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One of the ways I periodically earn airline miles is via the various airline dining programs. All you have to do to use the dining programs is sign up, link your credit card number, and then eat out as normal to potentially earn bonus miles every time you visit a participating restaurant with your registered credit card. I don’t earn as many miles this way as I used to since the restaurants I seem to frequent seem to less frequently be program participants than in the past, but that doesn’t mean the program isn’t useful. A quick search showed there are hundreds of restaurants in NYC alone, so there should be something for most everyone out there.
However, even if you don’t frequent the participating restaurants on an ongoing basis, it can still be worth it to purposefully dine at an eligible restaurant at least once to get the new member bonus that is currently up to 3,000 bonus United miles via the MileagePlus Dining program.
Those who are new to MileagePlus Dining and have not yet created a web login and registered a credit and/or debit card, can earn up to 3,000 bonus United miles by November 30, 2017, via a tiered bonus within the first 30 days of joining.
The first 1,500 bonus United miles require you to join MileagePlus dining and spend $25+ (tax and tip count) on your registered credit card at a participating restaurant. To earn the subsequent 1,500 bonus miles on this offer, you must dine at any participating restaurant, bar, or club, and spend at least $1 on your check, for up to 3 qualifying visits, for a total of 1,500 additional miles. All qualifying visits must occur within your first 30 days of MileagePlus Dining membership. Limit one bonus-qualifying visit per restaurant per day.
This means that theoretically for a total of $28 in dining expenses you could earn 3,000 bonus United miles with a $25 dine and then three additional $1+ dines in the first 30 days (just buy a Coke). In reality it will probably cost you a little more than that since at most restaurants $1 soft drinks aren’t even all that common any more, but you get the idea.
Of course you will want to register a credit card that earns a bonus at restaurants like the Chase Freedom with its 2017 3rd Quarter 5x payout at restaurants or the Sapphire Reserve and its ongoing 3x points at restaurants.
Are the airline dining programs a part of your miles and points strategy?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.