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percysmith May 29, 14 10:50 pm


Originally Posted by carrotjuice (Post 22947395)
And each time I've had to fight with CS to tell them how stupid their response is. A cardholder has no means to know what MCC an establishment is tagged to when he decides to use a particular card! He sits at a restaurant table, with fine linen, is served food and drink, signs for the bill at the end - and has every reason to believe that he's dined at a restaurant. He's bought clothing or shoes at a department store that sells these items on 4 out of 5 floors (with the exception of a grocery store at the basement) hence has every reason to believe that he's shopped at a department store.

No matter what the MCC says of these establishments!

What's the cardholder supposed to do? Ask the waiter, "What is your MCC?" Naturally the waiter wouldn't know, not to mention the embarrassment of such interaction, especially if you have dining companions. Neither will a department store checkout counter be able to provide this information readily.

Worst is if it's a standalone restaurant in a large department store - how would the person know which is the "right" card to use to maximise his points earning capability?

And these banks, in their response, effectively expect the onus to know what MCC is tagged to which establishment to rest on the cardholder. Information that's impossible for the cardholder to know at the point of deciding which card to use. This stance by banks is ridiculous and almost amounting to unfair banking practice in my firm opinion.

In my recent fights, I've had to threaten to write to the local papers and/or MAS before the banks deigned to escalate within their senior management to get the missing points credited. But it hasn't come easy from my experience. Oftentimes their initial response is to deny the claim - even though it's of no fault of the cardholder as a merchant's MCC tagging isn't something that the cardholder controls.

I'm not sure if this is possible with your banks (UOB/Citi SG)
But in HK
We call the banks as soon the waiter sticks the card into the card terminal to get an auth.

I even called ahead of the waiter once.
SCB for Valentine's day at MO (the deposit, but my missus is happy for me to do this even on the day):
"Can you tell me what is the MCC for the $3,000 payment that's just come through?"
"No requests for auth today"
"Look again please. Waiter just swiping now"
"See it just now. MCC 5812..."

HSBC HK told me they can lookup the MCC for authorisations coming through today. But not between the day following the transaction until the transaction is posted.

If it is not the MCC I expect, I ask the waiter to void (or refund, since most MCC-reliant promos are local currency) and present alternate payment. Most HK chains and higher-end establishments tolerate one void/refund.

In Mainland China the MCCs are a mess, because merchants regularly lend out their card terminals to businesses in industries who have difficulty applying for them http://www.hongkongcard.com/forum/fo...w.php?id=11818


Originally Posted by carrotjuice (Post 22947395)
These interactions really shouldn't have been so hard... and banks really shouldn't require "threats" for them to see sense and do what's right. I'm frankly tired of having to fight every time to get what's due to me.

In fact, any decent bank should immediately rectify the missing points credit when hearing of a cardholder's complaint, as they full well know how "imperfect" this MCC tagging scheme is.

It appears banks continue to benefit from a cardholder's lack of knowledge to get away with not crediting the right number of points. Such situation is exacerbated by lack of transaction breakdown in the monthly CC statements.

Interested to know if you share similar frustrations, and what you've done in the past to get the banks to honor the bonus points. What's the "path of least resistance" - if there's even one?

MCC is an easy way for banks to write promos and resolve subsequent complaints. The banks are well within their rights to deny extra rewards based on wrong MCC.


Originally Posted by carrotjuice (Post 22947395)
Likewise Citibank Rewards MC at certain department stores that may not carry the right MCC (eg. M&S UK is tagged as grocery store!) again losing out on bonus points.

I single out Citi for particular criticism.

In late 2012 they did a 30X promo for the Rewards Card here, based on supermarket/department store/telecoms (MCC 4812) MCC http://www.hongkongcard.com/forum/fo...hp?id=9774&p=8

Unfortunately for Citi, Apple Stores in HK are coded as MCC 4812. Some card jings here noticed Citi has been awarding 5X (normal telecom earn rate) for Apple Store, and massively traded iPhone5 units during the promotion.

