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Year’s end is peak season for dining miles promotions

Miles-for-dining continues to represent one of the most lucrative source of nontravel frequent flyer miles. And when those miles are multiplied by limited-time promotional offers, the earning opportunities get better still.

Through the end of the year, most major programs have special dining offers in place, as follows:

Members of Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan can earn elite status in Mileage Plan Dining (which is separate from elite status in Mileage Plan itself) by completing five or more qualified dines of at least $20 (including tax and tip) through December 31, 2006. (Elite dining members earn five miles per $1 spent at participating restaurants, plus an extra five miles through 2007, for a total of 10 miles per $1 spent.)

American is offering AAdvantage members a slightly different “fast track to elite” opportunity: spend $250 or more (including tax and tip) in qualified dines through December 31, 2006, to earn elite dining status through 2007. In addition, members earn 1,000 AAdvantage bonus miles if they reach elite dining status during this special promotion.

Members of Continental’s OnePass program who have not already done so can earn a 1,000-mile bonus by setting up an online OnePass Dining ID by December 31.

Delta’s offer is similar to Continental’s, except less generous: Members of SkyMiles Dining can earn 250 bonus miles for establishing an online ID for the first time through December 31.

At Northwest, it’s double miles-for-dining. WorldPerks members can earn double miles when dining at participating restaurants through November 30, spending $20 or more each time. Bonus may be earned up to 12 times during the promotion period.

And United Mileage Plus members can earn elite status in Mileage Plus Dining through 2007 by completing four or more qualified dines of at least $25 through December 31, 2006.

All of the above require registration.

Bon appetit!

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