Chase’s premium credit cards are well known for the bonus points they offer on dining and travel purchases. Specifically, the:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 3x points on dining and 2x points on travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card offers 3x points on dining and travel
The terms “dining” and “travel” are pretty broad, though a lot of people are surprised to learn just how many purchases qualify under these categories. Per Chase’s Rewards Category FAQs, “travel” is defined as follows:
Merchants in the travel category include airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages
Meanwhile Chase includes the following things in the “restaurant” category:
Merchants in the restaurants category are merchants whose primary business is sit-down or eat-in dining, including fast food restaurants as well as fine dining establishments
Now, in practice these categories are actually a bit broader than presented above. For example, ridesharing services (like Uber and Lyft) are included in the travel category, while food delivery services (like Postmates) and coffee shops are included in the restaurant category.
The other factor is that this ultimately comes down to what merchant category a business chooses to be in. For example, many businesses will use services like Square to process their payments, in which case you may not receive the normal bonuses.
Anyways, Dan’s Deals reports that Chase seems to have recently modified what they categorize as “dining.” Specifically, apparently Chase no longer considers bakeries, caterers, and “dairy product stores” to qualify as dining. Per a message Dan received from Chase when inquiring about a purchase:
I would like to explain that as of 8/30/2016 transactions billed as Bakeries, Caterers, & Dairy product stores will no longer qualify as accelerated rewards earnings. This is for all Chase products to remain fair and consistent.
To be honest, I wouldn’t assume that catering would qualify as a dining purchase, and wasn’t aware that was even the case. I can see that benefit being rather costly, given that offering double or triple points on wedding catering would add up really quickly.
As far as “dairy product stores” go, I assume that refers to ice cream and frozen yogurt places? If so, I still earned double points for a purchase at a frozen yogurt store last week:
So I’m not sure if I’m misinterpreting the category, if the place I went to just had an odd merchant code, or if this isn’t yet being enforced in practice.
I wasn’t actually aware that catering qualified for bonus points under “dining,” so I guess I can’t be too surprised by the change. At the same time, I still earned bonus points for a recent purchase at a frozen yogurt store, so I’m not sure if that was an exception, or what.
Have you noticed a difference in the bonus points you’re earning at bakeries, caterers, and “dairy product stores,” when using Chase credit cards?