You May Be Getting Shortchanged on Your Credit Card Rewards

Collection of Visa and Mastercard credit cards
Craig McBeath/Alamy
By Lisa Gerstner

Devotees of rewards credit cards, take note: You may not be getting your full allotment of points for purchases made through third parties. Such transactions, which may include those made through mobile wallets, payment services such as PayPal (PYPL), mobile card readers, and sites such as Groupon (GRPN) and Expedia (EXPE), aren't necessarily eligible for the extra points or cash-back awards on purchases in bonus categories (the 3 or 5 percent you might get on gas or groceries, for example, when you get a lesser percentage on everything else).

The reason? Merchant codes that card issuers use to classify purchases don't always transfer. Apple Pay transactions should earn full rewards because of Apple Pay's direct relationships with banks and card issuers, says Kari Luckett, content director for CompareCards.com. It remains to be seen whether Android Pay, a mobile tool replacing Google Wallet for in-store payments, will deliver full rewards.

Check the rewards breakdown on your statements to make sure you're getting what you're due. If you've been shortchanged, ask the issuer whether it will supply the extra rewards.
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