Posted by Chuck on January 3, 2017
Misc

Published on January 3rd, 2017 | by Chuck

15

New Resource to Track Credit Card Bonus Categories & Travel Credits

***You can view the main payments workshop page from anywhere on the site – it’s found under the ‘Knowledge Base’ header at the top of every page.*** 

Introducing a new resource on the site to track the bonus categories of credit cards, as well as airline credits and more.

Payments Workshop

Instead of starting a new database, we’ve added all the information into our existing Payments Workshop resource.

Summary

Initially, Payments Workshop was for tracking things related to processing payments such as how many credit cards or gift cards can be used in a transaction or whether a given retailer will automatically drain the balance from a prepaid card when swiped.

We’ve gotten many requests for a complete resource to track bonus categories on credit cards, and we’ve now incorporated those into the table. The goal is to provide all information related to making payments in one place.

Payments Workshop now has over 700 data points encompassing all aspects of making payments with credit or gift cards. We look forward to building on that with reader contributions.

We’re now including the following information in the database:

  • Which merchants and retailers trigger bonus category across the various credit card programs? We’ll avoid the obvious things – like Olive Garden triggering dining points – and focus on the gray areas, like an Olive Garden gift card purchased online triggering bonus dining points.
  • Which travel purchases work to trigger airline or travel credits on the cards that offer such a thing? We’ll talk about CSR, Amex (Platinum and PRG), Prestige, Ritz, CNBC, Wells Fargo, and Suntrust.
  • We added the full list of VisaSavingsEdge, MastercardEasySavings, and Amex OPEN partners to the database.
  • Which merchants allow overpayment/prepayment?
  • Which major online retailers place a $1 hold on the card when processing payment? Which require you to register a prepaid card to your address? Which stores drain prepaid cards at the POS automatically?
  • Max number of gift cards that can be used at a given retailer online or in-store. Max number of credit cards that can be used at a given retailer in-store. Merchants who allow the using more than one credit card online.

All the information is culled from various resources and threads; other DoC posts, Flyertalk threads, Reddit, other blogs, etc. With this table, dozens of wikis and resources are now combined into a single sortable database for easy search.

The Challenge

One of the harder parts of the hobby is remembering which card to use for each particular transaction. The various credit cards and multitudes of bonus categories make it difficult to use the right one.

Who would have thought that Google Fi does not earn 5x with INK while Google Fiber does? And who even knew that Living Social earns 5x with INK? Or that store-pickup at Office Max does not earn 5x?

Even things rehashed time and again are tough to recollect in the heat of the moment. For example, during a recent Gyft deal, I struggled to remember whether I needed to pay specifically with Paypal or specifically without Paypal to earn 5x. (Answer: with.)

Which stores/websites are included in the ‘computer hardware’ category or the ‘media’ category or the Business Gold Rewards card from Amex? What if you buy a Starbucks gift card on MPX with your Sapphire card – will you get bonus dining points? How about from Cashstar?

Which ‘travel’ purchases earn bonus points with the Chase Sapphire card? And which will trigger the airline credit on CSR, Prestige, or Amex cards?

Which online bills allow overpayment or prepayment? Overpaying/prepaying utilities, phone bills, and other bills is often an easy way to meet spend requirements or use up prepaid gift cards.

How many credit cards can be used on a single transaction in-stores when making a split-tender transaction? How many gift cards can be used online or in-store? Will the retailer place a $1 hold on my card or require me to register the card to my address before using online? These are important questions for using up prepaid/gift cards.

This Workshop will attempt to address all these types of issues.

Real Examples

Here are a few examples to let you see Payments Workshop at work.

American Airlines

Flying American Airlines soon? Type “american air” in the search bar on Payments Workshop and you’ll learn the following:

1) You can use up to 8 AA gift cards on a reservation online (though gift cards are not active for 72-hours from purchase); 2) Flights will earn 5x with the Platinum personal credit card and 3x with the AT&T credit card; even AA gift cards will earn 3x with CSR; 3) AA gift cards will work for Amex, CSR, Prestige, and possibly Ritz to trigger the travel credit; 4) In-flight food purchases trigger Prestige airline credit but not CSR travel credit (hmm, that’s odd…); 5) and more.

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-10-35-21-pm

 

That’s a lot of useful information learned with a quick search! Check out other airlines to learn similar information.

