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APPLY HERE: Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve both offer 50,000 points 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, are among the best travel rewards 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 phone representative to get the bonus points you deserve.

APPLY HERE: Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve both offer 50,000 points after $4,000 spent within the first 3 months

Bottom Line

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

  • Bars
  • Cafes
  • Coffee shops
  • Fast food restaurants
  • Juiceries
  • Restaurant delivery services (Caviar, Eat24, Grubhub, Postmates, Seamless)
  • Restaurants
  • Vending machines

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

  • Amazon Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Food and drinks establishments located within larger merchants
  • Grocery stores
  • In-flight food and drinks
  • Meal kit subscriptions

APPLE HERE: Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve both offer 50,000 points after $4,000 spent within the first 3 months

As with travel purchases, Chase’s definition for what counts as a dining purchase is quite extensive, so Chase Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred cardholders have plenty of opportunities to earn 3x or 2x Ultimate Rewards points. Based on our valuations, that’s a return of up to 6.3% 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.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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