How to Double Dip Points Earnings from Restaurant Purchases

As points addicts, we always want to maximize our purchases to earn the most miles and points possible. Today, I’ll show you how to “double dip” your restaurant purchases by earning points with your credit card and also earn additional points through a dining rewards program.

What is a dining rewards program?

Dining rewards programs are separate rewards programs from your credit card, that earn bonus miles and hotel points (also cash back, college savings, fuel points, and money for charity) for every dollar you spend at participating restaurants. Dining programs have partnerships with restaurants where you visit participating restaurants, provide a quick online review of your experience and then get rewarded for the money you spent. Since this is a points blog, I will focus on the airline and hotel programs but you can reward more about the other programs here.

Partipating Airlines and Hotels

Rewards Network operates great dining programs for many airlines and hotels. They also operate a cash back program and program to donate to charity. All you need to do is sign up for a program for a program and start earning points. The participating airlines are below along with the points you can earn per dollar:

Participating hotels are below along with the points you can earn per dollar:

  • Hilton, up to 8 points per dollar
  • IHG, up to 8 points per dollar

iDine is Rewards Network cash back program earning up to 15% back. eScrip is Rewards Network charity program where you can earn up to 5% of your bill for contributions to school groups or nonprofits.

The reason you keep seeing “earn up to” is due to their member levels. Each program differs just slightly but you will generally need to complete 10 dines in order obtain the highest level of rewards. You’ll still earn points before you hit the highest level but for example with American Airlines, I’m only earning 3 points per dollar for enrolling in their newsletter and being a new member.

Most dining programs will offer a new member bonus so keep a look out for them.

Conclusion

While these points won’t boost the number of points you have quickly, they do add up after a while. Roughly 11,000 restaurants participate in the Rewards Network so there are definitely plenty of restaurants to choose from. I’ve been surprised by visiting a restaurant I didn’t know what a Rewards Network member and having had bonus points come my way. The program has also allowed me to try several new restaurants I normally wouldn’t have tried. So sign up today! There is literally nothing to lose and it won’t take you but a few minutes to get your account up and running.

-Nick a.k.a. Points Tutor