Virgin America Serves Up Points-for-Dining

Every major U.S. airline program has a dining-miles component, allowing program members to earn miles at thousands of participating restaurants when paying with a credit card registered with the program.

Starting today, members of Virgin America's Elevate program can earn points when dining at restaurants that participate in the MOGL network.

There are currently 2,000 restaurants in the MOGL network, all in California (San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Ventura, San Francisco). According to a company representative, MOGL plans to expand to 20 cities across the country within the next 18 months.

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It's worth noting that while Virgin America is following other carriers in adding points-for-dining to its program, partnering with MOGL was a decidedly idiosyncratic choice. The other programs all use Rewards Network as their dining-miles partner. Compared to MOGL, Rewards Network boasts a much larger collection of participating restaurants, with national coverage.

The earning rate will be three Elevate points for every $1 spent, but that will be doubled to six points per $1 through February 28 as a launch promotion.

Once registered, members have the option of changing their preferences from earning Elevate points to earning a 10 percent cash-back rebate.

Bite or No Bite

If you're an Elevate member who lives in California or regularly visits the state, this has the potential to add significantly to your points balance by strategically using network restaurants for meals you would have taken at a restaurant anyway.

For now, the program's geographic limitations make this a non-starter for Elevate members who don't frequent restaurants in one of five California metro areas.

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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