Advertisement

Reminder: Get Points and Miles From Everyday Dining

by on November 8, 2011 · 44 comments

in Alaska, American, Delta, Dining Programs, Hilton, Priority Club Rewards, United, US Airways

Dining programs are free, easy ways to earn miles. Every single one of your debit and credit cards should be registered to a participating program–if not, take a couple minutes and sign-up for some. Once your credit cards are linked to a program, you’ll automatically earn miles every time you visit a participating restaurant. I often get random deposits of miles for eating at restaurants I didn’t realize were participating dining-for-miles establishments. It’s a quick, easy, great way to earn some bonus miles without even having to think about it … especially if you dine out as much as I do!

Here’s a breakdown of the dining programs out there:

American Airlines AAdvantage Dining Program: VIP members (dining program members who elect to receive emails and have 12 qualified transactions in one calendar year) earn 5 miles per dollar spent at participating restaurants, online members earn 3 miles per dollar spent after opting to receive AAdvantage dining program emails, and regular members with no online profile earn 1 mile per dollar spent. Qualified transactions are dines at participating restaurants that occur during a valid benefit period and are paid for with a credit or debit card registered with the AAdvantage Dining program. New member bonus - join and register for the New Member Bonus by December 31, 2011 and earn 1,000 AA miles after completing a review of your first (minimum of $30) meal within 30 days of dine. Earn double miles at rotating list of restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Dining: VIP members (dining program members who elect to receive emails and have 12 qualified transactions in one calendar year) earn 5 miles per dollar spent at participating restaurants, online members earn 3 miles per dollar spent after opting to receive Alaska Airlines dining program emails, and regular members with no online profile earn 1 mile per dollar spent. Qualified transactions are dines at participating restaurants that occur during a valid benefit period and are paid for with a credit or debit card registered with the Mileage Plan Dining program. New member bonus - join and register for the New Member Bonus by December 31, 2011 and earn a bonus 500 Alaska Airlines miles after spending a minimum of $25 at a single participating vendor within 30 days of registration. Earn double miles at a rotating list restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Delta Skymiles Dining: VIP members (dining program members who elect to receive emails and have 12 qualified transactions in one calendar year) earn 5 miles per dollar spent at participating restaurants, online members earn 3 miles per dollar spent after opting to receive Delta dining program emails, and regular members with no online profile earn 1 mile per dollar spent. Qualified transactions are dines at participating restaurants that occur during a valid benefit period and are paid for with a credit or debit card registered with the Skymiles Dining program. New member bonus - join and register for the New Member Bonus by December 31, 2011 and earn 1,000 additional Delta Skymiles after spending a combined minimum of $25 at participating vendors (and completing a review of each restaurant) within 30 days of registration. Some members are targeted for the Sweeten The Deal promo, which gives an extra 3 miles per dollar spent after spending $125 on qualified dines by 12/31/11. Also, earn double miles at a rotating list of restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Southwest Rapid Rewards DiningActive members who provide an email address to receive Rapid Rewards dining program emails receive 3 points for every dollar spent at participating restaurants, bars, and clubs. Earn an additional 10 points for every review completed within 30 days of dine. New member bonus: register and spend $25 on a single dine within 60 days and complete a review within 30 days of meal and receive 300 additional Southwest Rapid Rewards points. First step bonus - earn a 500 mile bonus when your dining point balance reaches 1,500 miles after qualifying dining activities (first step bonus can only be earned once). After earning the new member and first step bonus continue participating to earn SW’s thank you bonus which awards an additional 300 points every time a member’s dining points balance reaches 1,000 (not including bonus points). Thank you bonus can be earned repeatedly.

