Earn Extra Miles with Airline Dining Programs

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Woman looking at her phone in a restaurant

Did you know you can earn extra miles with airline dining programs? They’re free to join and often come with a sign-up bonus. Best of all, you can combine this with your credit card miles and points to get even closer to your next rewards redemption!

How does airline dining programs work?

People love collecting airline frequent flyer miles and these dining programs will definitely help you grow your balance faster.

Airline dining programs are free-to-join programs that allow you to earn airline miles for every dollar you spend at participating restaurants, cafes, and sandwich shops. By linking a credit card or debit card to one of these dining programs, you’ll automatically be rewarded if you get food from one of their partner establishments.

How many miles can I earn through these airline dining programs?

All of the programs have different tiers which I’ll go over in detail later. Typically, you’ll earn 1 to 3 miles per dollar spent as a basic member. Once you make 12 or more purchases a year, the dining programs will give you VIP status, which will boost your earnings rate to 5 miles per dollar spent.

It adds up pretty quickly! I work in the city and make it a point to find a place that is part of a dining program. Lunch usually runs around $10 and with my VIP status, that’s 50 miles a day, 250 miles a week, or over 1,000 miles a month. For free! And that’s just for lunch. If you go out for dinner a few times a month, that could potentially earning a couple thousand more!

Once you pay using a credit/debit card linked to the program, your rewards will automatically be credited to your airline frequent flyer account:

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Dining program rewards summary
I eat a lot of sushi…

Can I sign-up for every airline dining program and earn miles for all of them?

No, unfortunately. That’s because most of these dining programs are run by the same network. You can sign-up for all of them with a different credit card or debit card for each one, but you’ll obviously just earn with the card you spent money on.

However, you could combine one program on one network with another program on a different network.

Rewards Network is the company that manages the rewards for Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines.

Rewards Network banner logo

Mogl is the company that manages the rewards for Hawaiian Airlines and Virgin America. Mogl uses the back-end processor company Empyr (which also administers other programs like Yelp).

Empyr logo

So, if you want to add the same credit or debit card to say United Airlines and Virgin America since they’re on separate networks (United is on Rewards Network while Virgin America is on Mogl/Empyr).

Here’s something EVEN BETTER. Combine these card-linked programs with other programs that don’t link to your credit cards. That’s the easy way to double-dip! For instance, you can sign-up for Seated, which gives you 20%-40% back on your restaurant bill just for taking a picture of your receipt!

Airline Dining Programs

There are currently 9 dining programs associated with a major airline: Alaska Air, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, and Virgin America.

Below are the airline dining programs, an enrollment link (and sign-up bonus if one’s available), and a breakdown of their earnings structure:

Alaska Mileage Plan Dining

Sign-up Bonus: Earn 1,000 bonus miles when you spend $30 or more on one restaurant visit within 30 days.

Alaska Mileage Plan Dining program sign-up bonus
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent if you choose not to share your email address with Mileage Dining Plan.
  • Earn 3 miles per $1 spent if you request promotional emails and provide a valid email address.
  • Earn 5 miles per $1 spent if you request promotional emails, provide a valid email address and have 12 or more qualified transactions in a calendar year.

American Airlines AAdvantage Dining

Sign-up Bonus: Earn up to 1,000 bonus miles by spending $25 or more on three separate restaurant visits within 30 days.

American Airlines AAdvantage Plan Dining program sign-up bonus
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent if you have no online profile with AAdvantage Dining.
  • Earn 3 miles per $1 spent if you request promotional emails and provide a valid email address.
  • Earn 5 miles per $1 spent if you request promotional emails, provide a valid email address and have 12 or more qualified transactions in a calendar year.

Delta SkyMiles Dining

Sign-up Bonus: Earn up to 3,000 bonus miles by spending $30 or more at three separate restaurants within 30 days.

Delta Skymiles Dining program sign-up bonus
  • Earn 1 mile per $2 spent if you choose not to share your email address with SkyMiles Dining.
  • Earn 3 miles per $1 spent if you request promotional emails and provide a valid email address.
  • Earn 5 miles per $1 spent if you request promotional emails, provide a valid email address and have 12 or more qualified transactions in a calendar year.

Hawaiian Airlines Dining Rewards

Sign-up Bonus: None currently

Hawaiian Airlines dining program sign-up
  • Exchange $1 in cash back earned through Mogl for 40 HawaiianMiles.
  • Mogl is available in over 250 cities.

JetBlue TrueBlue Dining

Sign-up Bonus: None currently

JetBlue TrueBlue Dining program sign-up bonus
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent if you have True Blue Mosaic status.

Southwest Rapids Rewards Dining

Sign-up Bonus: Earn up to 1,000 bonus points by spending $25 or more at three separate restaurants within 30 days.

Southwest Rapids Rewards Dining program sign-up bonus
  • Earn 1 point per $2 spent if you choose not to share your email address with Rapid Rewards Dining.
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent if you sign up for email notifications.

Spirit Airlines Free Spirit Dining

Sign-up Bonus: Earn 1,000 bonus miles when you spend $30 or more at a single restaurant visit within 30 days.

Spirit Airlines Free Spirit Dining program sign-up bonus
  • Earn 1 mile per $2 spent if you choose not to share your email address with Free Spirit Dining.
  • Earn 3 miles per $1 spent if you request promotional emails and provide a valid email address.
  • Earn 5 miles per $1 spent if you request promotional emails, provide a valid email address and have 12 or more qualified transactions in a calendar year.

United MileagePlus Dining

Sign-up Bonus: Earn up to 2,500 bonus miles by spending $25 or more on four separate restaurant visits within 30 days.

United Airlines MileagePlus program sign-up bonus
  • Earn 1 mile per $2 spent if you choose not to share your email address with MileagePlus Dining.
  • Earn 3 miles per $1 spent if you request promotional emails and provide a valid email address.
  • Earn 5 miles per $1 spent if you request promotional emails, provide a valid email address and have 12 or more qualified transactions in a calendar year.

Virgin America Dining Rewards

Sign-up Bonus: None currently

Virgin America dining program sign-up
  • Exchange $1 in cash back earned through Mogl for 30 Elevate points.
  • Mogl is available in over 250 cities.

The Bottom Line

These airline dining programs are another great way to earn additional frequent flyer miles on your favorite airlines. Like I said earlier, they’re stackable with other programs like Seated and Groupon+. All of this is on top of your existing credit card rewards!

Hopefully you guys feel excited like me, because I love triple-stacking my way closer to a free flight redemption or other nice rewards!

2 COMMENTS

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