Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hungry for more?

One of our favorite ways to earn miles lately has got to be the AA Dining Program.  Every week, new restaurants are added that offer 3 or more miles per dollar spent making it very easy to earn miles for simply going to happy hour! 

  How does it work?  American has an entire website dedicated to it!  You enter the city you live in and select GO to see all of the places in your city/state/zip.  You can search by proximity to your office/house or if you're looking for something specific, like Sushi. (I capitalized it because it's THAT good) Another fantastic feature is the map function, which allows you to view the location of the restaurants listed on a map!  Again, very easy to see where something is in relation to where you are.  (And when you are searching for happy hours, this info is vital)  In addition to all of that, this allows you to filter by neighborhood, cuisine, price and what they're open for!  Don't believe me??

See?  Really handy when searching for places for miles.  So, you wanna take part, huh?  I don't blame you!  The great thing about this program is that to earn miles, you do NOT have to have an Aadvantage credit card.  Create an account and then go in and register every credit card and bank card you have active.  You will not earn miles unless the card is listed within the program.  (They're good but they can't use Satellite to track your dines for miles.  One day...)  It's very safe, no one is going to steal your stuff and even if they did, they don't have enough information to do anything with it.  You only give the number, not the expiration or security code.

  It's a great way to introduce yourself to new restaurants around the area you may have never tried before!  So many are jumping on board because it brings in customers plus you're getting miles for something you already planned to do. You get 3 miles per dollar, so if you treat your sweetheart to a $100 night out, you just scored 300 miles! 

  Any rookie would probably stop there.  But this is us you're talking about and well, we're what you call mile whores.  :)  The Dining Program has a VIP member level.  When you dine 12 times at AA restaurants, you earn VIP status and 5 miles per dollar spent!  I realize that's only 2 more miles but when you get into double and trip bonuses for dining and reviewing, we're talking some serious additional mileage.  For example: right now, for everyone, the current promotion running is "Make it a Double."  When you dine out 5 times between now and March 1st and review the restaurant you went to, (within 30 days) AA doubles the miles you earned!  If you're a regular member, that's 6 miles but for VIPs, it's 10.  Very difficult math I know.

  Again, still doesn't seem like THAT much huh?  Here's why you need to play the system properly.  Let's say between now and the end of March you chose to dine out for Valentine's day at an Advantage restaurant, (go you! and yes I know it's after) have a birthday for you or your special someone, have 2 business lunches and a happy hour scheduled.  Seems pretty normal huh?  I'm going to average that all of those events were about $75 each since they included business and a very pricey holiday.  That's $375 spent total and at 3 miles per dollar, you just earned 1,125 miles for simply signing up and registering your cards on AA.  Pretty cool!

  Let's say you took it a step further and were savvy by reading this life-changing blog and had already gained VIP status.  As a result you have now earned 1,875 miles!  Aren't you so smart!

  And here's why taking advantage of those bonus offers, which you have to elect into btw so login often to check them out, pays out.  By simply reviewing the restaurant with either a simply checked box of "I Recommend" or a full blown review if you feel compelled to, you just earned 2,250 miles as a regular member and 3,750 miles as a VIP!  That's the equivalent of flying from Dallas to Hawaii for "butt in seat miles" and MUCH cheaper I might add.  Plus, you already planned on going out for those events so you didn't really spend anything more than you already would have!  Tie in Aadvantage to your corporate cards as well and you'll earn miles without spending a penny. 

  The dining program runs promos like this ALL the time and usually has a running list of restaurants that are offering double miles per month in addition to this.  That also means that if you are very lucky, enrolled in the double miles program AND dine at one of these restaurants, you're looking at doubling your double miles.  This will be me in NYC in 2 weeks and I will report back with a mileage update. 

 Need more??  Use your Advantage credit card for an additional mile per dollar or your Starwood card for 1.25 miles per dollar.  This is taking full advantage of the system. It all adds up so quickly this way because you're not really doing anything different and yet you're earning over 4k miles! If you're doing this month, and participating in double dine challenges, that's easily a free domestic ticket each year!

Oh Clooney.  Racking up Airline miles from dining.  You are so damn pretty, er,  I mean smart.

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