This Friday (two days from now!) I’ll be going on a mini-adventure to visit 12 restaurants in one day. You can follow along virtually, recreate the adventure in your own way, or even join me for the last stop of the evening in Portland, Oregon.
Last year my travel hacking colleague Stephanie Zito and I went on a “Dining Dash” (not to be confused with Dine and Dash) adventure to ten restaurants in a single day. We did this to requalify for VIP Member status with Rewards Network, a company that provides miles and points bonuses for anything you purchase at qualifying restaurants.
It was a lot of fun, and there was just one problem: 2014 ended! Each year, the count starts over, and we now need 12 more dines to requalify for VIP status throughout all of next year.
Obviously, you could just qualify as you go to places throughout the year—but where’s the fun in that? This time, we’re joining up with another friend and colleague, Tyler Tervooren, and the three of us will attempt to complete all 12 dines in a single day: this Friday, February 6.
You can follow along on Instagram using #DiningDash—and you can also join us virtually by tagging your own dines.
If you’re local, you can join us for our final stop of the night at the Triple Nickel (a hilarious dive bar with giant jenga) at 9pm PST. Their new slogan: “Drop in for a $4 bourbon and ginger… pick up a qualifying dine.”
Rules of the Dining Dash
Every adventure has rules. Fortunately, the rules we follow are pretty simple:
1. Everything you purchase on Dining Dash day must come from a qualifying restaurant
2. Aside from tap water, you can’t consume anything on Dining Dash day that doesn’t come from a qualifying restaurant
3. This isn’t about spending as much money as possible. In fact, it’s the opposite: you want your “dines” to cost as little as possible while still having fun and respecting the spirit of the adventure. Many dines can be completed for less than $10, and several for less than $5.
How to Earn Miles and Points for YOUR Dines
Let’s say that for some crazy reason you’re not interested in visiting 12 restaurants in a day. Guess what! You can still benefit by making sure you’re signed up with a dining rewards program. This is free.
It’s very simple.
1. Register for the dining program of your choice. I use American’s, and they are currently offering a 2,000 point signup bonus with your first dine. You can access the signup portals from these links:
- American (Earn a 2,000 point bonus)
- United (Earn a 2,000 point bonus)
- Delta (Earn a 2,500 point bonus)
- Alaska (Earn a 500 point bonus)
Note: There are some other partners you can choose to earn miles or points with, but unless you have a compelling reason to do something different, I’d recommend you go with one of those.
2. Register your main credit or debit cards with the program. Yeah, I know—I have more than 20 credit cards. But I only actively use 3-5, so those are all registered. Most of the time I dine out, I use my Chase Sapphire Preferred card, since it earns 2x points for all restaurant spending—and this Friday is “First Friday,” where you can actually earn 3x points. Bonus!
3. There’s no further action. Whenever you visit a qualifying restaurant and pay with your card, you will automatically receive miles or points on your next month’s statement. It’s easy, free, and especially fun when you earn miles you didn’t expect for a new restaurant.
OK, that’s it! “See you” on Friday from many stops along the way…