Earn 8X – 10X Airline/Hotel Points for Dining Out Using Gift Cards

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One of the least discussed and utilized method of earning points these days is the Dining Rewards Network. This network partners with numerous airline/hotel rewards programs to reward members for simply dining out at restaurants you already eat at.  Most bloggers have discussed how to earn between 3X – 5X points using the Dining Rewards Program. After explaining a little bit more about the Dining Program, I’ll explain how you can earn up to 10X points per transaction using Gift Cards. I’ve been using this method to earn 10X United Mileage Plus Points per transaction.

The Dining Rewards Network allow you to earn dining points for the following programs:

Earning Partners

Earning Partners

Most bloggers have discussed how to earn between 3X – 5X points per dining transaction depending on your account type. To simply earn these rates you only need to:

  1. Create a Dining Rewards Network Account
  2. Select a rewards program to earn points/miles (you can only select one program per account)
  3. Link your credit OR debit cards that you use when dining out
  4. Opt-In to receive emails from the Dining Rewards Network
  5. Provide a valid email address to receive those emails

These 5 steps alone will earn you 3X points per dollar spent at any eligible restaurant with ANY credit or debit card you link.

Membership Earning Levels

Membership Earning Levels

For example, if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you already earn 2X Ultimate Rewards points for dining out. If you had linked your Sapphire card to your Dining Rewards Network account and selected United Mileage Plus as your rewards program to earn dining credit, you would earn 2X Ultimate Rewards Points and 3X United Mileage Plus Points per dollar spent.

After 12 qualified transactions in a calendar year, you automatically move up to a VIP Dining Rewards Member and begin earning 5X United Mileage Plus points per dining transaction.

If you spent $50 for dinner at an eligible restaurant, you would earn 100 Ultimate Rewards points and 250 United Mileage Plus points. Most people, like me, transfer their Chase Ultimate Rewards points to their United Mileage Plus program to redeem for premium international tickets. So just for spending $50 for dinner, which I was going to do anyways, now earns me 350 United Mileage Plus points.

But what most bloggers haven’t discussed is how you can also use Gift Cards branded by a credit card company, such as Visa, MasterCard or American Express and link them to your Dining Rewards Network as well. Using the right credit card at the right stores to purchase these Gift Cards can yield you up to 10X points for dining out!

The Chase Ink Bold card earns 5X points for all purchases at Office Supply stores. Most of these stores now limit Gift Cards to a $200 maximum value and assess a $5.95 fee to purchase these cards.

If you were to purchase a $200 Gift Card and link it to your Dining Rewards Network account would automatically earn you 1000 Ultimate Rewards Points. Dining out, after you have reached the VIP Dining Rewards level would earn you an additional 5X points for a total of 10X points.

Points Earned Using Credit Cards

Points Earned Using Credit Cards

Again, if you had spent $50 for dinner at an eligible restaurant, you would now earn 1000 Ultimate Rewards points and 250 United Mileage Plus Points.

Even with the $5.95 Gift Card fee, you are still only paying $0.297 per mile at Office Supply stores after using the entire $200 Gift Card on dining as a VIP.

For those of you without a Chase Ink Bold/Plus card can use the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card or any other card that earns bonus points for purchases at grocery stores and purchase Gift Cards with a $500 maximum value for the same $5.95 fee and pay only $0.17 cents per mile after using the entire $500 Gift Card on dining as a VIP.

Cents per Point

Cents per Point

Now this only makes sense if you have eligible restaurants nearby. If you live in a large metropolitan city, you should not have any problems. New York City has 872 eligible restaurants, Los Angeles has 466 eligible restaurants and Chicago has 315 restaurants nearby.

I’ve been using this method for quite some time and since I dine out quite often, and as a Dining Rewards Network VIP, I have been earning 10X United Mileage Plus points per transaction (5X Ultimate Rewards + 5X United Mileage Plus).

This is a great way to for beginners to start earning points for everyday spending because it doesn’t require a specific credit card or a particular store. But, if you are lucky enough to have a Chase Ink Bold/Plus card and live near an office supply store which sells credit card branded gift cards, then with a little bit of effort, you can earn 10X points for simply dining out!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @thriftytourist for real-time updates before I have a chance to write a post!

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