How To Use United MileagePlus Dining to Earn More Miles

United MileagePlus Dining Program

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If you’re looking for tips on earning more frequent flyer miles, you’ve come to the right place! Earning enough to redeem for a ticket can be tough, but with United MileagePlus Dining you can get there faster.

Today we’ll walk you through United MileagePlus Dining program from Rewards Network so you can get on your way to earning more miles.

How To Join/Log in & Basics of Using the Program

United MileagePlus Dining Login
United MileagePlus Dining uses the same login information as your United frequent flyer account.

United’s dining program uses the same login information as your MileagePlus frequent flyer account. If you already have an account, all you need to do is log in to the dining portal using this info. You can also set up a new account if you don’t yet have one.

Once you are logged in, you should link a credit card that you typically use for your dining purchases. You won’t be charged anything, but you must link a card to earn bonus miles!

United MileagePlus Dining Register Credit Card
You need to link a credit card to your dining account so you can start automatically earning more miles.

You’ll earn extra points with United MileagePlus Dining by paying for your meal at a participating restaurant using your linked credit card. Bonus points are calculated on the total cost of your meal – including tax and tip!

You don’t even need to keep your receipt or register your meal. All of the tracking is done automatically; you just need to use the linked card.

United MileagePlus Dining Program Membership Chart

Depending on your membership level, it’s possible to earn up to 5 bonus points per dollar spent. You will earn 1x United mile as a base-level member, 3x by opting in to emails, and 5x for participating at least 12 times per year.

Intro Bonuses

United MileagePlus Dining Program Bonus Offers
United MileagePlus Dining Program Bonus November 2018. Image courtesy of

It is usually possible to earn bonus miles when you sign up for the dining program and meet specific requirements.

The current bonus available offers up to 2,500 United miles.

Within your first 30 days, you’ll earn 1,000 bonus miles for your first meal of $25 or more. You can also earn up to 500 extra bonus miles for each of your next 3 visits at participating restaurants with a minimum spend of $25 per visit.

Example Restaurants

The number of points earned doesn’t vary by restaurant, only by your membership level. You do need to make sure that the restaurant you plan to dine at is participating in the United MileagePlus Dining Program, however.

A search for participating restaurants near Salt Lake City, UT returned 47 options within 30 miles. Most of the restaurants listed are smaller local establishments rather than chains.

United MileagePlus Dining Restaurants Results List
There are many participating restaurants, but most of them are not chains.

In addition to local restaurants, there are a few chain options. Note that not all locations of a specific chain may be participating in the dining program, so check the website first. Some chains you might see include:

  • Buca di Beppo
  • Edible Arrangements

Using Credit Cards To Earn Extra Points

Points earned through MileagePlus Dining are added to any regular credit card points you earn paying for your meal.

If you are mainly interested in earning United miles, you should consider using a card that earns United miles directly or a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards. Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to United at a 1:1 ratio.

Below you’ll see a list of credit cards that earn both Ultimate Rewards and United miles.

Additionally, you should keep your eye out for credit cards that offer dining as a bonus category so you can cash in on even more points!

Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® - This is our favorite beginners travel rewards card, which is currently offering a 60,000 point bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Plus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2x points per $1 on travel and dining worldwide, eligible delivery services, take out and dining out, plus other travel benefits such as excellent travel insurance coverage and no foreign transaction fees.

The sign up bonus is worth $750 in travel purchases (flights, hotels, car rentals etc) when you redeem your points through Chase's travel portal, which works like Expedia.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® - This premium card will get you access to 1,000+ airport lounges. as well as a number of other card benefits. The current sign up bonus is 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You'll also get a $300 travel credit per year which wipes away a big chunk of the $550 annual fee. As an extra bonus, from 6/1/20 through 6/30/21, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® - A fantastic, no annual fee card that earns you a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in your first 3 months. Earn 5% cash-back on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash-back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases, but you won't get any travel benefits with this card.

Recommended Chase Cards (Business)

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card - this is our #1 recommended business card and right now comes with a 100,000 sign up bonus after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. This bonus is worth $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel purchases (flights, hotels etc). Pay your cell phone bill with this card to receive up to $600 in cell phone insurance coverage per year; as well as a number of other benefits.

Earn 3x on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year, plus 1x on all other purchases — with no limit to the amount you can earn. All for an annual fee of $95.
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card - Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

This no annual fee business card earns up to 5% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year, plus 2% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary.
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card - earn unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase made for your business.

Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. There's no annual fee.

United MileagePlus Cards


Joining United MileagePlus Dining and linking your credit cards is a fast, easy, and convenient way to earn more United miles when you are dining out.

Pair this program with a card that earns a category bonus for spending at restaurants, and check out their shopping portal as well to maximize rewards!

Soon enough, you’ll be ready to redeem your next United award!

Frequently asked questions

Do the miles earned through MileagePlus Dining count toward status?

No, the miles earned do not count toward status, but you can use them to book award flights.

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

There is no limit to the number of miles you can earn.

How many miles will I earn per dollar?

You can earn up to 5 United miles per dollar spent as a VIP Member, which requires opting in to emails and making at least 12 eligible dining purchases within a year. Lower level members earn 3x or 1x United miles per dollar spent.

Can I decide to opt in or opt out of emails at a later date?

Yes, you can change whether you are opting in or out of emails at any time. Remember this will affect the number of miles you are able to earn when dining out!

Do I have to do anything to claim my miles?

Your miles will be credited automatically as long as you have properly registered your credit card to your profile and paid for your meal with that credit card.

Do tax, tip, and alcohol purchases count toward my total?

Yes. You’ll earn bonus miles for tax, tip, and alcoholic beverages purchased!

What is MileagePlus dining?

United’s dining program is for MileagePlus members to collect bonus miles by dining at participating restaurants using a linked credit card. Depending on your tier membership, you can earn $1 – $5 per pound spent.

Caroline Lupini

About Caroline Lupini

Caroline Lupini always enjoyed traveling, but it became her goal to do as much as possible after a 3-week trip around Europe in 2011. In March 2014, Caroline left her job and embarked on nearly full-time travels.  As a frequent traveler, frequent flyer miles have played a large role in planning her trips. Caroline has enjoyed discovering the ins and outs of how to maximize different types of miles, hotel points, and transferable points currencies.

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