The AAdvantage Dining program is a terrific way to boost your mileage earnings. It allows to you to double up on the rewards you’re already earning via your credit card spend and is an easy way to prevent your miles from expiring. But you need to know how the program works to maximize your earnings.
So here’s a detailed review and guide to the AAdvantage Dining program including how to find nearby locations and maximize bonuses.
What is the AAdvantage Dining program?
The AAdvantage Dining program will earn you American Airlines miles for eating at certain restaurants. While there are many great AA credit cards that will earn you miles quicker, this is a great way to supplement your earnings.
The AAvantage Dinging Program is part of a broader rewards program called The Rewards Network.
The Rewards Network has been around for 30 years and has over 15 million members. The program offers you opportunities to earn miles and points with different airline and hotel loyalty programs when you visit any one of the 11,000+ restaurants, bars, and clubs that are part of the network.
(The Rewards Network also partners with Alaska, Southwest, Spirit, Delta, JetBlue, and United.)
How do you sign-up for the AAdvantage Dining program?
Signing up is very easy but you should know a few things.
- Go to this link to sign-up.
All you need to do is provide your by providing your:
- Phone number
- Email address
- AAdvantage account number
No membership fees
There are no membership fees so enrolling in the program is 100% free. You will need to eventually add an active credit card or debit card so that you can earn points, however.
It’s important to know that AAdvantage Dining typically offers some type of sign-up bonus.
For example, at the time of this article they were offering 1,000 bonus miles after you spend $25 in your first 30 days.
However, I’ve seen better intro offers like earning 3,000 miles when you spend $25 and make a few additional visits to locations. Thus, you might want to consider waiting around for a lucrative sign-up bonus.
Only one card with each dining program
Note that since AAdvantage Dining is a part of the Rewards Network, you can only have a credit card or debit card linked to one program.
So let’s say you already have your credit card linked to United’s program. When you add that same credit card to the AAdvantage program, it will no longer earn you miles for United.
However, you can register up to 5 cards for an individual at any time.
How many miles do you earn with the AAdvantage Dining program?
You earn rate depends on whether or not you opt in to receive emails and also on how many restaurants you eat at.
Here are the earning rates:
- Members earn 1 AAdvantage mile per $2 spent if you elect to not receive email communications
- Online Members earn 3 AAdvantage miles per $1 spent if you elect to receive email communications
- VIP Members earn 5 AAdvantage miles per $1 spent if you elect to receive email communications AND have 12 or more qualified dining transactions in a calendar year.
Earning 3 AA miles per dollar spent on dining is a good and while I dread some signing up for some listservs, earning extra on dining could have you on your way towards some worthwhile redemptions like first class on domestic flights.
Do I need to complete reviews of the restaurant?
Very important: Completing a review after a restaurant visit is required in order for you to receive American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles.
These reviews only take a minute to complete.
A few days after you visit an eligible restaurant, you’ll receive an email with a link to complete a review. (Review submission forms can also be accessed via your Account Center.) Complete the review ASAP since they usually require it to be done within a state time period (e.g., 30 days).
I try to have a little fun with the reviews but also strive to a be a bit helpful when leaving my thoughts. You can check out their content guidelines for more details on the reviews.
Who sees the reviews?
The reviews will be seen by the restaurants and if you choose, they can also be seen by other AAdvantage Dining members. These people will only see your initials though, so your identity will not be revealed beyond that.
What are the AAdvantage Dining program locations?
You’ll find all sorts of different dining establishments in the AAdvantage dining program. While searching for venues, I’ve seen fast food joints, local hot spots, large chain restaurants, and even bars and lounges pop up. It all depends on your location.
That link will take you to the Advanced Search feature which will allow you to sort locations by distance from you (search “near me”) and also allow you to filter them according to all sorts of criteria like establishment type (bar, restaurant, etc.), price, dress code, and cuisine.
You should note that some restaurants don’t allow you to earn points on certain days of the week, limit the number of restaurant visits per month, or put a limit on the total points you can earn.
You can see which days these establishments are not offering rewards when you search because you’ll see a red X. Notice that when the search results populate you can also view them by a Map View, sort out new locations, and even see places you might like. Some people also enjoy using the “favorites” feature to keep track of places they enjoy.
Tip: You can use a search filter so that you only see restaurants that are offering earning opportunities on the day you search by checking the “Rewards Available Today” or clicking “Hide locations not offering Rewards today.”
Once you click on an establishment, you’ll see more specific details for that venue. This is where you can check the reviews and also see details like maximum amount of visits or spending allowed for bonus earning.
When do the AAdvantage Dining miles show up?
AAdvantage miles will appear in your AAdvantage Dining account as soon as the transaction is registered by the restaurant, usually within 5 days. However, it can take up to 6–8 weeks for the miles earned through AAdvantage Dining to appear in your AAdvantage account.
Keep AA miles from expiring
One of the greatest perks of these dining portals is that they reset the clock on the expiration date of your miles with that respective airline. So if your AA miles are set to expire soon, this can be one of the easiest ways to keep them from expiring.
Does membership expire?
- Yes, but only after 36 consecutive months of no dining activity with your registered credit or debit card.
Getting the most out of AAdvantage Dining
When you log in to your Account Center, you’ll see different tabs that will allow you to modify your account settings. This is where you will need to go to change or update your credit card information. It’s also where you can select your dining preferences and even input your birthday to get special deals.
And most importantly, this is where you will monitor your rewards activity to make sure that your rewards post after a dining experience.
What happens if the miles don’t show up?
I’ve always had my miles show up after dining but in the event that they don’t, you just need to contact AAdvantage Dining.
If it has been more than 10 days since you visited the establishment, there’s a form in the Account Center that you find which will allow to submit your inquiry for missing miles.
You’ll need to keep track of the name of the establishment, the city/state, the date of your visit, amount spent, and supply the last four digits of the credit card that you used. This is one reason it can be helpful to keep track of your receipts when you dine at AAdvantage Dining establishments.
- Members and Online Members can call AAdvantage DiningSM Member Services at 800–479–5981, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- VIP Members have their own special hotline: 866–638–6906
The AAdvantage Dining program is a great way to boost your mileage balance and to reset the clock on your miles so that they don’t expire. It’s incredibly easy to use and I recommend it for anyone who is trying to earn additional AAdvantage miles.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.