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American Express Life Hacks Article Three: Dine to Earn Points For those who dine out regularly, there are plenty of points to be gobbled up.

American Express Life Hacks Series sponsored by American Express

Recognising your current spending patterns is perhaps the most vital part of choosing the right credit card for earning Rewards Points. Each card offers different perks for spenders in different categories whether that be travel, shopping or dining. Once you’ve identified which of those areas makes up for the majority of your personal spending, it’s time to choose a card. And for those who dine out regularly, there are plenty of points to be gobbled up.

Originally, American Express launched their triple points earn at restaurants as a limited time only promotion. Today they offer Cards which benefit from said 3x earn for the life of the Card. You can take our pick from the American Express Platinum Card, Qantas American Express Ultimate Card and American Express Velocity Platinum Card to receive these benefits.

With the majority of banks breaking down your spending into a simple pie chart, it’s pretty easy to work out what you’ve spent on your eating out in the month, and thus just as easy to apply simple mathematics to work out how many points you could have earned – or are missing out on! If you want to really maximise your potential points, I’ve pulled together a list of a few tips you can put into practice.

Plan:

If you’re going to call ahead to make a booking, it’s pretty simple to check whether the vendor accepts American Express. If they do and they are a standalone restaurant (not within a pub, club or department store) located in Australia, you can expect to earn 3 points per dollar spent on your bill.

I tend to use Dimmi to streamline this process. Their exclusive partnership with American Express Australia sees the integration of American Express across the Dimmi booking platform. This enables Card Members to easily identify American Express accepting Dimmi restaurants, and make a reservation.

Crowdsource:

A point I keep harping on about but easily the simplest and most under-utilised. Use your card to pay for other people’s dinners and have them give you cash or transfer the money. I was out to dinner with nine people just last week and put the $900 bill on my American Express Velocity Platinum Card. Sure, you need some self-control to make sure you don’t go out and spend the other $800 in cash in your wallet, but I’ll take the risk for an additional 3,000 points in the kitty.

Do that once a month for a year and you’ll have enough points for three Business Class upgrades between Sydney and Melbourne.

Cover Your Clients:

I wrote a piece last year about maximising points with business expenses and this point just reiterates that. If you can use your personal credit card to pay for client entertainment and then claim that cash from your work you’re a step ahead of everyone else.

Gift:

This one is a little more crafty. There’s no reason you have to dine yourself to earn points. Use your card to buy restaurant gift vouchers for birthdays, engagements, weddings. It’s a cheeky way to get something back from a thoughtful gift.

Head to American Express to check out the range of cards available including the three I listed above that earn 3 points per dollar spent on restaurants in Australia.

Other topics we’ve covered in our American Express Life Series include:
– Building the Foundations of an Effective Rewards Points Strategy.
– Maximising American Express Rewards Points for Business Expenses.


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