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If you frequently charge an EV at a public charging station, your credit card may be able to give you a break on the price. Bank of America will reward Customized Cash Rewards credit cardholders with 3% to 5.25% cash back for charging an EV, the company announced last week.
Bank of America is the latest issuer to reward electric vehicle charging, largely in response to increased customer spending. The bank said EV charging transactions grew by 44% during the first half of 2023.
Small business owners that log a lot of miles on electric vehicles may get the most benefit from this cash back category.
Here are some of the best cash back credit cards for public EV charging.
Credit cards for charging an EV
This card offers the most cash back for EV charging — up to 5.25% to the bank's Preferred Rewards® program members. They earn 25% to 75% more cash back on each purchase made with the card, depending on their rewards tier. Tiers depend on maintaining a certain combined balance on Bank of America accounts. Cardholders who don't qualify for Preferred Rewards can still get 3% back on EV charging.
Sign-on bonus: New cardholders get $200 as a statement credit.
Interest rate: 0% for 15 billing cycles for purchases and select balance transfers, then 18.24% - 28.24% variable APR.
Annual fee: None.
This card from U.S. Bank is tailored to businesses that rely heavily on travel. It offers 4% cash back on EV charging up to the first $150,000 spent in that category.
You also earn 5% back on hotels and rental cars, and 4% on travel, including airfare and gas, for example. You earn 2% on dining, takeout, restaurant delivery and cell phone services and 1% for all other purchases.
Sign-on bonus: Earn 60,000 points worth $600 if you spend $6,000 on the Account Owner's card in the first 180 days of opening your account.
Interest rate: 20.24% to 28.24% variable APR for purchases and balance transfers.
Annual fee: None the first year, then $95.
If you’re a member of Sam’s Club, consider this card for the 5% cash back it provides on up to $6,000 spent in the first year on EV charging or gas. After the first year, you only earn 1% back on charging so you may decide to swap out your card at that point.
Sam's Club and Walmart plan to install a network of fast chargers across the country, in addition to the almost 1,300 already installed by 2023.
Cash back is redeemable only at Sam's Club stores or at Sam's online site, so be sure you can spend enough at Sam's Club to make the rewards worth it.
Membership: Anyone can be a member of Sam's Club; it costs $50 annually for a Club membership or $110 annually for a Plus membership. Through January 31, 2024, Sam's Club is offering new Club membership at 50% off, for $25.
Interest rate: 20.65% or 28.65% variable APR as of June 1, 2023.
Annual fee: None
Members of Costco Wholesale can apply for this card, which provides 4% cash back on up to $7,000 per year spent at EV charging and gas stations.
If you want easy access to your cash rewards, this is not the card for you. Cash back is released to cardholders at the end of February each year, and you can lose your rewards if you close your account before February.
These drawbacks likely won't concern loyal Costco customers.
Membership: Anyone can be a Costco member; the cost is $60 annually for a Gold Star membership or $120 annually for an Executive membership.
Interest rate: Variable APR of 20.49% for purchases and balance transfers.
Annual fee: None for Costco members, but see annual membership fees.
Compare with other cash back cards
There's no cut and dried rule to how many credit cards you should have, but it's wise to pause and think through your strategy before you apply for a new card.
If you want to get a break on EV charging costs, have you considered that the cheapest charging method is juicing up at home, especially at night? The Federal EV charger tax credit can knock up to $1,000 off the hardware and installation costs for these chargers.
If you must rely on public chargers, look through your credit card bills to assess how much you spend per month on charging. Most Americans only spend about $56 per month on EV charging, according to Energy Sage. Americans typically spend more on groceries or online purchases per month, which could yield more cash back with a card tailored to those categories. Or you might want to keep it simple and look for a card that provides the best flat rate cash back, such as 2% back on all purchases.
As an independent publication dedicated to helping you make the most of your money, the article above is our view and is not the opinion of any entity mentioned such as a card issuer, hotel, airline, etc. Similarly, the content has not been reviewed or endorsed by any of those entities.
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Ellen writes on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing and sustainability. She was an ESG manager and analyst at Calvert Investments for 15 years, focusing on climate change and consumer staples. She served on the sustainability councils of several Fortune 500 companies, led corporate engagements, and filed shareholder proposals.
Prior to joining Calvert, Ellen was a program officer for Winrock International, managing loans to alternative energy projects in Latin America. She earned a master’s from University of California in international relations and Latin America. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
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