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

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

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Old Jun 28, 20, 4:59 am   -   Wikipost
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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 isn’t 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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Old Aug 5, 11, 10:28 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Whole Foods Market and supermarket category bonuses.

I have the Amex Gold Premiere card which gives you 2 points for groceries. Has anyone used this successfully at Whole Foods? Just checking b/c there is some gobbledegood in the fine print about the store having to enter a particular code, and wondering if Whole Foods does that so people have been getting their points using that store. Thanks!
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Old Aug 5, 11, 10:52 am
  #2  
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aren't merchants classified by the cc people....like warehouse/walmart often getting less/no pts....whole foods [the donut store] isn't a discount merchant, imho....go for it & let us know the result....is there a card that you would use instead?.....good luck...
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Old Aug 5, 11, 11:00 am
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The store doesn't need to enter a code, they need to be coded as a grocery store, and not a warehouse store/retail sales/etc. You'll be fine at Whole foods. Sams, Costco, WalMart, Target, etc all receive the reduced rates, as they're coded differently.
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Old Aug 5, 11, 1:21 pm
  #4  
 
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Amex has whole foods coded correctly: Merchandise & Supplies - Groceries

You should get bonus points as expected.

Chase codes them as "other", sadly.
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Old Aug 5, 11, 1:31 pm
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I have always had whole paycheck code as grocery and get double points. you would be supprised of others that code a grocery like one of my local gas stations with a minimart, and two of the wine shops i order from also code as grocery even thou they just sell wine
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Old Aug 5, 11, 1:40 pm
  #6  
mia
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Originally Posted by Averroes View Post
Chase codes them as "other", sadly.
The categories shown when you view your account activity on chase.com are not the categories used for reward calculations. Chase (and Citi) recognize that Whole Foods is a supermarket.
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Old Aug 29, 11, 11:06 am
  #7  
 
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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
  #8  
mia
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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
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
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
  #10  
mia
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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
  #11  
 
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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
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
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
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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
  #14  
mia
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Originally Posted by LongviewTX View Post
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 15, 15, 5:28 pm
  #15  
 
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What is (or not) included in the U.S. Supermarket category?

Sorry if this has already been posted. I did a search but couldn't find the answer.

I'm trying to get the most out of our Amex Blue Cash Preferred card. It gives 6% back on groceries.

On the rewards page it says:
What isn’t 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. Costco) and big box stores (e.g. Wal-Mart) are examples of merchants that are NOT eligible for additional rewards.
So I'm wondering if Sprouts, Trader Joe's, Fresh and Easy... do they count as grocery stores or natural food/ specialty stores?

I know Whole Foods is accepted but what about the others?
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