How To Use American AAdvantage Dining to Earn More Miles [2018]

American 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 aadvantage dining sign up
Basic information is required to enroll in AAdvantage Dining.

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 aadvantage dining sign up 2
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 aadvantage dining intro bonus
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 257 participating restaurants within 30 miles. Most restaurants were smaller local establishments rather than chains.

american aadvantage dining example restaurants
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! Here are some examples of the chains I found:

  • Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse
  • Cold Stone Creamery
  • Denny’s

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.

You could also use an SPG card to earn Starwood Preferred Guest points that transfer at a 1:1 ratio to American Airlines. When you transfer 20,000 Starpoints, you get a 5,000 point bonus!

Below I have listed the credit cards that earn SPG Starpoints and 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.

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
💳 Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn up to $100 statement credit
  • Earn an additional $100 statement credit after making a purchase at a participating hotel during your first 6 months. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
💳 Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Not Sure?
> 45 Best Ways You Can Use SPG Points
  • Earn up to $200 statement credit
  • Up to 5x Starpoints® on eligible purchases.
  • Free Boingo Wi-Fi & Free Wi-Fi at SPG participating hotels. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

American Airlines AAdvantage Credit Cards

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on American Airlines purchases. Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases.
Annual Fee: $95 (Fee waived for the first 12 months)
Our Review
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
Annual Fee: $450.
Our Review
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications, car rental merchants and at gas stations.
Annual Fee: $95 (Fee waived for the first 12 months)
Our Review
Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard®1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on purchases.
Annual Fee: $50 (Fee waived for the first 12 months)
Our Review
AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard®Earn 2X miles on eligible American Airlines purchases
Annual Fee: $95

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

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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Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

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4 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 🙂

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