TPG reader credit card question: Can I earn miles with a dining portal and credit card at the same time?
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new 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 you should also look for other ways to diversify your earning strategy as well. While many people are familiar with online shopping portals, most major airlines in the U.S. also offer a dining rewards program as well. TPG reader Anthony wants to know if he can “double-dip” and earn points from an airline dining portal in addition to his credit card bonus categories …
I just signed up for the American Airlines AAdvantage dining program and linked my Chase Sapphire Reserve. Will I get the triple points from Chase in addition to the AA miles I’m earning?TPG READER ANTHONY
Interested in more credit card news and advice from The Points Guy? Sign up for our daily newsletter.
For those who aren’t familiar, most major airlines in the US (including Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest and United) offer a dining rewards program that lets you earn bonus points or miles when you dine out at participating restaurants. All are run by the same company — Rewards Network — and thus feature very similar terms.
Generally speaking, you can get a new member bonus of anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 miles after making your first eligible purchase in 30 days. You’ll also earn points or miles on every dine at a participating location, though the exact rate varies based on how frequently you dine. Most programs even let you earn bonus miles by signing up for emails, which is a great way to boost your return even further.
All you need to do to earn these bonuses is register and link your preferred credit card (ideally one that earns a bonus on dining purchases). Then, when that card is used at a Rewards Network establishment, the points or miles will automatically post to your account, and this is in addition to whatever earnings you’d enjoy on your credit card. Note that you can only like each credit card to one account, so you can’t register your Chase Sapphire Reserve with American Airlines AAdvantage Dining and Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Dining at the same time.
So yes, Anthony will absolutely earn bonus airline miles in addition to the 3x dining category bonus on his Chase Sapphire Reserve. The same would be true if he opted to use an American Express® Gold Card for the 4x Membership Rewards points it offers on dining at restaurants. This kind of “double-dipping” is a great way to speed up your earning rate and earn more miles without spending any more money.
Double Dipping, Triple Dipping and More
In many ways, what’s going on here is similar to what happens when you purchase a flight or hotel with the right rewards card. I’m able to earn a whopping 23.5x Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels (equivalent to an 18.8% return based on TPG’s valuations) by stacking the 17.5x points I earn as a Bonvoy Titanium Elite with the 6x points I earn from using my Bonvoy credit cards.
The same thing holds true when I buy tickets with American Airlines — I can stack the 5x Membership Rewards points I earn by using The Platinum Card® from American Express (when booking directly with the airline; starting Jan. 1, 2021, earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year) with the 7x American miles I earn as an AAdvantage Gold member. This brings my combined return to 19.8% based on TPG’s valuations, a great deal no matter how you slice it.
However, this can get even more lucrative. You can leverage online shopping portals like Rakuten with an issuer’s program (like Amex Offers) to get bonus points and additional cash-back on the purchases you’re already planning to make. And if you find an Amex Offer for an airline, hotel or restaurant, you may even be able to quadruple-dip.
For example, last year there was an Amex offer floating around for $40 back when spending $200 at select U.S. Marriott properties, so let’s use that as an example:
- $40 back using the Amex Offer
- 2% back (or more) by using the right shopping portal
- 6x Marriott points for paying for the hotel with a Bonvoy credit card
- 10x-17.5x points per dollar on the hotel stay, depending on your Marriott elite status
You can see how this might also work for Amex offers targeting airlines or restaurants that participate in a dining rewards program.
Stacking a dining rewards program with a credit card bonus category is a great way for you to enhance your earning, but if you keep your eyes out, you might be able to triple- or even quadruple-dip to earn more points or miles. 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 start to climb.
Featured photo by Stella Kalinina / Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees