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Feeling dumb: Just how do they know we used our C.C. @ a Rewards Restaurant?

Feeling dumb: Just how do they know we used our C.C. @ a Rewards Restaurant?

Old Jul 31, 09, 7:34 am
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Feeling dumb: Just how do they know we used our C.C. @ a Rewards Restaurant?

So I just joined to keep some AAdvantage miles active. I ate at a restaurant the other day and paid with my registered C.C.

At what point is the connection made that this card was used and is part of the program? Is it flagged at Visa? Does the Rewards Program troll transactions to find them? Is something done at the restaurant?

I keep going to my Rewards Account and I don't see any activity yet ..... I hope my horrible dining experience was not in vain because I didn't do something right.
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Old Jul 31, 09, 1:29 pm
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Originally Posted by david4455 View Post
So I just joined to keep some AAdvantage miles active. I ate at a restaurant the other day and paid with my registered C.C.

At what point is the connection made that this card was used and is part of the program? Is it flagged at Visa? Does the Rewards Program troll transactions to find them? Is something done at the restaurant?

I keep going to my Rewards Account and I don't see any activity yet ..... I hope my horrible dining experience was not in vain because I didn't do something right.
Rewards Network (RN) knows what CCs you have registered in your AA RN account. They also have a contract with every restuarant enlisted in their program. As soon as the restuarant finalizes your transaction, they send RN a list of how much you spent. Normally all the miles earned for that dine will post about 10 days after the dine. If the miles do not appear in you AA FF account after two weeks or so, you should call RN and see if they have a record of your dine. Somtimes you will need to fax or mail a copy of your CC receipt to RN so that they can add the miles to your account manually.

Remember, DO NOT change or remove the CC from your RN account until the miles are safely in your AA account.
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Old Aug 7, 09, 9:09 pm
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There's something missing in this description of how the process works.
How does the restaurant know which credit cards are registered with rewards network and which are not?
There either has to be a system that reveals to the restaurant which credit cards are miles-earners, or the restaurant has to forward all its credit card transactions to rewards network for processing.
When I've inquired about missing dines, rewards network CS consistently refers to whether or not the transaction was "captured." Not sure what that means, but it sounds automagical.

Edited to add: In addition to the phone numner, there is a web form, linked from the list of one's rewards, for submitting missing dines. Also, there is a CS email: [email protected]
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Old Aug 7, 09, 11:25 pm
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No, the restaurant has no idea that the credit card is RN-linked. The "capture" happens at the billing end.

The missing dine link is swell - thanks for pointing it out! I suspect, however, most inquiries will result in a request to scan and attach the receipt.
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Old Aug 8, 09, 9:24 am
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Expanding a bit on the above...

In a nutshell, RN is the PR divison of a financing enterprise. Terms 'require' the restaurant (borrower) to give RN access to the billing info.
It 'may' be that RN has their own CC processing operation, and takes their 'payback cut' directly.

Diners are RN's snitch/enforcers; complaints about missing points/miles is RN's clue to look for payment cheating.

Fiendishly clever plan.
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Old Aug 8, 09, 6:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Points Scrounger View Post
No, the restaurant has no idea that the credit card is RN-linked.
Except in some cases (if they know enough) they could spot at least some of them by implication. Some airline affinity credit cards are automatically enrolled in RN when you apply for it, and in those cases, if you see a diner with one of those credits it's extremely likely it's RN-linked.

Of course, only at a smaller restaurant would the person who runs the card actually be someone who knows about the restaurant using the RN program, I would think. And they would have to know something about FFP practices themselves, which is far from guaranteed, because as I understand it, RN pitches itself to restraurants as much as a "cashback" (coupon-equivalent) promotion as anything else. (That probably keeps it simpler, since many restaurants might not know about FFPs but do understand "cashback". And one part of RN's program business is a cashback version, it's just that few people here at FT care about that program, unless they didn't realize they couldn't "double dip" it. )
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Old Aug 10, 09, 10:30 am
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Originally Posted by Points Scrounger View Post
No, the restaurant has no idea that the credit card is RN-linked. The "capture" happens at the billing end.

The missing dine link is swell - thanks for pointing it out! I suspect, however, most inquiries will result in a request to scan and attach the receipt.
Thx for the kudo, but I should have mentioned -- IME all I've gotten from the missing dine link is an automatic reply saying they will look into it and get back to me.
Email, with a scan of the receipt attached, has almost always worked quickly for me.

Straying further off-topic ... one way I have seen a restaurant avoid RN capture was to somehow print credit card receipts labeled as cash transactions -- deliberately or accidentally, don't know. In this case, RN refused to honor my receipt. They gave in when I sent an appropriately-redacted .pdf of my CC statement.

"fiendishly clever plan" - thx, squawk 7500 for that chuckle.
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Old Aug 17, 09, 11:56 am
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Another way is for the resto to use an adjacent, related business' cc processing. I've had one downtown Sacramento resto first claim the credit card machine wasn't working well, then run it on a related business' system so the restaurant name did not appear.

It took a little bit more time to process this with RN, but I also suspect the restaurant got a visit from "Big Vinny" or whoever the "enforcer" is for their, in this case, cash advance (essentially, a loan that does not have to conform to some formal loan restrictions.)

Originally Posted by ZeppoX View Post
Thx for the kudo, but I should have mentioned -- IME all I've gotten from the missing dine link is an automatic reply saying they will look into it and get back to me.
Email, with a scan of the receipt attached, has almost always worked quickly for me.

Straying further off-topic ... one way I have seen a restaurant avoid RN capture was to somehow print credit card receipts labeled as cash transactions -- deliberately or accidentally, don't know. In this case, RN refused to honor my receipt. They gave in when I sent an appropriately-redacted .pdf of my CC statement.

"fiendishly clever plan" - thx, squawk 7500 for that chuckle.
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Old Sep 24, 09, 1:31 pm
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Since my wife runs a restaurant that participates in Rewards Networks:

- on our end, nothing is done. The POS is not aware of RN or affiliated credit cards nor does it communicate with RN directly.

- by contract, RN has access to the data of the payment processor. They do work with many, but not all processors. At that point, they get the transaction data and filter against affiliated cards.
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