MILES & POINTS FOR DINING – DON’T FORGET TO DOUBLE DIP

Today, I’m double checking our hotel reservations for Boston and making some dinner reservations.  I’m doing my usual routine and I thought I should post about it.  One of the most important things I can always stress with travel is double check and triple check before you go.  I am an ultra planner and I am always careful in planning to catch all the details.  Trips go so smoothly for our family this way.  When you are traveling with children it makes life so easy when you don’t have to figure things out as you go because you’ve already planned them well.  You know what I mean if you have kiddos.

 
So I was making some dinner reservations and wanted write a little about how I go about earning a few extra points or cash back when I do.  If you aren’t aware about all the different program/airline dining programs, then you should be if you ever eat out.  We eat out often and I am register with American, United, Delta, Hilton and US Airways. I rotate the program I’m using often depending upon where I’m need some extra points.  Each program has a nice sign up bonus.  Here are the programs:
CURRENT BONUSES
AIRLINES

American AAdvantage Dining 


One Bite at a Time Bonus  

 1,000 miles for new members when you spend $30 or more on a single dine within the first 30 days and complete an online review.

 

BONUS: Earn 300 bonus miles every time you reach $100 dining and complete your reviews within 30 days 

Alaska Mileage Plan Dining  500 miles for new members when you spend $25 or more on a single dine within the first 30 days.
Delta Skymiles Dining 

 


One Bite at a Time Bonus 

1,200 miles for new members when you spend $25 or more on a single dine withing the first 30 days and complete an online review

BONUS: Earn 300 bonus miles every time you reach $100 dining and complete your reviews within 30 days 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining 300 miles for new members when you spend $25 or more on a single dine within the first 30 days and complete an online review.
United Mileage Plus Dining  1000 miles for new members when you spend $50 or more on a single dine within the first 30 days and complete an online review.Earn bonus miles for partner activity.  Promo runs till December 15, 2011. 500 miles for every 4 transactions which includes dining.
US Airways Dividend Miles Dining 1000 miles for new members when you spend $25 and 500 miles on the second $25 dine within the first 45 days and complete an online review.
OTHER LOYALTY PROGRAMS

Hilton Honors Dining


One Bite at a Time Bonus  
 

1000 points for new members when you spend $30 or more on a single dine within the first 30 days and complete an online review.

BONUS: Earn 300 bonus miles every time you reach $100 dining and complete your reviews within 30 days

Priority Club Dining

1,500 points for new members when you spend $25 or more on a single dine within the first 45 days and complete an online review.

 

Be sure to use your registered rewards card and you will have your double dip.  Miles from the dining program and miles from your registered rewards card.  You can enter all your cards into a program in case you use different ones at different times.  Keep in mind though that you can not enter the same credit card into another dining program because it remembers it and will dis-enroll you from the other program.  So you need to use one program at a time basically.  Currently I am using United’s program because I want United miles right now.  United also currently has a great dining bonus called, “10,000 Reasons to Party”.  If you register you can earn 1,000 bonus award miles each time you spend a combined total of $250 at participating restaurants and complete dining reviews within 30 days through December 31, 2012.  You can earn up to 10,000 miles. FYI:  This is a targeted offer. (Give it a try though as you may qualify)  My husband received this offer via email while I did not.  I tried to register through the link and it said I wasn’t eligible.  So I just registered my cards under his account.  The credit card name does not have to match the dining program’s enrolled name.  This is a nice feature for families.
 
So while on our East Coast trip I’ll be using my Chase Sapphire Preferred card (which of course earns me United miles by way of Ultimate Rewards points that transfer to United) and this card is registered for this United dining promotion.  If you have a business I would suggest registering your United MileagePlus Explorer card, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Plus Business card with this promotion and then using it for all company food/dining  purchases to max out the 10,000 mile bonus.  If you don’t have any of these cards, they are all great cards to have in your wallet.  You could also buy gift cards from restaurants that participate which you know you will use in 2013 for company events, meetings, etc. Just a thought!
 
Now if the restaurant your are trying to make a reservations at does not participate in the program you are currently using, here is where you can use a company called Open Table.  You can earn cash back and miles from your dining through this option.  
 
Open Table
How it works:
OpenTable members can earn Dining Rewards Points for online reservations they make and honor.These points can be redeemed for OpenTable Dining Cheques which can be used at any OpenTable restaurant. 
 
Reservations initiated on www.opentable.com typically earn 100 points, but 1000-point reservations are available at select restaurants and times. (Look for the “1,000pts” designation under certain reservation slots.) Points are awarded once OpenTable receives confirmation that diners were seated. No points are awarded for cancelations or no-shows. Please allow up to 48 hours after dining for points to appear in your account.  Once you’ve accumulated at least 2,000 Points, you can redeem them for OpenTable Dining Cheques in the following denominations:
  • 2,000 points = US$20 or Can$26 or £15
  • 5,000 points = US$50 or Can$65 or £37.50
  • 10,000 points = US$100 or Can$130 or £75
You must be an OpenTable member to earn and accumulate Dining Rewards Points. Be sure to sign up (it’s free) when you make your first reservation.
 
Hope this information is helpful to you.  I know our family dines out often and these points/miles really add up. Don’t leave any points on the table!!

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