Airline and hotels have dining programs where you can earn miles and points for eating out. All you have to do is sign up! Earning miles and points doesn’t get easier than this.
Earning Frequent Flyer Miles with DiningPrograms
You will typically earn 3x the miles and points per $1 spent to start. Once you get 10 dines in a calendar year (delivery counts!) and you’ll be elevated to VIP status and earn 5x the miles and points per $1 spent.
The airline and hotel loyalty programs that participate in a dining rewards program are:
Here’s how to sign up.
- Use your loyalty member number to sign up for that dining program. (If you don’t have a loyalty member number, just sign up. It’s free.)
- Create your account.
- Register 1 credit card and up to 5 within your account. A credit card can only be registered with 1 dining program at a time. You can also register a debit card if you don’t have a travel rewards credit card.
Frequently, dining programs offer sign-up bonuses for new customers. You can earn between 500-5,000 bonus miles and points just for signing up, completing 1 dine and submitting a quick follow-up survey emailed to you later. The miles and points you earn from dining are in addition to this sign-up bonus.
Here’s how it works.
You’ll earn miles and points every time you use your registered credit card(s) at a participating restaurant.
You do not need to do anything else. No need to tell your waiter/waitress. No need to do anything special with your bill. Simply, use the card to pay the restaurant bill and earn miles and points. The miles and points will be automatically deposited into your loyalty member account within a few weeks.
One important thing to note: You’ll want to double check you are, in fact, earning miles/points when you use an ordering service, like Seamless or GrubHub, for take-out and delivery. Most credit cards code these purchases as dining/restaurant. But, if you notice missing miles/points, call or order directly with the restaurant instead to make sure you’re earning.
Here’s how to find participating restaurants.
On the home page of every dining program website, there is a search field at the top to find participating restaurants near you. “Restaurants” is used broadly and can even include bars and clubs.
Want to maximize your miles and points earning?
Register a credit card that earns extra reward points for dining. A good card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which earns 2x the points for dining. Even better is the Chase Sapphire Reserve which earns 3x the points for dining.
Let’s say you’re a VIP earning 5x the miles and points per $1 spent with a particular dining program. You register the Chase Sapphire Reserve to the dining program where you’re a VIP and voila! You’ll earn 5x + 3x the miles and points, for a grand total of 8x the miles and points for each $1 spent on your meal.
That’s all there is to it!
Once you’re a member, keep an eye out for dining promotions sent to your inbox offering even more bonus miles and points for eating at your favorite restaurants! I once earned 10k United bonus miles from the MileagePlus dining program during a summer bonus period!
Earning award travel through a dining program is a simple way to make your travel goal a reality!
Interested in travel hacking? Take my FREE miles and points basics course!
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