Our past two posts have been all about spending miles, so I wanted to dedicate a few posts to earning miles without flying. I wanted to go over one of the most basic ways to earn miles: The MileagePlus Dining program.
Basically, you link your credit card number to the program, and every time you use the card at a participating restaurant; you get bonus miles. See below for a link to the program.
Sounds good right?
Well, there are a few trade-offs that you need to be aware of: First, they really want to send you “marketing” e-mail; you can opt-out of it, but if you opt-out you will only earn 1 point per dollar spent. Second, in order to get 5 miles per dollar: you need to allow them to send “marketing” e-mail, and you need to have 12 qualified transactions per year. I’ve linked their membership rules, [here].
It’s still worth it to sign-up anyway in my opinion, 5 miles per dollar is nothing to sneeze at. I generally value United Miles at 1.5 CPM. There are a lot of Houston restaurant partners, and it’s easy to earn points without even thinking about it. You can view the participating restaurant list before you sign up, [here].
Don’t worry about getting a lot of spam; if you’re on Gmail or Windows Live Hotmail you can write a rule to filter it. Don’t mark their e-mail as spam, or they’ll drop your membership down to 1 point per mile. Just setup a rule to toss it into a folder you don’t read and empty the folder to the trash when you’re done. When I signed up, I used a somewhat fake home address, and a barely believable fake name. The only real information that you must provide them is your real United MileagePlus Membership ID, and the credit card you want to tie it to.
If you are one of the lucky ones that travels for work on the company dime, then you should probably consider linking your company card to the program. That way you get free miles for your company meals; double win. 😛