Up until several years ago, the miles-for-dining features of most major programs were a reliable source of substantial earnings. The dining-miles programs routinely awarded 10 miles per $1 spent at thousands of participating restaurants, and even more miles during occasional promotions.
Today, however, the maximum payout has fallen to five miles per $1, and promotions are few and far between. As a result, dining miles have become more of an afterthought than a core earning tactic for many mileage-earners.
In what could be interpreted as a hopeful sign for the revival of dining miles’ relevance, the programs of the five largest airlines are currently offering bonuses for signing up and participating in their dining-miles schemes:
- Sign up for miles-for-dining in the American AAdvantage Dining program by August 30, spend at least $30 on a qualifying dine within 30 days of joining, and post a review within 30 days of dining, to earn 2,000 bonus miles.
- Sign up for Delta SkyMiles Dining by December 31, spend at least $30 on a qualifying dine within 30 days of joining, and post a review within 30 days of dining, to earn 2,000 bonus miles.
- Sign up for Southwest’s Rapid Rewards Dining by June 8, spend at least $25 on a qualifying dine within 30 days of joining, and post a review within 30 days of dining, to earn 1,000 bonus points.
- Sign up for dining miles with United’s MileagePlus program and earn 500 bonus miles by creating an online profile by July 10. Then, complete up to five qualifying dines within 30 days to earn 500 miles per dine for up to 2,500 bonus miles.
- Sign up for miles-for-dining in the US Airways’ Dividend Miles Dining by July 13, spend at least $30 on a qualifying dine within 30 days of joining, and post a review within 30 days of dining, to earn 2,000 bonus miles.
The above bonuses only apply to new members of the applicable dining-miles programs.
Long term, the modest earning rate remains a disincentive to actively pursuing dining miles. But if you eat out regularly, there’s no reason not to earn those five miles per $1 when dining at participating restaurants. And the current crop of sign-up bonuses are easy and generous enough to get you started.
Reader Reality Check
Are you an active dining-miles earner? If not, why not?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.
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