Double-dipping on Dining

Update Jan 2018: Yelp eliminated double-dipping with mileage dining programs

Most of the big American airlines have a mileage dining program. It's pretty simple: enroll your credit card in their program and any time you eat at a participating restaurant you earn bonus miles. Here in New York there are a few good places on their program.

Even if you never use their search engine to explicitly dine at one of them, it's good to sign up anyway because I've definitely dined at a few completely by accident (especially when traveling) and the miles were a nice surprise.

A few notes:
  • The mileage dining plans all seem to be run by the same company 
  • The participating restaurants are the same for all the airlines' programs
  • If you've never signed up for one, many have a 1000+ point signup bonus
  • If possible, book a reservation at the restaurant so you also earn OpenTable points 
  • Mileage Dining programs occasionally run seasonal bonuses, so staying on their email list might be valuable (I actually earned another bonus 500 miles on my example dine at Fonda below because of a Flash Sale United Mileage Dining was having)
  • You can only have one card registered for each airline
That last one is a gotcha – it'd be awesome to earn points on like 5 airlines every time you ate at one of the restaurants but I totally get why they don't let you "double dip".

Well, I recently signed up for Yelp's new-ish Yelp Cash Back program and I just learned that indeed you can double-dip with it and a mileage dining program. (Yelp's program gives you a cash rebate back to your credit card whenever you dine at one of their participating restaurants.)

I ate at Fonda in the East Village. The bill was $100 and I earned:
  • 500 United Miles (worth $7.50)
  • $5.78 over on yelp 
  • 300 Chase Ultimate rewards (worth $6.60)
  • TOTAL: $19.88 worth of rewards on a $100 bill. If you count the flash sale bonus, that's $27.38 in rewards on $100 bill.

500 United Mileage Dining Miles
$5.78 in Yelp Cash Back

Plus 300 Chase points

TIP: on Yelp click All Filters, then More Features, the check the Cash Back box to find participating businesses


Final Thoughts

I hate point schemes that involve a ton of work. Setting up your cards for this and Yelp takes a couple of minutes and you never really have to mess with it again. Points/dollars just show up right where you want them whenever you happen to eat at one of the participating restaurants. No referral links, no apps, no coupons, no BS. Now if they could just get some better restaurants in there!


Popular posts from this blog

Finding and collecting Japanese Railway station stamps

Trip Report: ANA New York JFK to Tokyo Narita Business Class flight 1009

JetBlue points devaluation