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Old Jun 10, 07, 10:32 am
  #23  
Stefan Daystrom
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Programs: AA Plat, BA, DL, Frontier, NWA, SWA, UA, HHonors Gold, Priority Club Plat, Choice Priv, BW, Diners
Posts: 1,554
Originally Posted by 2muchfun View Post
I wonder if the national chains (with franchisees) have internal policies restricting/limiting Miles (via "the machine is broken" trick). Afterall, this franchisee would get the cash from the sale of the credit card while the other one providing food/service with payment via gift card is absorbing the costs. Unless they have internal chargeouts which equalize the whole thing. Don't know. Maybe we are getting paranoid with this broken machine thing!
I'm confused as to how you think they would know that you're about to get miles when you present your card? Rewards Network lets you assign pretty much any credit or debit card to each program, and unless you happen to use a card that blazes "airline" on the front, or unless they saw the pattern with you as a repeat customer, how could they possibly know that your card is set to earn miles?

Now, in your case, perhaps you had a Priority Club credit card. But do you realize that that's the only hotel program that particpates? (There is no Starwood Dining, Hilton Dining, Hyatt Dining, Wyndham Dining, Choice Dining, Best Western Dining, or Marriott Dining.) How many restaurants do you think know that there is one hotel program that participates and which one it is? Gosh, many restaurants don't even know that it's a "miles" program, they think of it as a "discount" program (because, remember, in addition to Priority Club and all the miles programs, there's also Cashback Rewards [formerly iDine Prime]:

http://www.rewardsnetwork.com/program.jsp

), since that's easier for the non-FFer restaurant owner to understand cash back discounts than the meaning and value of miles.

Furthermore, have you ever worked at a restaurant? Do you have good friends who've ever worked at a restaurant? With all the stuff they have to keep track of (memorizing table numbers, learning how to spot counterfeit cash, memorizing daily specials, etc, etc), do you think the average waiter is trained in "if the card has one of the following logos on it, say the gift cert machine is broken"??? That seems like unbelievably unlikely complexity to me!

It's one thing to theorize that some restaurants may have a different card machine that they use for all transactions that they wouldn't want to have miles/cashback earned on. But to theorize that they make a decision at the instant that you hand them a particular card???
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