How I used my Chase card to enjoy Michelin-worthy takeout and earn 10x points
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Last week, Chase launched a new promotion, offering Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders 10x points per dollar on eligible purchases (up to $500 in combined purchases) made through Chase Dining for a limited time. That's equivalent to a 20% return based on TPG valuations, which easily beats any other dining credit card.
I’m a pretty big foodie and obviously love to earn points, so naturally, I wanted to try Chase Dining out for myself.
Chase Dining a relatively recent addition to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and is powered by the platform Tock. You can use it to book reservations at high-end restaurants, order takeout or delivery and try out unique dining experiences. Since the February weather wasn't ideal for outdoor dining in New York City, I went with the delivery option and here's how it went.
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What is Chase Dining?
Chase Dining is available to Sapphire, Freedom and Ink cardholders via the Ultimate Rewards portal on Chase's website or app. It's powered by Tock, which for those unfamiliar, is a unified platform with reservations, takeout, delivery and culinary events all in one place. Most restaurants on Tock are higher-end, including a number of Michelin-starred ones that aren't available through any other platform.
However, these restaurants are located primarily in major cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco, so your options are currently limited if you live in a smaller city.
Cardholders can usually redeem Ultimate Rewards points for Tock purchases at a fixed rate of 1 cent each. However, now through April 30, 2021, eligible cardholders can redeem with the same 25% or 50% bonus available for travel or through the Pay Yourself Back platform. So, for example, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can currently redeem points for these Chase Dining opportunities at 1.5 cents apiece, while Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders can redeem points at 1.25 cents each.
Alternatively, as mentioned above, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can instead charge the meal to their eligible Chase card and earn 10 points per dollar. This earning boost is available through June 30, 2021, on up to $500 in combined Chase Dining purchases. That's a big step up from the standard 2x/3x points per dollar on dining offered by these cards. If you earn the maximum of 5,000 bonus points, you'll effectively be getting $100 back in rewards based on TPG valuations.
Related: Maximize the Chase Trifecta
Ordering through Chase Dining
To earn the 10x points or redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you must place your order directly through the Chase Dining portal, not Tock's website.
My goal for this experiment was to order a meal from a respected local restaurant that typically isn't available through the major food delivery platforms.
There were 25 restaurants available for delivery and pickup meals in NYC at the time of my search, including names like Daniel Boulud Kitchen, Gabriel Kreuther and Eleven Madison Park. Several restaurants required 24- to 48-hour advance notice and some even had spending requirements, but I had no problem finding a restaurant I wanted to order from for same-day delivery.
I ended up ordering from the New York Times three-star Perry St by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Cedric Vongerichten. Although I noticed that it's also listed on DoorDash and Grubhub, those sites said that delivery wasn't available to my address, so it technically fit my requirements.
The menu was sleek and easy to navigate. There were professional photos next to most menu items, as well as points prices next to the cash prices.
Then, when adding applicable items to my cart, I was able to specify how I'd like my meat cooked. There was no option to make other requests when adding items, though there was a box to enter order notes on the checkout page.
On the checkout page, Chase automatically applied my Ultimate Rewards points for the payment method. However, since I wanted to pay cash and earn 10x points for my purchase for this test, I typed "0" in the pay with points box and proceeded to enter my credit card information. Since my order came out to exactly $100, I earned an even 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points with my Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Tip: Tock only gives you 10 minutes to browse the menu and place your order, so make sure you have your wallet handy. Otherwise, Tock will clear your cart and you'll need to start the ordering process all over.
I was informed that my delivery would ultimately be fulfilled by DoorDash, but unfortunately, there was no option to link my DashPass membership — another perk of the select Chase cards. So, I ended up paying a nearly $10 delivery fee (DashPass members usually get free delivery on orders over $12).
I placed my order at 4 p.m. with a scheduled delivery time of 7 p.m. As mentioned, Tock used DoorDash to fulfill my order, though in some cities it relies on Postmates (which is now owned by Uber) for the last-mile delivery.
At 6:50 p.m. I received a text from DoorDash that my order had been picked up and would be delivered at 7 p.m. Unfortunately, though, it arrived 46 minutes late. Based on the live map to track my order, it appeared that the courier might have made several stops along the way. Also, interestingly, I needed to provide a signature upon delivery, which usually isn't the case with DoorDash orders, but appears to be standard for Tock.
While the order arrived intact, it was cold and somewhat soggy. The burger and fries I ordered didn't travel well. And ultimately, I couldn't tell who was at fault. While the food still tasted good, did the restaurant mess up by not putting the burger's sauce on the side as it did for the salmon and salad? Was DoorDash to blame because of the slow delivery? Or did Tock not send my order to the restaurant and DoorDash on time?
Unlike other food delivery services, there was no single point of contact for order issues. While you can send an email to Tock, customers are instructed to contact restaurants directly for questions about an order. But for delivery-related questions, you need to contact DoorDash.
Since I didn't know who was to blame, I just let it go, but that was a bit disappointing considering Tock is trying to be an all-in-one service. All that said, this first experience likely won't stop me from trying it again while there are 10x points on the table at restaurants I'm eager to try. However, now that I know how it works, I'm unlikely to go the delivery route next time.
Being able to earn 10x points, or an effective 20% return, on Chase Dining is phenomenal.
Tock partners with a number of unique local businesses that aren't available through other apps and its platform is easy to use. However, it has some room for improvement in the customer service department, specifically for delivery orders. There also aren't many restaurants available in smaller cities.
While I plan on using Tock again to max out this promotion, I'll probably stick to pickup orders and prepaid reservations in the future. This way, I can avoid high delivery fees and potential delays and will know exactly who to contact if I have a question about a future order.