Dining promo makes for happy New Year

The miles-for-dining feature of most large airline programs (operated behind the scenes by Rewards Network) has been evolving over the past few years, most recently adding tiers to reward more or less active participants with more or fewer miles for every eligible dollar spent at network restaurants.

Those changes have left some mileage collectors uneasy, suggesting that the robust earning opportunities of years past might be scaled back in 2007.

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For me, such fears were allayed (for now) by an email announcing the latest AAdvantage Dining promotion. Between January 1 and February 28, AAdvantage members who are signed up to participate in AAdvantage Dining will earn 500 bonus miles for qualified dines of $100 or more, 1,000 bonus miles for spending $150 or more, 2,000 miles for $250, 5,000 for $500, and 10,000 for spending $1,000 or more.

The bonuses are in addition to the normal earnings, which in my case are 10 miles per dollar spent, since I've qualified as an elite member with 12 or more dines over the past calendar year.

This promotion bodes well for the rest of 2007. Now, if I can just figure out how to cash in all those extra miles.

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