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Is status part of iDine, AMEX, or DL? Need help

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Old Jul 31, 05, 4:56 pm
  #1
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Is status part of iDine, AMEX, or DL? Need help

I have myself set up with iDine (Delta/AMEX).

I have my husband set up with iDine (AA/MC).

I have used MINE 4-5 times lately (to get the bonus). However, in general, I have not been taking enough advantage of the iDine program.

I don't want to continue accruing Delta miles. I want to really accure more AA miles.

Logging in to my account and my husband's today, I see that a restaurant I get TEN miles per $, he only gets THREE

One of my big bonus restaurants listed gives me TWENTY per $ and he only gets SIX per $

So, I am not sure where I ended up with this 'status' to results in the extra miles. But I would prefer to start getting AA miles, but clearly don't want to jeopardize the part when I am getting all the extra miles.

Thanks for any suggestions
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Old Jul 31, 05, 5:19 pm
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Hey Lady!

Welcome to the world of dining-for-miles!

The status business has to do with past dining patterns, and nothing to do with "status" on the airlines involved. It is a very new idea cooked up by the folks at Rewards Network earlier this year. You are at the Delta miles level you are because you have had at least 12 qualifying meals post in the past 12 months. Rewards Network originally wanted to cap that level at 5 miles/dollar, but relented and are offering as much as 20 for "elites" (such as your Delta dining status now stands) through June 30, 2006. To make things even more confusing, current dining elite statuses end 12/31/06, but June - Dec. 2006 earning has likely not been established yet (for certain); as it stands, elites revert to 5 miles/dollar (as opposed to lowly peons at 3:1) on July 1, 2006.
Your husband is at 3 miles/dollar (base) until he has 12 dines by the end of this year. The same will be true for you if you open a new American Airlines dining account in your name. However, you can have multiple accounts with different airlines at the same time (some joints are still one-visit-per-month-per-airline so multiple accounts are a great idea), so you will still earn Delta miles at the higher elite rate for another 12 months (at least) with that linked card, and regular (non-elite) American miles for your first dozen visits with them.

If you are still confused, it is NOT you! This new incarnation of the program is difficult to understand.

Last edited by Points Scrounger; Jul 31, 05 at 5:22 pm
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Old Jul 31, 05, 10:04 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2002
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"Gaming" status on IDine

With the new world of IDine, there are a number of ways to "game" the system. First of all, since you already have "elite" status with Delta IDine, you should be aware of the Delta bonus that starts tomorrow (August 1.)

Delta IDine Bonus for August and Sept.

Earn More Dining Miles from Delta

Between Aug. 1 and Sept. 31, Delta SkyMiles members can earn up to 3,000 bonus miles through SkyMiles Dining.

Earn 1,500 bonus miles by spending $150 or more on qualifying dines during August, and another 1,500 bonus miles by spending $150 during September, for a total of 3,000 during the promotion period.

Bonuses are in addition to normally earned miles-for-dining.

Registration is required. Offer valid only for SkyMiles Dining and Hotels members with online accounts at skymiles.rewardsnetwork.com.

Register at https://skymiles.rewardsnetwork.com/...L09&src=DL09VU

Please note that you must register for the bonus before any charges count towards the bonus for August or September.

Now we get to the ways to "game" IDine.

1. When you register a credit card with any of the IDine programs, make sure you establish a password and profile with the program. This automatically takes you to "middke tier" status, resulting in 3 miles per dollar per dine instead of only 1 mile per dollar. BE AWARE THAT A CARD ISSUED WITH AN AIRLINE FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM AFFILIATION IS NOT AUTOMATICALLY ENROLLED IN THE IDINE PROGRAM FOR THE AIRLINE. You still have to register the card with the IDine site.

2. You can only register a credit card with one dining program. However, there are a number of no-annual fee credit cards you can apply for (such as Gold Points, Hilton, and Priority Club among others) which also will give you points, so you can double dip if you want to keep miles/points active in several programs.

3. Right now, all IDine (Rewards Network) require is 12 charges in a calendar year to qualify for elite status for 5 miles per dollar plus the 5 mile bonus. There are ways to get to the 12 charges more quickly. Many restaurants allow multiple charges during a month up to a total of $600.00. If you and your husband are going to have a drink before dinner, stop at the bar, order separately, and each of you pay for your drink separately utilizing your own charge card. Then, when you are seated for dinner, ask for separate checks if the restaurant will allow it. Thus, with dinner and drinks for the two of you, you can have four separate charges of the 12 needed to reach elite status.

4. Hunt for some cheap places to eat occasionally where you can accumulate small charges until you reach elite status. For example, there is a burger and custard stand near our home that currently is on IDine. My wife and I go there for a burger and each order separately and pay with a charge. Then, we go back for an ice cream cone for dessert. At $5 for the burger, fries and soda and $2 for the cone, we rack up 4 qualifying charges for about $14. There is another place where we can get breakfast (again with separate checks) for about $5 each.

5. Talk friends into going out to dinner with you who aren't into miles and points. Quite often, you will be able to get them to let you pay with your credit card and they will give you cash for their portion of the bill. This is great if you pay your credit card bill in full each month and don't pay interest charges. This will also work very well towards accumulating the $150 per month needed for the Delta bonus mentioned above. If you have an upscale restaurant in your area, you may be able to get close to (or exceed) the $150 total to qualify for the 1500 mile bonus with only one meal.

6. Remember, try to pay the small charges on programs that you don't have status on, and pay the big charges with the program where you have status to get the maximum number of miles.

7. Be careful to be sure the restaurant you are going to offers miles on the day you are going there. Some restaurants don't offer miles on Friday or Saturday, so if you are going there on one of those nights, stop in during the week before and buy a gift certificate, using your charge to pay for the certificate. This can change a non-qualifying Saturday meal into a qualifying purchase on Tuesday or Wednesday. Also, not all restaurants are registered with all IDine programs, so be sure to check the listings for the program you want to credit the miles to.

8. If you are at the end of the month and don't have enough charged to qualify for a bonus, buy a gift certificate this month for the difference and use it next month. Also, if you are going for a bonus similar to the one Midwest is offering in August and September (eight qualifying dines of at least $25 each) you can convert one $120 charge into four gift certificate charges of $30 each. One meal that would not qualify for the bonus is suddenly converted into a meal that earns 1000 bonus miles.

9. Finally, keep an eye on the forums for bonuses. Right now, there are bonus programs listed for Delta, Continental and Midwest Miles that I know of.
Edited to add that all the airline related IDine programs now have bonuses active for August and September, 2005.

Good luck, and build up those miles. My wife and I have gotten over 70,000 combined miles in the last 4 years on American, British Airways, Delta, Northwest and United.

Last edited by Cornroaster; Aug 4, 05 at 9:49 am
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Old Aug 2, 05, 12:50 pm
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Thanks for all the VERY helpful info

I had registered for the May 15-July 15 promo and went to 4 restaurants for at least $25. That is why I recently 'got into' getting my iDine miles.

Now I know why I am getting so many more miles than my husband's account.

I will seek out the small charges to use his account 12 times and get us 'on the same level'

Thanks for all the great tips to 'work the system'

I have registered for the new bonus program.

Too bad these things all happen right around the time I am always considering closing my AMEX Business Gold Card I keep saying that I am going to get to some 'even number' with my DL miles and then close the AMEX account. But it's hard to do when they have these iDine bonuses and the frequent Double Miles offers.

Thanks again
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Old Aug 2, 05, 1:15 pm
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Originally Posted by ALadyNCal
Thanks for all the VERY helpful info

Too bad these things all happen right around the time I am always considering closing my AMEX Business Gold Card I keep saying that I am going to get to some 'even number' with my DL miles and then close the AMEX account. But it's hard to do when they have these iDine bonuses and the frequent Double Miles offers.

Thanks again
You and I are sitting in the very same boat, Lady.

If it's any help, I plan on getting $150 of DL dining for August (during double miles for all charges of course) mainly through purchasing gift certs - one joint here is ok but only gives miles two days a week (Sun/Mon)
So, I'll buy a hundred bucks or so from them on one of those days, nab the miles and dine when I want to.
After I get fulfill the $150 for August, I doubt I'll go for more Delta miles. Instead, I'll start working on my Alaska and American promos.
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Old Aug 3, 05, 11:23 am
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great advice -- this should be a sticky since I expect questions about the new IDine program will be asked many more times

Originally Posted by Cornroaster
With the new world of IDine, there are a number of ways to "game" the system. First of all, since you already have "elite" status with Delta IDine, you should be aware of the Delta bonus that starts tomorrow.

Delta IDine Bonus for August and Sept.

Earn More Dining Miles from Delta

Between Aug. 1 and Sept. 31, Delta SkyMiles members can earn up to 3,000 bonus miles through SkyMiles Dining.

Earn 1,500 bonus miles by spending $150 or more on qualifying dines during August, and another 1,500 bonus miles by spending $150 during September, for a total of 3,000 during the promotion period.

Bonuses are in addition to normally earned miles-for-dining.

Registration is required. Offer valid only for SkyMiles Dining and Hotels members with online accounts at skymiles.rewardsnetwork.com.

Register at https://skymiles.rewardsnetwork.com/...L09&src=DL09VU

Please note that you must register for the bonus before any charges count towards the bonus for August or September.

Now we get to the ways to "game" IDine.

1. Right now, all they require is 12 charges in a calendar year to qualify for elite status for 5 miles per dollar plus the 5 mile bonus. There are ways to get to the 12 charges more quickly. Many restaurants allow multiple charges during a month up to a total of $600.00. If you and your husband are going to have a drink before dinner, stop at the bar, order separately, and each of you pay for your drink separately utilizing your own charge card. Then, when you are seated for dinner, ask for separate checks if the restaurant will allow it. Thus, with dinner and drinks for the two of you, you can have four separate charges of the 12 needed to reach elite status.

2. Hunt for some cheap places to eat occasionally where you can accumulate small charges until you reach elite status. For example, there is a burger and custard stand near our home that currently is on IDine. My wife and I go there for a burger and each order separately and pay with a charge. Then, we go back for an ice cream cone for dessert. At $5 for the burger, fries and soda and $2 for the cone, we rack up 4 qualifying charges for about $14. There is another place where we can get breakfast (again with separate checks) for about $5 each.

3. Talk friends into going out to dinner with you who aren't into miles and points. Quite often, you will be able to get them to let you pay with your credit card and they will give you cash for their portion of the bill. This is great if you pay your credit card bill in full each month and don't pay interest charges. This will also work very well towards accumulating the $150 per month needed for the Delta bonus mentioned above. If you have an upscale restaurant in your area, you may be able to get close to (or exceed) the $150 total to qualify for the 1500 mile bonus with only one meal.

4. Remember, try to pay the small charges on programs that you don't have status on, and pay the big charges with the program where you have status to get the maximum number of miles.

5. Be careful to be sure the restaurant you are going to offers miles on the day you are going there. Some restaurants don't offer miles on Friday or Saturday, so if you are going there on one of those nights, stop in during the week before and buy a gift certificate, using your charge to pay for the certificate. This can change a non-qualifying Saturday meal into a qualifying purchase on Tuesday or Wednesday.

6. If you are at the end of the month and don't have enough charged to qualify for a bonus, buy a gift certificate this month for the difference and use it next month. Also, if you are going for a bonus similar to the one Midwest is offering in August and September (eight qualifying dines of at least $25 each) you can convert one $120 charge into four gift certificate charges of $30 each. One meal that would not qualify for the bonus is suddenly converted into a meal that earns 1000 bonus miles.

7. Finally, keep an eye on the forums for bonuses. Right now, there are bonus programs listed for Delta, Continental and Midwest Miles that I know of.

Good luck, and build up those miles. My wife and I have gotten over 70,000 combined miles in the last 4 years on American, British Airways, Delta, Northwest and United.
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Old Aug 3, 05, 12:37 pm
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ALadyNCal,

If your husband is getting three emiles, he's an "engaged" member - 4 - 11 dines this calendar year. He might be pretty close - especially using Cornroaster's ideas, to full elite membership (earning five miles plus five bonus miles per dollar) - as soon as he has 12 dines in C/Y 2005.

If you prefer earning AA miles, you might CALL Rewards Network 1 (800) 479-5981 and ask them if you can get a change to AAdvantage Dining by Rewards Network, with status retention. They might entertain it - I've found some of their CS staff pretty helpful.

What I am doing to maximize my earnings: I use my Hilton HHonors AMEX Platinum card (no fee) as my primary card, so I earn: five base AA miles plus five elite bonus AA miles, plus five HHonors points, per dolalr spent - and this month, an additional 250 points each dine over $15 on a current bonus offering for AA members.

We had a nice dine last night - 1,916 AA miles plus 833 HHonors points. The steaks weren't bad, either, plus we brought half of everything home for dinner tomorrow.

My counter today shows:
You've earned 29,662 Miles this year by using Rewards Network
Program to date total Miles Earned: 171,480

Burp! Excuse me...
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Old Aug 4, 05, 9:46 am
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amex/delta skymiles

I recognize the plight of AladyinCal. I have a Delta Amex card. I have racked up 160,000 miles. Now good luck trying to use them anywhere useful.

I have phased out this card for a Cap 1 card that uses your points to buy airline tix on the open market, with no restrictions. ANd it works with iDine too.
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