Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Serving Up Frequent Flyer Miles at Restaurants Near You

By Mike Grasso

What's better than a delicious dinner? A delicious dessert. What's even better than a delicious dessert? Knowing you can earn a plateful of frequent flyer miles for eating both dinner and dessert at some of your favorite restaurants. Here's how it works:

First, continue to use any reward-earning credit card (e.g., airline, hotel, cash back) as you normally would. You will still receive your regular incentive for the card usage.

Second, register for your airlines' Dining Rewards Network program; all the major U.S Carriers have one, each with a unique name. United Airlines, for example, is named Mileage Plus Dining, while American Airlines uses, AAdvantage Dining. For others, look at the air carriers website in the "earning miles" section.

During the registration process, you will be asked to enter the numbers of all your credit cards you want included in the program. There is no cost to register these. Then, once you dine at a participating restaurant, you will earn between 3 and 10 miles per dollar spent. A $90 dine, for instance, would earn up to 900 frequent flyer miles, which usually post to your airline account a few weeks later. The earning of miles is automatic, and the restaurant has no idea you are participating in the program. And, as mentioned above, you continue to earn any existing perks your credit card offers.

Food options range from neighborhood Bistro's to upscale dining. Some restaurants you may already dine at, others are treasures waiting to be found. A few, you might consider passing on. Restaurants throughout the United States and Canada participate. In fact, a few times while out of town I realized after-the-fact I was dining at a participating restaurant when the bonus miles appeared on my mileage statement.

So head on over to register for your airline's dining rewards program today and start earning bonus miles the easy way.

Bonus: For United Airlines customers, the link above directs you to earn 750 miles for registering for the Mileage Plus Dining program.