My Targeted AAdvantage Dining Offer: 100 Miles per Dine

I should start by saying that I may get a little too excited when I get emails offering bonus miles or deals. Although it doesn’t happen daily, email inbox deals can be a nice surprise sometimes, like 500 bonus SPG points for 2 minutes of work. I recently received an AAdvantage Dining offer that was a little underwhelming though.

It started out so promising in the title!

AAdvantage Dining Offer
1,000 bonus miles…sure, I’ll take a look!

Mediocre AAdvantage Dining Offer

So things looked good until I opened the email. Then I saw the breakdown to get my 1,000 bonus miles. At first I thought there was another “0” on the end of this…

AAdvantage Dining Offer 100 Bonus Miles
100 bonus miles per dine until June 25th.

Now listen, I’m happy to take 100 miles per dine. And coupled with the Yelp cash back program, my return definitely is not bad. But hyping this as a big 1,000 mile bonus for a $1.50 per dine return is pretty disappointing. As I’ll show below the percentage of return can be high, but this offer certainly isn’t changing my life.

Since almost every restaurant in American Airlines Dining Rewards program is also in the Yelp cash back program (at least in my area), and because I’m a “VIP” a sample return looks as follows:

  • $30 Restaurant purchase
    • 100 miles per dine from offer + 5x miles on purchase = 250 miles
    • 7% Yelp cash back
    • = 250 miles worth $3.75 + $2.10 = $5.85 return
    • This means a return of almost 20% on my dining purchase! Not bad!! About 5% of that is from the promo

Of course, since the promo is a flat return of miles my percentage of return will go down the more I spend. That also means if it makes sense to make many small purchases my return could be bigger. I.E. if I buy a soda 10x from Jack In The Box:

  • $1.50 soda purchase from Jack In The Box
    • 100 miles per “dine” + 5x miles on purchases = 107 miles
    • 7% Yelp cash back
    • = 107 miles worth $1.60 + $.10 = $1.70 return 
    • This means a return of about 113% on my fast food soda. But, percentages are misleading since you know, it’s a couple dollars.

Bottom Line

Will I grab a soda from Jack In The Box instead of Circle K for the next month? Might as well. But this is another example of promos looking significantly better on the surface than they end up being. Always look at the effort required to take advantage of a promo or deal and decide if it actually makes any sense for you.

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