Gordon Gecko, the fictional corporate raider from the 1987 movie Wall Street, famously declared “Lunch is for wimps”. That may be true, but this wimp just scored a 1,500 MileagePlus™ points bonus at lunch today simply by using my credit card. Ok..Ok..I had to spring for lunch to meet the $30 minimum spend requirement for the mileage bonus, but it was my turn to buy anyway. All I had to do to qualify for the mileage bonus was sign up for the MileagePlus Dining™ program online (and agree to accept emails from that program) and register my credit cards.
The MileagePlus Dining Program for United Airlines Fans
The MileagePlus Dining program’s initial use bonus is 1,500 miles if you make a qualifying purchase of $30 or more within the first 30 days of joining the program. Just remember to fill out the online survey you will receive following that first purchase. After you claim your initial bonus, you will get 3 MileagePlus™ miles for every dollar spent at a qualifying restaurant (5 miles per dollar after you have 12 or more transactions in a calendar year). Some restaurants have restrictions on when they award mileage (for example, many restaurants don’t pay mileage bonuses on weekends). The very well laid out MileagePlus Dining search tool clearly sets forth any restrictions.
Don’t worry, if you’re an American Airlines fan you have a dining program of your own—AAdvantage Dining™. Both dining programs are run by the Rewards Network™ so you will notice a substantial overlap in the restaurants that participate in both programs. The AAdvantage Dining program has a 2,000 point bonus but American is a little less straight forward in awarding the bonus. You get a 1,000 AAdvantage™ miles bonus for your first qualifying ($30 or more) purchase within the first 30 days of signing up for the program. You will get an additional 500 miles for the next two qualifying ($30 or more) purchases within the same 30 day period. Remember, you must complete the online survey to get the bonus miles. After that initial bonus, you will get 3 points per dollar spent at qualifying restaurants (5 dollars per mile after 12 or more transactions in a calendar year). Just like the MileagePlus Dining program, some restaurants have restrictions on the days when they award mileage. The AAdvantage Dining program also has a very good search tool that clearly sets forth those restrictions.
You can join both programs if you want to earn miles on both programs. Just register different credit cards for each program–you can’t double dip.
Why Should You Join MileagePlus Dining Program and/or AAdvantage Dining?
Actually, the question really isn’t “Why” you should join MileagePlus Dining and/or AAdvantage Dining. The question is why not. The programs are free, you may get a nice little mileage bonus for your first qualifying meal in each program and all you have to do is sign up and register your credit cards. The rest is done for you automatically. To quote Senator John Blutarsky of Animal House fame—“Don’t cost nothing”.