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United MileagePlus Dining has sent out a targeted email offering 500 bonus points for placing a restaurant delivery order through 9Fold, an online food ordering platform. This offer is valid for one online order placed by Oct. 16, 2019, from a participating restaurant. Over 300 U.S. restaurants have partnered with United and 9Fold as part of this program, so hopefully if you’re targeted you’ll be able to find a location nearby.

How to earn the points

  1. Place an order by Oct. 16, 2019, using the link provided in the email.

  2. Pay with a credit or debit card linked to your United MileagePlus Dining account.

  3. Complete a survey about your 9Fold experience.

Our take

United’s email says this offer has been sent to “an exclusive group of MileagePlus Dining members” to help test a new concept. Although I am a member of United’s Dining program, I haven’t had a qualifying dine since 2015, so I’m not exactly sure what the selection criteria was for this testing group. I suspect it could have something to do with enticing inactive members back into the program.

Unlike previous offers, which have been for dining activities, this offer is for ordering food online through 9Fold. Although 9Fold’s interface isn’t as snazzy as that of Grubhub or Seamless, 9Fold has a relatively easy-to-use platform and offers a way to search for a restaurant by name or ZIP code. Aligning with an entire restaurant network could be a strategic move for 9Fold if it is attempting to take market share away from larger players.

Dining rewards program basics

Dining rewards programs are a great way to earn extra frequent flyer or hotel loyalty points. Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, United, Hilton and IHG all offer dining programs.

The premise for earning points is simple: You register for an account with one of the dining programs and add a credit or debit card to your user profile. Each time you dine at a participating restaurant and swipe the card on file, loyalty points will automatically post to your dining account. Most of these dining programs are administered by Rewards Network, so you can only earn loyalty points with one program at a time. Additionally, only restaurants in the U.S. are part of these dining programs.

Although there are many participating restaurants where I am based in New York City, most of them aren’t where I’d typically choose to eat. Since I don’t go out of my way to choose these restaurants, it’s a nice surprise when I get an email saying I picked up some extra points for dining.

United MileagePlus Dining registration

If you’re not yet registered for a dining program, now would be a good time to sign up. Currently, United is offering a 2,500 bonus when you register for the program and dine within 30 days.

Outside of bonuses, the number of points earned for dining is based on your membership level. Points earned range from 1 point per $2 spent (basic member) to 5 points per $1 spent (VIP member). Your membership level depends on your dining frequency at participating restaurants and opting-in to receive communication from MileagePlus Dining.

Bottom line

This targeted email offer from United MileagePlus Dining is a relatively easy way to pick up 500 extra United points for ordering takeout. If you really want to maximize your rewards, make sure to use a credit card that provides bonus points for dining at restaurants, like these:

How to Maximize Your Rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for: