Tricky Credit Card Bonus Categories & Charges | How to Avoid Losing Points!


Hey, it’s Ernest from Trip Astute. In this video, we’re covering tricky bonus
categories and charges where you can easily miss out on credit card points. (light chiming music) Credit card bonus categories might seem like
a straightforward topic, but as many of you know, it can be frustrating to think that
you are getting a large bonus only to find that the charge was coded incorrectly. Before we get started, if you’re new here,
I want to welcome you to our channel. Trip Astute is a travel channel that is focused
on sharing ways to make travel easier, affordable, and more enjoyable. Traveling can be stressful and expensive,
so we’re looking for ways to help you maximize your experience through travel tips, points
and miles, and innovative gear. If that’s sounds interesting to you, please
consider subscribing. Today I want to focus on two common categories
where people often miss out on points. This includes dining out and travel, which
are common bonus categories for travel rewards cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and
Preferred card. A common reason why some of these charges
do not qualify is that the charge is coded improperly by the vendor. Whenever a charge is made by credit card,
the charge has a code that is specified by the vendor and processor to identify the type
of charge. In some cases, you might think you are making
a purchase that qualifies for bonus points, but it’s actually coded incorrectly. Another way is that the issuer may not recognize
the charge. This can be the case of newer services that
aren’t well known to the issuer, and may not be immediately recognizable as a travel
charge. This situation is a lot easier to address,
and we’ll cover it later in the video. So, let’s jump straight into dining out
charges. The dining out category generally includes
sit-down restaurants, fast food restaurants, and coffee shops. However, in most cases, you should receive
bonus points at bars, cafes, juiceries, vending machines, and food delivery services like
Eat24 and GrubHub. There are a couple of places where I’ve
personally not received dining out bonus points. This includes:
Number 1: Food trucks. Most of them should give you bonus points,
but I’ve had a few instances where I didn’t get my bonus points. Also, I know a few food trucks in LA that
use QR code payment system through a separate app. This is where you register a credit card with
an app then use that app to pay using a unique QR code. This has definitely been hit or miss with
me. Most times, these apps register as an online
purchase rather than a dining charge. Number 2: Restaurant and cafes in airports. This is another tricky category. Sometimes the restaurant will charge through
the main airport credit card system, which may or may not be recognized as dining out
or travel bonus expense. Number 3: Cafes or restaurant within another
store. Like the airport charges, this is also very
inconsistent for me. I sometimes have ordered from a coffee shop
or fast food place inside of another store (like a Walmart or Target) and the charge
was not coded as dining out. Also, this can be an issue with restaurants
inside of a large gas station. For travel, the list usually includes: Airfare
booked directly with the airlines, Hotels and motels booked directly, Travel booked
through discount website, Airbnb stays, Commuter transportation, Gift cards ordered directly from airlines or hotel brands
Campgrounds, Cruise lines, Buses, Car rentals, Ride sharing services,
Parking garages and lots, Parking meters, Ferries, Tolls bridges and highways, Passenger
trains, Limousines, Timeshares Though in my experience, things get a little
bit complicated with the following charges: Number 1: Parking meters and lots. I seem to have this problem in LA. For some reason, some meters and lots are
coded as parking, while others are coded as part of a shopping center or city. For example, my parking meter charges in Santa
Monica never get coded with bonus points, which makes no sense to me since the description
has the word “parking” in it. Number 2: Truck rentals. If you’re planning a move and thinking that
your U-Haul rental will earn you points, unfortunately, it probably won’t. I tried this a few months ago when we rented
a U-Haul truck to move some items. I wasn’t 100% sure it would count, but I
thought I’d give it a try. Sure enough, I did not get the points. Number 3: Boutique bed and breakfast lodging. I’ve stayed at a few smaller bed and breakfast
places that came through as an shopping or online charge, rather than a hotel charge. It’s usually smaller hotels and inns that
have this problem, but just be aware when checking your statement or account activity. Number 4: Tour companies. This can be hit or miss. I’ve had a few in the past that coded as
an online charge, while others definitely came through as travel, such as G Adventures
and Intrepid. These can be big charges, so it’s nice knowing
that you’re getting the extra points. In addition, here are a couple of tips to
keep in mind when dealing with bonus charges: Number 1: Know that the rules change all the time. In this situation, this usually works to our benefit. I’ve noticed sometimes that charges that were
previously non-bonus now qualify as a bonus. This includes Postmates, which did not code
as dining out in the past for me. Though when I recently used it, I noticed
that I did receive the points. I think it might be because people have called in
to complain and request the points from the issuers, which may have resulted in them adding
the vendor to their systems. Number 2: Contact your issuer. If you have a charge that you think deserves
bonus points, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact the issuer and ask for the bonus,
especially if it’s a large charge. I did that when I didn’t get the full bonus
points for my hotel stay in Sedona, and Chase gave me the points once they verified that
it was a hotel. Number 3: Look for tipping receipts. A general rule of thumb when making a dining
out purchase at a place where the coding might be uncertain, like at an airport or a large
department store such as Target or Walmart, is to see whether you are asked to include
a tip. I don’t know if this is the case across
the board, but in my experience, anytime that I have been asked to specify a tip, the charge
has come through as dining out, which means that I received the bonus points. Number 4: Consider consolidating charges. There are ways to take advantage of all this
confusion and uncertainty. When you’re traveling and staying at a hotel,
you’re often allowed to make charges to your room. This is common for drinks or meals. However, your hotel might be able to book
a tour for you as well, which is what I did when I was in Costa Rica. By having the charge come through the hotel,
I was able to get all my travel bonus points on my Chase Sapphire card since it came through
as one big hotel charge. If I had booked the tour separately, it’s
possible that it would have not been coded as a travel charge, especially since it was
a smaller day tour company. Have you ever missed out on points because
it was coded incorrectly? Please share your experience so others can
avoid the same mistake. If you’re interested in getting a new credit
card and want to help support the channel, visit our Card Offers page on our website. It’s an easy way to help us out and get
that awesome new credit card. If you enjoyed this video or found it useful,
please give us a thumbs up and consider sharing our video with others who might benefit from
our content.

