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Dining rewards programs are an easy way to double dip on earning miles and points. You can use a points or miles earning credit card to front the bill, and link that card to your airline or hotel dining program of choice in order to earn even more points per dollar for dining out.
Delta was the first to recently increase their signup bonus to 2,000 miles back in April, and some of the other airline dining programs have followed suit in May. These current bigger bonuses make now the perfect time to finally sign up for a dining rewards program.
Remember that if you want to earn the most points or miles possible, you should link a credit card to your reward accounts that allows you to earn 2x points or more on dining, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the the no-annual-fee Barclaycard Arrival. Additionally, you can earn up to 5x points on dining with the Chase Freedom during through June.
Note that you can only have one program linked to each card at any given time, so you can not get multiple credits for the same dine. However, you can sign up for new programs in order to obtain the bonus and then switch back to your program of choice later on.
Newest Dining Reward Program Bonuses In May
American Airlines: With the AAdvantage Sign Up and Dine bonus you can earn 2,000 bonus miles. All you have to do is sign up and dine one time within 30 days of joining, spending over $30 (including tax and tip). You must then complete a review within 30 days of dining, and the 2,000 miles will be yours. You have to enroll and create your dining profile by August 30, 2014 to qualify for this bonus. The fine print also states that you must “satisfy” other online or VIP member criteria to get the bonus, which means signing up to receive email communications.
Once you sign up to receive the emails, you not only qualify to earn the bonus, but also go from earning 1 point to 3 points per dollar spent on dining. After 12 qualified dines within a year, you’ll be considered a VIP member and be eligible to earn 5 points per dollar spent.
Southwest: The Rapid Rewards dining program recently raised their signup bonus from 300 to 1,000 points. In order to obtain the bonus, you must sign up online by June 8, 2014 and create an online profile where you opt in to receiving emails. Within 30 days of completing your online profile, you must dine at least one time spending a total of $25 (including tax and tip). Within 30 days of dining, you must complete a review. Once you do this, you’ll receive the 1,000 bonus miles. You also get 3 points per dollar spent and 10 points for every review you complete after the first one.
United: Right now, the MileagePlus Dining Program is running a great bonus where you get 500 free UnitedMileage Plus miles just for signing up by July 10, 2014. To sign up, you must be a first-time program member, create an online profile, and link up to five different credit cards to facilitate payment at participating restaurants. You can then earn up to 2,500 additional United MileagePlus miles by dining five times within the first 30 days after signup at any of the program’s participating restaurants with no minimum spend.
Just one month’s membership in this program – including five restaurant tabs that can each be as low as a single beverage – can get your a total of 3,000 miles.
Note that if you opt to receive emails from MileagePlus Dining with a valid, deliverable email address, you’ll earn 3 miles per every dollar spent. If you opt out, you’ll earn only 1 mile for every 2 dollars spent. Once you reach 12 or more dining spends within a year of signing up, you’ll achieve VIP status within the program and earn 5 miles per dollar.
This bonus sets the United program apart from the others because there is no minimum spend, so if you’re waiting to join the program, now would be a great time to do so.
US Airways: The Dividend Miles Dining Program has also raised their bonus from 1,000 miles to 2,000. In order to obtain the 2,000 mile bonus, you must sign up for the program and opt in to receive emails by June 13, 2014. Spend $30 or more on a single dine (including tax and tip) using your registered card at a participating restaurant, bar or club within 30 days of joining. Then complete your review within 30 days of dining (review link is emailed to you) in order to receive your 2,000 miles. You can also earn 3 miles per dollar spent, and once you’ve completed 12 qualified dines, you can earn 5 miles per dollar spent.
In conclusion, most of these sign up bonuses are fairly high and don’t require a high minimum spend, so if you’ve been holding off on joining one of these programs, now could be the right time, especially if you plan on dining out a lot this spring and summer.
Other Programs With Bonuses
Alaska Airlines: Alaska seems to be the only airline that hasn’t added a bigger bonus to their Mileage Plan Dining program recently. Once enrolled, you’ll earn up to 5 miles per dollar spent at participating bars and restaurants. The new member bonus is 500 bonus miles after spending $30 in 30 days once you register. It may be worth waiting to join this program to see if they follow the other airlines and up their bonus.
Delta: SkyMiles Dining was the first to offer this 2,000 mile bonus back in April. In order to qualify for the bonus, you must register by December 31, 2014 and create a dining profile in which you agree to receive emails from Delta. Then, spend a total of $30 or more (including tax and tip) in one dine at a participating restaurant, bar or club. You must dine within 30 days of registering for the bonus, and complete a review within 30 days after your dine to collect the 2,000 mile bonus. You also earn 3 miles per dollar spent, and if you have at least 12 qualifying transactions per calendar year, then you’ll reach VIP status and can begin to earn 5 points per dollar.
Hilton HHonors: The Hilton Honors Dining program allows you to earn up to 8 Hilton HHonors points for every dollar spent at select restaurants, along with a signup bonus of 1,000 Hilton Honors points for new members.
IHG Rewards: The Priority Club Rewards Dining program allows you to earn up to 8 points per dollar spent at select bars and restaurants, and new members can earn 1,000 bonus points.
For more information on Dining Rewards Programs, check out these other posts:
The Points Guy Assessment:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great pick for the beginner and the frequent traveler. The CSP has superb travel benefits, double points on certain purchases, and a 50,000 point sign up bonus. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year so this puts it as one of the less expensive cards, while still allowing you to earn one of the most valuable point currencies.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards