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Can you earn rewards with a dining rewards program and a credit card at the same time?

Nov. 21, 2022
4 min read
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Editor's Note

We've updated this post with current information.

The fastest way to pad your points and miles balance is by picking up a welcome bonus on a new travel rewards credit card. But there are also many ways to earn rewards on everyday purchases.

While many travelers are familiar with online shopping portals, fewer are familiar with dining rewards programs. In short, dining rewards programs let you earn extra points or miles when you use an enrolled card to pay at select restaurants, bars and clubs.

You can't earn rewards from two dining rewards programs simultaneously. But you might wonder whether you can simultaneously earn rewards with a dining program and a credit card. We'll look into this common question in this post.

Dining rewards programs

Many major airline and hotel loyalty programs offer a dining rewards program that lets you earn points or miles when you dine out at participating restaurants. For example, here are some of the most popular dining rewards programs:

Rewards Network runs most dining rewards programs. So, you'll find that many of the programs feature very similar terms.

Generally, it would be best if you waited to sign up for a program until it's offering a new-member bonus. You'll need to link at least one credit or debit card to the program when you join.

Then, you'll automatically earn points or miles through the dining rewards program when you make eligible purchases at participating bars, clubs and restaurants with your linked card.

Your exact earning rate will vary by program. You'll often earn more rewards if you opt in to emails from the program and frequently dine with the program.

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Note that you can only link each credit card to one dining rewards program. So, you'll need to choose which program you prefer and register your favorite credit card for dining with that program.

You can register different cards with different programs, though. For example, you could enroll your American Express® Gold Card in Delta SkyMiles Dining and your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card in Marriott Eat Around Town.

Related: 15 restaurant loyalty programs that are worth joining — including a 'pancake bank'

Can you earn rewards with a dining rewards program and a credit card?

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Yes, you can simultaneously earn rewards with a dining rewards program and a credit card.

For example, if you enroll your American Express Gold Card in Delta SkyMiles Dining, opt in to receive email communications and then dine at a participating restaurant using your card, you'll earn the following:

  • 3 Delta miles per dollar from SkyMiles Dining (or 5 miles per dollar if you snag VIP status).
  • 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar from your card since the Amex Gold earns 4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide.

This kind of “double dipping” is a great way to speed up your earning rate and earn more rewards without spending any more money.

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

Bottom line

Stacking a dining rewards program with a credit card bonus category is a great way to enhance your earning rate.

There’s no catch to this at all. Simply sign up for the dining program of your choice, link your preferred credit card(s) and watch your loyalty program balance climb.

Additional reporting by Ehsan Haque and Katie Genter.

Featured image by MELANIE LIBERMAN/THE POINTS GUY
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 premium travel card for value
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 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
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

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
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 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • 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

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more