines the effect.” Like karma. It is a Visa card issued through the First Hawaiian Bank. “Our mission is to use the power of money, media and information to change the world.”

Does the reward program really change the world? With this card’s reward program, socially and spiritually conscious organizations and businesses offer services and products. Cardholders earn points that can be cashed in for retreats, workshops, yoga classes around the world, earthy merchandise, gift certificates and more. Points can also be donated to nonprofits and charities such as Earth Justice, Planned Parenthood, Adopt a School and the Art of Yoga Project. So maybe it does some good.

One point is earned for every dollar spent. There’s no cap on points, and the points don’t expire. Every time you refer a friend, you earn 5,000 points, and you receive 5,000 points when you’re first approved.

The card comes in eight enlightening designs, including a picture of sun rays, a Buddha statue, the infinity symbol and the ohm symbol.

My mom and her boyfriend are students of Buddhism, and I took an extensive course on Buddhism my last semester of college. I feel like I’ve got a pretty good grasp on it…and I am not sure Buddha would consider using a credit card as the proper path to enlightenment. But I guess when it comes to helping better the earth, every little bit helps.

Read this funny blog about it, written from a Buddhist standpoint.

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