Getting money back while dining out – iDine

This is the first in a series of blogs related to what I call “Life Hacks”. The last several years I’ve traveled extensively for business and in doing so embraced rewards as much as possible. This particular blog is about or if you prefer a related affiliate under the Rewards Network umbrella of programs.

Using this Life Hack you get part of your money back to you for dining out and going to bars.

This program enables businesses to quickly drive customers to them, increase repeat visits and referrals. There are various programs in the “Rewards Network Establishment Services Inc” suite that give you various types of rewards such as airline miles or donate to charity but iDine gives you your rewards in the form of an American Express credit card. One of the cooler things about these programs is it makes it easy to locate establishments that you would otherwise not have found.

To enroll in iDine you go to and register. You have to opt in for marketing E-mails which are not excessive and you must complete a review several days to weeks after your visit. Once your balance reached $20 or more in credits to you, you’re sent the Amex card in U.S. mail.

You have to register each credit card that you may use when dining out and you can certainly register your corporate card also. There is no transaction whatsoever that takes place between the iDine program or affiliates to your card it is all handled in the backend with the establishment where you spend the money.

The amount of benefits members can receive is directly related to how much they spend at participating restaurants, bars, and clubs – including tax and tip – in a 365-day period.

Members earn 5% back until they have spent $250.

Members earn 10% back when they have spent more than $250 and less than $750.

Members earn 15% back when they have spent more than $750.

The amount of spend includes tip so dinner for two and a few drinks may add up to $75 then a $15 tip brings you to $90 spend with the program. Even if you do not travel much a great way to increase your program level quickly is to simply go to one of the enrolled establishments when you go out for lunch. This will at least get you to the 10% earning level which is a decent chunk of change right back to your pocket.

When I’ve traveled and visited clients often they would want to go to lunch and if possible I would ask about the place I had pre-scoped that was close to the client location.

Once you get your Amex card in the mail you can turn around and register that rewards card also. In the past I’ve then visited an establishment on the program and opened a tab with my rewards card thus earning rewards while using my freebee card.

I hope you find this helpful and I will post more Life Hacks soon.

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