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Question about Amex BCP and Grocery Stores

Valued Contributor

Question about Amex BCP and Grocery Stores

Okay, so I KNOW that Costco, Target and Walmart are considered "big box stores" and therefore, the 6% reward for grocery stores does not count on my American Express Blue Cash Preferred card.  Does anyone know if "Smart & Final" is also considered a "big box store"?  I tried calling the number on the back of my card and after burning up a lot of cell phone minutes I finally got a representative who answered my question with a surly "I don't know."  Apparently, they have no list of grocery stores and/or there is no list to go by in order to know where one can shop for groceries and get the rewards.  I understand that I will get the rewards when I shop at Safeway, Ralphs, Albertsons, even Trader Joes, etc., but -- I'm just wondering if Smart & Final is allowed?    Anyone here know? 

 



Husband's Current Score: EX 691 CUSC; EQ 694; TU 687; Mine: EX 773 (AMEX); EQ 720; TU 750
Wallet Contents: SECURED: Capital One Platinum Mastercard, US Bank Harley Davidson Visa, USAA Bank American Express;
UNSECURED: Chase Freedom; USAA Cash Rewards World Mastercard, Discover More, CUSC Platinum Rewards Visa, American Express Zinc, American Express Blue Cash Preferred, Amazon Card, Walmart Discover Card
Message 1 of 12
11 REPLIES
Valued Contributor

Re: Question about Amex BCP and Grocery Stores

Either do a simple test on your BCP, or call that store manager and ask about which MCC are they using. To quality for grocery transaction, they must be using 5411 as MCC.

Message 2 of 12
Valued Contributor

Re: Question about Amex BCP and Grocery Stores

I find it difficult to figure out what counts for bonus categories as some of the numbers don't add up but delays in reporting etc make it hard to figure out.
               LIMITS IN CARD DESCRIPTIONS
Message 3 of 12
Frequent Contributor

Re: Question about Amex BCP and Grocery Stores

Just look it up in your online account management.  Go to the Recent Transactions area and click on the [+] next to the transaction to view all the details and you will see the merchant category they are using for American Express.  Sometimes this shows up on your monthly statement, too, but that seems to be pretty hit-or-miss.  What you are looking for is the "Merchandise & Supplies - Grocery" category.  Example.

5/2002 - Chapter 7
7/2011 - Equifax FICO 693
5/2012 - Equifax FICO 812! In the "800 Club!"
2/2013 - Lender-pulled EQ FICO 821 (car loan)
7/2014 - Lender-pulled EQ FICO 832 (car loan)
Message 4 of 12
Valued Contributor

Re: Question about Amex BCP and Grocery Stores

Not sure if that is accurate as when I look at categories in the actual rewards, it doesnt seem like it adds up.
               LIMITS IN CARD DESCRIPTIONS
Message 5 of 12
Valued Contributor

Re: Question about Amex BCP and Grocery Stores

I am in another part of the country and that store name is not familiar. What I do when I don't know is send through a small charge, and then go online and see where the charge gets coded to on the amex site. The charge is usually posted within a day, so then I know if the card is good for grocery 6 percent or not. It is easi thank trying to get an answer from the cc or the stores.

Starting Score: 693 TU FICO, 679 EQ FICO
Current Score: FICO 8 = 844(9/15) EQ, 827 TU, 811 EX (7/15); mortgage FICO= 758 (9/15)EQ5, 797 TU4, 748 EX2 (7/15)
Goal Score: 750+, but shooting for the 800's
Hyatt Visa Sig ($23K), Amex BCP (24.8K), BofA Travel Rew Sig (22.5K), B&N World MC (22.3K), Amex RP Gold (NPSL w/ S&T), Cash+ Sig (20K),United Mil+ExpSig (16.3K), FNBO Visa (13.1K), Hilton Surpass (10K), Freedom Visa Sig (8.6K), Disc It (16.4K), Citi Dia Pref MC (3.7K),Sam's MC (10K), Wally (7.5K), JCP(5.3K), Costco (2K)
Message 6 of 12
Established Contributor

Re: Question about Amex BCP and Grocery Stores

AMEX doesn't care about the MCC. They have a list on their site of the MCC's, but they(and Discover) will make their own determination unlike most cards the use Visa and Mastercard networks. That's why Super Walmarts and Targets with dedicated grocery sections and the 5411 code will not count.

 

As long as the place you are shopping is primarily a grocer, you will likely be good to go with AMEX, but you might want to test all of your local favs just to be sure.

EQ-736(08/14) TU-752(09/14)
Newest to Oldest
Barc Sallie Mae 6K | Citi TY Pref 4.5K | US Bank Cash+ 10K | Chase Freedom 11.7K | Disc It 10.5K | Amazon Store 2.5K | BOA Cash Rewards 10.5K |

Closed Cards: 4 Oldest: 3yrs AAOA: 2yrs
Message 7 of 12
Valued Contributor

Re: Question about Amex BCP and Grocery Stores

Mine always adds up.

Starting Score: 693 TU FICO, 679 EQ FICO
Current Score: FICO 8 = 844(9/15) EQ, 827 TU, 811 EX (7/15); mortgage FICO= 758 (9/15)EQ5, 797 TU4, 748 EX2 (7/15)
Goal Score: 750+, but shooting for the 800's
Hyatt Visa Sig ($23K), Amex BCP (24.8K), BofA Travel Rew Sig (22.5K), B&N World MC (22.3K), Amex RP Gold (NPSL w/ S&T), Cash+ Sig (20K),United Mil+ExpSig (16.3K), FNBO Visa (13.1K), Hilton Surpass (10K), Freedom Visa Sig (8.6K), Disc It (16.4K), Citi Dia Pref MC (3.7K),Sam's MC (10K), Wally (7.5K), JCP(5.3K), Costco (2K)
Message 8 of 12
Frequent Contributor

Re: Question about Amex BCP and Grocery Stores

This method has always been accurate for me.  I've gone as far as to export all of my transactions to a spreadsheet and do the calculations based on the reported category from the AMEX web site, and add it up.  Backing out the delay in posting to the cash back balance, it's been accurate to within a dollar or so.

5/2002 - Chapter 7
7/2011 - Equifax FICO 693
5/2012 - Equifax FICO 812! In the "800 Club!"
2/2013 - Lender-pulled EQ FICO 821 (car loan)
7/2014 - Lender-pulled EQ FICO 832 (car loan)
Message 9 of 12
Valued Contributor

Re: Question about Amex BCP and Grocery Stores

Thank you for ALL your responses! 

 

My BCP account is new so I did not know what to look for or where.  Thank you for giving me an example. 

 

Smart & Final is sort of a speciality store here in California -- they have the LARGE PORTION sizes of groceries at great prices.  For instance, if you buy a can of corn there, that one can will be huge and will feed like 20 people.  They only carry "groceries" which made me think they "might" fall into the right category for the BCP rewards.  I will just have to follow your suggestion and buy a few things there and see how it shakes out. 

 

Thanks again!



Husband's Current Score: EX 691 CUSC; EQ 694; TU 687; Mine: EX 773 (AMEX); EQ 720; TU 750
Wallet Contents: SECURED: Capital One Platinum Mastercard, US Bank Harley Davidson Visa, USAA Bank American Express;
UNSECURED: Chase Freedom; USAA Cash Rewards World Mastercard, Discover More, CUSC Platinum Rewards Visa, American Express Zinc, American Express Blue Cash Preferred, Amazon Card, Walmart Discover Card
Message 10 of 12