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Hungry? Big Miles-for-Dining Bonuses Are Back

How lucrative are the airlines' (and hotels') dining-miles programs?

In 2008, I earned more than 25,000 miles for dining—enough for a free domestic ticket.

At the time, the airlines were routinely offering 10 miles per $1 spent at participating restaurants, and even more when there were special promotions in effect. Which was often. In addition, I was eating out several times a week, and there are plenty of Rewards Network restaurants within easy driving distance.

In other words, the stars were perfectly aligned for racking up significant numbers of miles while indulging in one of life's greatest pleasures.

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Things are different today. For one thing, I'm eating out less often. But the bigger change has been the industry-wide ratcheting back of the promotions that made earning scores of dining miles a pretty effortless undertaking.

The promotions have been fewer and farther between. And they've been less generous.

The latest offers, however, are a refreshing return to the rich bonuses of past years.

Offer Details

The same basic promotion—1,000 bonus points after spending $100—is on offer to the members of the programs of Delta, United, US Airways, and InterContinental. The only difference is the maximum bonus: United has none, the others limit the number of bonus points to 5,000.

  • Between May 1 and June 30, Delta SkyMiles members can earn 1,000 bonus miles for every $100 spent on eligible dines for which they submit a review within 30 days, up to a maximum of 5,000 bonus miles.
  • Between May 1 and June 30, United Mileage Plus members can earn 1,000 bonus miles for every $100 spent on eligible dines for which they submit a review within 30 days, with no limit on the number of bonus miles earned.
  • Between May 1 and June 30, US Airways Dividend Miles members can earn 1,000 bonus miles for every $100 spent on eligible dines for which they submit a review within 30 days, up to a maximum of 5,000 bonus miles.
  • Between May 1 and June 30, InterContinental Hotels Group's Priority Club Rewards members can earn 1,000 bonus points for every $100 spent on eligible dines for which they submit a review within 30 days, up to a maximum of 5,000 bonus points.

In all cases, registration is required.

Deal or No Deal

Earning 1,000 bonus miles for $100 in spend amounts to 10 miles per $1, and that's over and above the five miles per $1 earned by active miles-for-dining members.

Kinda reminds me of the good old days.

Aside from the cap on the Delta, Priority Club, and US Airways offers, my only complaint amounts to a backhanded compliment—the promotions aren't in place long enough.

Reader Reality Check

Are dining miles a regular part of your loyalty program regimen?

If not, why not?

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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