Today, I’m double checking our hotel reservations for San Francisco 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:

  • Hilton Honors Dining –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.
  • Priority Club Dining -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.

United will also allow you to earn 60 miles from booking online reservations.  I am not aware that the other programs have this feature.  I haven’t used all of them though.  So be sure to check.  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 bec
ause 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 Hilton Honors program because I need to build up Hilton Honors points.  These dining programs are a good way top off loyalty accounts or keep accounts active.  
Below you can see an example of United’s reservation system where you can book online reservations.

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.  The restaurant I was going to book today did not participate in the Hilton Honors dining program so I made my reservation through Open Table.

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.  Grab yours!!!

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