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Four Ways to Bulk Up on Dining Miles

Four Ways to Bulk Up on Dining Miles

The days of ongoing lucrative dining-for-mile bonuses from most airline and hotel loyalty programs are gone.

In their place is an on-again-off-again grab-bag of bonuses, from a hodgepodge of suppliers, ranging in value from moderately noteworthy to eminently forgettable.

The most recent more-or-less industry-wide offer was five airlines offering various bonuses for newly enrolled dining-miles members, through December 31, 2010. Sign-up bonuses are nice for newbies, but they don’t move the needle for those who already include eating out among their regular mileage-earning routines.

Still, earning frequent flyer miles for dining out—something you’d presumably do even without the added incentive—is among the easiest of the many ways to bolster your loyalty program account balance. Earning the typical five miles per $1 spent at participating restaurants is a better payout than you get through most other program-affiliated companies. And there are the occasional worthwhile offers that make a decent deal a great one.

With that in mind, here are four current miles-for-dining promotions:

  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members can earn 1,000 bonus miles by completing three qualifying dines, totaling at least $20 each, by March 16. Registration is required.
  • American Airlines AAdvantage members can earn double miles for up to five dines through March 31 by registering for the promotion and filling out a review within 30 days of visiting the restaurant.
  • United Airlines Mileage Plus members can earn double miles for all dines through February 28 by registering for the promotion and filling out a review within 30 days of visiting the restaurant.
  • InterContinental Priority Club Rewards members can earn 1,000 bonus points for every $100 spent on qualifying dines through March 31, up to a maximum of 5,000 bonus points after spending $500. Registration is required.

Reader Reality Check

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  • deRuiter

    To take advantage of the United Airlines promotion, you can buy gift certificates before February 28, for restaurants where you will dine in the following months. This way you get the double miles bonus with the promotion now, and you eat when you want, after the promo is finished.

  • Charlotte C

    We use these promos mainly to keep miles alive.

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