United MileagePlus: VIP members (dining program members who elect to receive emails and have 12 qualified transactions in one calendar year) earn 5 miles per dollar spent at participating restaurants, online members earn 3 miles per dollar spent after opting to receive United dining program emails, and regular members with no online profile earn 1 mile per dollar spent. Qualified transactions are dines at participating restaurants that occur during a valid benefit period and are paid for with a credit or debit card registered with the United MileagePlus Dining program. Welcome bonus - join and register for the Welcome Bonus by December 31, 2011 and earn an additional 1,000 miles after spending $50 at a single participating restaurant within 30 days of joining the MileagePlus dining rewards program. Earn double miles at a rotating list of restaurants, bars, and clubs.

US Airways Dividend Miles Dining: VIP members (dining program members who elect to receive emails and have 12 qualified transactions in one calendar year) earn 5 miles per dollar spent at participating restaurants, online members earn 3 miles per dollar spent after opting to receive US Airways dining program emails, and regular members with no online profile earn 1 mile per dollar spent. Qualified transactions are dines at participating restaurants that occur during a valid benefit period and are paid for with a credit or debit card registered with the US Airways Dividend Miles Dining program. New member bonus - join and register for the new member bonus by December 31, 2011 and earn a bonus 500 miles after spending $25 at a single participating restaurant within 45 days of joining and completing a review within 30 days of dine (bonus can be repeated for a total of 1,000 bonus miles). Earn double miles at a rotating list of restaurants, bars, and clubs. Sweeten the deal bonus: register and spend $125 at participating restaurants from the time of registration until December 31, 2011 and receive an additional 3 miles per dollar spent after completing vendor reviews within 30 days of dine. A maximum of 375 additional bonus miles can be earned with the sweeten the deal bonus.

Hilton Hhonors Dining: Elite level members (dining program members who elect to receive emails and have 12 qualified transactions in one calendar year) earn 8 points per dollar spent at participating restaurants, online members earn 5 points per dollar spent after opting to receive Hilton Hhonors dining program emails, and regular members with no online profile earn 2 points per dollar spent. Qualified transactions are dines at participating restaurants that occur during a valid benefit period and are paid for with a credit or debit card registered with the Hilton Hhonors Dining Program. New member bonus - join and register for the new member bonus by December 31, 2011 and earn an additional 1,000 Hhonors points after spending $30 on any combination of dines within 30 days of joining and completing a review within 30 days of meal(s). Earn double points at a rotating list of restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Priority Club Rewards Dining: Elite level members (dining program members who elect to receive emails and have 12 qualified transactions in one calendar year) earn 8 points per dollar spent at participating restaurants, online members earn 5 points per dollar spent after opting to receive Rewards dining program emails, and regular members with no online profile earn 2 points per dollar spent. Qualified transactions are dines at participating restaurants that occur during a valid benefit period and are paid for with a credit or debit card registered with the Priority Club Dining Rewards program. New member bonus - join and register for the new member bonus by December 31, 2011 and earn an additional 1,000 Priority Club points after spending $30 during a single visit to a participating restaurant within 45 days of joining and completing a review within 30 days of meal. Earn double points at a rotating list of restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

Previous post:

Next post:

  • Nick

    Question for everyone: If I only want to use 1 credit card (Chase, because of the 5% dining bonus), can I rotate it through the programs I want or is there a delay? For example, can I register it with Southwest for a week, then Sunday night, register my card with Hilton and use it Monday?

  • Mark

    Can I join multiple dining rewards programs and double dip? i.e. hhonors and skymiles dining earning points and miles (plus the miles that I get from my CC for the purchase)?

  • Anonymous

    Nope- a credit card can only be registered to one program at a time- it’ll auto un-enroll if you add the same number to a different program

  • Anonymous

    Changes are instantaneous and there’s no restriction that I’m aware of in terms of how many times you can change

  • Nick

    I’m pretty sure the same company runs them all, so no. You can get hhonors and credit card points. So if you use your hhonors credit card and register it for skymiles dining, you would earn the miles based on the dine and hhonors points using the credit card.

