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Today is the first Friday of the month, so that means that you can earn 3x Ultimate Reward points on dining charges using your Sapphire Preferred card (instead of the normal 2x). That is nice and I’ll be taking advantage of it myself, but it can be even better if you stack it with the current promo to get up to 3,000 United miles for joining the Dining Rewards network. Unless you are placing a large catering order or similar today an extra one point per dollar probably won’t amount to much, but 3,000 miles is a bit more significant so may be worth some extra work/planning.
Here’s how we are doing it (and also how we botched it up).
My husband joined United MileagePlus dining and registered for the promo that awards up to 3,000 bonus United miles (1,500 after each of two $40 dines at participating restaurants within 40 days of joining). Full details of the promo in this post. We went to our favorite local restaurant that participates in the dining program for lunch yesterday. Our lunch bill was only about $20 with tip, but we had the waiter add a $20 gift card to the bill so that the amount that rang up on the credit card associated with the dining account was the required $40. We eat at this restaurant frequently enough that having a $20 gift card to use at a future visit was no big deal. We planned to repeat this process one more time in a week or so and he would get 3,000 bonus miles as a reward.
However, we got home, and as I was doing some research for this post I saw that our favorite restaurant was no longer listed as a participating restaurant. Oh no! It had been on the list since it opened a couple of years ago, but no more. We chat with the owners all the time so I plan to ask them about next time we are in, but basically our well planned lunch efforts from yesterday weren’t so well planned after all. It was reasonable for me to assume that after two years of successful dines that this restaurant would still be on the list, but it would be even better to actually double check first. No real loss since we were going to go there anyway, but certainly not the outcome we were looking for.
Now that I have double-checked the list, we will repeat this process at a local sushi joint that is still participating the next time we are itching for a lunch or dinner out (which honestly will probably be today – who cooks on a Friday?!). Our meal may not hit $40 including tip, but it certainly will when we pad it with a gift card that I know we will use in the future. We also will make our dining reservation on Open Table to earn points toward free food. Earning some miles for something we were going to do anyway is the bread and butter of how we play this game.
Hope everyone has a great weekend – we are off take C for the first time to see one of my very favorite college football teams play this weekend (on points, of course)!