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Can I earn points and miles from 2 dining rewards programs at the same time?

May 08, 2022
6 min read
Personal perspective view of couple sharing Tortilla chips while eating takeaway food together at the dining table.
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Many airline and hotel loyalty programs offer dining rewards programs. Popular options include Marriott Eat Around Town, United MileagePlus Dining and Free Spirit Dining, but the list goes on. In short, your favorite loyalty program likely offers a dining rewards program.

Dining rewards programs allow members to earn points and miles at participating restaurants, bars and clubs. These venues pay a commission to Rewards Network (the company that administers these dining rewards programs). Then, Rewards Network pays airlines and hotel companies to reward its members with points and miles.

On the customer side, all Rewards Network dining rewards programs work similarly: You register for free, add at least one credit or debit card to your profile and then use one of your registered cards to pay your tab at a qualifying venue.

The points and miles you earn through Rewards Network are in addition to what you earn from the credit card you use to pay your bill. Bonuses are automatically applied to your loyalty account after you make an eligible purchase, so there’s no extra work required.

But this raises a question: If you add the same credit card to multiple dining programs, can you earn rewards from several loyalty programs simultaneously?

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Can you stack dining rewards programs?

(Photo by Alexander Spatari/Getty Images)

In short, the answer to the above question is "no." While it would be fantastic on the customer side if you could earn multiple types of points and miles from Rewards Network on each meal purchase, it wouldn’t be sustainable in the long run. And the Rewards Network system is set up to prevent you from linking your card to multiple programs.

When signing up with any Rewards Network dining rewards program, you must link at least one credit or debit card to your account.

You can sign up for as many Rewards Network dining rewards programs as you like, but you can only link each card to a single program. Rewards Network will automatically unregister your card from the first program if you attempt to register your card with a second program. So you’ll only earn rewards from whichever program you linked your card to most recently.

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For example, I recently added a credit card that I'd previously linked to Alaska Mileage Plan Dining to AAdvantage Dining. I wanted to earn Loyalty Points (toward AAdvantage status) through AAdvantage Dining.

I received an email from Alaska Mileage Plan Dining moments after linking my card to AAdvantage Dining. This email noted I'd no longer earn Alaska miles when using my card.

(Screenshot from Alaska Mileage Plan Dining)

While you can’t earn rewards from two programs at once, you can link different cards to different programs and earn bonuses based on which card you use. For example, you could link your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to United MileagePlus Dining and your American Express® Gold Card to Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining.

Related: 15 restaurant loyalty programs that are worth joining — including a new ‘pancake bank’

Other ways to double dip on dining

(Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy)

While you can't double dip your rewards through multiple Rewards Network dining rewards programs, there are many other ways to earn points and miles on your meals out.

Of course, a discussion of restaurant rewards would be incomplete without mentioning that credit cards are probably the best way to earn at restaurants. I like to use my American Express Gold Card when dining out since it earns 4 points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide (plus on takeout and delivery in the U.S.). If you're not sure which credit card is best, check out our post on the best credit cards for dining.

Additionally, Dosh allows you to link a credit card to its platform and earn cash back. Our tests have shown that you can earn Dosh cash in addition to points and miles accrued through dining rewards programs managed by Rewards Network. Once you have accumulated $25 in Dosh cash, you can transfer it to your Venmo or PayPal.

American Express and Chase often run offers where you can earn bonus points or statement credits for qualifying purchases. Historically, we've seen Amex Offers and Chase Offers for restaurants like California Pizza Kitchen, The Cheesecake Factory and Maggiano's Little Italy. If you find an Amex or Chase offer for a restaurant that participates in a dining rewards program, you can double dip as long as you link the same card to both.

Related: Expert stacking: How I earned $80 in cash back and rewards from 1 dinner

Bottom line

In general, the best strategy is to link one or more of the best cards for dining to your dining program of choice. That way, if you happen to dine at a participating restaurant, you’ll earn extra rewards without even thinking about it.

But, you may also want to utilize some of the bonuses that dining rewards programs often provide to new members. Most dining programs give new members an incentive to register and dine within a set period. For example, AAdvantage Dining offers 1,000 miles to new members who spend $25 on eligible dining within their first 30 days. Those bonuses change from time to time, so keep an eye out for the best offers.

Between dining credit cards, dining rewards programs and mobile apps, it’s easy to double and triple dip when earning rewards. You just can’t register the same card with multiple Rewards Network dining rewards programs.

Additional reporting by Brian Kelly and Ariana Arghandewal.

Featured image by 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 featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
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
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
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.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
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

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • 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

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees