Frequent flyer miles are a great way to get to your destination in comfort and at a fraction of the cost of paid tickets. Similarly, hotel points enable you to stay at a variety of hotels for very little money. So when you get to your destination, why not take advantage of a number of programs that have popped up that give you miles, points or cash back on qualified dines? Or get cash back or discounts on the places you would've eaten at anyway? Here are some great programs that allow you to stack up the miles and savings:
– Mileage Dining with American, United, US Airways, Delta, etc: These are basically your standard mileage earning dining programs. I believe that all of them are administered by the same company, so unfortunately if you sign up one of your credit cards for participation in the US Airways program, you can't "double-dip" and have it apply to your United dining account as well. You will almost never find chain restaurants in these dining programs, but many times I'm surprised to find bars and mom and pop restaurants that I've been wanting to check out participate. At the very least, you're getting 3 miles per dollar on these spends and hopefully additional bonused dining spend on any number of cards.
– Mogl: The concept is essentially the same as the mileage earning programs above, but instead of miles, you get 10% cash back on your dining spends at participating restaurants. There's also an additional charitable component where Mogl will donate meals to charities that help feed needy people. Finally, there's a sort of "jackpot" concept where if you're the biggest spender at a restaurant that month, you'll receive a small cash prize. However, I've found that that really hasn't been a big draw for me.
– Savored: This is a Groupon owned company that like the other programs has partnered with local restaurants in providing discounts to participating members. Some of these discounts go up to 30-40%, so it's definitely nothing to sneeze at.
– Opentable: The granddaddy of all the restaurant reward sites, Opentable allows you to make reservations at thousands of restaurants throughout North America. Included in the reservation service is their points system where you normally get 100 points for each reservation you make. After you reach 2000 points, you can redeem these points for a $20 certificate good at any restaurant that partners with Opentable. Especially noteworthy are the 1000 point reservations, which are usually offered at odd times typically at expensive restaurants, but sometimes you can luck out and find these at reasonably priced venues. Think of it as a $10 rebate on your dine.
To the best of my knowledge, all of these programs are offered by separate companies so there's no reason why you can't double, triple and potentially quadruple dip these miles, points and cash back. The only limitation of course is if a restaurant participates in all of the different programs.
So far, I haven't been able to hit a quadruple bagger, but I have found several restaurants in the Los Angeles area that I've gotten dining miles, Mogl cash back and a 30% Savored discount. Good luck in finding your double, triple and quadruple dips while earning miles, points and cash rebates.