Earning Strategies

The Easiest Way to Prevent Miles from Expiring

File this under “things most people in the game know already”. Award Wallet recently sent me a reminder that Jess’ United miles are expiring soon, so I needed to do something to make sure they didn’t. I certainly wasn’t going to buy a plane ticket, but there is an easy way to keep your miles from expiring: sign up for dining programs.

All the cool kids have a dining program
All the cool kids have a dining program

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, it basically goes like this – you dine at a restaurant enrolled in the dining program and you get a few miles to pad your account. The restaurant drums up a little extra incentive for you to go, credit card companies give you a reason not to pay with cash, frequent flyer programs keep you on the hook, and you get a few miles. Everybody wins. Anyway, it took me fifteen minutes to stop Jess’ miles from expiring in three easy steps.

1) Sign Jess up for United’s Dining Program

2) Buy lunch

3) Profit

It would have taken less than fifteen minutes but I hit traffic. It really is that simple. Now, admittedly, I don’t do the administrative work necessary to keep up with this and make sure I get points for all my eligible dining transactions. With the amount of time I have these days, that’d probably be a penny wise pound foolish sort of thing if I tried it. But, when miles are expiring, I find this is the easiest way to keep them active. Oh, and please don’t ever let miles expire. Please. If I had missed this I might have taken drastic measures.

Mileage Plus Dining promotion
These kinds of promotions are always good when they’re running

Here’s links to the four main US Carrier’s dining programs – if you need to do this look for promotions sometimes you can squeeze an extra thousand or so miles out of the deal.




US Airways

Anyone have even easier ways to keep miles from expiring?

P.S. – They’re all run by the same company so you can’t sign the same card up for four programs and quadruple dip – nice idea though!


Just an average joe trying to fly his family for less

2 thoughts on “The Easiest Way to Prevent Miles from Expiring

  1. Kids eat too! It’s worth noting that you can use the same programs and/or shopping programs to refresh a child’s miles. The name on the credit card does not have to match the name on the dining program account.

    1. For United I find doing the surveys opinionmiles.com. Already got my way to Vegas and now working toward the return flight.

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