Do you dine out fairly frequently? Grab to-go meals often? Prefer delivery to cooking?
If so, you could be earning bonus miles on your food indulgences simply by joining the Alaska Mileage Plan™ Dining program.
This post will walk you through everything you need to know so you can start racking up those extra Alaska miles! Plus, we’ll highlight the optimal credit cards to use for points that are basically icing on the cake (pun intended!).
Table of contents
How to Sign up and Log in
To earn rewards points for your dining purchases, you must join the Alaska Mileage Plan™ Dining program. This only takes a few quick minutes to complete.
If you’re already an Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ member but haven’t specifically signed up to the dining program, you’ll still need to fill out the forms to join. Make sure to use the same name and email that’s already associated with your Mileage Plan™ membership.
If you aren’t an Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ member, you’ll need to sign up (1 basic form), since you must enter your Mileage Plan Membership™ number on the dining plan forms to officially join.
Before the sign-up process is complete, Alaska will ask you to provide a credit card to link to the program. Don’t worry—there’s no fee to join the program, and you can edit or link more cards later.
Be sure to check out the section below on which credit cards to link to maximize your earnings!
Lastly, if you’re already a Mileage Plan Dining member and you simply want to peruse restaurants that will earn you points, just click “Log In!”
Basics of Using the Program
Within the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ Dining program, there are 3 separate membership tiers.
Customers earn a different amount of points when dining depending on which tier they fall into. Some tiers even offer certain additional benefits.
You can see that standard members only earn 1 mile per $2 spent.
To bump up to Online Member status, simply sign up to receive emails from Mileage Plan™ Dining. At Online Member status, you’ll receive 3 miles per $1 spent on all qualifying purchases.
To become a VIP Member, customers must not only elect to receive emails, but also complete 12+ qualifying dining transactions in 1 calendar year. At that time, you’ll begin receiving 5 miles per $1!
In order to earn your bonus miles when dining, the restaurant must be an Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ Dining restaurant.
You can easily search for listed restaurants on the Mileage Plan Dining website. Search by city, state, zip, or restaurant name.
Your results will be presented in a list view, or you can choose a map view that we find a little easier to sort. A number of details are listed for each restaurant, including neighborhood, member rating, average entree price, days of the week that rewards are applicable, and more.
Once you choose a participating restaurant and complete your dining experience, be sure to pay with any card that is registered/linked to your Mileage Plan Dining program.
You’ll earn bonus points based on your membership tier and the total cost of your meal, including tax and tip!
Each restaurant in the program will earn you the same ratio of points per dollar. Again, these points are dependent upon your membership tier.
How long before the miles appear in your account? Miles earned should appear in your Mileage Plan Dining account within 5 days of dining. However, it could take up to 6-8 weeks from the registered transaction before the miles earned appear in your overall Mileage Plan account.
At the time of writing this article, Alaska is offering a sign-up bonus of 1,000 extra miles when customers spend a minimum of $30 (in a single transaction) within the first 30 days after they sign up. You’ll need to pay with your linked card and complete an online review within the same 30-day period to get your bonus miles.
If you’re signing up and spending extra solely to earn points, this bonus is about equal to buying the miles outright. You can purchase 1,000 Mileage Plan miles for $27.50 (at the time of writing this article) without having the pesky task of writing a review.
However, if you’re dining out anyway and you enjoy a number of Alaska’s participating restaurants, it’s not a bad way to earn 1,000 extra miles!
The Mileage Plan Dining Program includes over 10,000 participating restaurants across the U.S. That’s quite a few options for you!
Most of the participating restaurants are smaller, local restaurants rather than chains, so the listed locations can vary quite a bit from city to city.
Remember, as previously mentioned, each restaurant earns the same ratio of points to the dollar (depending on your membership tier). So whether you spend $50 at a steakhouse or $50 on pizza, you’ll receive the same number of points.
Let’s take a look at San Diego as an example. There are 171 restaurants within 30 miles of the city center.
It’s worth noting that each city may have a vastly different number of participating restaurants. For example, when this piece was written, Seattle had 139 restaurants listed within 30 miles of the city center, while Phoenix had 252; but Las Vegas had just 87.
While most participating restaurants are local spots, be careful to note the address listed. Sometimes local chains appear, but not every restaurant of the same name may be participating in the Mileage Plan Dining program.
This basic principle is also applicable for the few regional/national chains available – make sure to check the address so you’re not left hanging without your bonus points!
Here are a couple of larger chains we recognized with locations listed in San Diego:
- Buca di Beppo
- Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse
- Jersey Mike’s Subs
- Which Which
- Firehouse Subs
Using Credit Cards to Earn Extra Points
There are only 4 credit card options to earn Alaska miles. Bank of America provides co-branded Alaska cards, and American Express provides co-branded Starwood Preferred Guest cards.
Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards
You can actually earn more Alaska miles through the Starwood cards thanks to the 5,000-mile bonus given when you transfer 20,000 SPG points.
This is our recommended way to earn the most Alaska miles possible!
|CREDIT CARD||CARD INFO|
|Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express|
|Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express|
Bank of America Alaska Airlines Cards
The Bank of America cards can earn Alaska miles directly, in case you want miles deposited straight into your Mileage Plan account when you use your card.
|Loyalty Program||Card Name|
|Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Frequent Flyer Program||Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card|
|Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Business Credit Card|
If you’re already spending your hard earned money on dining out, you might as well be benefitting from it!
With just a few extra clicks to sign up and a little bit of time spent searching restaurants, you could certainly stack up some bonus miles from the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Dining program.
Plus, if you use a credit card that earns category bonuses on dining, you’re really optimizing your spending!