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Can you earn with a dining rewards program and credit card?


If you’re interested in earning more rewards on everyday purchases, you might want to start using — or using more frequently — dining rewards programs. While many travelers are familiar with online shopping portals, fewer are familiar with dining rewards programs. In short, dining rewards programs let you earn extra points or miles when you use an enrolled card to pay at select restaurants, bars and clubs.

You can’t earn rewards from two dining rewards programs simultaneously, but you might wonder whether you can simultaneously earn rewards with a dining rewards program and a credit card. We’ll look into this common question in this post.

Dining rewards programs

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Many major airline and hotel loyalty programs offer dining rewards programs. These programs let you earn points or miles at participating restaurants, bars and clubs when you use an enrolled card to pay. For example, here are some of the most popular dining rewards programs:

If you haven’t yet joined a dining rewards program, consider enrolling when a program you like offers a new member bonus. By doing so, you can earn extra points or miles as you start to use the program.

When you join, you’ll need to link at least one credit or debit card to the dining rewards program. Then, you’ll automatically earn points or miles through the dining rewards program when you make eligible purchases at participating bars, clubs and restaurants with your linked card. Your exact earning rate will vary by program, but you’ll usually earn more rewards if you opt in for emails from the dining rewards program and frequently dine at restaurants that participate in the program.

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However, Rewards Network runs most dining rewards programs, and it only lets you link each credit card to one dining rewards program. So, you can choose one dining rewards program and enroll your favorite credit card for dining with that program. Or, you can register different cards with different dining rewards programs. For example, you could enroll your American Express® Gold Card in Delta SkyMiles Dining and your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card in Marriott Eat Around Town.

Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Amex Gold: Which 1 is right for you?

Can you earn with a dining rewards program and a credit card?

You can simultaneously earn rewards with a dining rewards program and a credit card. For example, if you enroll your American Express Gold Card in Delta SkyMiles Dining, opt in to email communications from SkyMiles Dining and then dine at a participating restaurant using your Amex Gold card, you’ll earn:

  • 3 Delta miles per dollar spent from SkyMiles Dining (or 5 miles per dollar spent if you have VIP status with SkyMiles Dining)
  • 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent from your card since the Amex Gold earns 4 points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide and on takeout and delivery in the U.S.

This kind of “double dipping” is a great way to speed up your earning rate and earn more rewards without spending more money.

Related: Who should (and who shouldn’t) get the Amex Gold?

Bottom line

Stacking a dining rewards program with a credit card bonus category is a great way to earn more rewards. Sign up for the dining program of your choice, link your preferred credit card(s) and watch your loyalty program balance climb.



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