The only easier way to earn miles than with the Rewards Network is to receive them as a gift. This program determines about 85% of my dining choices while on the road. You’ve got to eat out, so why not earn those coveted miles while you’re at it. As a Tier 1 member with Northwest Airlines, I earn 10 miles per dollar spent. Eating out twice a day, you can accumulate more miles with this program than you do with your flight. Especially if you’re entertaining clients and have a several hundred dollar tab at the end of the evening. What’s the coolest thing about it? You get credit for the food AND you get credit for the booze, so drink up.
One of the great things about this program is that they have great quality participating restaurants. Unfortunately, there may be very few of them in the geographic area in which you travel. I don’t think there is any rhyme or reason to this, possible just better sales people in some areas than in others. I’ve found some of my favorite restaurants using the Rewards Network, including the Greek Village Tavern in Schaumburg, Illinois and Ponchatoulas in Ruston, Louisiana.
How does it work? Go to the website and set up an account. You have to enter all of your credit card information for the card you’ll be using at the restaurants. You can only earn either partner miles for one partner or cash back per credit card. You can’t earn for two partners simultaneously or receive miles and cash back. For example, if you select American Airlines as the program for your Visa, you can only earn American miles on that Visa.
You’ll select a user name and password to access your account in the future. You can find participating restaurants by logging in to your account and searching geographically or by calling the 800 number.