Which Purchases Count as Dining With Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve?

Jan 19, 2019

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APPLY HERE: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers 60,000 bonus points and the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 50,000 points both after $4,000 spent within the first 3 months

Even putting its amazing travel protections like primary car rental coverage and trip delay reimbursement aside, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and its cheaper sibling, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, are among the best travel credit cards due to their amazing earning rates — 3x points or 2x points, respectively, on all travel and dining purchases worldwide.

Chase’s definition for what counts as a travel purchase is quite broad, including virtually every trip-related charge, from Airbnb bookings to parking fees. But how does its definition of dining stack up? Luckily, it’s quite generous as well.

Photo by Michael Berman / Getty Images.
Photo by Michael Berman / Getty Images.

Here’s how “restaurants” is defined, according to Chase’s website:

Merchants in the restaurants category are merchants whose primary business is sit-down or eat-in dining, including fast food restaurants as well as fine dining establishments. Please note that some merchants that sell food and drinks located within larger merchants such as sports stadiums, hotels and casinos, theme parks, grocery and department stores will not be included in this category unless the merchant has set up such purchases to be classified in a restaurant category. In addition, gift card and delivery service merchants will not be included in this category unless the merchant has set up such purchases to be classified in the restaurant category.

While the term “restaurants” is pretty straightforward, in practice, this category is broader than it appears on the surface. Essentially, any establishment that serves (as opposed to sells) food or drinks counts. As long as a merchant classified itself in a restaurant category when applying to accept credit cards, the purchase will qualify.

For instance, bars (including ones that don’t serve food) and coffee shops like Starbucks typically code as dining purchases. Additionally, in most cases, you’ll earn 3x points for spend with restaurant delivery services like Seamless and Eat24. However, you won’t earn bonus points for spend at grocery stores or meal kit subscriptions like Blue Apron.

If you want to get a sense of what to expect from businesses in your area, you can reference Visa’s handy merchant coding search tool. While it’s uncommon, sometimes restaurants aren’t categorized correctly, so if you feel like an eligible dining purchase didn’t code properly, you can always test your luck and try disputing it with a Chase phone or Twitter representative to get the bonus points you deserve.

Bottom Line

To recap, the following are purchases that Chase typically counts as dining:

  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Cafes
  • Coffee shops
  • Fast food restaurants
  • Juiceries
  • Restaurant delivery services (Caviar, Eat24, Grubhub, Seamless but not Postmates)
  • Restaurants
  • University dining halls
  • Vending machines

And here are dining-related purchases that Chase typically DOES NOT count as dining:

  • Amazon Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Catering services
  • Food and drinks establishments located within larger merchants
  • Grocery stores
  • Inflight food and drinks
  • Meal kit subscriptions

As with travel purchases, Chase’s definition for what counts as a dining purchase is quite extensive, so Chase Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred card holders have plenty of opportunities to earn 3x or 2x Ultimate Rewards points. Based on our valuations, that’s a return of up to 6% on these purchases. Plus, you could earn even more rewards by linking your card with dining rewards programs such as an airline dining program, Seated or Visa Local Offers with Uber.

APPLY HERE: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers 60,000 bonus points and the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 50,000 points both after $4,000 spent within the first 3 months

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
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