How To Use American AAdvantage Dining to Earn More Miles

America Airlines AAdvantage Dining Program

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There are some cheap and easy ways to earn additional frequent flyer miles that you probably don’t know about. One of the best ones is through airline and hotel dining programs!

This article walks you through American Airlines’ AAdvantage Dining program by explaining how it works and what types of bonuses you can earn.

How To Join/Log in & Basics of Using Program

American Airlines AAdvantage Dining Program
You’ll need to create a login and provide a little more information to complete your enrollment for the AA dining program.

AAdvantage Dining requires that you enter some basic information about yourself in order to join the program (name, email, and zip code). On the next page, you’ll set up a username, choose a password, and enter your AAdvantage number and address.

American Airlines AAdvantage Dining Program Sign Up
You’ll need to create a login and provide a little more information to complete your enrollment for the AA dining program.

You will also need to link a credit card to your profile when you join, but don’t worry…this card won’t be charged for anything! Using the linked card at participating restaurants is how you earn bonus points.

Whenever you shop at an applicable restaurant with your linked credit card, you’ll earn bonus points based on the cost of your meal, including tax and tip! You don’t have to do anything after eating to earn the bonus.

Different membership tiers earn different amounts of bonus miles. You’ll earn 5 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent as a VIP member, 3 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent as an online member, and 1 AAdvantage mile per dollar spent as a member.

In order to be promoted from a member to an online member, you only need to opt in to receive emails. To be upgraded to a VIP member, you need to have at least 12 transactions in the program within a calendar year.

Intro Bonuses

American Airlines AAdvantage Dining Program Bonus Offer
American’s standard intro bonus is 1,000 miles after completing a couple requirements.

Sometimes it’s possible to earn an introductory sign-up bonus when you join AAdvantage Dining. These vary from time to time, but will usually require completing certain tasks.

The bonus available at the time of writing is 1,000 extra AAdvantage miles after visiting a participating restaurant and spending at least $25 within 30 days of joining the program. You would also need to review your experience within 30 days to earn the bonus miles.

This is the typical introductory bonus for AA Dining, but it may go higher on rare occasions.

Example Restaurants

As mentioned above, you’ll earn the same ratio of bonus miles to dollars spent wherever you dine, as long as the restaurant you choose participates in the program. The number of miles earned only depends on your membership level.

We’re only mentioning a few example restaurants here because available restaurants are different depending on which city you’re dining in… they can very widely and may have hundreds of different options.

When I searched for restaurants near Miami, FL, the dining portal listed 305 participating restaurants within 30 miles. Most restaurants were smaller local establishments rather than chains.

American Airlines AAdvantage Dining Program Restaurant Search
A few restaurant options near Miami, FL where you can earn bonus AAdvantage miles through dining.

In addition to local restaurants, there were a few chain options. It’s important to note each restaurant’s address since not all locations of a chain will be participating!

Using Credit Cards To Earn Extra Points

The miles you earn through AA Dining are in addition to any credit card points you will earn by paying for your meal.

If you are mainly interested in American Airlines miles, you should consider getting an AAdvantage credit card to earn American Airlines miles directly.

Below I have listed the credit cards that earn American Airlines miles. Note that most of these typically come with a sign-up bonus, but they do have an annual fee. However, the benefits usually outweigh the costs if you use them smartly!

You could also look at other credit cards that offer dining as a bonus category if you’d like to earn points/miles outside of the AAdvantage program.

American Airlines AAdvantage Credit Cards

Need more? We’ve covered AA credit cards extensively, uncovering the major differences between all the cards.

Marriott-SPG Credit Cards

You can earn Marriott points and transfer those to American Airlines at a transfer rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott points that you transfer, you’ll receive an extra 5,000 Aadvantage miles bonus.

Recommended Marriott-SPG Cards

Final Thoughts

By joining American Airlines’ AAdvantage Dining program and linking a credit card or 2, you can easily increase the number of miles you are earning in a fast, easy, and convenient way. It’s possible to earn 100k miles in just a few months if you’re disciplined!

Once you’ve got the 100K AAdvantage miles, you should definitely read up on the best ways to use them! 

Even more, you could use the AAdvantage shopping program to really maximize rewards.

