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TheVig

Amex and possible merchant code shenanigans

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For shyts and giggles I was looking at posted transactions on my PRG and Delta Blue.

 

Been going to the same Starbucks for the last 12 days. Half the transactions have coded as restaurant which I expect. The other half have posted as other-misc. It alternates each day between one code or the other. Delta Blue.

 

On my PRG. Wendy’s, Taco Hell, and Capital Grille have all coded as other-misc instead of restaurant.

 

Anyone ever seen something like this? I haven’t called Amex yet to to see WTF is going on.

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same locations?  If not, then is there consistency within the location?  I could easily envision different locations showing differently depending on how the vendor set up the card processing services...

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17 minutes ago, centex said:

same locations?  If not, then is there consistency within the location?  I could easily envision different locations showing differently depending on how the vendor set up the card processing services...

Exact same Starbucks. What’s even more weird, the other restaurants I mentioned that are not related and located in different cities/states.

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Not sure if this means anything, but for sake of experimenting, I went to my local Starbucks in question and ordered two drinks. Paid for each drink on a different card issuer.

 

Granted the charges are still pending, but.........

 

Amex Delta Blue coding as “other-miscellaneous”

Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select coding as “restaurant”

 

Mrs Vig is being supportive as always. Says maybe Amex is fuq’n with me since most of my spend with them is on bonus categories. Lol.

 

 

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I was going to ask if these charges have all posted.  You sort of cleared that up with the last post.  But you also sort of didn't.

 

At least it was only shenanigans, and not tomfoolery.

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6 minutes ago, cv91915 said:

I was going to ask if these charges have all posted.  You sort of cleared that up with the last post.  But you also sort of didn't.

 

At least it was only shenanigans, and not tomfoolery.

The charges in my original post have all posted. The two charges I made this afternoon using my Citi and Amex cards are still pending of course.

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One detail I forgot to mention is that this Starbucks has not installed new POS terminals either. Each dip of the card was in the same terminal each day.

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Update.

 

I called Amex. The admitted they have a random intermittent problem with how some transactions are listed as far as how they code. With said. When I log into my account from a computer now, the restaurants are now coding properly. However from the app on my smartphone they show as other-misc still.

 

Typical IT stuff. The person I talked too said they have been rolling out tweaks and enhancements. Sometimes those tweaks have created issues. Without asking the rep transferred me to another rep who gave me 1000 SkyVenezuelanBolivars for my understanding.

 

 

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Your post reminded me to check my rewards on my Blue Cash Preferred as I made a good amount of liquor store purchases this year (I've gotten into whiskey and bourbon in a big way).  

 

Anyway, I saw I was only getting 1% instead of 6% even though the charges were coded as grocery. Online Chat was worthless spouting that speciality stores (i.e. Cheese shop, wine stores, fish markets, special food item stores, etc) don't quality.

 

Based on that and my revised spend, I am going to downgrade the card. I  am a little annoyed because I would have put those charges on other cards with better rewards

 

 

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7 minutes ago, PhoenixDown said:

Your post reminded me to check my rewards on my Blue Cash Preferred as I made a good amount of liquor store purchases this year (I've gotten into whiskey and bourbon in a big way).  

 

Anyway, I saw I was only getting 1% instead of 6% even though the charges were coded as grocery. Online Chat was worthless spouting that speciality stores (i.e. Cheese shop, wine stores, fish markets, special food item stores, etc) don't quality.

 

Based on that and my revised spend, I am going to downgrade the card. I  am a little annoyed because I would have put those charges on other cards with better rewards

 

 

I'm lucky I guess. I'm getting the full 2 points per dollar on groceries at the few specialty stores I shop at with my PRG. I remember reading the T&C on my card and noticing the language about specialty stores not counting. I believe it's a hit and mis thing with some of the boutique stores.

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10 hours ago, TheVig said:

The charges in my original post have all posted. The two charges I made this afternoon using my Citi and Amex cards are still pending of course.

 

10 hours ago, TheVig said:

Update.

 

I called Amex. The admitted they have a random intermittent problem with how some transactions are listed as far as how they code. With said. When I log into my account from a computer now, the restaurants are now coding properly. However from the app on my smartphone they show as other-misc still.

 

Typical IT stuff. The person I talked too said they have been rolling out tweaks and enhancements. Sometimes those tweaks have created issues. Without asking the rep transferred me to another rep who gave me 1000 SkyVenezuelanBolivars for my understanding.

 

 

Bizarre indeed.  Based on your experience and the liquor store example above I'm wondering if they're attempting some hanky-panky with level 3 data, where the charge is initially assigned to a category while its pending, and then from pending to posting the items you purchased determine whether the charge posts to a different category.

 

My head already hurts from speculating, so that's all I got...

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2 hours ago, cv91915 said:

 

Bizarre indeed.  Based on your experience and the liquor store example above I'm wondering if they're attempting some hanky-panky with level 3 data, where the charge is initially assigned to a category while its pending, and then from pending to posting the items you purchased determine whether the charge posts to a different category.

 

My head already hurts from speculating, so that's all I got...

Let's assume for a minute its hanky panky. Maybe trying to redefine what they consider a restaurant, grocery store, etc., reducing the amount of points they have to issue. Maybe they are randomly testing the waters to see who is paying attention. I'm sure they have many customers that are the opposite of us.....in other words, they never really scrutinize the rewards earned, just pay the bill each month and move on.

 

Yeah the speculation hurts my head too, as Amex has always had a hard-on for 3rd level data.

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When I went through my transaction history for 2018, I confirmed they were all listed as Groceries. Its only when I went to the reward detail (which was a pain to download) and did the math that I saw I was getting the bad end of this. 

 

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