  • http://twitter.com/Afkabp Afkabp

    Get the Rewards Dining iPhone App. It will use your current location and give you a list of participating restaurants that are in the vacinity. It also features customer reviews.

  • StM

    Do the restaurants change between providers or are they the same? E.g. what is more important is deciding which (AA, United, etc) that you would like to earn points with?

  • Anne

    Points Guy, Anybody,

    Help! I apologize for being off topic but I have a newbie problem I can’t figure out. I made a small purchase in Macy’s and they asked me if I wanted a Macy’s credit card for a small discount. I said, why not. Then I got, an American Express/Macy’s card in the mail with a $10,000 credit limit. I had no idea it would be tied to American Express.

    Now I don’t know if I should activate it or not, because it definitely was not worth it to me to get a credit ding and a $10 savings on a blouse. My questions is which is better to do now?

    A) Activate it as I already have the ding, and use the $10,000 credit limit as leverage when a better deal comes along from Amex.

    B) Don’t activate it and have that much LESS credit showing on my credit report.

    Does anybody know?

    Thanks,
    Anne

  • mike a.

    Sometimes I regret not having an iPhone, but then again my 10-year old flip phone does come in handy.

  • mike a.

    All the airlines are under the same program, so no you can not double dip. You could split your check onto two cards registered under two different programs, hence putting you closer to the 10-12 dining limit needed to become a vip member.

  • Bohemiana

    Anne, I’m not an expert like TPG but I have learned through this site not to bother with any card that doesn’t give you a big bonus to sign up. $10 to save on a blouse? There are quite a few cards that will give you enough for a free airline ticket when you sign up. Look through this blog and then do some strategic card collecting. We have already gotten 2 free airline tickets, 3 nights at the Bellagio in Vegas and enough for 2 European airline tickets for next year’s vacation.

  • Anne

    I’m definitely with you on the great deals, Bohemiana. It’s just that I got one foot in the mud with this useless (in my opinion) credit card and I don’t know which would be easiest on my credit score, killing it right now or letting it open.

    Rookie Anne

  • http://twitter.com/austininvest Robert Grunnah

    I have my credit card enrolled in the United dining program. However, for real foodies that know the good spots from the mediocre, this program isn’t worth very much. Here in Austin (and I imagine in most places), the only restaurants that accept “couponing” programs like this (and there are lots of them, from Groupon to Entertainment Guides to flat out coupons in local newspapers that restaurants print), are restaurants that typically focus on high volume and low quality product. When I do a search on my zip code, though there are quite a few restaurants that pop up, no one I know visits any of them.. They’re tourist spots and generally lower quality places that need to advertise frequently and discount their product to get people to buy it.

    That said, every once in a long while, you’ll be surprised to see your earned points from a restaurant that you actually like and weren’t aware was in the program. That’s happened to me once or twice in several years.

    That said, it’s free to be a part of it, so you’re not losing anything. But it’s not a very lucrative program, IMHO.

  • Brad

    Activating it–and increasing your available credit by $10,000–might actually improve your credit score (presuming you don’t carry a balance).

    As long as you pay your borrowings off each month, only the initial credit check leads to the “ding” you mentioned.

  • Anonymous

    I think it depends on the area you live in. In my area there are a number of participating restaurants that I frequent. However I don’t live in a mecca of top notch restaurants like LA or NY are. Though I must say that the participating restaurants that I do frequent are hole in the wall places that happen to have good quality food without a high volume of customers. So to each their own – but I am 2 dines away from getting the VIP status.

  • TomSAN

    I still use it but the rewards have gone WAY down since the parent company of all of these programs, Rewards Network, was taken private earlier this year. A few years ago, they gave 10 miles/$1, with plenty of bonus opportunities to earn 25 or even 30 miles/$1. At 5 miles/$1, it hardly seems worth it. I still do it for the restaurants who participate and which I know and like, but I’m not inclined to check out new ones, that’s for sure.