Try to use the dining portal with a credit card that earns a category bonus on restaurants or a card that earns American Airlines miles so you can book your next award reservation using AA miles even sooner!

FAQ

Is there a limit to the number of miles I can earn through AAdvantage Dining?

No, there is no limit to the number of AAdvantage miles that you can earn.

How many points can I earn?

You can earn up to 5 bonus AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on your dining purchases at participating restaurants. You will earn bonus miles for the tax and tip portion of your meal, too!

Do miles earned through AA Dining count toward status?

Unfortunately miles earned will not count toward status. You will only earn redeemable miles that can be used for award tickets.

Do I need to save my receipt and submit it to earn miles?

No. After you link your credit card to your profile, mileage earning will be automatic so you don’t need to save your receipt.

When will AAdvantage miles be added to my account after dining?

Miles will be added to your account as soon as the transaction is registered by the restaurant. This usually happens within 5 days. These miles will be available for redemption in your AAdvantage mileage account within 6 to 8 weeks of dining.

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10 comments

  1. David Barlin · January 23, 2018 · Reply

    Would like to use my 40,000 points for a restaurant in the Ft. Lauderdale / Miami area. Alternative is a Hotel Sanford / Orlando or Lorton Va. Please reply as soon as possible, I am leaving later this week from NJ. Thank you. D.Barlin

  2. Nancy Fatum · February 23, 2018 · Reply

    We have a grandson’s wedding to attend in N. PA. I have 15,535 AAdvantage Dining Miles and my husband has 79,035. Could we use them to purchase r/t tickets there and back to AZ? Please advise soon so we may book. Thank you.

    • I’m not sure where you’re departing from, but that’s a lot of points for a domestic flight so you should have more than enough. Head to AA.com and search for award flights for your route and you should quickly see whether it’s doable or not. I suspect it is though 🙂

  3. Mara Sultan · September 26, 2018 · Reply

    I am trying to go from PHL to Orlando in Jan 2019 and I am 4,100 miles short. Is it best to the buy the miles or is there another way? I have 45,000 miles currently. Thank you!

    • Christine Krzyszton · September 26, 2018 · Reply

      Hi Mara. Fortunately the route from PHL to Orlando is an inexpensive route for which to purchase an airline ticket. Looking at January 16-23, for example, the fares are $103 to $159 round trip. It would not be good value to use nearly 50,000 miles to secure an award ticket. Also, to purchase 5000 American miles (the miles must be purchased in lots of 1000), it would cost $147.50 plus a $35 transaction fee so that is not a cost-effective option either. Here is an example of inexpensive flights between PHL and MCO. https://www.google.com/flights#flt=PHL.MCO.2019-01-16*MCO.PHL.2019-01-23;c:USD;e:1;so:1;sd:1;t:f

  4. Do you know if you are required to use your own credit card when signing up for a dining program? The reason I ask is, I am trying to figure out a way to effortlessly keep my kid’s mileage from expiring. He is too young to open a rewards credit card, so I am thinking that if I can sign up for American Airlines dining, but use my credit card, at least his AAdvantage account will maintain some minimum activity so that his miles won’t expire. Thoughts?

    • Stephen Au · October 8, 2018 · Reply

      Hey Samuel,

      Your child will have to use a credit card with his name on it at all establishments. If they check ID, they may deny him from using your credit card. We suggest adding him as an authorized user and signing up for the dining program with the new card.

  5. Jamie Young · November 6, 2018 · Reply

    Does the VIP status roll over from one year to the next if you have your 12 qualified visits by the end of the year? Or do you have to start over getting the 12 to achieve VIP again for the next year?

    • Christine Krzyszton · November 7, 2018 · Reply

      Hi Jamie! According to the AAdvantage Dining Program rules, there are two requirements for VIP status 1)”You elect to receive emails from the AAdvantage Dining program and provide a valid, deliverable email address.” 2)”You have already completed 11 qualified transactions* in the calendar year. (Members start earning at the VIP level on their 12th qualified transaction.)” So, it appears you receive VIP status once you complete your 12th qualified transaction each calendar year. You can access all of the details of the program here: https://aa.rewardsnetwork.com/howitworks.htm

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