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Old May 1, 11, 8:44 pm   #1
 
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AAdvantage Dining Program Terms for Monthly Spending and Definition of a "Month"

I've read in the forum that spending in the dining program is limited to $1000/month, but in looking at the FAQs and the T&Cs, I haven't found this limitation. I don't doubt the limitation, and it sounds reasonable to me, but assuming I'm not hallucinating about the $1000 limitation, I'm interested (and given the likelihood of the dining program bonus coming up later this month, maybe others should be, too) in the definition of a "month." Calendar? Or as defined by something buried deep in the T&Cs that says the month begins on the eighteenth of every month?

That subtle difference might influence whether I bother to enter a participating restaurant before 5/18.
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Old May 1, 11, 11:41 pm   #2
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First off - most joints are $1000/month, though it varies from participant to participant; some I believe are $600. The specific limitation is found on the left side restaurant's listing page. I understand that some are still one visit per month only - that information should appear there, along with which credit cards the place accepts FOR REWARDS NETWORK CREDIT. There are some that will happily let you pay with other than a Visa/Mastercard, but refuse to give miles for anything but those cards.

"Monthly" means calendar month - a $500 breakfast on the 1st and a $500 dinner on the 31st should be fine.
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Old May 2, 11, 12:22 am   #3
 
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Thanks for pointing me in the right direction on this. As you can see from the 30 deals in 30 days thread, it's likely that it'll be announced on 5/17 that the program will provide a 300 point bonus for each $30 in cumulative spending in addition to the miles granted depending on your status in the program. If you qualify as a VIP (not hard to do), that means you're earning 15 miles per dollar spent.

Given the high number of restaurants that participate in my area, I'm not concerned that any one restaurant would limit me to $1000 in a month. I'm more interested in determining whether the program limits me to $1000 spending across all restaurants in one particular month. Looking at those posts on the left side of each restaurant's page, most read that "AAdvantageŽ Miles awarded on qualifying dines up to the maximum spending limit of $1000 per month." But, I have found that some restaurants have different, and lower, spending limits. One, for instance, limits spending to $600 per month. So, I can conclude that the limitation discussed is not a general limitation across all restaurants but, instead, a limit imposed by each specific restaurant. If I can spend more than $1000 a month across all restaurants, that increases the bonus to be earned (I eat 99% of my meals in restaurants).

Given my dining habits, it should not be that difficult to earn at least 25,000 miles (a little over $1600 in dining) under these rules. If I understand the rules correctly, this is possibly the most lucrative deal in AA's 30 deals promotion.
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Old May 2, 11, 12:45 am   #4
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I'm not a big spender, but I believe it's $600/$1000 per airline (or hotel chain) per month. So, if you maxed out on AA at a joint, you could get another $600 towards DL, etc.
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Old May 2, 11, 7:17 am   #5
 
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So long as it isn't $1000 per month for all restaurant spending, I'm fine. There are plenty of places I like to go in my area that are on the program, and I don't mind spreading the money around. That's good information to know, however, if I'm out with a big crowd during the promotional period. I don't mind serving as the "accountant" for the table, taking the money, and putting the whole tab on a registered credit card.
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Old May 2, 11, 10:10 am   #6
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But be careful, it's $500/$1000 cumulative or the limit on the number of visits (per establishment per account per month), whichever comes first.

