Bank of America is the latest credit card issuer to include benefits for electric vehicle (EV) owners with its rewards program. The bank’s Customized Cash Rewards credit card will now offer 3% cash back at electric vehicle charging stations as of Tuesday, expanding the reward already offered for traditional gas station purchases. Bank of America is expanding this option because it noticed a 44% growth in electric vehicle charging transactions during the first half of 2023, the institution said in a statement.
In addition to offering Customized Cash Rewards cardholders rewards for EV charging station purchases, the 3% cash back for online shopping will now also include cable, streaming, internet and phone plans. EV Rewards Could Become as Widespread as Gas Rewards
Bank of America is not the first to offer bonus rewards for EV charging.
U.S. Bank expanded its gas rewards category to include EV purchases in January 2022, and Sam’s Club Mastercard, which announced a 5% cash back offer on EV purchases in May 2022. Credit card issuers have traditionally made an effort to keep their rewards programs updated and competitive when new categories of spending arise. Over the last few years, many cards began including third-party food and grocery delivery services as reward categories, for example.
It’s likely more cards will begin including EV charging stations as part of their reward programs as 18% of total car sales this year are projected to be electric vehicles, according to IEA. In the first quarter of this year, more than 2.3 million electric cars were sold, which is 25% more than in the same period last year.
More electric vehicle options are becoming available at different price points. As of March 2023, there were 40 electric vehicles across 12 automakers available for purchase in the U.S. Mid-priced EV drivers who fuel up at public charging stations (instead of at home) pay an average of $16.10 per 100 miles.