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New Visitor
noobcard
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-17-2013
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How do credit card co's keep track of reward categories?

As you know, credit cards have different % of cashback on purchases. For example, 1% on anything, 2% on groceries and 3% on gas.

I was wondering, how do they track the % or if it's even tracked correctly. Lets say I go to walmart, and I buy groceries (fruits, food, etc) and at the same time I buy a laptop. Do they separate the items for the cashback, do they include everything in a category?

And even then, how do we know it's correct, and if it isn't the correct cashback, we do we do?

Senior Contributor
lg8302ch
Posts: 3,049
Registered: ‎11-13-2012
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Re: How do credit card co's keep track of reward categories?

It usually depends on how the merchant is coded. you can see it on your statement.  for example I top up my mobile phone  and it is a travel charge because I use a train ticket vending machine for this. if I would do it online it would show as  telecommunication charge. a small trick to get my full cash back :smileyhappy:

FICO® EQ 791 (as of today) - TU 778 (11/28) * Fako EX 811 (12/02 - CS) * last app 12/16/14 * INQ last 2 yrs TU: 4, EX: 5, EQ: 3


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Frequent Contributor
GaTech
Posts: 374
Registered: ‎02-10-2013
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Re: How do credit card co's keep track of reward categories?

Walmart generally wouldn't qualify for 3% cash back on groceries because it isn't a supermarket.

Source: AMEX BCE
As of 1/10/2014 EX FICO - 748. EQ FICO - 728. Trans FICO - 755

WellsFargo - $3,000 AMEX BCE - $18,000 Chase Freedom - $4,000



Valued Contributor
Gunnar419
Posts: 1,230
Registered: ‎01-23-2013
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Re: How do credit card co's keep track of reward categories?

Ditto. It's the coding of the individual merchant, not the items you buy. For example if you go to a Walmart superstore, Visa and Mastercard will consider everything you buy there to be groceries, but smaller neighborhood Walmarts aren't coded as grocery stores, so your purchase is credited differently. There's a site online (don't have the URL) handy where you can find out the merchant codes for every business.

 

Keep in mind that Amex and Discover may not use the same codes, though. That online site is Visa and I believe MC.

 

Frequent Contributor
b_seeker
Posts: 390
Registered: ‎03-24-2013
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Re: How do credit card co's keep track of reward categories?


GaTech wrote:
Walmart generally wouldn't qualify for 3% cash back on groceries because it isn't a supermarket.

Source: AMEX BCE

This is store and network dependent. Some Walmart's are coded as discount stores and some are coded as grocery/supermarket for Visa, for example.

 

http://visa.via.infonow.net/locator/usa/supplier/NewSearch.do

 

You can look up specific stores for Visa at that link.



|| Barclaycard Rewards Visa $5500 || AMEX BCE $2000 || Discover IT $3000 || Amazon Rewards Visa $1800 ||
|| Chase Freedom $2700 || CSP $5000 || Chase Marriott Premier $7500 || Sallie Mae MC $3800 ||

FICO Scores: EX 752 (3/13/13) || EQ 782 (10/4/13) || TU 724 (1/18/13)

In the garden as of 10/12/2013
Contributor
CEOriginal
Posts: 132
Registered: ‎05-20-2013
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Re: How do credit card co's keep track of reward categories?


b_seeker wrote:

GaTech wrote:
Walmart generally wouldn't qualify for 3% cash back on groceries because it isn't a supermarket.

Source: AMEX BCE

This is store and network dependent. Some Walmart's are coded as discount stores and some are coded as grocery/supermarket for Visa, for example.

 

http://visa.via.infonow.net/locator/usa/supplier/NewSearch.do

 

You can look up specific stores for Visa at that link.


Is there a similar site for AMEX?



Scores as of 7/28/13: EX.683   TU.688   EQ.???
Frequent Contributor
b_seeker
Posts: 390
Registered: ‎03-24-2013
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Re: How do credit card co's keep track of reward categories?


CEOriginal wrote:

b_seeker wrote:

GaTech wrote:
Walmart generally wouldn't qualify for 3% cash back on groceries because it isn't a supermarket.

Source: AMEX BCE

This is store and network dependent. Some Walmart's are coded as discount stores and some are coded as grocery/supermarket for Visa, for example.

 

http://visa.via.infonow.net/locator/usa/supplier/NewSearch.do

 

You can look up specific stores for Visa at that link.


Is there a similar site for AMEX?


Not that I'm aware of. Amex does seem to hate Walmart though so maybe it's safe to assume they don't have them coded as grocery stores.



|| Barclaycard Rewards Visa $5500 || AMEX BCE $2000 || Discover IT $3000 || Amazon Rewards Visa $1800 ||
|| Chase Freedom $2700 || CSP $5000 || Chase Marriott Premier $7500 || Sallie Mae MC $3800 ||

FICO Scores: EX 752 (3/13/13) || EQ 782 (10/4/13) || TU 724 (1/18/13)

In the garden as of 10/12/2013
Frequent Contributor
GaTech
Posts: 374
Registered: ‎02-10-2013
0

Re: How do credit card co's keep track of reward categories?

AMEX does NOT count Walmart as a supermarket. I stand correct.
As of 1/10/2014 EX FICO - 748. EQ FICO - 728. Trans FICO - 755

WellsFargo - $3,000 AMEX BCE - $18,000 Chase Freedom - $4,000



New Visitor
tio_jj
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-17-2013
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Re: How do credit card co's keep track of reward categories?

Has anyone had the program where they disagree with the cashback given? like if they got 1% when they should have gotten 3%? and complained?

Also, are most rewards cards translated as 1 point = 1 dollar?   In the sense that once you get 1 point, you get 1 dollar back.

Frequent Contributor
b_seeker
Posts: 390
Registered: ‎03-24-2013
0

Re: How do credit card co's keep track of reward categories?

[ Edited ]

tio_jj wrote:

Has anyone had the program where they disagree with the cashback given? like if they got 1% when they should have gotten 3%? and complained?

Also, are most rewards cards translated as 1 point = 1 dollar?   In the sense that once you get 1 point, you get 1 dollar back.


It actually depends. Depending on how you redeem them, people place higher or lower values on the points. Generally, you can find this info on the specific reward system online. An example is Hilton HHonors points are values less than a cent per point but Starpoints are valued higher. It can get quite complicated.

 

Here is a example of Citi's TYPs:

  • Pay with points at Amazon.com: 0.80 cents per point
  • Citi Prepaid Visa card: 0.63-0.67 cents per point
  • Cash reward: 0.5 cents per point
  • Statement credit: 0.5 cents per point


In general, you can get at least a cent per point. This is probably just the rewards junkie in me going into too much detail on how to truly maximize rewards beyond just choosing the right cards.

 

I've never had an issue with that program giving the wrong rewards amount. Most of the time, if the merchant is coded like you think they should be, they will always award properly. I have seen a couple cases where Discover messed up but when calling it, Discover was more than happy to correct it (and in one case, resulted in a much higher cash back amount awarded than should have been).

 

Had to edit to fix that stupid quoting issues that pops up and part of my post didn't save for some reason.



|| Barclaycard Rewards Visa $5500 || AMEX BCE $2000 || Discover IT $3000 || Amazon Rewards Visa $1800 ||
|| Chase Freedom $2700 || CSP $5000 || Chase Marriott Premier $7500 || Sallie Mae MC $3800 ||

FICO Scores: EX 752 (3/13/13) || EQ 782 (10/4/13) || TU 724 (1/18/13)

In the garden as of 10/12/2013

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