Eat Your Way to Your Next Trip

Having a reward credit card can help you build your points/miles or cash for that next trip, or that something you normally wouldn’t buy. Being able to  utilize every free program to help you achieve those goals is important. Who would have thought,earning airline miles or hotel points is as easy as just dining out.

The Dining Reward Network does just that! The Dining Reward Network has a list of airlines or hotels that participate in this program.

Participating Programs
Participating Programs

These programs give you a certain number of miles per dollar you spend. Most have a sign up bonus after spending a minimum, around $30-$40, usually in the first month. If your credit card is co-branded or a bank point credit card to one of these programs, you can really earn a lot of miles! Using cards that offer rotating categories, like the Chase Freedom or DiscoverIt, can be better option, if the rotating category is restaurants! Always keep an eye out to make sure you’re earning the most back!

Currently, Southwest is my choice for my reward program. They are partners with Chase, so my Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2 Ultimate Reward points per dollar. I earn an extra 3 Southwest miles per dollar at participating restaurants. Making my total earnings 5 points per dollar!!

Current Sign-Up Bonus
Current Sign-Up Bonus

There are even bonuses when you review each restaurant you visit, or reach milestone points within the dining reward.

Possible Bonus Points!
Possible Southwest Bonus Points!

You are not required to have a rewards credit card to earn points or miles through the dining reward. But, you must register your cards to receive credit. I have all my credit cards registered, so I never miss out on possible rewards!

You can register as many cards as you want to a certain program, but you CAN NOT register one card for multiple programs. Your program of choice will change to the program you linked your card to most recently. If you do change programs, your time to reach that bonus will start. I’ve learned a hard lesson or two about that :-).

You can change programs if you decide too and you miles will not be lost or removed. If you are currently using Southwest to earn miles for a trip to the Bahamas and decide you want to take advantage of United Airlines Program, you can do that!

If we look at United Airlines, You will earn you 3 miles per dollar until you reach certain criteria, then you will earn 5 miles per dollar! Depending on your goals, that could be much better for you than any other program.

Earn up to 5 miles per dollar!!
Earn up to 5 miles per dollar!!

Periodically, some programs will offer larger bonuses if you eat at participating restaurants and spend a certain amount. Not to long ago, American Airlines offered up to 10,000 miles as a bonus if you reached their goals. Sometimes eating out to reach these goals is not an option or might not be feasible for some. You can purchase gift cards at participating restaurants and you WILL receive credit, if you plan to eat there in the future!

If you are visiting a new city, you can use their mobile app to find a restaurant and earn extra miles. Or you can even look in your own city and try a new restaurant you haven’t tried yet. Who knows, maybe one of these restaurants can be your next favorite place!  My wife and I found our favorite Mexican restaurant from the Dining Reward Network. In my experience, the dining reward app is usually convenient and user friendly, but occasionally be a little slow.

Here are a very small list of participating restaurants in Boston, Ma:

A new reason to try a new place!
A new reason to try a new place!

You can see some restaurants do not offer miles on certain days. That’s enough of a reason for me to try some other place, where I will earn extra miles!

Registering ALL of your cards for the dining rewards program is one of the easiest ways to earn extra rewards for activities you would be doing anyways. There is no reason you shouldn’t be part of one of these FREE programs (who doesn’t like free!).You should alway be trying to maximize your rewards and this is just one more way you can make travel less on your wallet.

What programs do you prefer more, airline or hotel? What’s the most miles you’ve earned at one time through the dining reward program?

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