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Old Aug 29, 11, 11:06 am   #1
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What stores are supermarkets for AmEx Blue Cash Preferred?

Sorry if this is a wrong forum, but I cannot find anything meaningful going by a Search function and I though this forum will have the most knowledgeable audience as far as the question:

Blue Cash PreferredSM from American Express provides 6% for purchases at "supermarkets" with only definition in Terms and Conditions "6% for eligible purchases at supermarkets (excluding superstores and warehouse clubs)". So in reality what major stores are supermarkets but not superstores?

What about Walmart, Target and Kohl's for example? Are any of these supermarkets but not superstores?
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Old Aug 29, 11, 12:01 pm   #2
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Originally Posted by LongviewTX View Post
what major stores are supermarkets but not superstores?
Supermarkets are firms which primarily sell groceries such as:

Kroger, Safeway, SuperValu, Publix, A&P, Albertsons, Whole Foods, etc. The stores you mentioned do sell groceries, but that is not their primary business, and they are not classified as supermarkets for credit card transaction processing purposes.
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Old Aug 29, 11, 1:41 pm   #3
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Supermarkets are firms which primarily sell groceries such as:

Kroger, Safeway, SuperValu, Publix, A&P, Albertsons, Whole Foods, etc. The stores you mentioned do sell groceries, but that is not their primary business, and they are not classified as supermarkets for credit card transaction processing purposes.
I'm now even more confused. Some American Express cards (e.g American Express Premier Rewards Gold) have a bonus spending category called "groceries" while others (e.g. American Express Blue Cash) have a bonus spending category called "supermarkets" but based on your answer it seems like that "groceries"="supermarkets".

Why don't just make things simpler and call same things universally? Is that a marketing trick of some kind? Making people think that cards have somewhat different bonus categories when in fact they don't?

Or am I just missing something?
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Old Aug 29, 11, 1:51 pm   #4
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Originally Posted by LongviewTX View Post
... it seems like that "groceries"="supermarkets".
Groceries is a category of merchandise. A supermarket is a type of store. The bonus is determined by where you shop, not by what you buy.
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Old Aug 29, 11, 4:56 pm   #5
  
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This can be a bit tricky and it depends on the each individual store. Some stores, it can even depend on how each register is programmed.

I know for my local Raley's, it did not count as 'supermarket'.
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Old Aug 29, 11, 5:28 pm   #6
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Groceries is a category of merchandise. A supermarket is a type of store. The bonus is determined by where you shop, not by what you buy.
I understand that and the generic idea that it only matters how a particular store was coded in the application to the payment processing network (AmEx in this case). What I'm pointing out is an apparent inconsistency in marketing between different AmEx cards:

Premier Rewards Gold Card: X2 on groceries, where "groceries" purchases are described as follows "charges at U.S. stand alone ... supermarkets are eligible for bonus points."

Blue Cash Preferred: 6% cash back at supermarkets where "supermarkets" purchases are described as "eligible purchases at supermarkets (excluding superstores and warehouse clubs)"

So at the end of the day X2 on PRG and 6% for Blue Cash Preferred is earned at the exactly same stores even though in one case it's marketed as "groceries" and in other case as "supermarkets". Confusing...
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Old Aug 29, 11, 5:52 pm   #7
  
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Originally Posted by LongviewTX View Post
I understand that and the generic idea that it only matters how a particular store was coded in the application to the payment processing network (AmEx in this case). What I'm pointing out is an apparent inconsistency in marketing between different AmEx cards:

Premier Rewards Gold Card: X2 on groceries, where "groceries" purchases are described as follows "charges at U.S. stand alone ... supermarkets are eligible for bonus points."

Blue Cash Preferred: 6% cash back at supermarkets where "supermarkets" purchases are described as "eligible purchases at supermarkets (excluding superstores and warehouse clubs)"

So at the end of the day X2 on PRG and 6% for Blue Cash Preferred is earned at the exactly same stores even though in one case it's marketed as "groceries" and in other case as "supermarkets". Confusing...
It's probably just a semantical difference, I don't know if AMEX has the ability to group merchants in the way to differentiate "grocery" from "supermarket." They probably are just using the merchant category code which would show up as "groceries;" stores like Costco, etc. show up as a different code, which is how they're able to be excluded from the PR Gold's bonus. I've recieved bonus points for shopping at liquor stores who bill under the "groceries" category.

Your best bet would probably be to inquire using a secured message.
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Old Aug 29, 11, 7:15 pm   #8
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So at the end of the day X2 on PRG and 6% for Blue Cash Preferred is earned at the exactly same stores ...
Correct. There's nothing devious here. All of the other major rewards card issuers employ copywriters who sometimes use "groceries" or "supermarkets" as shorthand for "transactions at merchants who primarily sell groceries".
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Old Jan 13, 17, 6:06 pm   #9
  
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Raley's groceries?

Let me know if it's impolite to resurrect or hijack this thread. But..
the reason I just got this card was obviously for my 6% cash back on groceries. The majority of my grocery shopping is done at Raley's and I can't find Raley's on the list of grocery stores. Anyone know if Raley's gets the 6%?
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Old Jan 13, 17, 6:12 pm   #10
  
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Let me know if it's impolite to resurrect or hijack this thread. But..
the reason I just got this card was obviously for my 6% cash back on groceries. The majority of my grocery shopping is done at Raley's and I can't find Raley's on the list of grocery stores. Anyone know if Raley's gets the 6%?
It did last time I shopped there.
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Old Jan 13, 17, 6:56 pm   #11
  
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Originally Posted by leif2 View Post
The majority of my grocery shopping is done at Raley's
How have your other purchases coded on previous card statements?
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Old Jan 14, 17, 8:27 am   #12
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A big grocery store is a supermarket.

A tiny grocery store is not a supermarket.

Ie, a supermarket is a grocery store above a certain size.

That is the colloquial distinction.

Now, how Amex counts that, I dunno.

On my Everyday card, where I get 2x to 2.4x MR on groceries, I don't worry about whether a tiny grocer is a supermarket or not, as long as they code as groceries. Which, btw, some 7-11s do but other 7-11s don't (some 7-11s code as gas instead, whether or not they have gas pumps attached).

On my Everyday card, Ralphs (a Kroger supermarket brand), Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and certain 7-11s all code identically as:
Category: Merchandise & Supplies - Groceries
If you have another card, and are not sure whether supermarkets code differently on it than other groceries, I suggest you make a small purchase at a supermarket, a small purchase at a small grocery, and see if there's any difference in the coding after each purchase posts.
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Old Jan 14, 17, 7:27 pm   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leif2 View Post
Let me know if it's impolite to resurrect or hijack this thread. But..
the reason I just got this card was obviously for my 6% cash back on groceries. The majority of my grocery shopping is done at Raley's and I can't find Raley's on the list of grocery stores. Anyone know if Raley's gets the 6%?
I don't see what else it could be. Raley's is pretty much the stereotypical American supermarket. In my experience, chain stores are usually classified properly. It's the mom and pop merchants that sometimes are misclassified for whatever reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
A big grocery store is a supermarket.

A tiny grocery store is not a supermarket.

Ie, a supermarket is a grocery store above a certain size.

That is the colloquial distinction.

Now, how Amex counts that, I dunno.
In my mind, a supermarket is a grocery store that also sells some general merchandise, such as health and beauty products, magazines, party supplies, etc. A supercenter combines a supermarket with a discount store that sells clothes, housewares, and so on.

For example, Trader Joe's would be a grocery store but not a supermarket.

But recently, the lines are blurring and the best advice is to make a small test purchase to determine how a particular location codes.
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Old Jan 14, 17, 10:07 pm   #14
  
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Originally Posted by Mediahound View Post
This can be a bit tricky and it depends on the each individual store. Some stores, it can even depend on how each register is programmed.

I know for my local Raley's, it did not count as 'supermarket'.
It might depend on the card network too. I know that my local Target is classified as a grocery store according to Mastercard, for instance.
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