HOW TO EARN MILES PART III – DINING
(Updated as of 4/8/18)
Julia Carney in her famous poem once wrote, “little drops of water… make the mighty ocean”. So it is with miles; every mile earned brings one closer to travelling luxuriously. Dining is a fantastic way of generating miles, especially if you’re a foodie. However, the strategy employed can differentiate between you taking three years or one.
My favourite card used to be OCBC’s Titanium Reward’s card. $1 spent via Android/Apple/Samsung pay (mobile wallet) used to give 4 miles per dollar (mpd).
A mobile wallet allows you to store your credit card (CC) details on your handphone or smartwatch. This is > 3x in comparison with general spend CCs such as Citi Premiermiles/DBS Altitude that give only 1.2 mpd.
If you’re the kind that dines out often or spends large amount on food to feed yourself, the entire family or entourage, you’ll be please to know that Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card caters to that. You can sign for your bill as per normal.
If the restaurant is counted under “dining” MCC (5812), you’ll safely get 3.2mpd. What I don’t like about this system is that you’ll never know what it truly is coded as. Even if you enquire, you’re likely to get blank stares as most cashiers don’t know what their establishment is coded under.
The T&Cs (read here) state that “Transactions made at restaurants located in a hotel which are classified under the hotel’s name and MCC will not be eligible for Bonus TREATS Points.” Other bloggers have also reported that fast food restaurants and drinking places are also excluded. Also, take note that you’ll need to spend a min amount of $300 a month.
Another card you might want to consider if you dine out a lot is:
In simple terms, every $1 spent nets you 2 miles. This card also has a wider definition of what dining is. For more info on this card and its benefits, click here.
There is another dining strategy that helps generate miles which I wrote on before, which is through this app called Mileslife. Read in detail here. The number of restaurants that collaborate with this app have expended significantly.
In summary, Mileslife is a mile generating app that gives you 1 to 3 mpd depending on the restaurant. They sometimes have promotional tie ups offering up to 3x the miles. This potentially means that you can be getting as much as 13 miles per $1 spent if you double dip by paying with UOB’s Preferred Platinum Visa CC (Explore here) which is offering 4mpd! (13 miles: 4 from CC, 9 from app). This CC is also great to have, providing 4mpd through contactless transactions, online shopping and entertainment.
For the Mileslife app, If you use my invitation code [ DANC ] you get 1,000 miles with your first purchase (with a min spend of $49 or more) and I get 300 miles.
Hardcore mile bloggers advocate holding many CCs. For me, I like to strike a balance. I don’t like to monitor a stack of CCs and it would be hard for me to satisfy the minimum spend if I hold too many CCs anyway. However, I do hold a sufficient number of cards, allowing me to utilise various mile generating strategies be it through dining, booking hotels and flights, or shopping.
There are other dining strategies but I’ve provided the main ones that I perceive will be useful to you. If you know of any other great strategies, please share with me!
Next up: How to earn miles part IV – Bulk purchase