The focus of this website has always been on those of you that don't travel often enough to really rack up points and miles, which is why I put so much emphasis on credit cards and other tricks.
That's why I emphasized my last post about using online shopping portals to make purchases so much. Picking up an extra 200, 500, 1000 points here and there is the equivalent of an extra flight that you don't have to make to earn those points.
In this post I will give you another one of those shortcuts: Dining Programs.
Just like shopping portals, most loyalty programs have a Dining Program that works almost the same way, but actually even easier.
What Are Dining Programs?
Restaurants sign up with these dining programs to draw patrons that wouldn't otherwise dine there. Loyalty programs sign up with these dining portals to receive a kick back from each customer that visits a participating restaurant.
How Do I Get Miles From Them?
All you have to do is create an account with your preferred program, enter your credit card number that you want to use (make sure it's one that will maximize your dining purchases!) and that's it! Not every restaurant participates, so you will want to search your zip code to see which restaurants will earn your miles. When you dine at a participating restaurant you will earn between 1-5 miles per dollar on top of what you're already earning. This is an incredibly easy, cost-free way to earn bonus miles.
Make sure you have all of your credit cards linked to your account. You can only have one account active, meaning you can't sign up for American and Southwest's dining portal and earn double miles. Make sure you know which one you want to use before you get started.