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Earn American miles (and Loyalty Points) while you eat with the AAdvantage Dining portal

Jan. 22, 2023
6 min read
Dining
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There are many ways to earn points and miles, from the obvious ones (like flying or spending on a credit card) to some that aren’t as well known (like online shopping portals). One of my favorite ways to “double dip” and earn a higher bonus on purchases I was planning to make is by signing up for airline dining rewards programs.

Almost every airline has a dining rewards program that allows members to earn bonus miles for registering their credit cards and using them when dining at participating restaurants. It’s a very low-effort way to score extra points on dining in addition to rewards earned from your credit card.

Today, we’ll look at everything you need to know to maximize the American Airlines AAdvantage Dining program.

AAdvantage Dining overview

One of the best things about AAdvantage Dining is that you can set it and forget it (and reap bonus miles whenever you eat at a participating restaurant). Head to aadvantagedining.com to register and link your credit card and AAdvantage account.

Even better, the miles you earn while dining count as base miles. This means they count as Loyalty Points, which can help inch you closer to American Airlines elite status. The elite year ends on Feb. 28, so you still have a few more weeks to dine out and have your Loyalty Points count toward the current status year. Just note that miles can sometimes take six to eight weeks to post to your AAdvantage account, so there's no guarantee they will post in time.

Related: 6 quick and easy ways to earn Loyalty Points before the end of the American elite year

You’ll only earn miles when dining at participating restaurants and paying with a linked card, but you can easily find participating restaurants on the AAdvantage Dining website. You can search for specific restaurants by name, but I found it easier to type in a zip code and scroll through the list of nearby options.

AADVANTAGEDINING.COM

You can link as many cards as you want to your AAdvantage Dining account, but you can only link each card to one airline’s dining program. In other words, you can’t link your go-to restaurant card to both the United MileagePlus Dining program and the AAdvantage Dining program.

It costs nothing to join AAdvantage Dining, and your membership will stay active as long as you have at least one qualifying dining experience every 36 months.

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Related: How to redeem miles with the American Airlines AAdvantage program

AAdvantage Dining earning rates

There are three different membership tiers in the AAdvantage Dining program:

  • Basic member: Earn 1 mile per dollar spent if you elect not to receive email communication from AAdvantage Dining.
  • Select member: Earn 3 miles per dollar spent if you elect to receive email communication from AAdvantage Dining.
  • VIP member: Earn 5 miles per dollar spent if you elect to receive email communication from AAdvantage Dining and have already completed 11 qualified transactions in the current or previous calendar year (members start earning at the VIP level on their 12th qualified transaction).

These earning rates aren’t connected to your American Airlines elite status. So, having higher AAdvantage elite status won’t help you earn more miles in the AAdvantage Dining program.

Miles will appear in your AAdvantage Dining account as soon as the restaurant finalizes the transaction — usually within five days — and should post to your main AAdvantage account within one to two weeks of the transaction.

Related: How to earn bonus miles through the AAdvantage shopping portal

What cards to use

EDWARD PIZZARELLO/THE POINTS GUY

Depending on your status within the AAdvantage Dining program, you’ll earn anywhere from 1 to 5 miles per dollar spent at eligible restaurants. The good news is that these AAdvantage miles are in addition to any card rewards you’d earn on the purchase. The restaurant at which you’re eating will still process your transaction, so you’ll want to pick a card with a great bonus category for dining. Some popular choices include:

Or, you might consider using the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® if you’re focused solely on earning American Airlines miles. This card offers 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants, representing a lower return than the other options on this list.

If you have more than one card you regularly use when dining out, you’ll want to make sure you link them all to your AAdvantage Dining account so you won’t have any issues when it comes time to pay the bill. I frequently switch between my Amex Gold and Chase Sapphire Reserve (depending on whether I’m more interested in earning Membership Rewards or Ultimate Rewards points), so I keep both cards linked to my account.

Bottom line

Whether you sign up with American Airlines or another carrier, airline dining rewards programs offer an amazing opportunity to double dip and earn even more miles when dining out. If you eat out regularly and a restaurant you frequent is one of the approved partners, you may have an easy time earning VIP status and boosting your earning rate significantly.

The AAdvantage Dining program is also great for earning elite status, as miles earned from dining count as Loyalty Points. So, if you're planning a work event or business meal, consider choosing a restaurant that participates in the AAdvantage Dining program so you can rack up miles on your reimbursable expense.

Additional reporting by Ehsan Haque and Ryan Patterson.

Featured image by ALEXANDER SPATARI/GETTY IMAGES
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023