I am trying to put together a budget and one issue I see is that I have a lot of amazon.com transactions that I don't know how to allocate given I am not sure if these are gifts, home goods, etc. Is there any feature on Amazon when you purchase something to label it so it shows up with that differentiator on my credit card?
- Your Amazon account can easily display your order history including the dates and amounts. You can manually match this with you Credit Card amounts once a month/quarter/year whenever you do your budgeting.
- Make an e-mail account for Amazon expense tracking. Every time you get a order confirmation e-mail, forward this to this e-mail account putting amount and category in the subject line. When you do the budget you only need to look at the subject lines of this e-mail account
- Good old fashioned ledger spread sheet. Each time you order something make an entry in the spreadsheet
No, there is no feature on Amazon that affects the category shown on your credit card statement.
The categories shown on your credit card statement are called Merchant Category Codes (MCC). For my credit card, Amazon transactions show up as “General Merchandise.”
Using the MCC (or even just the merchant’s name) from your credit card statement to categorize your spending is an okay way to do it, but as you are noticing, it is imprecise for certain merchants (Amazon, department stores, etc.), because they sell a variety of products or services that you might want to categorize differently. If you want to categorize grocery purchases separately from household items, you either need to make sure you buy those things from separate stores, or you need to categorize those transactions manually, splitting the transaction into multiple categories.
There isn’t really a way to automate this, as your itemized receipt is not part of your credit card’s data. If manually categorizing these transactions is too much trouble for you, you may have to live with an imprecise system.