  • atxtravel

    Wink is on there and that’s a pretty high-end place. Also J Blacks and Austin Land and Cattle.
    Those are the only ones I could find, everything else are ethnic food or cheap pizza / burger joints.

  • Bethodonnell

    Can anyone tell me if I am correct that I can only participate in one dining program? I am in Dividend Miles Dining (earning 8 miles a dollar right now!) but I was wondering if I can join another one if I register different cards. Thoughts folks? Much appreciated.

  • Anonymous

    You can join as many as you want. But each of your credit/debit cards can only be registered to one program. 3 cards can be attached to 3 different programs

  • Pingback: Sunday Reader Question on Consolidating Frequent Flyer Accounts | The Points Guy

  • http://twitter.com/austininvest Robert Grunnah

    Heh, yep.. I was doing a tasting menu and picked up the tab for four people at Wink. There was a shitload of miles that I got credit for for that meal, that I had not expected. Good catch.

  • Anonymous

    I use the dining miles to keep a couple of flyer mile accounts active till I use the miles. I’m retired now so don’t travel by air much. Am AA Gold for life as I hit the Million mile mark. Still have over 125k miles available but since AA basically pulled out of CLE a few years ago my free flight choices are very limited. I don’t want to loose the 125k miles and do hope to use eventually.
    I keep the AA account active by using the Dining program. Do similar with my Delta account.

  • Pingback: The Cheapest Way To Hit Minimum Spending Requirements On Air Miles Cards « Online Cashback

  • Pingback: Fastest, Cheapest Ways to Meet Minimum Spend Requirements | Travel Credit Cards

  • Pingback: Sunday Reader Question: What’s the Cheapest Way to Hit Credit Card Spend Requirements? | The Points Guy

  • Guest

    If I sign up for dining rewards with my United MileagePlus card to earn miles in my AAdvantage account, will I get the “normal” MileagePlus purchase miles along with the AAdvantage miles?

  • thepointsguy

    Correct- you get both credit card spend in addition to dining program spend

  • Pingback: 20% Bonus on American Airlines Miles Transfers – Worth It? | The Points Guy

  • Pingback: Wallaby: The New Credit Card Spend Maximizer? | The Points Guy

  • Pingback: Tuesday Travel Top 10: Mistakes People Make With Their Airline Miles | The Points Guy

  • Pingback: The Fastest, Cheapest Ways to Meet Minimum Spend Requirements | The Points Guy

  • Butler

    Will simply earning a couple of miles via a dividend dining program reset the expiration clock for my Delta miles?

  • Mark

    Delta skymiles don’t expire

  • Pingback: Targeted Offer: Up To 10,000 Bonus American Miles for Dining Out | The Points Guy

  • hc

    Do any of these dining bonus sites work outside the US?

  • Pingback: 2,500 Bonus Delta Miles With Dining Rewards | The Points Guy

  • Pingback: Maximize Points on Thanksgiving Groceries | The Points Guy

  • DM0619

    NO

  • Pingback: Reminder: Delta SkyMiles Membership Signup Bonus Offer Up to 40,000 Miles | The Points Guy

  • Pingback: Chase Sapphire Preferred 3X Points On Dining First Friday Monthly | The Points Guy

  • Pingback: Hotel Points Expiration Policies Roundup | The Points Guy

  • Pingback: Maximizing Points on Dining Spend With OpenTable Rewards | The Points Guy

  • Pingback: Reminder: Chase Sapphire First Friday 3X Dining Points July 5 | The Points Guy

  • Steve Yetter

    For the month of Sep, I reached VIP status (5x) and decided to maximize my use of dividend miles dining. Results, 3529 miles in 18 dines. Overall, these were moderately priced places. Half were places that I already go to. All but one of the new places I tried are places I would return to. One new one was not so good. And one old one that had been good in the past was not so good. I also gained 4 pounds in 30 days! Perhaps the biggest plus was I have to new places that will be in my favorites list.

Print This Page