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Earn free flights and hotel stays… for eating and drinking

While it is common knowledge that you earn hotel loyalty points for hotel stays, it is lesser known that certain hotel chains also allow you to earn such points for simply dining or drinking there, without actually staying at the hotel.

earn points eating restaurant

These points can obviously then be used towards free nights at the hotel, but they can also be converted to airline miles.

In addition, various loyalty schemes (and in particular those of airlines) also offer “dining clubs”, where you register and then earn points or miles for these loyalty schemes by dining at certain third party restaurants.

The options can be summarised as follows: 

Global

Hyatt hotels

Hyatt Gold Passport members earn five Hyatt Gold Passport points for every US $1 (or equivalent in local currency) they spend at Hyatt restaurants or bars. In addition, Platinum members will earn a 15% point bonus, while Diamond members earn a 30% bonus.

Converting Hyatt Gold Passport points to airline miles:

You can typically exchange 1 airline mile for 2.5 Hyatt Gold Passport points (with a 5000 mile bonus if you convert 50,000 Gold Passport points). Full details of airline partners and conversion rate variations are here.

The minimum conversion to airline miles is 5000 Gold Passport points.

Shangri-La hotels

Shangri-La Golden Circle members earn one GC Award Point for every US$1 (or equivalent in local currency) on all spending as a non-staying guest when they dine or drink at any restaurant or bar

Converting GC points to airline miles:

You can typically exchange 1 airline mile for 1 GC point. Full details of airline partners and conversion rate variations are here.

The minimum conversion to airline miles is 2500 GC points.

Starwood hotels

Even without a stay, all SPG members earn 1 Starpoint for each US $1 (or equivalent in local currency) they spend on food and beverage at participating hotels or resorts.

Converting SPG points to airline miles:

You can typically exchange 1 airline mile for 1 SPG point (with a 5000 bonus if you convert 20,000). Full details of airline partners and conversion rate variations are here.

The minimum conversion to airline miles is 2500 SPG points.

USA only

Hilton HHonors dining

First of all, this is not to be confused with simply spending money in a Hilton bar or restaurant. You will not earn any HHonors points for purchases at a Hilton restaurant or bar when you are not a guest at the hotel.

However, HHonors Dining provides HHonors members with a method of earning HHonors points when eating at a number of restaurants throughout the USA. It’s pretty simple – you sign up here and then earn up to 8 bonus HHonors points per $1 spent at the listed restaurants.

The number of points you will earn varies depending on the restaurant and the day you dine there – you can see in advance the number of points you will earn per dollar by clicking on the restaurant name on the HHonors dining website.

You can also get a 1000 HHonors bonus by signing up and spending $30 in your first 30 days, you just need to use this link.

Converting HHonors points to airline miles:

You can typically exchange 1 airline mile for 10 HHonors points, although this varies considerably depending on the programme (American Airlines is 10 HHonors points for 1.5 miles). Full details of airline partners and conversion rate variations are here.

The minimum conversion to airline miles is 10,000 HHonors points.

Other dining rewards programmes

In addition to HHonors Dining, there are a number of other dining rewards programmes, whereby members of a particular loyalty scheme will earn a certain number of points or miles for dining at certain restaurants. The key options are as follows:

American Airlines AAdvantage dining

Alaska Airlines MileagePlan dining

Delta Skymiles dining

Southwest Rapid Rewards dining

United MileagePlus dining

US Airways Dividend Miles dining

Intercontinental hotels IHG Rewards Club dining

Of course, all the above points are in addition to any points you will earn by using a miles/points-earning credit card.

Feel free to comment if you know of any other ways to ear hotel points or airline miles through eating or drinking.

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