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18 American Miles Per Dollar and 90% Off Restaurant.com Gift Certificates

by on December 27, 2011 · 29 comments

in American, Dining Programs, Shopping

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Dining out is expensive, but most of us already know that we can maximize our miles and double dip on dining out by taking advantage of dining programs. However, you can maximize your savings and miles a step further by taking advantage of restaurant.com gift certificates.

Restaurant.com sells discounted dining certificates for thousands of restaurants around the country and they often run outrageous sales. Right now, you can get $25 gift certificates for $2 (down from $10) when you use promo code SALE, plus if you buy them through a shopping mall like the AAdvantage Shopping portal - you’ll get 18 American miles per dollar spent! If you prefer cash back, you can get 30% back via Ebates – plus you get a $10 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble/ Target/Home Depot/ Magazines.com or $5 cash back when you sign-up and spend $25.
Update: Chase Ultimate Rewards mall is offering 20 points per dollar, which is the best offer out there in my opinion

So, $100 can get you $1,250 in dining certificates and 1,800 AA miles! I value my AA miles around 2 cents a piece, so that equates to about $36 in value received, or yet another 36% return on my spend.

Before you go too crazy – you should know that the restaurants that participate are limited and there are usually exclusions – like minimum spend to be eligible to use the certificate and certain nights they may not be eligible (like Fridays and Saturdays).

However, check their list to see if any of your usual haunts participate. These also make great gifts – imagine giving someone $250 in gift certificates and you only had to spend $10! Don’t worry – we’ll keep this our little secret!

I loaded up NYC and Miami restaurants and there are some decent ones that I’ve been to and would feel comfortable recommending (note these aren’t your top rated Michelin restaurants, but have decent food in my experience). Of course, use the Sapphire Preferred card whenever you dine to get 2 points per dollar in addition!

NYC
Hill Country- BBQ
Tout Va Bien- French
Havana Central- Cuban
Slate- Known for billiards, but has okay food
Fashion 40 Lounge- Good for after work drinks and is also a Rewards Network establishment
Basera- Indian

Miami
Vita- Seafood (South Beach within walking distance of the W South Beach)
Casablanca- Seafood

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • dale m

    Can’t find it – and won’t take promo code!

  • Anonymous

    Through 12/27, 20 extra Chase UR points through Shopping Mall.

  • Maxim

    In NYC I highly recommend Boutique Eat Shop. It’s an incredible restaurant (food, atmosphere, service), but suffers from out of the way location (20th str and 11th ave) and thus has to use discount coupons to lure extra customers.

  • Mp1007

    Great tip, but I am getting the message that the gift cards (and egift cards) are not elegible for promotions… weird…

  • enane74

    I think is dead…. :(

  • Super

    Never used them.
    Do you let them know about the gift card upfront? or just use it when you are paying?
    Do you have to eat in? Does it work with take out as well?

  • Anonymous

    The “SALE” promo code is working (12/27), but $2 for a $10 cert is 80% off. They had a 90% off Christmas special, but the servers got overloaded and lost my order after sending me to a page that said the order was complete. They now have no way to recover my shopping cart, so it is gone for good. I will wait for the next 90% off sale and hope it actually works.

  • Jon S

    I still don’t understand why you push the sapphire preferred for dining, when the no fee citi forward card gives 5 points per dollar on dining vs the 2 from the saph preferred. Yes ultimate rewards points are a little more flexible, but 5 points per dollar is huge on a no fee card.

  • dale m

    OK Figured it out…dunno if the AAdvantage portal worked, but once on R.com, search for restaurants in your locale, then select one that is at the low end of $ … select a $ 25 gift certificate (will be first thing in your cart) and then enter promo code (SALE), which SHOULD (may or may not) apply…if it doesn’t try another local restaurant, but if it does, it will apply to all subsequent. Then you can go back to list (i.e., continue shopping) and load each that way, watching balance for amounts — some at 2, some at 3-4. Also at bottom of checkout screen (based on the R.com relational data) more will load, and prices will be clear, again most at 2-3-4 ea. If you load an expensive one, that will influence all subsequent (at least it did for mine – I had to dump cookies and start over). I ended up with 26 certs worth 25 ea, for $69. Thanks Brian!

  • Anonymous

    Agree forward is good for no fee but I get huge value out of the chase transfer partners. Cash back doesn’t really do it for me

  • Danielle

    Just got 13 giftcards through ebates – 12 are for $25, 1 for $10 – for $31 total. Will get a $10 Target giftcard and 15% cashback when order processes :)) Thanks, Uncle TPG!

  • Steve Baker

    You mention that the restaurants are located “around the world” yet I can only find restaurants in ths US of A
    Where does one find the others?

  • Anonymous

    I’ve dabbled with Restaurant.com before. I really don’t like it — I find that there are way too many T&C’s to make the hassle worth the savings. Many places even have restrictions like, “$20 for $50, $100 minimum, not valid on alcohol.” Well crap. Once my wife and I are venturing into $100 territory, we’ve got some alcohol flowing. I have to spend $100 on food???? These types of things ultimately end up as a dressed up “buy one get one free” offer.

    IMHO, groupon is far better for restaurant discounts, even though it, too, usually falls in the BOGO category. (Most $25 for $50 or $30 for $60 offers are typically at restaurants where the entree runs $20+.) Although, to its credit, I can generally buy booze.

    I don’t do r.com, and I don’t even do the entertainment book anymore. The later was even more — many places in the DC book will cap the value of the second entree. I’d be fine if it were capped to things not at market prices (fresh seafood, which tends to be expensive) but quite often, the cap is to the cheapest entree on the menu.

  • Anonymous

    Sweet- added that to the post

  • Anonymous

    All they sell is gift cards! What they mean is that you can’t use gift cards to buy gift cards with the promo

  • Anonymous

    Did anyone get any type of confirmation or notice that the purchase would accumulate AA miles? I went through the AA Shopping site but didn’t receive any kind of notice that I’d be receiving the miles sometime in the future. Thanks

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  • Queeni1951

    I LOVE restaurant.com when they run their 90% promo. For $25, our favorite restaurant requires $35 minimum meal and it can include drinks! A very easy to do dinner for $35 minimum…VERY satisfied with these promos.

  • Queeni1951

    …and you get 30% back from restaurant.com through Mr. Rebates instead of 15% with ebates!

  • http://www.facebook.com/elipsky Eugene Lipsky

    Am I missing something, I can’t find how to buy these via Chase UR mall

  • http://www.facebook.com/elipsky Eugene Lipsky

    Found it, what a pain in the a**. From the UR Mall site need to go to the Earn Faster tab then click the first link. Oh and btw it says that for Hill Country promo codes do not apply :(

  • http://www.deltapoints.com deltaGOLDflyer

    From what I can see the 90% off ended on the 24th. Ebates had 30% last week now 15%. Now the best deal is 80% off. Plus the AA shopping people are not to be trusted. IMO.

  • Kafsdfasdfas

    This is maybe a BS deal for many people.

    Res taurants.com is like a copay to use a coupon.

    Lots of the restaurant coupons require a minimum bill.

    So you are getting 10 or 25 bucks off a meal, big deal unless you were already going to go there.

    So you don’t really get 50% off.

    If you really go to these places it’s an ok deal, although there are other coupons that require no copay like the Entertainment book..

  • Kafsdfasdfas

    +1 i totally agree

  • mark

    Also, make sure you book your reservations for these restaurants on opentable.com. ;)

  • Tom Davidson

    Try ‘DINNER’ instead of ‘SALE’. worked for me today

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  • Helen

    First time user of restaurant.com thru AAdvantage e-shopping. Can you tell me how long it takes for restaurant.com to post the miles? Do I have to use all the certificates(4) before they credit me? Seems to be taking much longer than other vendors thru AAdvantage.
    Thank you!

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