Back on January 2, I reminded readers to register for their first quarter category bonuses, including the Chase Freedom 5% cash back bonus at grocery stores. While the registration page for that bonus says Walmart and Target stores are excluded from the promotion, I mentioned that I wasn't sure whether or how that would be enforced. It was possible, I thought, that they included that language because while some Walmart and Target store locations are coded as grocery stores, others are coded as discount stores and they didn't want to open that can of worms with their customers.
I don't like to let questions like that linger for long, so before taking off for Italy I swung by my local Walmart, coded as a grocery store by Visa and MasterCard, and picked up an international plug adapter (I'm always leaving them in hotel room outlets), paying with my newest Freedom card. After waiting for the transaction to post, I was able to confirm that I earned just 1 Ultimate Rewards point per dollar spent, according to my online account activity:
So now you know: Chase really did code their first quarter promotion to exclude transactions made at Walmart, and I presume at Target as well, so you'll need to keep your eyes open for actual grocery stores where you can make your $1,500 in purchases this quarter.