Citi attempted to deny 30X awards on Apple Store, offering awarding 5X only. The marketing dept tried to argue Apple Store is not a telecoms company.

The card jings in hongkongcard.com starting filing complaints with Citi, citing:
- we establish with Citibank and other banks' CS that Apple Store used MCC 4812 consistently, before the 30X promotion and during it
- although MCC 4812 is not specifically named in the 30X T&C (merely "telecom"), Citi used the same "telecom" definition for the ongoing 5X T&C. So what earned 5X before the 30X promotion should also earn 30X during the promotion period (past behaviour of the contracting parties)

Citi's complaints dept looked at our reasoning and gave in. We could have escalated to HKMA if they didn't.

We understand Apple Stores in HK later changed its MCC (not sure at Citi's request/complaint or otherwise). But they can't have it both ways.

carrotjuice May 29, 14 11:42 pm

The 'Best credit cards for KF miles accrual' master thread
 
For UOB PPAmex, my main issue is that even standalone restaurants within hotels are not tagged as "dining" but "hotel". Likewise restaurants in malls are tagged as shopping as I discovered in the various Isetans and Takashimayas in Japan. Yet the problem ism't consistent - a handful are indeed tagged correctly as restaurants. Most intriguing was a recent visit to a Michelin starred restaurant in Napa Valley, which is tagged as "amusement park" because it was created by its parent owner that owned a winery surrounding a castle that's open for day visits, but the actual winery and castle was literally hundreds of miles away from the restaurant where I had my meal!

Guess the problem is - the cardholder would never have easily known or even guessed!

percysmith May 29, 14 11:45 pm


Originally Posted by carrotjuice (Post 22948267)
For UOB PPAmex, my main issue is that even standalone restaurants within hotels are not tagged as "dining" but "hotel".

Again not sure about SG, but in HK my experience is hotel chains that have their own MCCs tend to code their restaurants with that MCC http://www.hongkongcard.com/forum/fo...p?id=7116&p=14

Examples:
- Shangri La HK Island and Kowloon
- Ritz Carlton
- Marriott

Chains that don't:
- MO
- Penn
- FS

carrotjuice May 30, 14 12:42 am


Originally Posted by percysmith (Post 22948276)
Again not sure about SG, but in HK my experience is hotel chains that have their own MCCs tend to code their restaurants with that MCC http://www.hongkongcard.com/forum/fo...p?id=7116&p=14

Examples:
- Shangri La HK Island and Kowloon
- Ritz Carlton
- Marriott

Somewhat similar in Spore.

But such practice, while indeed practised, doesn't make it right. And CC companies continue to cause frustration when cardholders can't get the rightful points when dining at such establishments.

If it's a standalone restaurant that accepts walk in patrons and not restricted to hotel guests then they should have separate MCC that indicates restaurant and not hotel. And banks that specifically reward cardholders for dining activities should find a way to distinguish that or get their merchants to correct it - instead of washing their hands off the issue and claiming reliance (indifference) on purely MCC.

I do like your suggestion of calling to find out the MCC at the time of swiping the card - but that's purely tactical on the part of the consumer... we are put into a bad situation of having to step up to rectify a faulty system. Whereas rightfully the banks should be the ones to make the system right for their customers.

lsed May 30, 14 5:23 pm


Originally Posted by LAX888 (Post 22942434)
Thanks for the info on the mileage accrual. I guess 22 miles is better than nothing. :)


Just realised that the Visa Signature $2K limit (4K UNI$ bonus) does not follow the monthly calendar dates like the DBS Women's Card, but follows statement cycle

"The combined awarding of UNI$10 for every S$5 spent on Overseas Spend, Petrol Spend and Visa payWave transactions is subject to a cap of UNI$4,000, which is equivalent to S$100 Cash Rebate, per statement period. The UNI$10 consists of the basic UNI$1 earned plus an additional of 9 bonus UNI$."

