One of the easiest ways to earn points is by joining an airline’s dining program. It’s a simple, easy way to earn extra points for something that you already do! Yet, it’s often the case that people aren’t signed up for the programs.
Each of the airlines has a dining program that lets you earn miles for eating at certain restaurants around the country. Some of them include Delta, American, US Airways, and even Southwest. There aren’t a lot of restaurants in the program (at least that’s what I’ve observed), but it could be that your favorite restaurant is a participant. You can check to see which restaurants are in the program by searching on the airline program’s dining program website. For instance for Delta, you can go here and simply put your zip code into the search box.
After that, it will show you which restaurants are part of the program as well as which days they award points. For instance, if I put in my office’s zip code, I get 883 results within 30 miles of me.
While I certainly won’t be eating at all of them, there might be a few on that list that I visit. What makes these programs great is that once you sign up and register your credit card, you don’t have to do anything else. You’ll automatically get bonus miles whenever you eat at one of the participating restaurants.
It’s very easy to sign up for a new account and a lot of times you can get a bonus as well. For instance, you can get 1,000 US Airways bonus miles after spending $40 at a participating restaurant and writing a review. Once you sign up for an account, simply add all the credit cards you want. Whenever you use one of those cards at a participating restaurant, you’ll get bonus miles from the program. Keep in mind that you can’t register the same credit card with more than one dining program.
Each program has different levels of membership – similar to elite status with airlines and hotels. Each level earns a different number of miles per dollar spent. It’s easy to earn as many as 3 miles per dollar by simply electing to receive promotional emails. If you elect not to receive those emails, you can still earn at least 1 mile per two dollars spent! If you visit participating restaurants a total of 12 times in a year, you’ll be eligible to earn 5 miles per dollar! That’s some pretty significant earnings!
It really is as easy as that. I signed up a couple years ago and it’s always nice to get that email notification that I earned extra miles!
Do you participate in dining rewards programs?
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Annual Fee: $95 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The Sapphire Preferred offers 2x points on dining and travel, and no foreign transaction fees, making this the go-to card for travelers.
This card accumulates Ultimate Rewards points, which are very valuable for transfer to United and Hyatt. Overall, this card is a great choice for maximizing earnings on dining, travel, and every day spend.
- Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate RewardsSM
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees, plus Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.
- 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value — that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
- 24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
- Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95