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