vsepr May 31, 14 12:59 am


Originally Posted by carrotjuice (Post 22948267)
For UOB PPAmex, my main issue is that even standalone restaurants within hotels are not tagged as "dining" but "hotel". Likewise restaurants in malls are tagged as shopping as I discovered in the various Isetans and Takashimayas in Japan. Yet the problem ism't consistent - a handful are indeed tagged correctly as restaurants. Most intriguing was a recent visit to a Michelin starred restaurant in Napa Valley, which is tagged as "amusement park" because it was created by its parent owner that owned a winery surrounding a castle that's open for day visits, but the actual winery and castle was literally hundreds of miles away from the restaurant where I had my meal!

Guess the problem is - the cardholder would never have easily known or even guessed!

I went to Hiroshima in Mid May and brought my Citi PM VISA and Citi Rewards Card MC.

So annoying! I went airport to buy boxes of Japanese Sweets at the airport (You find these shops in airports all over Japan). I was not aware that these are actually departmental stores until the charge got posted on my Citi PM VISA with MCC 5311:

15/05/2014 HIROSHIMAKUUKO FUKUYASHIYHIROSHIMA JP JPY 719 SGD 9.12
15/05/2014 *HIROSHIMAKUUKOBIRUDEINGU HIROSHIMA JP JPY 733SGD 9.30

At Hiroshima JR, there is a big departmental store. It's called ASSE. I went to the Starbucks, supermarket buy bento and fruit juice and ate at a restaurant. OMG, when posted, all are MCC 5311. I charged to my Citi PM VISA.

All 4 charges had the SAME description. No Starbucks in it, all ASSE.
15/05/2014 *ASSE HIROSHIMA JP JPY 1,231 SGD 15.62

Then I went to Haneda Airport to buy a bottle of mineral water at a shop selling Japanese Sweets, gifts and toys. It sells drinks too, but not ready to eat food. The MCC code is 5311 Departmental Store!!

16/05/2014 HANEDA AIRPORT TERMINAL TOKYO JP JPY 113 SGD 1.44

Then I went to buy a limo bus ticket to Narita Airport. Cost a bomb:

16/05/2014 HANEDA AIRPORT TERMINAL TOKYO JP JPY 3,100 SGD 39.34

The MCC Code is 4722 Travel Agencies, Tour Operators!! This one I charged correctly to Citi PM VISA.

Basically, when overseas, you really cannot tell the MCC code even from the goods they are selling, unless it is very obvious. Even same description can have different MCC code or different categories like cafes can have 5311 codes. Luck plays a part. Either you play safe, S$1 = 2 miles or gamble, get S$1 = 4 miles or 0.4 miles. Nothing much the credit card centre can do. But the next time you go back to the same place, you know which card to use.

But the good thing about using credit cards when making payment overseas is sometimes the charge never gets posted.
I made 2 transactions at the convenience store at Hiroshima Airport, looks like 7-Eleven kind, 2420 yen and 683 yen on 15 May 2014. As of today, 31 May 2014, still not posted. Hope it never gets posted!! LOL!!

Damn!! The 2 transactions are posted on 01 June 2014:

15/05/2014 *SUNKUS TOKYO JP JPY 683 SGD 8.66
15/05/2014 *SUNKUS TOKYO JP JPY 2,420 SGD 30.70

The MCC 5499 is for Miscellaneous Food Stores - Convenience Stores and Specialty Markets, under the Food/Daily Stores, Drug/Liquor Stores category description. I charged correct for this!

angelyn May 31, 14 1:58 am


Originally Posted by lcpteck (Post 22941598)
I've never tried a Clubmed before but I understand it's an all-inclusive thing? You don't pay any extra while you're there to use the facilities and the dining right? Including transport?

Since you're paying in local S$ to the local travel agent (whether offline at the agency or online at their website), you can charge it to your UOB PRVI Amex Card (assuming they accept Amex) to earn 1.6miles per S$1 (in multiples of S$5). If the bill comes up to more than $500 (which it should, cause I heard they are expensive..) in a single transaction, you get a free Limo ride from UOB to the airport via their limo service.

