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How to Eat Meals and Earn Miles

How to Eat Meals and Earn Miles

Million Mile SecretsHow to Eat Meals and Earn MilesMillion Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Next time you’re out to eat, finish all your food and don’t leave any miles on the table!

Here’s how:

  • Sign-up for the free Rewards Network
  • Enter your credit card information
  • Automatically get miles in your frequent flyer account when using your card at 1 of their ~10,000 restaurants, bars, and clubs
How To Eat Meals And Earn Miles
After a Big Meal We’re 1 Step Closer to Our Next Trip (and a Nap!)

How It Works

Link:  Rewards Network

Go to Rewards Network and choose your favorite participating airline.

How To Eat Meals And Earn Miles
Connect Your Credit Card With an Airline to Earn Miles

Now enter your credit card information with that airline’s program.

Every time you use your card at 1 of the eateries in the network, you’ll earn up to 5 miles for every $1 you spend.  

You earn miles on your food, drinks, tax, and tip.

Eat All You Want but Don’t Get Greedy

You can only register a credit card with ONE airline dining program at a time.  I usually register my Chase Sapphire Preferred because it earns 2X miles on travel and dining.

So for example, your registered Chase Sapphire Preferred card will earn you American Airlines miles OR United Airlines miles but NOT both.

For example, if you register your Sapphire Preferred with the American Airlines dining program, but after a week also register it with the United Airlines dining program, you will only earn miles with the last registered program (United Airlines in this example).

How To Eat Meals And Earn Miles
Your Credit Card Earns Miles With 1 Frequent Flyer Program – Sorry, No Seconds!

But you’re free to register a different card, such as your Chase Freedom or American Express Platinum, with another airline’s program.

I prefer to link all my cards to 1 airline for the greatest impact.

Airline Dining Programs

1.   Alaska Airlines

Link:   Mileage Plan Dining

How To Eat Meals And Earn Miles

You’ll earn:

  • 1 mile per $2 spent (if you don’t opt-in to receive emails)
  • 3 miles per $1 spent (if you opt-in for emails)
  • 5 miles per $1 spent (after 12 dines a year and you opt-in for emails)

2.   American Airlines

Link:   AAdvantage Dining

How To Eat Meals And Earn Miles

You’ll earn:

  • 1 mile per $1 spent (if you don’t opt-in to receive emails)
  • 3 miles per $1 spent (if you opt-in for emails)
  • 5 miles per $1 spent (after 12 dines a year and you opt-in for emails)

3.   Delta Airlines

Link:   SkyMiles Dining

How To Eat Meals And Earn Miles

You’ll earn:

  • 1 mile per $2 spent (if you don’t opt-in to receive emails)
  • 3 miles per $1 spent (if you opt-in for emails)
  • 5 miles per $1 spent (after 12 dines a year and you opt-in for emails)

4.   Southwest Airlines

Link:   Rapid Rewards Dining

How To Eat Meals And Earn Miles

You’ll earn the following points:

You earn 300 bonus miles after spending $25 in 1 visit in the first 30 days of enrolling and completing a short restaurant review within 30 days of your dine.

5.   United Airlines

Link:   MileagePlus Dining

How To Eat Meals And Earn Miles

You’ll earn:

  • 1 mile per $2 spent (if you don’t opt-in to receive emails)
  • 3 miles per $1 spent (if you opt-in for emails)
  • 5 miles per $1 spent (after 12 dines a year and you opt-in for emails)

You get 1,000 bonus miles after paying a single $30 tab within 30 days of signing-up and completing a short review.

Food for Thought

Credit card sign-up bonuses are the fastest way to Big Travel with Small Money but I like to collect every mile along the way – especially when it’s easy!

I probably wouldn’t choose a restaurant just because it earns miles.  But I look at it as getting miles for doing something I’d do anyway.  Okay, I’ll confess.  Many years ago, when I was a business traveler, I would seek out restaurants in strange cities just because they participated in the dining program.

Those restaurants weren’t always the restaurants with the tastiest food, and were sometimes out of the way.  So I soon stopped doing that.  But it is nice to go to a restaurant and to later find out that I earned miles for eating at the restaurant!

There are bars and clubs in the program, so a night out can earn you miles, too.

Just about every type of restaurant is represented.  Here in Austin, I can earn miles at Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse, the Thirsty Nickel, and Jack in the Box.  Instead of Jack in the Box, I’d prefer if it were Chick-fil-A!

How To Eat Meals And Earn Miles
I Like Trying New Restaurants So I’ll Treat Emily to Chicken Kiev

Rewards Network allows you to search any city for participating restaurants etc.  Based on the 100+ strong reviews, I might try Russian House Nazdorovye.  (Not all the reviews for every place are positive.  I’m looking at you, Jack in the Box!)

Earning points through Rewards Network keeps your airline’s frequent flyer account active.  Some programs take away all your miles if there’s no activity on your account!  Earning even a few miles will prevent the airlines from resetting your account to zero.

Bottom Line

You can earn up to 5 miles per $1 when you use your enrolled credit cards at participating restaurants and bars in Rewards Network.

I’ve signed-up because it’s a free and easy way to get extra miles.  And I was taught to finish all the miles on my plate!

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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If not Rewards Network site to register, where do I register? And you suggest getting an email address strictly for Rewards Network?

Do NOT go to the Rewards Network site to register. They will use your email address and bombard you with unsolicited emails that do not contain an option to unsubscribe.

Can I sign up for an Airline AND a hotel to earn rewards using the same credit card thru Rewards Network?

I read you can’t sign up for 2 airlines, so I chose United.

I entered the name, business, phone and email. I got a note that somebody from RN will contact you.

Do you need to have your own business to sign up for Rewards Network?

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