A reader recently pointed out to me that last week over at Travel with Grant, Grant wrote that he noticed on his last US Bank Flexperks Travel Rewards credit card statement the following curious text:
"Beginning March 1, 2016, the accelerated earn category of 'grocery' will be changed to 'grocery stores'. This may result in double FlexPoints not being awarded on transactions at discount/retail stores which may sell some groceries but do not primarily sell groceries."
Let me be clear: I have no idea what this means, and am not particularly inclined to speculate. We know when Chase Freedom cards bonus grocery store spend they specifically exclude Target and Walmart store locations, but in that cases they exclude Target and Walmart by name — they don't beat around the bush with "mays" and "may nots."
But it does give me an excuse to remind readers about one of my favorite tools: the Visa Supplier Locator.
Look up an individual store's Industry/MCC code with the Visa Supplier Locator
Many stores, even stores which belong to national chains, have different MCC codes depending on the way their credit card processing accounts were configured. There are patterns, but those patterns aren't particularly interesting since you can look up the MCC code of any individual store using the Visa Supplier Locator.
Those MCC codes determine, under most circumstances, whether you'll receive bonus points on Visa and MasterCard credit cards that bonus purchases made in specific categories. If a Visa or MasterCard credit card bonuses purchases at gas stations, you want MCC 5541 — SERVICE STATIONS. Drug stores and pharmacies? That's 5912 — DRUG STORES & PHARMACIES.
And if you're using your Flexperks Travel Rewards credit card at grocery stores in a given statement cycle (each month you should decide between gas stations and grocery stores), you'll want to look out for 5411 — GROCERY STORES/SUPERMARKETS.
We should find out in the first week or two of March what, if anything, the change to the Flexperks Travel Rewards "grocery store" bonus category really entails.
But in the meantime, do yourself a favor: take 20 minutes and look for some undiscovered bonused earning gems near you!