Even if the payment was online, you can't use UOB Preferred Platinum Visa to earn 10x (4 miles per S$1) since they exclude air ticket/hotel/tour package (transport/travel/holiday) related transactions.

DBS altitude would only earn you 1.2 miles per S$1, same as Citibank Premier Miles.

Just my opinion based on the CCs you're holding on right now. Does your clubmed package include the air ticket? I'm assuming yes.

My clubmed package didn't include airtickets as we will be using award tickets hence it's only accommodation, F&B and skiing lessons included.

I guess it's best to use uob privi card to pay to get the 1.6miles per S$1 :)

angelyn May 31, 14 2:04 am


Originally Posted by carrotjuice (Post 22947395)
Periodically I've this continuing fight with various banks pertaining to under-crediting of bonus points for specific spend categories that's marketed as key features of their credit cards.

I diligently use UOB PPAmex at a bona fide restaurants but if the restaurant for some reason isn't tagged to a dining establishment MCC, then I'm cheated of the bonus points.

Likewise Citibank Rewards MC at certain department stores that may not carry the right MCC (eg. M&S UK is tagged as grocery store!) again losing out on bonus points.

Each time I've had to call up their CS to check if firstly I had been credited the points correctly, and if not raise a request to rectify. Like clockwork, the bank will call back shortly after with a boilerplate reply that it's because the merchant wasn't tagged to the right MCC so they can't award the bonus points.

And each time I've had to fight with CS to tell them how stupid their response is. A cardholder has no means to know what MCC an establishment is tagged to when he decides to use a particular card! He sits at a restaurant table, with fine linen, is served food and drink, signs for the bill at the end - and has every reason to believe that he's dined at a restaurant. He's bought clothing or shoes at a department store that sells these items on 4 out of 5 floors (with the exception of a grocery store at the basement) hence has every reason to believe that he's shopped at a department store.

No matter what the MCC says of these establishments!

What's the cardholder supposed to do? Ask the waiter, "What is your MCC?" Naturally the waiter wouldn't know, not to mention the embarrassment of such interaction, especially if you have dining companions. Neither will a department store checkout counter be able to provide this information readily.

Worst is if it's a standalone restaurant in a large department store - how would the person know which is the "right" card to use to maximise his points earning capability?

And these banks, in their response, effectively expect the onus to know what MCC is tagged to which establishment to rest on the cardholder. Information that's impossible for the cardholder to know at the point of deciding which card to use. This stance by banks is ridiculous and almost amounting to unfair banking practice in my firm opinion.

In my recent fights, I've had to threaten to write to the local papers and/or MAS before the banks deigned to escalate within their senior management to get the missing points credited. But it hasn't come easy from my experience. Oftentimes their initial response is to deny the claim - even though it's of no fault of the cardholder as a merchant's MCC tagging isn't something that the cardholder controls.

These interactions really shouldn't have been so hard... and banks really shouldn't require "threats" for them to see sense and do what's right. I'm frankly tired of having to fight every time to get what's due to me.

In fact, any decent bank should immediately rectify the missing points credit when hearing of a cardholder's complaint, as they full well know how "imperfect" this MCC tagging scheme is.

It appears banks continue to benefit from a cardholder's lack of knowledge to get away with not crediting the right number of points. Such situation is exacerbated by lack of transaction breakdown in the monthly CC statements.

Interested to know if you share similar frustrations, and what you've done in the past to get the banks to honor the bonus points. What's the "path of least resistance" - if there's even one?


Recently, I paid for a $13k bill in Ocean Restaurant, RWS using the UOB preferred platinum Amex card for 10x dining reward. UOB credited only 2x uni$ and I called them to request for the crediting of the additional 8x, they asked for receipt to be emailed to them and very quickly approved the additional 8x uni$ credit :) For this bill, I earned 52k miles yippeee

vsepr May 31, 14 3:02 am


Originally Posted by angelyn (Post 22954183)
Recently, I paid for a $13k bill in Ocean Restaurant, RWS using the UOB preferred platinum Amex card for 10x dining reward. UOB credited only 2x uni$ and I called them to request for the crediting of the additional 8x, they asked for receipt to be emailed to them and very quickly approved the additional 8x uni$ credit :) For this bill, I earned 52k miles yippeee

Was it for a wedding dinner or some birthday celebration?

lcpteck May 31, 14 5:55 am

That's a big bill for a dinner, you fed an entire army battalion?

percysmith May 31, 14 8:50 am

Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 7_0_6 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/537.51.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/7.0 Mobile/11B651 Safari/9537.53)

Banquet? Merchants who are coded as restaurants can't differentiate between wedding banquets and valentines dinners. My missus made well north of 100k miles off our banquets.

fern76 May 31, 14 10:40 am


Originally Posted by carrotjuice (Post 22947395)
Periodically I've this continuing fight with various banks pertaining to under-crediting of bonus points for specific spend categories that's marketed as key features of their credit cards.

I diligently use UOB PPAmex at a bona fide restaurants but if the restaurant for some reason isn't tagged to a dining establishment MCC, then I'm cheated of the bonus points.

Likewise Citibank Rewards MC at certain department stores that may not carry the right MCC (eg. M&S UK is tagged as grocery store!) again losing out on bonus points.

Each time I've had to call up their CS to check if firstly I had been credited the points correctly, and if not raise a request to rectify. Like clockwork, the bank will call back shortly after with a boilerplate reply that it's because the merchant wasn't tagged to the right MCC so they can't award the bonus points.

And each time I've had to fight with CS to tell them how stupid their response is. A cardholder has no means to know what MCC an establishment is tagged to when he decides to use a particular card! He sits at a restaurant table, with fine linen, is served food and drink, signs for the bill at the end - and has every reason to believe that he's dined at a restaurant. He's bought clothing or shoes at a department store that sells these items on 4 out of 5 floors (with the exception of a grocery store at the basement) hence has every reason to believe that he's shopped at a department store.

No matter what the MCC says of these establishments!

What's the cardholder supposed to do? Ask the waiter, "What is your MCC?" Naturally the waiter wouldn't know, not to mention the embarrassment of such interaction, especially if you have dining companions. Neither will a department store checkout counter be able to provide this information readily.

Worst is if it's a standalone restaurant in a large department store - how would the person know which is the "right" card to use to maximise his points earning capability?

And these banks, in their response, effectively expect the onus to know what MCC is tagged to which establishment to rest on the cardholder. Information that's impossible for the cardholder to know at the point of deciding which card to use. This stance by banks is ridiculous and almost amounting to unfair banking practice in my firm opinion.

In my recent fights, I've had to threaten to write to the local papers and/or MAS before the banks deigned to escalate within their senior management to get the missing points credited. But it hasn't come easy from my experience. Oftentimes their initial response is to deny the claim - even though it's of no fault of the cardholder as a merchant's MCC tagging isn't something that the cardholder controls.

These interactions really shouldn't have been so hard... and banks really shouldn't require "threats" for them to see sense and do what's right. I'm frankly tired of having to fight every time to get what's due to me.

In fact, any decent bank should immediately rectify the missing points credit when hearing of a cardholder's complaint, as they full well know how "imperfect" this MCC tagging scheme is.

It appears banks continue to benefit from a cardholder's lack of knowledge to get away with not crediting the right number of points. Such situation is exacerbated by lack of transaction breakdown in the monthly CC statements.

Interested to know if you share similar frustrations, and what you've done in the past to get the banks to honor the bonus points. What's the "path of least resistance" - if there's even one?

