Instant VIP Status and 5000 Bonus Miles from United MileagePlus Dining

Dining for miles is one of the easy and free ways you can rack up points. Register, use your credit card when you dine out, and if it happens to be at a participating restaurant you’ll earn miles automatically.

Rewards Network is the company that provides branded mileage-earning dining programs in conjunction with major frequent flyer programs like United MileagePlus, American AAdvantage, and Delta Skymiles.

I’ll always call them iDine, it former name, and the predecessor to that was Transmedia — the old program where you paid to sign up and had a membership card which you needed to present at restaurants for a cash discount.

When I first started earning with them in the mid-1990s, United’s program was only open to their elite frequent flyers. (I Was actually excited to start earning miles for restaurant spend when I first became a Premier member in 1997.)

I used to rack up miles by choosing to schedule reimbursable business meals at participating restaurants, and steering groups of friends towards those restaurants — where everyone would kick in cash and I’d earn miles for the total bill that I’d put on my credit card.

Sadly the program became a whole lot less valuable July 1, 2005. But it’s still better than a hole in the head, as my grandfather used to say.

Through July 1 you can receive instant VIP status just for registering to earn United miles for your dines. That means you earn at a higher rate, 5 miles per dollar spent.

And you also earn up to 5000 bonus miles on your first dines:

  • 2,000 bonus miles on your first restaurant visit of $25 or more.
  • 1,000 bonus miles for every $100 spent with MileagePlus Dining after that, up to $300 for 3000 miles.

It’s a fantastic offer to get started with the program, if you can direct your eating out to participating restaurants.

Offer terms:

This bonus offer is open to all new MileagePlus DiningSM members without a dining profile. To qualify, you must create a dining profile by July 1, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time, including creating a web login, and remain opted in to receive emails from MileagePlus Dining with a valid, deliverable email address. You must also continue to satisfy any other applicable VIP level criteria to earn this bonus.

To earn this bonus, you must first create a dining profile, at which time you will be awarded VIP status. Within 30 days of creating your profile, you must dine at any participating restaurant, bar, or club and spend at least $25 (including tax and tip) on your check to earn 2,000 bonus miles. You may then earn an additional 1,000 bonus miles per additional $100 spent at any participating restaurant, bar, or club, within the same 30-day period after creating your dining profile. These bonus miles can be earned up to three times, for a total of 3,000 bonus miles (additional to the initial 2,000 bonus miles).

Please note that some restaurants offer rewards, including the bonus miles under this offer, only on certain days of the week or up to a maximum spending amount per month. For complete program Terms and Conditions, guidelines, restrictions and the latest rewards calendar, visit Other limitations may apply. Terms and Conditions are subject to change.

Please note that all checks must be paid for with a credit or debit card registered with MileagePlus Dining at the time of the visit. You may only earn this bonus once for a maximum amount of 5,000 bonus miles. Offer may not be combinable with other MileagePlus Dining bonuses and each qualifying visit can only apply toward a single bonus, as determined by MileagePlus Dining. All account inquiries related to this bonus must be received by October 1, 2016.

(HT: Rob F.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. My status says 11 dines to earn VIP after signing up and it won’t let me add my Chase Sapphire card.

  2. I think it’s a cool program. That said, in Washington, DC, the restaurants that participate in the program really aren’t good. I wouldn’t go to any of them just to get the additional bonus points. Not sure how it is in other cities, but that’s how I feel about them here in DC.

  3. Looks like anyone with an existing profile can’t qualify. Also, I’ve found that if you can’t enroll the same card in more than one Rewards Network program.

  4. I like getting $$ back via idine instead. You earn 5, 10, or 15% on total bill depending on how much restaurant spend you’ve had in the last 90 days. They send you an AMEX gift card every month if have $20+ balance on earnings.

  5. My experience with the Rewards Network is they’re slow to put your earned miles into your airline account. The disclaimer says 7-10 days but it’s sometimes longer. Plus customer service reps can be very rude. For United Airlines customers, I’d suggest MileagePlusX (in the app store). It generates e-gift cards on your phone for restaurants, retailers and even and The points immediately go to your account. There’s a bit of a learning curve because most retailers don’t know about it — even though their company’s listed on the app. The merchant offerings are a little limiting but they’re adding merchants every now and then. It’s really cool.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.