Alright, so you make sure you use the right credit card when you eat out, but what else can you do to earn points? In comes... Dining Rewards! Dining Rewards programs partner with popular airline and hotel miles programs to give you extra points when you dine at a sponsored restaurant. Restaurants partner with these programs to get extra exposure and advertising. In exchange, the dining programs give the consumer (you!) extra points when you dine.
Each program will allow you to search for restaurants in their program. Typically each program will give you about 3 points per $1 spent, which adds up! I tend to look at these as “gravy points”. I won’t plan my dining around it, but if I happen to get extra points then it’s great. I love getting emails saying that I ate at a Dining Rewards restaurant and got extra points!
An extra benefit is that these points will help your current stash of points from expiring. For example, you have some United miles that are about to expire. Simply, dine at a supported United restaurant and you’ll get points and you’ll keep your points from expiring!
You are able to sign up for multiple Dining Rewards programs, but note that if you’ll only able to be active on one account at a time. I’ll usually wait for a program to offer a sign up or first time user bonus before switching programs. When a program isn’t offering a bonus I stick to the Southwest program as my go to.
A typical bonus will go something like this: United MileagePlus is offering 1,500 miles for signing up and spending at least $25 on your first visit and 500 points for each of your next 3 visits if you spend at least $1. This totals 3,000 points for potentially dining like your normally do.
Here’s a full list of the Dining Rewards programs and bonuses available at time of writing:
Joining a Dining Rewards program is easy and a great way to increase your point totals and keep points from expiring!