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Rewards question

I know that credit cards give you rewards at rates based on categories. Does each credit card company get a detailed list of your transactions in order to do this? Or does it assume that if you went to BP you got automotive expenses?
 
I am curious - I could go to Kmart, and but auto expenses, food, clothing, etc...in other words many different categories. How does it work?
 
Thanks!
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Re: Rewards question



ace9848 wrote:
I know that credit cards give you rewards at rates based on categories. Does each credit card company get a detailed list of your transactions in order to do this? Or does it assume that if you went to BP you got automotive expenses?
 
I am curious - I could go to Kmart, and but auto expenses, food, clothing, etc...in other words many different categories. How does it work?
 
Thanks!


Categories for rewards cards are almost always determined by the category of the establishment, not the actual purchases.  Purchases at big box stores like Kmart, Target, Walmart, and the like are not usually eligible for category-based rewards.
 
If the category eligible for the rewards is "gas stations," purchases at BP will count, whether you're buying gasoline or a cup of coffee.  Some gas rewards cards only give bonus rewards on "gas purchases at the pump," in which case any purchases made inside the station (as opposed to at the pump itself) will not be eligible.
 
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Re: Rewards question

Thanks - the category for my discover card is "automotive". It seems that you are telling me that if I buy windshield wipers at BP, I will get the reward. If I buy them at KMART, I don't get the reward.
 
Is that correct?
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Re: Rewards question



ace9848 wrote:
Thanks - the category for my discover card is "automotive". It seems that you are telling me that if I buy windshield wipers at BP, I will get the reward. If I buy them at KMART, I don't get the reward.
 
Is that correct?


I'm not familiar with the way Discover cards in particular work, but in general, yes, that's the case.  In fact, most of the time the T&Cs of category-based rewards cards tell you exactly what kinds of retailers don't count for bonus rewards.  Big box stores, department stores, and wholesale clubs are almost always explicitly excluded.
 
What a nightmare it would be for the CCCs to drill down into your purchase and categorize every single item you buy.  That's why they categorize on the merchant level, rather than individual items.
 
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Re: Rewards question

Ok. Do you know anything about Chase Freedom and the same situation? Thanks.
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Re: Rewards question

[ Edited ]


ace9848 wrote:
Ok. Do you know anything about Chase Freedom and the same situation? Thanks.


Yes, Chase Freedom uses the merchant category, and I believe there are only ten or so categories that are eligible for the bonus rewards, and of those, only your top three spending categories in any given month.
 
 


Message Edited by cheddar on 06-03-2008 05:27 PM
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Re: Rewards question



cheddar wrote:


ace9848 wrote:
Ok. Do you know anything about Chase Freedom and the same situation? Thanks.


Yes, Chase Freedom uses the merchant category, and I believe there are only ten or so categories that are eligible for the bonus rewards, and of those, only your top three spending categories in any given month.
 
 
Message Edited by cheddar on 06-03-2008 05:27 PM

It can get a little tricky with the merchant categories.  If I purchase my monthly prescription at a drugstore, such as Walgreens or CVS, my Chase Freedom card rewards me with a 3% rebate.  If I purchased that same prescription at Target or Walmart, I'd receive 1% cash back. 
 
However, Chase Freedom is one of the few rewards cards that does include "Department Stores" as one of their ten top spending categories. 
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Re: Rewards question



psychic wrote:
 
However, Chase Freedom is one of the few rewards cards that does include "Department Stores" as one of their ten top spending categories. 


really?  I should look into the Freedom card.  You can get everything at walmart.  If you order from walmart.com, does it count? :smileyhappy: 

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Re: Rewards question

[ Edited ]


thrasher865 wrote:


psychic wrote:
 
However, Chase Freedom is one of the few rewards cards that does include "Department Stores" as one of their ten top spending categories. 


really?  I should look into the Freedom card.  You can get everything at walmart.  If you order from walmart.com, does it count? :smileyhappy: 


According to the Chase Freedom website:
 
Department Stores

Includes both national and local stores.

 

I never receive any bonus points when I shop at Walmart.  I think by "Department Stores," Chase means Macy's, Dillards,etc.

However, when you shop online through the "Chase Rewards Plus" program, you can earn an additional 2% back on your walmart.com purchases. 



Message Edited by psychic on 06-03-2008 07:33 PM
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Re: Rewards question

Can they really tell if you "pay at the pump" or if you go inside?  Isn't the charge still processed the same way from that retailer?
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