October 10, 2017
Earn Bonus Miles for Dining Out with Rewards Network

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The first step to maximize your miles and points earning strategy is to pay with credit cards which offer the most points on specific spending categories. For example, I’ll typically use my Chase Sapphire Reserve to pay at restaurants because it gets me 3X Ultimate Rewards points per $1. During the third quarter of 2017, I switched to paying with my Chase Freedom because it earned 5X Ultimate Reward points per $1 in Q3. Your miles and pints earning ability gets even better when you enroll your credit cards in Dining Rewards Networks, which offer up to 5X extra miles per $1!

Rewards Network partners with restaurants to help them fill vacant seats. Restaurants pay it a commission for referrals, and Rewards Network gives its members between 1X-5X miles per $1 spent, depending on the customer’s status with Rewards Network. Its notable partners include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest, Spirit, Delta, JetBlue, United, Hilton, and IHG. Here’s how it works:

First, select which partner you want to earn bonus miles with. Then register your credit card with that partner’s Dining Rewards page. After that, anytime you pay your bill at a participating restaurant with that registered credit card, Rewards Network will issue you between 1-5 bonus miles per $1 spent. Each partner’s page also offers a nifty search engine on the top left side that lets you find participating restaurants by location or name.

Various airline and hotel partners offer different tiers of multipliers. You can check each one by looking at their specific Rewards Network page, although they’re fairly similar. For example, here’s how United breaks it down:

  • Member: Everyone who registers is a member. You’ll earn 1X mile per $2 spent at eligible restaurants.
  • Online Member: Members who elect to receive emails from MileagePlus Dining and provide a valid, deliverable email address. You’ll earn 3X miles per $1 spent at eligible restaurants.
  • VIP Member: Online Members who have 12+ qualified transactions in the calendar year. You’ll earn 5X miles per $1 spent at eligible restaurants.

On top of all that, you can earn even more bonus miles when you first register! For example, you can earn 1,500 American Airlines miles when you spend $25 at a participating restaurant with 30 days of signing up, and an extra 500 miles on up to three of your next participating restaurant visits. If you do all that, you’ll get a total of 3,000 American Airlines miles. Each Rewards Network partner offers a similar tiered bonus for new registrants, but there are some variations so you should check the details.

This is an incredibly easy way to earn extra airline and hotel miles with minimal effort on your part. Just register your credit cards with the Rewards Network partner or partners of your choice, and forget about it. Whenever you happen to pay at a qualifying restaurant, you’ll see some extra miles show up in your account. There’s three important factors to know about.

First, you can’t register the same credit card to multiple partners. If the credit card is already linked to a program and you register it to a second program, it will automatically unregister from the first program. Second, you can register more than one credit card in each partner dining program. And finally, you can register different credit cards in different reward partners. That way you’ll always earn bonus points in some program regardless of which credit card you use.