If you read this blog regularly, you know I'm a big fan of earning miles for dining. And I practice what I preach, typically eating at two restaurants a week which award miles. As an elite member of the dining program, I earn 10 miles per $1 spent.
So I was intrigued by the latest from American: AAdvantage miles for buying gift certificates from restaurants participating in AAdvantage Dining. I can easily imagine giving restaurant gift cards as Christmas presents, and earning miles in the process makes the prospect that much more attractive.
Note that the gifts are restaurant-specific. Not all restaurants offer gift cards or gift certificates. And the AAdvantage Dining website doesn't help determine which ones do and which ones don't—you'll have to contact the restaurant and ask.
And to earn miles, you'll have to purchase the gift certificate with a credit card already on file to earn dining miles, and make the purchase on a day when miles are normally awarded for dining (some restaurants only award miles on slower days).
Notwithstanding the limitations, this is a solid earning opportunity. While it's currently being offered only by American, it's likely to be adopted by other airlines with dining-for-miles programs as well.