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We tested Chase Dining for Valentine's Day -- and earning 10x points wasn't even the best part

February 13 2022
8 min read
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As Valentine’s Day approached this year, my husband and I realized we hadn’t had a proper date night out in … a long time.

Normally, we aren’t really red roses or Valentine’s Day kind of people, but with omicron cases on the decline, and grandparents now at the ready to watch the kids for a few hours, a Valentine’s weekend dinner out seemed like the perfect excuse to break the very long streak of staying in.

Having not really been out much locally in quite a while, on a whim, I fired up the Chase Dining site.

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I was not expecting much of anything to be available in our wooded suburb of Houston, but since I’d heard good things about the options on the site — and since I had an appetite for earning 10 points per dollar in the program via my Chase Sapphire Reserve — I took a peek.

The results shocked me.

On Chase Dining eligible for 10 points per dollar was a five-course Valentine’s Day meal in an adorable, updated barn just 30 - 40 minutes away at a place I had never heard of before.

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(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

We quickly booked the dinner and eagerly counted down to a much anticipated night out.

If you are in need of a nice meal out or even a last-minute Valentine's Day plan that will also earn you a whole bunch of valuable Ultimate Rewards points, here's what you need to know and why the bonus points weren't even the best part.

Chase Dining details

About a year ago, Chase Dining (which is powered by Tock) was introduced with a temporary benefit of 10 points per dollar on up to $500 spent. It's available on the Chase site and as of a few months ago, those with a Chase Sapphire Reserve now get 10 points per dollar on eligible Chase Dining bookings on an ongoing basis.

To be eligible, the reservation must be prepaid within the Chase Dining site. If you spend additional money directly with the restaurant, it is not eligible for the 10 points per dollar bonus.

You can redeem your Ultimate Rewards points for prepaid reservations via Chase Dining. Until March 31, points from the Sapphire Reserve are worth 1.5 cents per dollar when used in this way.

If you haven't explored Chase Dining yet, there is a wide variety of mostly higher-end restaurants available for reservation, take-out and delivery. Not surprisingly, big cities have more options than those of us in the 'burbs, but as I found out in my test, it's still worth a look.

In early-2021, TPG's NYC-based reporter Benji Stawski tested the then-new service out on a fancy meal delivery, but it was time for a new test now that the 10x benefit is ongoing and more folks are venturing for meals inside restaurants.

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Our 10x night out with Chase Dining

While searching for options, much to my surprise, in a nearby city with a population of just 8,000 people, was a Chase Dining restaurant that not only looked amazing but would also be eligible for earning 10 points per dollar. That's about a 20 cent per dollar spent return if you value Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, as TPG does.

There on Chase Dining was the Historic Hill House and Farm in Cleveland, Texas, with an opening for the weekend before Valentine's Day with a special five-course meal and available wine pairing. Despite having lived nearby for most of my life, I'd never heard of this spot that they say dates back over 130 years.

It has not only an ever-rotating menu of chef-created meals that you can enjoy in the barn, but it also has overnight accommodations, a stocked pond, a swimming pool and more.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

That all caught my attention, but for now, let's just focus on the food, since that's all we got to enjoy on this first -- but likely not last -- trip to the Historic Hill House.

This decadent meal for Valentine's weekend wasn't cheap at $135 per adult for the food and we added one wine pairing to share at $75. For what it's worth, that's higher than their normal non-Valentine dinner price and much higher than their Sunday brunches.

(Photo courtesy of Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

But all in for this meal, with an included 20% service fee, it came to $439.77. That should earn 4,397 Ultimate Rewards points worth about $88 when all is said and done. The points were great since that's more than three times as many points normally earned on dining with this case -- but the points didn't turn out to be the best part of the deal.

(Screenshot courtesy of Chase)

When we got there, there were about six other parties also waiting in the barn from the 1840s for the 6 p.m. seating. This is an intimate setting and everyone is seated at about the same time and eats from the same set menu. Before the meal, there was a little extra time to spend either at the cozy bar or to sit near the wood-burning fireplace.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Once the meal started, I was just in constant disbelief that something like that existed so close to home and I wouldn't have ever known if I hadn't been fishing online for somewhere I could earn bonus points for dinner.

Over the course of about an hour and forty-five minutes, the meal went from a starter of Gulf shrimp and corn fritters, to an insanely good red pepper and heirloom tomato bisque, to a salad that was truly worthy of its own course, onto the main course of an aged NY strip with garlic butter and a finale of chocolate and caramel.

If it's possible for a dinner to be 'worth' $135, this one was.

The innkeeper, Sara, came by a few times during dinner to check in on us and we got to talking about how we found the restaurant. She laughed saying she's not sure how they ended up on Chase Dining, but that at least 30 - 40 different people have told her that's how they ended up there, too.

After all of that decadence, I was stuffed, feeling the effects of the wine pairing (and thankfully not the one driving us home) and already mentally planning our next trip out to this special place.

Related: 3 road trips you can take from Houston in 4 hours or less

Bottom line

While I initially looked to Chase Dining for a way to just earn some bonus points while eating out using my Sapphire Reserve, it turned out that the site opened my eyes to an incredible spot close to home that I otherwise would have continued to miss.

It's fun to find hidden gems while on vacation, but it's even sweeter when they are just a town or two away.

In fact, we loved this experience so much, we already have a family brunch reservation booked to return. For that one, we redeemed 8,483 Ultimate Rewards points for our family of four and we won't have any out-of-pocket expenses.

(Screenshot courtesy of Chase)

I'm not sure if it is possible to top our first-time-in-forever Valentine's-themed dinner out at the Historic Hill House, but we're more than happy to try our hand at a follow-up brunch visit courtesy of our points and find out for sure.

Either way, while the bonus points were sweet, finding a new favorite spot was an even sweeter surprise.

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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  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
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Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees