Amex Department Stores: What Counts for Amex Cards?

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American Express offers credit cards that provide you with bonus points for spend at select US department stores. A common question is what types of purchases count for Amex department stores? This article will provide some insight to that question.

Amex cards with bonuses on department stores

The most popular Amex credit cards for earning bonus categories on department stores are the Blue Cash cards. There is a no annual fee version known as the Blue Cash EveryDay and there’s also one version with an annual fee known as the Blue Cash Preferred.

Blue Cash EveryDay

The Blue Cash EveryDay with no annual fee earns 2% back on department stores. It also earns 3% back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases and 2% back at US gas stations.

Blue Cash Preferred

The Blue Cash Preferred earns 3% back on department stores and 6% back at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%) and 3% back at US gas stations.

Both of these are very solid cash back options and depending on the amount of annual spend you put on your card, either card could make sense for you. I did a full write-up on the differences between these credit cards so make sure you read that before choosing which credit card to go with.

US Department stores

The first thing to be aware of is that only US Department stores located within the US will count for these bonus categories. So it doesn’t count if you shop at a US-based department store in a place like Dubai, for example.

Online purchases don’t count

One thing to know is that you must make these purchases in the store. Online purchases do not count for department stores!

Select major department stores

To earn additional rewards on department store purchases, the purchases must be made at a department store that is included in Amex’s list of “select major department stores.”
These department stores include:
• Bealls
• Belk
• Bloomingdale’s
• Bon Ton Stores
• Boscov’s
• Century 21 Department Stores
• Dillard’s
• J.C. Penney (JCP)
• Kohl’s
• Lord & Taylor
• Macy’s
• Neiman Marcus
• Nordstrom
• Saks Fifth Avenue
• Sears
• Stein Mart
This list isn’t quite as expansive as many would like it to be. But at least it does include many of the big-name stores that you can find just about anywhere like Macy’s and also include some higher-end department stores.

Final word on Amex department stores

American Express is pretty straightforward about what type of purchases count for department stores. If you’re thinking about going for one of the Blue Cash credit cards then make sure you are familiar with this list. And don’t forget to consider that these cards earn great rates on supermarkets so even if you don’t shop at these select department stores, it could still be worth getting one of these cards.

One comment

  1. I am trying to find out what Amex department store that I have an account for that is appearing on my credit report that states I owe $2.00. It is reflecting my credit score. Please contact me at [email protected]. Thanks in advance.

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