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I'm considering applying for a credit card which offers additional rewards on supermarket purchases.

How do I determine which stores in my area are considered supermarkets by the card issuer?

For example, the Benefit Terms of Amex point to https://www.americanexpress.com/us/content/rewards-info/retail.html, which gives a vague definition of a US Supermaket along with a quite partial list of US supermarkets.

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
  • Pathmark
  • 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 and Costco Wholesale)
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Credit card companies organize types of businesses into different categories. (They charge different types of businesses different fees.) When a business first sets up their credit card processing merchant account, they need to specify the category. Here is a list of categories that Visa uses. Grocery stores and supermarkets are category number 5411. Other types of businesses, such as the examples you provided in your question, have a different category number. American Express simply looks at the merchant category code for each of your transactions and only gives you rewards for the ones in the grocery store category. It's all automated.

They likely don't have a list of every grocery store in the US, and even if they did, they would probably not provide it to the public, for proprietary reasons. If you are in doubt about whether or not a particular store is in the grocery category, you'll just have to charge it to your card and see what happens. Often, the category of transaction will be shown for each transaction on your credit card's website.

  • Thanks for the answer. I don't have the credit card yet though as my decision depends on which shops are regarded as US supermarkets, so I cannot try using it :-/ Thanks for the link, I wasn't aware of the Merchant Category Codes: do all credit cards classify shops the same way? – Franck Dernoncourt Jan 4 '15 at 5:40
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    @FranckDernoncourt I believe that all the credit cards do categorize the same way. Log in to the website for one of your current credit cards and see if they show categories for your recent transactions. If they do, and the store you want to shop at is categorized as grocery, it is likely that they have the same category with AmEx. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Jan 4 '15 at 13:02
  • This VISA site help you locate MCCs(Merchant category codes). I wish some one make an app on top of it to help choose a credit card based on MCC. . visa.com/supplierlocator/search/index.jsp# – int-i Mar 20 '18 at 19:18
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Each company that has an account with the credit card network has to classify themselves as a particular type of business.

The credit card company uses that classification to catagorize the transaction on your statement. If you buy a T-shirt at a grocery, amusement park, gas station, or resturant; the transaction will be labeled by the vendor type.

Look at recent credit card statements, even if they are from different cards, to see how the stores you want to know about are classified.

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    Thanks for the answer. I don't have the credit card yet though: my decision depends on which shops are regarded as US supermarkets :) – Franck Dernoncourt Jan 4 '15 at 5:34
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Looks like a user-contributed list is the only good solution to this question, so I'll start one by making this answer community wiki, meaning anyone can edit it. We only aim to add major chain, not every mom&pop store (which probably don't qualify).

How to contribute

  1. Log into your American Express account
  2. At the bottom of your activity, switch from Recent Activity to Current Statement
  3. Scroll down past "Pay Bill"
  4. Beneath it, you'll find a "Bonus Details" link under Reward Dollars

The rewards details page looks like this:

Rewards Detail

The lists are in alphabetical order.

U.S. Supermarkets

  • Foodtown
  • Fresh & Easy
  • FreshDirect( Online supermarket)
  • Gristedes
  • H-mart
  • Meijer
  • Pathmark
  • Safeway
  • Savemart
  • Shoprite
  • Sprouts Farmers Market
  • Star Market
  • Stop and Shop
  • Trader Joe's
  • Vons
  • Whole Foods
  • Winn-Dixie

EXCLUDED major stores: * 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) * Lotte

Select U.S. Drugstores

  • CVS/Pharmacy
  • Walgreens

U.S. Gas stations

  • 76
  • Chevron
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Shell
  • Valero

Refer : https://www.americanexpress.com/us/content/rewards-info/retail.html

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    Sorry, I don't think this is a great idea. There is no way you'll get a comprehensive list of every grocery store in the U.S., and this list would quickly be too long for the StackExchange format and will be impossible to keep updated. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Aug 7 '15 at 13:05
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    @BenMiller maybe nor all shops but at least chains? – Franck Dernoncourt Aug 7 '15 at 15:44
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    @BenMiller: that's why I made this answer a community wiki. It would really help if we got some upvotes on it so people felt more inclined to contribute. – Dan Dascalescu Nov 26 '15 at 6:48
  • "Mom & Pop" grocery stores actually do usually qualify for these rewards. As long as their merchant code is the code for grocery store, they will work. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Nov 26 '15 at 20:15
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    @FranckDernoncourt Don't forget that your question, as originally worded, was closed as off-topic (not by me) when it asked for a list. I edited the question to remove the request for a list and lobbied to get the question reopened. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Jun 21 '16 at 2:05
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Contact AmEx. They are the only ones who might have a current list.

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    As a matter of fact I did (800-243-3888). They told me they don't have any list, and that I should instead ask each shop whether they accept AmEx and are regarded as US supermarket... I'll try calling the number again to have a few more answers from them. I was hoping for some list built by customers. – Franck Dernoncourt Jan 3 '15 at 23:59
  • If you're seeking a user-built list ... you can websearch/research that as easily as we can. – keshlam Jan 4 '15 at 0:30
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    I haven't found anything satisfying. An AmEx customer might share the best he has found. Your comment applies to most questions: yes the answer might be somewhere on Internet but experienced users might help digging it. – Franck Dernoncourt Jan 4 '15 at 0:32

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