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!
Today I’ll walk 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
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.
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 a 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
|Loyalty Program||Credit Card|
|Starwood Preferred Guest Loyalty Program||Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express|
|Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express|
American Airlines AAdvantage Credit Cards
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!