AT&T Wireless

You want to pay an AT&T wireless bill. Enter “at&t” in the search bar on Payments Workshop and you’ll learn the following:

1) AT&T wirelss payments earn 5x with INK and 3x with the AT&T credit card, but a phone purchase might not earn 5x with INK; 2) AT&T cable/internet payments also earn 5x with INK; 3) You can overpay/prepay your bill; you can pay as little as one-cent (great for draining small prepaid balances); you can’t make the two payments of the same amount in a single day.

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-10-36-13-pm

 

Alamo

Suppose you are renting a car from Alamo. A quick search will reveal that Alamo is a VisaSavingsEdge partner and that you can only use one Discover Alamo gift certificate on a rental.

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-10-37-07-pm

 

Airline Credit

If you want to search for ways to make use of your Chase, Citi, or Amex airline credit, search “travel credit” (for Chase) or “airline credit” (for the others) and you’ll see a full list. You can also modify the search further by typing “airline credit prestige” for example, and you’ll only see data points for the Prestige card.

screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-3-58-56-pm

Search Tips

Here are a few key searches to keep in mind:

  • {insert retailer’s name}
  • MPX
  • Max GC
  • Max CC
  • Prepay
  • CSR
  • Airline Credit {insert Amex or Prestige or Ritz or CNB}
  • ATTcc
  • INK
  • Category {insert bank name}
  • $1 hold (whether the retailer places a $1 hold)
  • Register
  • Drain (whether the retailer drains a prepaid card)
  • Use GC
  • Buy GC

By default, the table shows alphabetical order first. You can sort by Last Updated to show the recently added data points. You can also adjust the number of results that show at the top-left of the table.

Glossary

  • CC = credit card
  • prepaid = a prepaid debit card (such as Serve, Chime, GoBank, etc.) or a Visa or Mastercard or Amex gift card
  • GC = merchant gift card (e.g. a Walmart gift card or Target gift card), not a prepaid debit/gift card
  • Drains = store’s checkout system will automatically detect the remaining balance on the prepaid card, use it up, and leave the rest to be paid with another payment method
  • $1 hold = online checkout system places a $1 authorization hold to verify the card (this charge falls off after a few days)
  • Register = whether you have to register the prepaid card before using online
  • We use the “.com” addendum to differentiate between in-store and online purchases. A merchant mentioned without “.com,” typically refers to an in-store purchase.
  • ATTcc = the AT&T Access More credit card
  • INK = Chase INK Plus or INK Cash (usually, check context)
  • CNB = City National Bank Crystal Visa Infinite card

Final Word

Feel free to comment here with any thoughts or suggestions for the database, but please leave any data points on the main Payments Workshop page.

The resource will only be as good as we make it! Let us know what works and what doesn’t in the comments there so that we can add more information. And if something needs updating, please let us know. 

A lot of effort went into combining data points from dozens of sources, but inevitably there’ll be some typos or misinformation. Always be sure to click on the source to verify the information yourself.

To keep up with the conversation, you can subscribe to the comments at the bottom of the Payments Workshop page and get an email with new comments. You can even subscribe to Payments Workshop without commenting. Bear in mind that there might be an influx of comments initially in the first few days (I hope!), but that will slow down over time. And you can unsubscribe at any time by following the instructions in the emails.

Thanks to all who participate in Payments Workshop!

Payments Workshop



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Skor
Skor

Thanks DoC! This is going to be very useful!

Brandon
Brandon

Fantastic idea! I literally just looked up the AA GC question this morning. Happy to add DPs as I come across them

mishyq
mishyq

DoC – do you have repository of DP on which store will accept merchant GC to buy another GC (either another merchant GC or gebit)?

i know many are cracking down, but some are probably still alive

thanks

Tscateh
Tscateh

Thank you!!

Peter
Peter

Can you add a link in the Knowledge Base header to the page?

Robert
Robert

Amazing!

Jonathan
Jonathan

Was thinking i needed something like this recently. Thanks for making it happen, ill add data points as i have them.

rxgeek
rxgeek

Right out of the gate I removed my Ink card from Google Fi. Great job!

Tim
Tim

Would this be appropriate to track what does/does-not trigger the various shopping portals? Or is that not the right place for this.

For example I know I can trigger several portal payouts from buying buying 3rd party egift cards at staples.com. Would love to see a similar DP for officedepot, etc.

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