If you’re taking your point whoring to a new level, dining programs are the way to go! This guide is to help you get to your VIP status faster and start earning points to the maximum amount for this year and the following. They may take some special maneuvering but once you get the hang of it you could be VIP in no time at all!
Dining programs work exactly like this: Sign up for an account with any partner within the Rewards Network. Then register any of your credit or debit cards and dine at one of the thousands of restaurants in their network to receive up to 8 points per dollar spent.
ACCOUNT SET UP
Here are a couple tips before you start your account:
- The rewards network is based off of one system, so each new rewards program that you register for, NEEDS to be a separate login for each. So pick a unique username for each account and go crazy.
- Unless you eat out everyday and you spend an average of $30, apply for an account one at a time. Reason being is that each program typically has a “First Bite Bonus” these bonuses are to get you to start using the program immediately. You must spend $30 within the first 30 days of opening an account but they’ll award you sometimes even thousands of points for dining at places that you usually frequent.
- Figure out your attack plan. If you are looking to capitalize on American AAdvantage miles, then start with their program first and capitalize on earning status and VIP there first.
When registering your card, you can use any credit card or debit card they don’t even have to be your own. The only caveat to this is that you can only use ONE card per rewards network program at a time. For example: My American Express Delta Gold card can be registered to ANY of the dining programs: United, Delta, Hilton, Alaskan, etc. but you can only link it to one program. You can switch it to a different one, but you can’t have one card on two dining programs. Reason being is that you can’t ear two sets of points from one card’s transaction.
You can also add as many cards as you want to one account, so long as they aren’t attached to another account. When I say they aren’t attached to another account, that means yours, as well as another person’s account. The reason why I say this is because I attached a credit card that was on my husband’s account on to my account and our accounts merged. That took a good 2 weeks to undo and all the dines weren’t counted toward anything, so that sucked. Save yourself the trouble!
If you are working on your VIP status then you will be earning points in 2 different amounts: 0.5pt/ $ – this is if you opt out of their marketing emails and 1-3pts/$ if you do. I hardly get any emails and they aren’t terrible, but if you really can’t stand it, just create a throw away email that just receives all that content. But take note, that if you are trying to get bonuses like your “first bite” bonus, you will be prompted to fill out a survey for qualifying dines and they’re time sensitive. So just be mindful of that.
VIP status gets you 5pts/$ but you have to work towards it. Typically you have to frequent any of the restaurants that are within the network approximately 10-12 times. Although there are specials that are targeted based on your account where you can earn VIP status if you dine 6 times or something like that, but I haven’t been targeted for those.
So before I get into how to blaze through and get your VIP status to get the maximum number of points per mile, I’ll go over a few things.
- Dine – You’ll see this a lot on the site, this means $1.00 needs to be spent in order for a transaction to qualify it as a “dine”.
- Points are accumulated based on the total bill, including tax AND tip.
- Dining at a restaurant in the network can only be counted once per day per card.
- All restaurants are within the same network, so no matter what portal you search under all restaurants are the same.
So now that I’ve gone over all the rules and guidelines, this to me is by far the best game plan for getting VIP. If I were you, I would choose one program to start then register all your cards on that one program. Then purchase an item and charge $1.00 to each card. Theoretically you could get to VIP in a day, if you had the cards to do so. I’ve used this method to get VIP on a few accounts and has worked well for me.
The best way to capitalize on these points are finding ways to earn points whenever you can. If you have a happy hour, try suggesting a place that’s within the network. Or if you happen to work at one of these establishments then if someone pays cash and tells you to “keep the change” then just swipe your credit card up to $1000 a month per restaurant.
I hope this finds you well, you should be taking advantage of every dollar to turn it into a new destination. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them at the bottom!
Stay Healthy & Safe Travels,