What’s the FIRST THING you should do when you get a new credit card

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I do an App Party every 4-6 months, so I get anywhere from 10-20 new cards every year.  These cards are great ways to earn miles.  However, there are hidden miles and points to be earned that you won’t get if you don’t do this simple step once you activate your new cards.

Unexpected Points

What I like best is receiving unexpected points for trying out new restaurants!

Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining Weiland Brewery Underground

I register every one of my credit cards, gift cards, and debit cards because you never know when you may use a card and earn hidden points.

Airline and Hotel Dining Programs

Most airline and hotel rewards programs have partnered up with Rewards Network to offer miles and points when you dine at participating restaurants.  Some will even offer you an extra incentive of 1,000 or 2,000 points if you spend a certain amount within a short timeframe.

You can only pick one program to register each card in.  You can register different cards with different programs, or you can register every card with one program, depending upon how you want to approach this.

Either way… make sure you register each card in some program!

American Airlines AAdvantage Dining

American Airlines AAdvantage Dining

Delta SkyMiles Dining

Delta SkyMiles Dining

IHG Rewards Club Dine & Earn

IHG Rewards Club Dine & Earn 2014

Mogl Loyalty Services

You can earn up to 10% of your meal price back in rewards.  For instance, Hawaiian Airlines will give you 40 miles for every $1 you earn.

Hawaiian Airlines MOGL Dining

Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining

Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining

United MileagePlus Dining

United MileagePlus Dining

US Airways Dividend Miles Dining

US Airways Dividend Miles Dining

Super Size Your Rewards

You can super size your rewards by using an affiliated credit card or one that provides 2x or 3x spend when dining.

I generally use my Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa or Barclay’s US Airways® Premier World Mastercard® because my goal is to earn bonus miles with those programs.

Another card to use is the Chase Sapphire Preferred because it offers 2x on dining, plus an additional 7% annual bonus of the points you’ve earned throughout the year.  Through the end of 2014, you will earn 3x on dining on the 1st Friday of each month.

For restaurants that I know I’m going to frequent, I’ll buy gift cards from Staples or Office Depot with my Chase Ink Plus to earn 5x rewards on those gift card purchases.  Unfortunately, you won’t receive additional dining points with this method, but you will earn 5x points every time you buy the gift card.


Some people choose the restaurants they dine at based upon which ones participate in these dining programs.  I generally do not, instead preferring to be pleasantly surprised when an email notice comes through telling me that I’ve been awarded dining rewards.




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