It is very frustrating indeed. And what's more frustrating is the time we have to spend going through the whole bill with the cso. I think Amex is the only one who shows the places where bonus points are awarded when they send u the bill.

percysmith May 31, 14 9:26 pm

Banquet? Merchants who are coded as restaurants can't differentiate between wedding banquets and valentines dinners. My missus made well north of 100k miles off our banquets.

MilesBuzz Jun 2, 14 9:56 am


Originally Posted by vsepr (Post 22954066)
I went to Hiroshima in Mid May and brought my Citi PM VISA and Citi Rewards Card MC.

So annoying! I went airport to buy boxes of Japanese Sweets at the airport (You find these shops in airports all over Japan). I was not aware that these are actually departmental stores until the charge got posted on my Citi PM VISA with MCC 5311:

15/05/2014 HIROSHIMAKUUKO FUKUYASHIYHIROSHIMA JP JPY 719 SGD 9.12
15/05/2014 *HIROSHIMAKUUKOBIRUDEINGU HIROSHIMA JP JPY 733SGD 9.30

At Hiroshima JR, there is a big departmental store. It's called ASSE. I went to the Starbucks, supermarket buy bento and fruit juice and ate at a restaurant. OMG, when posted, all are MCC 5311. I charged to my Citi PM VISA.

All 4 charges had the SAME description. No Starbucks in it, all ASSE.
15/05/2014 *ASSE HIROSHIMA JP JPY 1,231 SGD 15.62

Then I went to Haneda Airport to buy a bottle of mineral water at a shop selling Japanese Sweets, gifts and toys. It sells drinks too, but not ready to eat food. The MCC code is 5311 Departmental Store!!

16/05/2014 HANEDA AIRPORT TERMINAL TOKYO JP JPY 113 SGD 1.44

Then I went to buy a limo bus ticket to Narita Airport. Cost a bomb:

16/05/2014 HANEDA AIRPORT TERMINAL TOKYO JP JPY 3,100 SGD 39.34

The MCC Code is 4722 Travel Agencies, Tour Operators!! This one I charged correctly to Citi PM VISA.

Basically, when overseas, you really cannot tell the MCC code even from the goods they are selling, unless it is very obvious. Even same description can have different MCC code or different categories like cafes can have 5311 codes. Luck plays a part. Either you play safe, S$1 = 2 miles or gamble, get S$1 = 4 miles or 0.4 miles. Nothing much the credit card centre can do. But the next time you go back to the same place, you know which card to use.

But the good thing about using credit cards when making payment overseas is sometimes the charge never gets posted.
I made 2 transactions at the convenience store at Hiroshima Airport, looks like 7-Eleven kind, 2420 yen and 683 yen on 15 May 2014. As of today, 31 May 2014, still not posted. Hope it never gets posted!! LOL!!

Damn!! The 2 transactions are posted on 01 June 2014:

15/05/2014 *SUNKUS TOKYO JP JPY 683 SGD 8.66
15/05/2014 *SUNKUS TOKYO JP JPY 2,420 SGD 30.70

The MCC 5499 is for Miscellaneous Food Stores - Convenience Stores and Specialty Markets, under the Food/Daily Stores, Drug/Liquor Stores category description. I charged correct for this!

I am in Tokyo right now and have been charging to my UOB PRVI Miles (except for one transaction done last Friday which I conveniently charged to my HSBC Platinum Visa HKG Card to take advantage of the 10x Bonus Promo for Friday :D).

My question is: if I want to spend quite a large sum on a luggage bag from one of the Department Store here in Tokyo (Odakyu), I should charge it to the Citibank Rewards Card right for the S$1=4 miles thingy?

lcpteck Jun 2, 14 10:56 am


Originally Posted by MilesBuzz (Post 22964574)
My question is: if I want to spend quite a large sum on a luggage bag from one of the Department Store here in Tokyo (Odakyu), I should charge it to the Citibank Rewards Card right for the S$1=4 miles thingy?

That's right, let's hope their MCC is coded correctly. Remember to save your transaction slip and receipt in case you need to trash it out with Citibank.


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