Tweaks To What Qualifies As “Dining” On Chase Cards

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Chase’s premium credit cards are well known for the bonus points they offer on dining and travel purchases. Specifically, the:

The terms “dining” and “travel” are pretty broad, though a lot of people are surprised to learn just how many purchases qualify under these categories. Per Chase’s Rewards Category FAQs, “travel” is defined as follows:

Merchants in the travel category include airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages

Meanwhile Chase includes the following things in the “restaurant” category:

Merchants in the restaurants category are merchants whose primary business is sit-down or eat-in dining, including fast food restaurants as well as fine dining establishments

Now, in practice these categories are actually a bit broader than presented above. For example, ridesharing services (like Uber and Lyft) are included in the travel category, while food delivery services (like Postmates) and coffee shops are included in the restaurant category.

livingsocial-restaurants-10

The other factor is that this ultimately comes down to what merchant category a business chooses to be in. For example, many businesses will use services like Square to process their payments, in which case you may not receive the normal bonuses.

Anyways, Dan’s Deals reports that Chase seems to have recently modified what they categorize as “dining.” Specifically, apparently Chase no longer considers bakeries, caterers, and “dairy product stores” to qualify as dining. Per a message Dan received from Chase when inquiring about a purchase:

I would like to explain that as of 8/30/2016 transactions billed as Bakeries, Caterers, & Dairy product stores will no longer qualify as accelerated rewards earnings. This is for all Chase products to remain fair and consistent.

To be honest, I wouldn’t assume that catering would qualify as a dining purchase, and wasn’t aware that was even the case. I can see that benefit being rather costly, given that offering double or triple points on wedding catering would add up really quickly.

As far as “dairy product stores” go, I assume that refers to ice cream and frozen yogurt places? If so, I still earned double points for a purchase at a frozen yogurt store last week:

Chase-Dining-Bonus

So I’m not sure if I’m misinterpreting the category, if the place I went to just had an odd merchant code, or if this isn’t yet being enforced in practice.

Bottom line

I wasn’t actually aware that catering qualified for bonus points under “dining,” so I guess I can’t be too surprised by the change. At the same time, I still earned bonus points for a recent purchase at a frozen yogurt store, so I’m not sure if that was an exception, or what.

Have you noticed a difference in the bonus points you’re earning at bakeries, caterers, and “dairy product stores,” when using Chase credit cards?


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Comments

  1. I’m sure they haven’t updated the merchant codes yet. Each merchant is assigned, by the issuer, a category for their transactions. Considering they have to review (asking places, etc) what these places sell, it’s no surprise they haven’t fully gone into effect.

  2. Does it affect Ritz Carlton caRd too? I think this deserves a separate post just for Ritz Carlton.

    Looking forward to it.

    Eff trump!

  3. Ah, this makes sense now. I use a meal-prep service in NYC. My latest monthly charge from them didn’t receive UR bonus points on my CSR, whereas I had previously received them on my CSP/Chase Freedom.

  4. Are the banks still using the SIC codes to classify merchants or are they now doing something else? I see that Pinkberries are classified as 5812 and others are 5814 according to the Visa Supplier database, but I think could potentially fall under “Dairy products” exclusion.

    And despite all that, an individual merchant could still be incorrectly coded, as I’ve been to stand alone ice cream stores that got classified as gas stations or groceries.

  5. Hi Ben, thanks for this information. It helps a newbie like me pretend he understands the nuances of collecting points. I was wondering how you were able to see an itemized breakdown of your transactions and (Chase Ultimate Rewards) points. Is that something that’s available on the Chase website or mobile app?

  6. Since Sept 2016 seamless.com is no longer being awarded 2X points on CSP. I used to get 2X points on seamless.com before that. I called chase and they said that the charges are being posted with a merchant code 5499 ( miscellaneous food store/convenience store) since sept 2016 as opposed to 5812 ( eating places restaurant) which was before sept 2016. I am not sure if this change is because of chase or seamless.com themselves changed their category to 5499 from 5812 with visa/mastercard.

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