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Earn 1,000 Alaska miles, plus up to 5x Alaska miles on your next restaurant meal

April 24, 2021
7 min read
Close up of young Asian woman enjoying freshly made pizza in an Italian restaurant
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Dining rewards programs continue to be one of the easiest, lucrative ways to earn miles without leaving the house. I don't know about you all, but I've reached a point over the last year where I've gotten tired of my own limited recipes and am excited to go to dine out when I can. I'm able to do so safely while supporting a local business, so it's a win-win situation. Joining a dining rewards program like Alaska’s Mileage Plan Dining is a great way to do just that.

All you have to do is join, register a credit card and then watch the miles stack up as you dine at participating restaurants. You’ll even qualify for bonus miles on your first purchase and increase your earn rate when you dine out frequently. Here’s everything you need to know about Alaska Airlines’ dining program.

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How to join

Joining Mileage Plan Dining is an easy three-step process. You’ll need to provide your name, contact information and Mileage Plan number. Remember to keep the box checked that indicates you want to earn 3 miles per dollar spent. Of course, this also means you’re opting in to receive emails from the program. But it’s worth it since you’ll earn six times as many miles.

This is precisely why I have a separate email account for my banking and frequent flyer accounts. It ensures that my regular inbox isn’t inundated with promotional emails. You might want to do the same if you want to earn maximum rewards with Alaska Dining Plan but are worried about spam.

Related: Earn easy Hilton points by eating at your favorite restaurants

How to earn miles with Alaska’s dining program 

Earning miles with Alaska's dining program is as simple as signing up and registering a credit or debit card to your account. This allows the program to keep track of your purchases at participating restaurants, so you’ll earn Alaska miles every time (more on that later). You can search for participating restaurants by location or even name.

The best approach is to register a card with the program and not think about it. That way, you’re not adjusting your dining preferences just to earn miles or spending more money to do so. You’ll usually get an email notification from Mileage Plan dining, letting you know your purchase has earned miles, along with an invitation to submit a review.

(Photo by Alexander Spatari/Getty Images)

Mileage Plan membership tiers

Alaska Mileage Plan dining has three membership tiers, earning between 1-5 Alaska miles per dollar spent:

Basic Member – 1 mile per $2 spent

Select Member – 3 miles per $1 spent

VIP Member – 5 miles per $1 spent

You can easily upgrade from Basic to Select membership by opting in to receive email notifications. You can do this during the sign-up process or any other time. As a Select member, you’ll not only earn more Alaska miles but also receive opportunities to earn bonus miles and advance notice of promotions.

Becoming a VIP member requires opting in to receive email notifications and completing 11 qualified transactions in a calendar year. On the 12th transaction, you’ll begin earning 5 miles per $1 spent and qualify for bonus opportunities.

It’s also worth noting that you can join every airline and hotel-affiliated dining reward program out there. However, they’re all part of the same network, so you cannot register the same card with more than one program.

Alaska Mileage Plan first-dine bonus

New members can earn up to 1,000 bonus miles after spending $30 at a participating restaurant within 30 days of joining Mileage Plan dining. You’ll also need to submit a review within 30 days of your visit to earn the first-dine bonus.

Related: Earn easy miles with the Free Spirit Dining program

Is Alaska Mileage Plan dining worth it? 

An updated cabin on one of Alaska's A320s. (Image courtesy of Alaska Airlines)

TPG values Alaska miles at 1.8 cents each, which is the highest of any frequent flyer program. So signing up for Alaska’s dining rewards program is definitely worth it. Not only does it take minimal effort, but you’ll get up to a 9% return just by registering your card and using it at participating restaurants.

Keep in mind, this is in addition to the rewards you’ll earn from your credit card – in some cases, you’ll double the rewards you would earn if you just swiped your credit card without signing up for this program. Hands down, Alaska’s dining program is one of the easiest ways to double-dip and automate your mileage earnings.

This is a great way to keep earning miles if you’ve stopped flying due to the pandemic. Many of us are dining out more than ever and programs like this help us make the most of it.

Related: How to earn 1,000 Southwest points the next time you dine out

Which cards to use with X dining

(Photo by The Points Guy)

I recommend registering a card that earns bonus points on dining. This way, you’ll earn more than one point per dollar spent on your card, in addition to the 1-5x miles you’ll earn through Mileage Plan rewards. Some great credit cards to use at restaurants include the following:

The information for the Citi Prestige card and Hilton Aspire Amex Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: Earn extra Delta miles at your favorite local restaurants with SkyMiles Dining

Bottom line

Alaska Airlines’ dining rewards program is a great way to earn Alaska miles, especially since dining out has become much safer. With Alaska's dining program, you can earn up to 5x miles on takeout or on-site dining as long as you pay the restaurant directly rather than using a delivery service like UberEats. Depending on how much you spend, your pandemic-era dining purchases may turn into enough miles for a post-pandemic vacation.

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.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
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

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

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

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
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

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • 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 Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases