Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > MilesBuzz
Reload this Page >

iDine rocks!

iDine rocks!

Old Mar 26, 02, 9:34 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Columbia, SC
Programs: a little here, a little there
Posts: 1,281
iDine rocks!

My top five reasons why iDine is one of the best ways to earn FF miles without flying:

5. I can register 5 different credit cards with 5 different airline's iDine program, and be able to add miles to each program at-will.

4. If I pay with a mileage-earning credit card, I get an additional mile/$.

3. If I register different cards with different programs, I can earn at the same restaurant twice in one month.

2. If I am Exec Plat with AA, I get a 500 mile bonus if I eat at three different places within a month.

1. I just earned 2,000 miles for dinner at a new restaurant downtown, and didn't even realize it at the time!
johnndor is offline  
Old Mar 26, 02, 9:57 am
  #2  
In Memoriam
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: dallas texas usa
Programs: aa plt 4.9MM LTAC
Posts: 14,828
haven't seen the 500 mi bonus for the hat trick in 1 month, but the three scores have shown for feb. i love it.
clacko is offline  
Old Mar 26, 02, 11:15 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: MCI. AA Plat, UA PrmEx., Mrrtt Gold, Hz Pres.Circle, HHonors Gold
Posts: 1,070
Sometimes I earn more miles dining in a given month than I do flying!
rmccamy is offline  
Old Mar 26, 02, 11:36 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Once Seattle...then DC....now CDG.
Posts: 4,059
It looks like johnndor had a revelation One of those moments where the world all comes together for him/her.
mymiles2go is offline  
Old Mar 26, 02, 1:08 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 422
It's really an excellant program which I use extensively on NWA & Delta. You can use the same restaurant 2x in a month by registering, say, Amex with NWA and Visa with DL. Customer service is excellant. 99% of the time visits thru the end of one month are posted to your NWA or Delta acct by the middle of the next month.

These are the problem areas and my suggestions in dealing with them:
1-500mile bonus for NWA for 3 dines last May & June. I never got this and gave up worrying about it. The same type of bonus on Delta for 5? dines recently posted as expected.

2-The printed Directory vs the website. Just because a place is in the directory, thru 4/02, doesn't mean they are still in the program. Places drop out at different times. I've had several situations in the period ending 1/02 where places were in the directory but dropped out. I've called the 800#, faxed in a copy of the charge slip, and have usually been given credit. I suggest on any place where you expect to have a large bill, say $100 - 1000 miles, you check the website first to make SURE the restaurant is still in the program.
3-Website lists NEW places which are not yet in directory.
4-Some places restrict credit to Sunday-Thursday only, with no FRI/SAT. Be careful.
ENJOY
knowitall is offline  
Old Mar 26, 02, 2:21 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: west of DFW airport
Programs: AA LT Gold 1.9 MM flying my way to LT PLAT
Posts: 11,070
A lot of times I'm on the run. Does take out count at the IDine restaurants or do you have to eat in the restaurant?
oldpenny16 is offline  
Old Mar 26, 02, 2:24 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: atlanta, GA
Posts: 2,040
I am not very familiar with this program--do you get FF miles in stead of cash discounts/rebates, or in addition to the cash? Do you take 10 miles per dollar in lieu of $.20 per dollar--those sound like expensive miles.
LemonThrower is offline  
Old Mar 26, 02, 2:28 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Home of the El Dorado Promise
Posts: 462
Please please please please please IDINE add more restaurants to Arkansas. My family is beginning to think fine dining and IHOP go hand in hand.
Soonerman is offline  
Old Mar 26, 02, 2:44 pm
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Columbia, SC
Programs: a little here, a little there
Posts: 1,281
I have had take-out credit every time... although you might check the website for individual restrictions... as mentioned above, some places dont' allow points on Saturdays, etc.

As far as cash discounts/rebates go, I'm not sure. It may depend on what program you are using ot get the cash? You can still use coupons, etc. as the restaurant does not know your card is linked to iDine when you pay. What program gives you 20% back?
johnndor is offline  
Old Mar 26, 02, 3:18 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: atlanta, GA
Posts: 2,040
I don't use iDine, so I'm no expert. I'm thinking about signing up. From their website, it looks like they have 2 programs--1 for miles and 1 for cash. The cash program is iDine prime. It requires a $49 fee, but you can defer the fee from your earnings. Most restaurants in the program offer a 20% discount, some only 10%. I think the way it works is say you run up a $100 tab at a restaurant including the tax and tip. You put down your credit card and sign for $100. Your credit card gets hit for $100 then gets a $20 refund from iDine. That's how it works if I understand it correctly.

Some may feel differently, but I think I'll take the $20 cash instead of 1,000 miles.
LemonThrower is offline  
Old Mar 26, 02, 3:19 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: IAD
Programs: Gymboree Global Services
Posts: 5,879
I love Idine. But two of my most frequented restaurants in SEA left the program a few months ago. How much money does it cost a restaurant to be listed on Idine? I've cut my trips to those restaurants at least 75% since they left the program.
whlinder is offline  
Old Mar 26, 02, 4:10 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: MCI. AA Plat, UA PrmEx., Mrrtt Gold, Hz Pres.Circle, HHonors Gold
Posts: 1,070
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by LemonThrower:
I don't use iDine, so I'm no expert. I'm thinking about signing up. From their website, it looks like they have 2 programs--1 for miles and 1 for cash. The cash program is iDine prime. It requires a $49 fee, but you can defer the fee from your earnings. Most restaurants in the program offer a 20% discount, some only 10%. I think the way it works is say you run up a $100 tab at a restaurant including the tax and tip. You put down your credit card and sign for $100. Your credit card gets hit for $100 then gets a $20 refund from iDine. That's how it works if I understand it correctly.

Some may feel differently, but I think I'll take the $20 cash instead of 1,000 miles.
</font>
You're right...that's a good program, too. If you do a lot of volume at the iDine restaurants, and you enjoy immediate cash more than miles, the Prime is the way to go. After you've recouped the initial investment, it's like a permanent happy hour at your favorite restaurants!

The 20% discount program looks slightly different in that there is no 'first visit per month' rule, but rather a $600 spend limit per month rule (per restaurant). Also, the iDine site says Prime members get additional discounts on hotels, cruises, etc. 99% of the time I see that claim, the discounts are worthless. Any Prime members have experiences to share?

[This message has been edited by rmccamy (edited 03-26-2002).]
rmccamy is offline  
Old Mar 26, 02, 4:19 pm
  #13  
jfe
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: El Paso, TX, USA
Programs: Kicked out of all of them
Posts: 32,551
When you consider the value of a mile times ($0.02 *10), against the 20%, it is really a wash. I think of iDine as a piggy bank in which I can make small deposits at a time. You know how long the 20% is going to stay in my wallet? I will probably spend it without much thought.
With the miles, is like putting them in a no-interest savings account. It's a non-liquid asset; it's there for the long haul.

And I agree with Soonerman, enough with the IHOP stuff. In El Paso it's either IHOP($) or the Bistro ($$$$). Nothing in between.

My lobbying efforts are not paying, I always write in the credit card receipt " Please Join www.freshcustomers.com but none of my favorite restaurants have joined.
jfe is offline  
Old Mar 26, 02, 6:11 pm
  #14  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Posts: 2,456
A pretty complete list of airlines' Idine programs and links to them is available on my site below. Click on Free Frequent Flyer Miles in the left menu, then on Other in the top menu.

------------------
The Personal Travel Experience of Gary Steiger - including how to get free frequent flyer miles on the web.
http://home.earthlink.net/~pgary/TravelFrame.html
pgary is offline  
Old Mar 26, 02, 7:44 pm
  #15  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Los Angeles
Programs: Loyal to Myself
Posts: 8,304
For those interested, here's how iDine works, generally:

1. iDine signs up restaurants, by giving them cash advances against future dining credits. So a restaurant may get an immediate check for $10,000.

2. The restaurant gives iDine $10,000 in food credit, plus allows iDine to take over their credit card processing services.

3. When people who have registered with iDine (note: they registered their credit card) buy food at the restaurant, iDine bills the person ordering as usual on their credit card, but doesn't repay 100% to the restaurant. The percentage that iDine keeps is credited against the future dining credit iDine owns from that restaurant.

4. iDine makes money from "interest"in the amount of future dining credits they get, associated fees, plus they are now the processor for all of that restaurant's credit card charges. The restaurant gets immediate cash for reinvestment or a vacation, or Las Vegas. Whatever.

5. The marketing pitch to restaurants is that by making the points/discount offer valid only during off peak hours, and limiting it to once per credit card per month, it is all incremental revenue, so sharing it with iDine isn't bad, especially when it got you $10k at the front end.

All in all, pretty nifty marketing.
Brian is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: