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What is (or not) included in the U.S. Supermarket category?

Old Nov 8, 2018, 12:31 pm
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Last edit by: rasheed
Unfortunately, AmEx's listed merchant categories on the posted transactions do not properly distinguish US Supermarkets from smaller grocery stores (which do not qualify for bonus rewards). Small stores that do not qualify will be listed the same, but will accrue the lower base rewards rate.

List of multi-location chains in the US that appear to qualify for bonus rewards (see at bottom for AmEx's rules on this subject):

Albertsons/Safeway family chains
Instacart
Kroger family chains (NOT Fred Meyer though - you need to purchase Kroger gift cards from another member supermarket in that case)
Meijer
Sprouts
Trader Joe's
Walmart - Neighborhood version
Whole Foods

Sometimes individual locations may not work.

At: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/c...fo/retail.html, AmEx says as follows:
U.S. Supermarkets

To earn additional rewards on supermarket purchases, the supermarket must be located in the U.S.

A supermarket offers a wide variety of food and household products such as meat, fresh produce, dairy, canned and packaged goods, household cleaners, pharmacy products and pet supplies.

(Superstores, convenience stores and warehouse clubs are NOT considered supermarkets.)

Examples of merchants* that accept the Card and where you can earn additional rewards include:
Gristedes
Foodtown
Meijer
Shoprite
Stop and Shop
Vons
Whole Foods
Winn-Dixie
Online supermarkets such as FreshDirect

*This is not a complete list.

Examples of merchants where you will NOT earn additional rewards include:
Specialty stores (e.g., fish markets, cheese shops, wine shops, and other specialty food stores )
Superstores (e.g. Amazon, Target and Wal-Mart)
Warehouse clubs (e.g. BJ's Club)

Supermarket FAQs


What isnt included in the U.S. Supermarket category?

Specialty food stores, small corner grocery stores, gourmet shops, natural food stores and large superstores including online superstores (e.g. Amazon), warehouses clubs (e.g. BJ's Club) and big box stores (e.g. Wal-Mart) are examples of merchants that are NOT eligible for additional rewards.

I think I should have earned additional rewards on a purchase, what should I do?

If you have questions about whether you should have received additional rewards, please call the number on the back of your Card.

How do you define a Supermarket where I earn additional rewards?

A supermarket offers a wide variety of food and household products such as meat, fresh produce, dairy, canned and packaged goods, household cleaners, pharmacy products and pet supplies.
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What is (or not) included in the U.S. Supermarket category?

Old May 27, 2022, 7:11 pm
  #121  
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Originally Posted by cwc
HAnyone has the same issue?
With an Amex chat rep being wrong? Yeah, common enough occurrence.
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Old May 27, 2022, 8:01 pm
  #122  
 
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Originally Posted by cwc
Hi All,
I received a "Spend $100 or more, get $10 back. Up to 3 times (total of $30)." Two grocery shopping trips within two days of each other, one to Safeway and one to Kmarket (local Asian market). Got my $10 from Kmarket after 2 days. Two weeks later still no credit from Safeway. Chat with AMEX and was told by agent "Merchant not qualify". Anyone has the same issue?
They get slow on the credits sometimes. They owe me two of the $10 right now.
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Old May 29, 2022, 1:35 pm
  #123  
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Originally Posted by cwc
Hi All,
I received a "Spend $100 or more, get $10 back. Up to 3 times (total of $30)." Two grocery shopping trips within two days of each other, one to Safeway and one to Kmarket (local Asian market). Got my $10 from Kmarket after 2 days. Two weeks later still no credit from Safeway. Chat with AMEX and was told by agent "Merchant not qualify". Anyone has the same issue?
The problem is almost certainly with that specific Safeway store (or at most a group of them), not with Safeway stores in general. So unless you specify the exact Safeway store, and you find someone who used an Amex card at that specific Safeway store, no one can tell you if they have the same issue, since it's a coding issue that causes these problems, and each store can code differently. Also, a store can code differently on the Amex network than on a Visa or MC network, so even if codes correctly for Visa/MC users, that doesn't prove that it codes correctly for Amex users.

I've can tell you many people (including me) have had similar issues at other stores (and with both Amex and other cards), when those stores are co-owned with other types businesses using the same coding for all of their businesses. So, for example, business owner X first open a shoe store, then buys a grocery store, but applies the same coding to the grocery store as to the first store they had, and the grocery store codes a shoe store, because of their other property being a shoe store. Unfortunately, too many independent business owners don't seem to think that it matters how their stores are coded. But of course all of us who have category-based extra earning cards, plus those with category-based offers such as in your case, care very much how the stores are coded.

Except that most people find these problems when using cards that earn 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, whatever, in a category, rather than when trying to use a category-specific offer.
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Old May 29, 2022, 9:34 pm
  #124  
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I have often seen this issue at independent businesses, perhaps due to the owners also owning a business of another type. But I can't imagine that a national chain like Safeway wouldn't code correctly (and Safeway can't possibly be anything but a "supermarket").

I think the rep was simply making an excuse. The credit will probably post, although it may take a while. If it doesn't, then I would call back.
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Old Feb 2, 2024, 2:17 pm
  #125  
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The wiki in this thread says that Fred Meyer doesn't count (I presume because their stores are primarily supercenters). Before Kroger acquired Fred Meyer, it expanded into Utah and built a few of their supercenters. In 1997, Fred Meyer acquired the Smiths grocery chain. Following that, Fred Meyer rebranded its Fred Meyer stores as Smiths Marketplace in states where Smiths was the much larger brand. Utah was one of those states. And then Kroger acquired Fred Meyer (and thus also Smiths).

So, I am assuming that AMEX has no problem giving 6% on the Blue Cash Preferred card for the regular Smiths grocery stores. Does anyone have any experience getting (or not) the full 6% at Smiths Marketplace stores? Asking because a Smiths Marketplace store is where we do the great majority of our grocery shopping. FWIW, Smith's Marketplace is not a separate brand of Kroger, but is instead a sub-brand of Smiths.

Also, FWIW, when we use our Chase Freedom Unlimited card at Smith's Marketplace the transaction Merchant Type is "Grocery Stores and Supermarkets" (which doesn't matter for that card since it is a flat 1.5% everywhere). I don't believe that I have ever used an AMEX at Smith's Marketplace, however. I could make a small purchase there using my Delta Skymiles Gold AMEX to see how it shows up. If it shows up as a supermarket with the Delta card, is it guaranteed that it would also show up that same way with the Blue Cash Preferred card?
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Old Feb 3, 2024, 9:39 am
  #126  
 
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Yes, all AmEx cards follow same categorization. Do make a small charge if you need to test.

I do find AmEx supermarkets more restrictive than Visa/MC equivalent categories, but it is in the interest of companies to categorize as supermarkets if they qualify as aside from some govt vendors, supermarkets have the lowest negotatied discount rates.
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Old Feb 3, 2024, 1:09 pm
  #127  
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Originally Posted by rasheed

I do find AmEx supermarkets more restrictive than Visa/MC equivalent categories,
Yes, my local Fred Meyer posts as Grocery Store, Supermarket on my Citi Premier and earns 3X.
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Old Feb 8, 2024, 9:11 am
  #128  
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Here are the results of my testing of AMEX at a Smith's Marketplace store. As I posted earlier, Smith's Marketplace is a Walmart-like sub-brand of the Smith's traditional supermarket brand of Kroger.

The results seem to be mixed. I made a grocery purchase on 3 Feb and when I go to the AMEX online statement and select the line item and then click on "Show Additional Information" here is what I am shown:
Additional Information

999999940348666111979

GROCERY STORES
So I am assuming from that, that purchases at Smith's Marketplace generally do qualify for the full 6% rebate on the Blue Cash Preferred card. But on 6 Feb, I made a purchase at the pharmacy at Smith's Marketplace. And on that charge, when I look at the Additional Information, all I see is:

Additional Information

99999994036 8666111979
So in this case, the additional information does not specify that the purchase was at a grocery store, but on the other hand, doesn't say that it wasn't. So do y'all think my pharmacy purchase would have qualified for the 6%, or not?
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