United Mileage Plus Dining – get 3,000 bonus miles if you are lucky. I am not.

I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of airline dining programs. The main reason is that there are literally zero participating restaurants in my area where I would want to dine. So unless I wanted to eat somewhere locally simply for the sake of accruing bonus miles through a airline dining program (which would be ridiculous), the only time I earn points through one of these programs is when I am out of town.

However, I’m signed up for all of them. United Mileage Plus Dining, Rapid Rewards Dining, AAdvantage Dining, SkyMiles Dining…maybe more. Are there more? Maybe less. The point is, I can’t keep track.

So this is not a post about how great dining programs are, because honestly they haven’t been of much use to me. HOWEVER, if you are not already signed up for the United dining program, this offer is definitely worth it. Even if you don’t have participating restaurants in your area and you can’t keep track of your account.

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Just make sure that you sign up through the official link!! I somehow made the mistake of just randomly signing up, and I missed out on all of the extra miles I could have received. (Grrr…)

On a side note: who are these people?? Seriously, I earned a grand total of 368 miles this year with the United dining program…

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Maybe one of my goals for 2014 should be to turbocharge my dining programs. I just know I am leaving thousands of miles on the table. If anyone out there is a Top Diner and would like to give me some tips, I would really appreciate it.

What do you think about Dining programs? Have you earned gazillions of miles with them this year?

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Comments

  1. These top diners just happened to have large catering orders at participating restaurants.

  2. Yes, I sign up for all of them. However, I only do it for the initial bonus and then ignore them. Unlike you I do have options, but they’re pretty limited and I have to go a little out of my way. But I travel a lot and am happy to pick one restaurant rather than another for a few thousand miles.

    1) Use something like LastPass to keep track of all your logins. You’ll need it.
    2) Create an account (or two or three) on hotmail.com. It has an easy to use alias facility. You’ll want to have different aliases for each account. Doesn’t have to be complicated, something like deltablahblahblah@live.com for Delta Dining, aablahblahblah@live.com for AA, etc. When you create each alias it’ll by default suggest putting all emails for that alias in a different folder. Do that. You can also delete the alias once you’re done with the bonus.
    3) Use a different frequent flyer/hotel rewards number with each dining account. Use a different email. Use a different credit card.
    4) Make sure to track the stay and post your review to earn the bonus.

  3. Randy Petersen says:

    368 bonus miles from dining programs? I am totally willing to let you pick up the tab so you can earn more miles in 2014. I know … you being a lady and all that but I’m trying to be helpful and that seems the most logical way that you can earn more miles. Seriously, from trial I found that my favorite up-scale restaurant here in COS (the Blue Star) while not participating in the program, runs its credit card charges through one of owners other restaurants which did participate in the program and bonus man I am! There are about 5 local restaurants that I frequent or take guests to which participate in the program and it’s turned out to be a nice plus.

    The problem I’ve found is from fraudulent problems with merchants i spend money with, I probably go through 1-2 new credit card replacements a year per card and have found that I miss out on miles because I don’t always remember to register the new card number with iDine each time that happens.

    • Points Pixie says:

      Randy – I know, 368 is SUCH a pitiful number. I have to step up my game. I’m not kidding that it is a goal of mine for 2014!

  4. No Fly Zone says:

    I wonder if these “Fine Dining” programs are eligible for on-board food purchases. Oh, that food is soooo fine! Or at least priced that way.

    • Points Pixie says:

      No Fly Zone – Ha ha! Ironically, I don’t think on-board food purchases are linked to any dining programs.

  5. Just wondering how it works if you don’t have the united card to charge your meal on? Thanks!

    • Points Pixie says:

      Karen – Luckily you can sync any credit cards you want to the program! You don’t need a United card. When you sign up for the program, you input the card(s) you want to sync, and then when you use those cards at participating restaurants, you get miles.

  6. Now I’m worried about getting the “unofficial” link. Do you mean go through your site and it will be an official one? Sorry to be so dense.

    • Points Pixie says:

      Anne – I think my post wasn’t as clear as it could have been. What I meant was that you should make sure you go to United’s site and see an official link…a photo or banner that clearly tells you that you are signing up for the program.

  7. Does signing up for all the programs really make more sense than focusing on one or two? Even with the sign up bonuses, i think you really end up making more once you reach the VIP status and get the 5 miles per dollar, and that Wednesday email reminding you that you picked up some points last week.

    • Points Pixie says:

      Ivan – I’m sure you are right! Like I said, I know I’m not doing this the right way, and I need to change my ways. Thanks for the input.

  8. So I went to United.com and could find nothing that was listed as a “dining program”. I looked under travel products and special offers and everything else I could think of. Could somebody give this old lady a helping hand?

    Thanks

    • Never mind, I went to your latest post and got info that way. Although I’m on the information highway, sometimes I’m traveling in a horse and buddy. 🙁

  9. Yikes, that was supposed to be “horse and buggy.”

    See what I mean?

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