14 thoughts on “Tricky Credit Card Bonus Categories & Charges | How to Avoid Losing Points!

  • I notice that if I shop st my local market i only get 1% cash back instead of 5% with my discover card during the groceries quarter thing lol. And out of topic what do you think about capital one savor card increasing cashback 4% in dining and entertainment?

  • Safe to say I've never had anything coded wrong… I've only missed out on points because I always use the wrong card with the wrong points category 😂

  • Thanks for the video. Is that a Mayan Ruin y'all climbed? If so where is it? Coba in Mexico has been shut down.

  • Hi Trip Astute. to go over some things with you any purchase that's a parking meter purchase that's a stand alone qualifys you as travel expense we'll use your example Santa Monica what a beautiful area I actually have a Venice beach shirt I also purchased shirts for my nieces and sister in law from those great stores. but that charge is a travel now if your parking your car in Nyack that too would be a travel purchase any stand alone if your in cape cod and your in the middle of town where that old fashioned candy store, the Minature golf is that would be a stand alone which would be travel. But let's say you go to the Westchester Mall in White plains that parking garage charges you this would fall under shopping.

    Questions if your going to a Yankees game, Dodgers game or Cubs game and theres no attendant to collect cash they now have those machines are they coded as travel or Baseball? Question for Exhibation baseball games played in March how come these are not travel? I understand a lot of people live in Florida but some people go to Florida for a week plus the fact those are spring training games at a different ball park away from regular ball park so how come these are not travel? another question about passenger trains if you go from Tarrytown to Yankee stadium does this count as a travel purchase or a baseball purchase? Tour buses that your on for a week like G adventure , Intrepid and Globus are under travel. if you take a city bus tour like the 3 hour buses those would fall under sight seeing I don't know is this travel?

    The people who post under your videos are aware that restaurants in hotels qualify as a hotel purchase Right? There are some restaurants in hotels that are separate like Boomburger in the double tree in Mahwah .

  • One time I went to a restaurant in New City it was called the something inn during the restaurant quarter with my Discover they only gave me 1.00 percent or.25% I called up and explained the situation and they gave me the 5% back this was a few years ago.

    your correct. usually 100% of the time if your in a store like Walmart and you see a Starbucks, blimpies or the other cold cut place that's not a restaurant.
    In Airports restaurants that are chains like California Pizza kitchen, Ruby Tuesdays, Johnny Rockets any big chains they will probably fall under restaurants. but if you go to a local restaurant non chain in the airport that would fall under travel Correct? if your on the highway and you go to those truck stops gas stations men's room and those fast food restaurants if you get gas that gets coded as a gas purchase but if you get something to eat that's a restaurant purchase.
    If it's a major chain like Burger King in a gas station that would qualify as a restaurant purchase?

  • Most people assume that themeparks are travel category. It is not. Themeparks have their own MCC code that falls under the Entertainment category. One way to get around this is to book your theme park tickets through a travel agent/site or through your hotel. As far as I know, Bank Of America is the only one considers themeparks, museums, and zoos as travel.

  • Hey Earnest, had a quick question in regards to the Chase Ink Business Preferred. I applied early August, 5 Months after having good history with Chase. They sent me a letter to send more information in my business because they were lacking sufficient information. I’m still waiting for a response. What does this mean, should I wait or call them back to know what the application status is?

    Thanks you for the help and keep pushing out these great videos!

  • I've missed out a few times. A few years ago I started using an app that helps reduce that issue. It's been accurate about 98% of the time with a few misses. Definitely helps in a situation you might not he sure which card to use

  • a small example. I have the Chase Business Ink card, where I earn 5% back on cell phone bills. I charged my emergency second phone account, all of $2.50 a month, tee tee. DID NOT COUNT AS CELL PHONE. i called chase they said Freedom Pop is coded as direct marketing.

  • I purchased gas at Giant Eagle, get go, gas station, (I reside in Ohio). DID NOT COUNT AS GAS on my Amex Hilton card. I was hoping to earn the bonus, 5 points per dollar spent at a gas station. I called Amex, they said Get Go, part of the Giant Eagle grocery store is coded as a super store. I will not purchase gas from get go anymore. Amex says to qualify it has to be a stand alone gas station, like Shell or BP.

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