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I’ve gotten a bunch of new credit cards recently (thanks to some amazing sign-up bonuses) and it dawned on me the other day that I hadn’t registered them all to a dining program.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, Rewards Network is a company that will automatically give you miles and points every time you spend money at a participating restaurant. Once your card is registered with a program, there’s no need to collect receipts – you’ll automatically get points deposited in your account about a week or so after your dine. I know what many of you are thinking right now and no,  you cannot join multiple programs – the system only allows a credit card number to be associated with one program. Registration is free, so I see no reason not to have each of your card associated with at least one program – you can join as many as you’d like.

The participating airlines are: American, Alaska, Delta, Southwest, United, US Airways. Other travel dining programs are: Hilton, Priority Club and RBC Rewards (if you are an Avion rewards members you points can be transferred to British Airways, American and Cathay Pacific). Many of these programs have decent sign-up bonuses happening, so don’t put off getting in on the action.

The general earning is 3 miles per dollar spent, but once you hit 10 dines you get VIP status where you earn 5 miles per dollar. To quickly get VIP status, simply go to a participating bar/ restaurant/ fast food place and order 10 cheap items and ask them to swipe them separately. They may look at you weirdly, but that often happens to me when I’m doing things related to obsessive mileage collecting.

And of course, you should use a mileage/point earning credit card so you get the double dip – miles from the dining program plus the miles earned on your credit card.

As I say, every mile counts!

United MileagePlus® Explorer Card

The standard sign-up offer for these co-branded cards is 30,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in the first three months, so the current bonus is a significant step up. TPG values United miles at 1.5 cents apiece, so this 50,000-mile sign-up bonus gets you $750 in value.

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More Things to Know
  • Special offer: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $100 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your ticket
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Your miles don't expire as long as your credit card account is open, with no limit to the number of miles you can earn
  • Use your miles for any seat, any time, on any United-operated flight at the MileagePlus Standard Award level
  • $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

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