How To Use United MileagePlus Dining to Maximize Points [2017]

United MileagePlus Dining Program

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 I’ll walk you through United’s 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 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 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 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.

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 dining intro bonus
At the time of writing, it was possible to earn up to 4,000 bonus United miles within your first 30 days.

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 4,000 United miles. You can earn 500 miles just for signing up! To earn the additional miles, you’ll need to dine out a couple of times.

Within your first 30 days, you’ll earn 1,000 bonus miles for your first meal of $25 or more. You can earn 500 bonus miles up to 5 more times for dining out and spending at least $25.

This is an above-average intro bonus for MileagePlus Dining, so I would recommend jumping in now…especially if you plan to eat out a couple times in the next 30 days!

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 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 dining example restaurants
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 portal first. Some chains you might see include:

  • Buca di Beppo
  • Buffalo Wild Wings

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® Card

More Info?
> 9 Best Ways To Use Your Sign Up Bonus!
  • 50,000 bonus points.
  • That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through
    Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide.
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $95
  • Detailed Review
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

More Info?
> We Researched All The Benefits of This Card!
  • Earn $150 bonus
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Convert your cash-back to points if you also have the
    Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card!
  • Detailed Review
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card
  • 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Detailed Review
Chase Freedom
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases outside of rotating 5% bonus categories
  • No annual fee
  • Detailed Review

Recommended Chase Cards (Business)

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

United MileagePlus Cards

United MileagePlus® Explorer Card
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Detailed Review
Chase United MileagePlus® Club Card
  • Includes United Club membership - up to a $550 value per year
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Detailed Review
United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United and select business purchases
  • 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Detailed Review


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!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Here are 9 best ways to use 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (including round-trip to Hawaii for 2 people!)

And – discover 10 of the most valuable benefits you’ll get access to as a cardholder


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!