I have several restaurants around me which are limited to 1 visit/month, and if I spend $2 on my first visit, I won't earn anything on my subsequent visits. At such places, if you do eat there multiple times in a month, but some visits you spend much more than others, you want to put the earlier cheaper visits on another card (not linked to the program you're most after), or pay cash, and then put the most expsnsive visit on the card linked to the program you're most after.
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Old May 2, 11, 10:34 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwildernorva View Post
.... If I understand the rules correctly, this is possibly the most lucrative deal in AA's 30 deals promotion.
+1
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Old May 2, 11, 11:00 am   #8
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Originally Posted by lwildernorva View Post
Given my dining habits, it should not be that difficult to earn at least 25,000 miles (a little over $1600 in dining) under these rules. If I understand the rules correctly, this is possibly the most lucrative deal in AA's 30 deals promotion.
Are you certain there's no limit on bonus miles?
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Old May 2, 11, 11:41 am   #9
 
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Originally Posted by Points Scrounger View Post
Are you certain there's no limit on bonus miles?
Better amend my earlier post to +/-1 and await full details.
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Old May 2, 11, 3:38 pm   #10
 
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Are you certain there's no limit on bonus miles?
Of course, at this point, we don't know all of the details, and any details being discussed here and on other forums are subject to change. I'm sure there'll be some sort of limitation. Given how small some of the other promotions have been, I wouldn't be surprised if there were a ten-dine limitation or some sort of maximum mileage earning limitation, such as 5000 or 10,000 miles. Keep in mind, though, that, other than the limitations imposed by the individual restaurants, there is apparently no such limitation currently and that for the determined diner with sufficient options, the dining program could easily yield 5000 to 10,000 miles per month at the 5 mile/dollar VIP level ($70 dining every night for a month--not difficult for a two-income couple without kids that likes dining out).

Even with this limitation, the only promotions that are bigger are the sweepstakes, and those will only be won by an extremely small number of people. The cumulative promotion for booking five flights would be bigger, but the booking window was so small that I doubt many people were able to take advantage of the full promotion, except for business travelers and those willing to compress their flight booking without regard to cost for the sole purpose of trying to get all the points. Deciding to go out to dinner to iDine restaurants for a month is a lot easier than booking five flights into a small window.

It'll probably beat the "spend more than $30 dining, spend more than $30 at the AAdvantage Mall, and book some sort of travel expense through AA.com promotion" to get 3000 miles.
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Old May 3, 11, 8:04 am   #11
 
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And given the announcement regarding the United and Delta programs, United and Delta bonus through June 30, 2011, with Delta limiting the maximum bonus to 5000 miles (but United not) and since the bonus is being doled out in 300-point lumps, the limit could be something like 3000, 6000, or 9000. If it's 9000, that works out to 13,500 miles earned (including the 5 miles/dine VIP earning).

Of course, if I could just talk myself into eating at home once in a while (the other day I realized I have run four loads in my dishwasher since Labor Day), I might save enough money to fly business class to Europe in a couple of months. That's not happening, though, because I was a restaurant fan long before I became a mileage fan.
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Old May 3, 11, 10:12 am   #12
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The thing about the possible limitation would be that this is an AA promo, involving RN dining, as opposed to the usual RN promo. My guess would be a max of 10 dines for 3000 miles.
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Old May 3, 11, 11:42 am   #13
 
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Sounds reasonable. That kind of limitation won't be hard to spread over 30 days. I regularly dine at some restaurants on the program. With a higher limit, I might return to some of those restaurants more frequently between 5/18 and 6/17.

We'll see in a couple of weeks.
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Old May 3, 11, 1:52 pm   #14
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Originally Posted by Points Scrounger View Post
My guess would be a max of 10 dines for 3000 miles.
The talk is of 300 bonus miles for every cumulative $30, so capping it at 3000 bonus miles is not likely to mean a max of 10 dines, just a max of 10 times earning the bonus. It could be fewer or more dines, depending on how much your dines cost.

I think the two most likely caps are 3000 (because the miles count then contains the number 30) or 9000 (because that means you can do this bonus up to 30 dimes). During this 30th Anniv 30 Days series of promos, AA seems to like to include the number 30 in each promo as much as it can.
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Old May 3, 11, 3:07 pm   #15
 
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It's certainly fun to guess at AA's PR strategy based on the other individual promotions they've offered. The number 30 will certainly factor in somehow as it already has with the 300 mile bonus.
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