How to maximize your UA miles earnings with MileagePlus Dining

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Ever since airlines began to devalue their frequent flier programs, it’s that much more important for us to diversify and find smart -although, not always obvious- ways in which to earn miles and points.  And that’s precisely what this post is about!  Of course by now you already know that dining out is one of the ways to earn miles.  While many claim they don’t eat out nearly enough to make it worthwhile to use the airlines’ dining portals, combining the earnings from a portal with the right credit card can provide more than a good incentive to change their M.O., as discussed recently in InsideFlyer.  Let’s see how this is so with United’s MileagePlus Dining Portal when combined with the best travel credit card there is: the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Membership chart for MileagePlus Dining:

diningMemLevels.PNG

You probably can see where I’m going with this…  So how do you become a VIP member and earn 5x UA miles per $ spent?  Well, it’s not that difficult at all: you must have 12+ qualified transactions (not merchant visits) within the calendar year.  Because these are transactions, and not merchant visits, multiple transactions within the same merchant visit will count separately toward the 12 total needed to become a VIP member!  For example, when you go to a restaurant or a bar, and you order from the bar, you’re always asked whether you want to keep the tap open or not.  The answer should always be “NO!”.  That way, each time they swipe your registered card, you’re getting that much closer to being VIP.  As you can see, this status is very much attainable and provides you with a great miles earning of 5x mi/$.

But that’s not it!  What if you currently hold a Chase Sapphire Reserve?  Then you know you earn 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (which can be transferred to UA miles at 1:1) per $ for dining.  This just got a whole lot juicier:

Let’s say you’re already a VIP member and you go out to a restaurant and spend there $200.

VIP member bonus: $200 x 5 UA miles = 1000 UA miles

CSR Dining bonus: $200 x 3 CUR points = 600 UA miles

In other words, spend $200 on dining and earn 8x the amount in UA miles, granted you’re a VIP member AND you register your CSR credit card.  Even if you were just an Online member, you’d still earn 6x UA miles per $ spent, which is great in itself.  So, question for you…  are you in?!

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