7 tips for earning dining rewards

Food is fuel. Sure. But combining good company and food can make a meal so much more than just calories and carbohydrates.

That’s not to say that mealtime is always easy on a budget. But why let the delights stop at dessert? Learn a few tips and tricks you can use, along with a dining rewards credit card, to reward more than your taste buds.

Key takeaways

  • A dining rewards credit card, such as Savor or SavorOne, can be used to earn cash back when dining out.
  • Combining a rewards card and dining memberships with other tips can help maximize rewards.
  • Programs, such as Capital One Dining, can give members access to exclusive reservations and dining experiences.

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What are dining rewards programs and how do they work?

Dining rewards programs come in a lot of different forms. Check out a few:

Credit cards

As a cardholder, you might be able to earn rewards every time you use your credit card. And some cards offer elevated rewards on purchases related to food and dining. Eligible cardholders might also be able to take advantage of other perks or membership programs.

Membership programs

From hardware stores to haircuts, there’s no shortage of loyalty programs out there. And it’s no different when it comes to food and dining. But who offers dining rewards programs? You might find dining loyalty programs from:

Taking a look at convenience and cost could help you decide whether a program is right for your situation. If a dining rewards program isn’t free, it’s worth doing some quick math to make sure it’s worth being a part of your budget.

7 tips for earning dining rewards

Now you know where you might come across dining rewards programs. Here are a few tips that might help you get the most out of your rewards.

A diner sits at a brunch table after using a Capital Savor credit card to pay for the meal.

1. Get a dining rewards credit card

So there are plenty of loyalty programs out there. But one benefit of setting the table with a rewards credit card is the ability to earn rewards on all purchases—not just dining out. That’s the case with dining and entertainment cards from Capital One.

2. Keep an eye on emails

No one likes a clogged inbox. But monitoring emails from loyalty programs or restaurants you often frequent could help keep you in the loop. Keep an eye out for ways to earn extra rewards, new promotions or announcements about new dishes or events.

3. Look out for bonuses

There may be dining rewards available for new members, especially when it comes to credit cards. Many issuers, including Capital One, offer one-time bonuses to new cardholders. They’re usually tied to using the card and spending a certain amount over a certain period of time.

4. Earn elite or VIP status

Certain loyalty programs offer VIP status for dining or using their services. Hitting certain milestones might earn an invitation to additional benefits and bigger bonuses.

5. Leave reviews

If a loyalty program gives bonus points for leaving reviews, why not take advantage? Whether you’re saying, “Best. Meal. Ever.” or wishing you had never, share your opinion and get rewarded for it.

6. Order online

Who says a great meal has to be enjoyed in a restaurant? If loyalty programs and restaurants are trying to encourage people to order online, they might offer rewards in exchange. And some credit cards might offer additional rewards or membership benefits through delivery apps.

7. Be a frequent diner

There was a time when restaurants offered punch cards for frequent diners—“order 10 subs and the 11th is free” type deals. Even if physical punch cards have been replaced by digital rewards, the idea is the same. Whether you prefer a greasy spoon or a salad fork, check to see what your favorite spot has going on.

Dining rewards in a nutshell

Looking for more ways to earn dining rewards? Consider a dining rewards card from Capital One. There are options for people of all credit levels. And when you supercharge your rewards with these tips, you might reconsider whether you actually want to split the check at the end of the night.

Trying to decide where to enjoy your next meal? Learn how Capital One Dining gives rewards cardholders access to unforgettable culinary experiences and tables set aside just for cardholders at a bespoke collection of restaurants—chosen in partnership with Chef José Andrés, the Michelin Guide and the James Beard Foundation.

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