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Which purchases count as dining with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve?

Oct. 23, 2022
4 min read
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Apply here: The Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers 60,000 bonus points and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 60,000 bonus points, both after you spend $4,000 within the first three months of account opening.

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.

They earn 3 points per dollar spent on dining purchases worldwide on both cards, plus 3 points per dollar spent on travel on the Sapphire Reserve and 2 points per dollar spent on travel for the Sapphire Preferred. Plus, through March 2025, the cards earn 10 points and 5 points, respectively, per dollar spent on Lyft.

Chase’s definition of 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.


'Restaurants,' according to Chase

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

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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 such as Starbucks typically code as dining purchases. Additionally, in most cases, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent with restaurant delivery services, including DoorDash.

What does Chase typically count as dining purchases?

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

What does Chase typically not count as dining purchases?

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

And, as an added restaurant delivery perk, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve cardholders currently get at least one year of complimentary DashPass membership with DoorDash, which gives you free delivery and reduced service fees on eligible purchases (must activate by Dec. 31, 2024).

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 try disputing it with a Chase phone or Twitter representative to get the bonus points you think you deserve.

Related reading: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve: Which card is right for you?

Bottom line

Chase’s definition of what counts as a dining purchase is quite extensive, so Chase Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred cardholders have plenty of opportunities to earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent. 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 or Visa Local Offers with Uber.

Additional reporting by Emily Thompson.

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

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