Many airline and hotel loyalty programs offer dining rewards programs. Popular options include Marriott Bonvoy Eat Around Town, United MileagePlus Dining and American AAdvantage Dining, but the list continues.
In short, one or more of your favorite loyalty programs likely offers a dining rewards program. So, you may wonder whether you can earn rewards from several loyalty programs simultaneously if you add the same credit card to multiple dining programs. In this story, we’ll look at how dining rewards programs work and whether it’s possible to earn rewards with multiple dining rewards programs at the same time.
How do dining rewards programs work?
Dining rewards programs let members earn points and miles at participating restaurants, bars and clubs when they use an enrolled card to pay. These venues pay a commission to Rewards Network, which administers the dining rewards programs. Then, Rewards Network pays the airline or hotel loyalty program to reward its members with points or miles.
On the customer side, all Rewards Network dining rewards programs work similarly: You register for free, add at least one credit or debit card to your profile and then use one of your registered cards to pay at a qualifying venue.
You can simultaneously earn rewards with a dining rewards program and credit card. So, the rewards you earn through Rewards Network are in addition to what you earn from the credit card you use to pay your bill. Bonuses are automatically applied to your loyalty account after you make an eligible purchase, so there’s no extra work required.
Can you stack dining rewards programs?
Now that you understand how dining rewards programs work, you might wonder whether you can add the same credit card to multiple dining rewards programs. Unfortunately, the short answer is “no.”
While it would be fantastic on the customer side if you could earn multiple types of points and miles from Rewards Network when you dine at participating restaurants, bars and clubs, the Rewards Network system is set up to prevent you from linking your card to multiple programs.
When you sign up with a Rewards Network dining rewards program, you must link at least one credit or debit card to your account. You can sign up for as many Rewards Network dining rewards programs as you like, but you can only link each card to a single program. Rewards Network will automatically unregister your card from any previous programs when you register it with a second program. So you’ll only earn rewards from whichever program you linked your card to most recently.
For example, you might add a card you’d previously linked to Alaska Mileage Plan Dining to AAdvantage Dining. Shortly after doing so, you’ll likely get an email from Alaska Mileage Plan Dining stating that you’ve linked your card with another program and will no longer earn Alaska miles with that card.
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While you can’t earn rewards from two dining rewards programs simultaneously, you can link different cards to different programs and earn bonuses based on which card you use. For example, you could link your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to United MileagePlus Dining and your American Express® Gold Card to Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining.
Other ways to earn more on dining
While you can’t double dip your rewards by earning through multiple Rewards Network dining rewards programs on the same purchase, there are many other ways to earn more on your dining.
Credit cards are probably the best way to earn rewards at restaurants. The American Express Gold Card is a great option for dining out since it earns 4 points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S. If you’re not sure which credit card is best, check out our post on the best credit cards for dining.
Additionally, Dosh allows you to link credit cards to its platform and earn cash back at participating local favorites and national brands. Once you have accumulated $15 in rewards through Dosh, you can transfer it to your bank, Venmo or PayPal.
American Express and Chase often run offers where you can earn bonus points or statement credits for qualifying purchases. Historically, we’ve seen Amex Offers and Chase Offers for national brands like California Pizza Kitchen, The Cheesecake Factory and Maggiano’s Little Italy. If you find an Amex or Chase offer for a restaurant participating in a dining rewards program, you can double dip if you link the same card to both.
Generally, the best strategy is to link one or more of the best cards for dining to your dining rewards program of choice. That way, if you dine at a participating restaurant, you’ll earn extra points or miles without thinking about it.
However, you may also want to utilize some of the bonuses that dining rewards programs offer new members. Most dining programs incentivize new members to register and dine within a set period. These bonuses change occasionally, so watch for the best offers.
It’s easy to double dip on points and miles between credit card rewards, dining rewards programs, credit card merchant offers and mobile apps like Dosh. You just can’t register the same card with multiple Rewards Network dining rewards programs.