Electric Circuit Terminals

The best credit cards for electric charging stations

To the point Here is an analysis of the best credit cards, when using public electric charging stations.

This post is also available in: FR

Approximately 10% of electric vehicle (EV) charging occurs outside the home. What’s the best credit card for earning rewards points at public electric charging stations?

Public electric charging stations

*** This article from December 23, 2021 was updated on March 24, 2023 and April 25, 2023.

In Quebec and Eastern Ontario, the most widely used public electric charging stations are those of Circuit Électrique and Flo. There is also the Petro-Canada network of rapid electric charging stations along the Trans-Canada Highway.

My colleague Frédéric explains that certain types of purchases in stores earn extra points or cash back. This depends on the Merchant Category Code (C C C) or the Merchant Category Code (M C C).

For electric charging stations, the CCC created by Visa and Mastercard is 5552 – Electric Vehicle Charging.

Therefore, to determine the category of your recharge transaction, you must contact your financial institution. Or, go to the Developer Tool in your browser to find out.

code

For example, I used the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card at a Petro-Canada electric charging station in Ontario. The CCC code for this transaction is Class 5552 – Electric Vehicle Charging.

This is despite the fact that Petro-Canada’s primary business is selling gasoline(code 5541).

Petro Canada St Nicholas Terminal

Confusion among issuers and businesses

This merchant category code 5552 is very recent. This causes great differences in its application at businesses connected to Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

With the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card, you earn 1.5 points per dollar on all eligible gasoline purchases. However, this Petro-Canada 5552 refill is classified as “Other”. As a result, I only got 1 point per dollar for this charge.

Plus, with the American Express Business EdgeMD Card, you’d earn 3x points per dollar of transportation and gas purchases. A $10 charge at Circuit Électrique gave me 30 points with this card. Unfortunately, American Express no longer considers Circuit Électrique an eligible purchase for transportation and gas.

As a side note, I even got a $5 promotional credit for any purchase (reloading my Circuit Électrique account) of $10 or more during the last American Express Shop Small promotion! This is the equivalent of 31 kWh of free energy (or about 170 kilometres with my battery type), at a 100 kWh Circuit Électrique fast charging station.

Since points and rewards vary from card to card and issuer to issuer, the best way is to do your own testing at electric charging stations and with your credit card.

Neuville terminal

For Tesla drivers, the Supercharger detects the owner of the vehicle while charging and simply charges the credit card on file.

Depending on the credit card issuer, Tesla can be coded as either:

  • Transportation
  • Public services/electricity (Utilities)
  • Car dealer

Yes, it is an inexact science!

The best credit cards for electric charging stations

Cards that stand out for earning rewards at electric charging stations are:

Earning per dollar
CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card 4% cash back
RBC ION+ Visa Card 3 Avion points
BMO® CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* 3% cash back
CIBC Dividend Platinum® Visa* Card 3% cash back
National Bank World Elite Mastercard 2 points NBC
Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite* Card 2% cash back
National Bank Platinum Mastercard 1.5 point NBC

Please note that RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card and RBC British Airways Visa Infinite Card holders have an exclusive offer for Petro-Canada electrical charging stations.

Register for the offer in your profile, pay for the refill with one of these cards and automatically get a refund. This will be in the form of a credit of up to $100 by August 31, 2024.

BMO® CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®*

In its welcome offer terms and conditions, the BMO Ascend™ World Elite® CashBack® Mastercard®* stipulates:

Take advantage of a 3% discount rate on the first $300 of auto and vehicle fuel purchases per statement period and a 1% discount rate at any time thereafter.(…) To qualify for the bonus discount rate, auto and vehicle fuel purchases must be made through merchants classified under Mastercard’s merchant category codes of “Gas Stations, Gas Stations” (CCC 5541), “Automated Fuel Dispensers” (CCC 5542), or ” Electric Vehicle Charging Stations” (CCC 5552).

So you’ll get 3% cash back at electric charging stations with the BMO Cashback™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*.

Please note that care must be taken with the BMO® CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard. When I tried it, my Circuit Electrique recharges did not code as “electric charge”. Instead, they fell into the “Other” category with a 1% return in 2022. Perhaps this has changed since then. Yet Circuit Électrique is perfectly coded at 2 points per dollar with the National Bank World Elite Mastercard®.

BNC recharge electrique

Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite* Card

The Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite* card clearly states that :

You will receive 2% cash back on the first $25,000 of purchases charged to the account each year at merchants registered in the Visa Inc. network. (Visa), as service stations (which includes service stations with or without ancillary services, automatic fuel dispensing stations and electric vehicle charging stations) (Merchant Category Codes 5541, 5542 and 5552)

You’ll earn 2% cash back at electric charging stations with the Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite* card.

Laurentian Park Bollard

Multiple RBC credit cards

CIBC credit cards code electrical recharges as “Other”. They therefore have a lower accumulation.

Since April 20, 2023, great news! Many CIBC cards will have the same rate of accumulation as gas, and so it is higher. These are:

Aventura CIBC Visa Infinite

CIBC Aventura Gold Visa Card

CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege

CIBC Aventura Visa Card

CIBC Aventura Visa Card for Students

CIBC Aventura Visa Card for Business

CIBC Aventura Visa Card for Business Plus

CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card

CIBC Dividend Platinum® Visa* Card

CIBC Dividend Visa Card for Students

CIBC Dividend Visa Card

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card

CIBC Aeroplan Preferred Visa Infinite Card

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card for Students

My experience

I have had an electric vehicle since 2014.

We even used it to drive to Florida! At that point, I used the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card. It was my payment card for the Electrify America charges. It saved me the 2.5% conversion fee.

Between January and May 2021, I stayed at home due to sanitary restrictions. But between June and November 2021, I made several road trips for a total of 7,200 kilometers in Quebec and Ontario, with my 100% electric vehicle.

In total, the cost of all my recharges at the various electric charging stations was $161.55. The breakdown is as follows:

Type Amount
Circuit Electrique $ 119.63
Petro-Canada $ 27.83
Electrify Canada $ 14.09
Total $ 161.55
Vehicule electrique bornes

The hotels I stayed at had free electric charging stations, such as the Delta Sherbrooke, Le Navigateur Hotel in Rimouski and the Fairmont Tremblant.

For example, for those 6 months, a National Bank World Elite Mastercard® cardholder would have received 323 points, or a maximum value of $3.23 (2 points * $161.55).

In conclusion, is applying for a credit card specifically for electric charging stations advantageous for occasional needs? In my case: No.

But YES, if you have a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), a two car electric/gasoline car combo or if you regularly use public electric charging stations. The above credit cards are good allies as you will get discounts on both your gas and public electric recharges.

I would benefit much more from analyzing the best credit cards for groceries, as this is my biggest budget item.

Do your calculations!

Bottom Line

In short, the CCC 5552 for electric vehicle charging is brand new. For now, you have to test your different credit cards at different electric charging stations.

I applaud all the initiatives taken by issuers and promotions on electric recharging. There were none when I bought my first EV. The industry has grown so much since then!

Right now, the best credit card for electric charging stations is the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card. She gives the most with 4% cash back!

In second place were, ex-aequo :

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This post is also available in: FR

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Caroline Tremblay
I'm Caroline, a loyalty program specialist! I use my points to travel more often and at a lower price with my spouse and our two children. I'm passionate about writing about the latest rewards news and how to put more points in your pocket.

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