Rewards Network/iDine Restaurants = Roadfood?

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The Travelin Man
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2005/01/16 17:34:21 (permalink)

Rewards Network/iDine Restaurants = Roadfood?

I almost tacked this on to the restaurant.com thread, because it is somewhat similar, but thought that it might be different enough to warrant its own thread. Is anyone else familiar with this company? As I have mentioned in other threads, my other main pursuit besides finding quality eats on my travels, is the accumulation of airline miles and hotel points -- such that I can make my personal travel just a touch less expensive. To that end, I have discovered iDine (which is now Rewards Network, but will always be iDine to me!). The basic premise is that you register your credit card with iDine, under the loyalty program of your choice -- they use most major airlines, some hotel chains, and others like uPromise and mypoints.com. You use your registered credit card and their sponsoring restaurants and you get XX # of miles or points per dollar that you spend, to include tax and tip. Most of the restaurants are 10 miles per dollar, though some are less, with a cap per month -- sometimes as little as one visit per month.

Anyway, I have eaten at a number of these restaurants over the past year or so, in an effort to boost my mileage in a few different programs. I found some great places, some marginal places, but only one was a flat out dog.

Does anyone else use this program? Have you had particularly good or bad experiences?

Steve
#1

15 Replies Related Threads

    mr chips
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    RE: Rewards Network/iDine Restaurants = Roadfood? 2005/01/16 20:28:06 (permalink)
    I too dine out with this program. Most of the restaurants in Portland are not good . Caffe Fresco here in Porland is a roadfood place and part of the network. There is a gourmet pizza place in Portland(It's A Beautiful Pizza) and there was a place (El Charro in Tucson, I think) that the Sterns like. For the most part I find very little relation between road food and the dining program.
    #2
    Milt
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    RE: Rewards Network/iDine Restaurants = Roadfood? 2005/10/19 05:17:32 (permalink)
    Apparently I registered for IDine/Rewards Network at some time in the past. This was discovered when I ate at an IDine affiliate and presented them with a coupon. Because I know the restauranteur, he honored the coupon but asked me not to do it again - because it was (in effect) a double discount. A year later, I have never had any contact from IDine/Rewards Network and my attempts to find some answers on-line were less than successful. A couple of weeks ago, I expressed my concern to above restauranteur that he may be receiving little or no benefit from this program. If I have any credit with them, I can find no record of it. Does anyone else have similar confusion/difficulty?
    #3
    mr chips
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    RE: Rewards Network/iDine Restaurants = Roadfood? 2005/10/19 23:40:44 (permalink)
    The idine program I am a part of does not give discounts. You register your credit card with the idine company along with your frequent flyer number and program. You receive frequent flier miles(points) automatically if you eat at an affiliated restaurant and use one of your registered credit cards.
    #4
    MilwFoodlovers
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    RE: Rewards Network/iDine Restaurants = Roadfood? 2005/10/20 06:58:23 (permalink)
    Mine shows up on my credit card statement as a credit in the amount of between 8-20% depending on the restaurant. We have the gamut of choices in my area and often will use it to try a new (to us) place to dine. We get an incentive to dine and the restaurant gets a new customer; seems like a win, win situation.
    #5
    The Travelin Man
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    RE: Rewards Network/iDine Restaurants = Roadfood? 2005/10/21 00:31:51 (permalink)
    My understanding is that there are two differnt types of memberships. One is a cash-back membership that gives a rebate to the customer's charged credit card. The other is one in which the member receives frequent flyer miles from the airline of their choice. I believe that the cash back membership requires a fee paid up front, but the mileage programs do not.

    As far as quality restaurants, I have found them to be pretty hit and miss. Many seem to be newer restaurants in search of new clientele. If the restaurant is good enough, then they will gain the customers that they need and no longer need to offer the incentive. The restaurants that continue to offer the incentives are often not of the best quality.

    If you are in my neck of the woods (Melbourne, FL), there is a pretty good Italian place, Pane e Vino by the Oaks movie theater.

    I also found a place in Houston, TX called Texadelphia. They make a pretty good version of a Philly cheesesteak -- well, for TX anyway. They have a pretty family friendly sports bar environment, too. We watched one of the NLCS games there -- cheap beer and decent food.

    It seems that the real quality places are few and far between, but there are a number of serviceable meals.

    Steve
    #6
    mgantt007
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    RE: Rewards Network/iDine Restaurants = Roadfood? 2005/10/21 06:12:14 (permalink)
    Hey! I've been doing the Rewards Network Dining thing since 2003 with Northwest and have accumulated thousands of miles that way. It used to be Idine in the beginning. Since I have to eat out anyway when I travel, why not benefit from it? I'd say that about 80% of the time, the food is really good. Plus, it keeps me out of the chain restaurants like Applebees, etc. I love it!
    #7
    The Travelin Man
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    RE: Rewards Network/iDine Restaurants = Roadfood? 2010/09/22 15:45:02 (permalink)
    Seems like a good day to resurrect a five-year old thread.  
     
    I recently changed bank accounts, which meant a new debit card - one that earns miles.  With that, I registered my new card with the Mileage Plus (United) Dining program, which is what iDine and Rewards Network have evolved into over time.  In the last five years, I have found very little correlation to the quality of food versus the ability to earn miles this way.  Most places are just ordinary!  Still, now that I am using my primary debit card linked to this account, every now and again, I get a little surprise in my email telling me that I have earned some miles.
     
    When in Boston recently, I found that I had received miles for my purchase at Upper Crust in Brookline.   But, today, I think I hit the Roadfood/mileage earning equivalent of a grand slam!
     
    When I was in Kansas City this past weekend, I used my card to pay for my meal at Stroud's...and today found out that I earned miles!  Woo hoo!  The best fried chicken - and miles!   I may just have to go back there now!
    #8
    Sfreader
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    RE: Rewards Network/iDine Restaurants = Roadfood? 2010/09/23 12:03:59 (permalink)
    Since they cut the mile rewards in half, I only eat at Advantage restaurants when that is where I wanted to eat anyway. I'm glad to see that one of my regular restaurants is adding the program next week!
     
    There is a current 500 mile bonus for eating at a place for the first time on the program.
     
    I used to make more of a point of using the program when traveling, but since I stopped, I sometimes get a surprise bonus when it turns out they are Advantage restaurants.
    #9
    Pirate Paul
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    RE: Rewards Network/iDine Restaurants = Roadfood? 2011/03/04 13:05:54 (permalink)
    I think I just set some kind of record. I may be the ONLY person to ever be kicked out of the iDine program. They just sent me a letter saying so. It is over a page long, so I can't go into all the crap it says, but here are some highlights:

    It is unfortunate that the same level of dining rewards cannot be supported today that you received when you joined in... [a century ago -- they think it was 1998, but it was way before that under other names before they inherited or bought their business from TransMedia, DiningAlaCard, RewardsNet or whatever it was called back then].
    We recognize that our structure doesn't appeal to everyone...
    We are electing to terminate your iDine membership... [because]
    Item 17... (iv) you engage in behavior we deem to be abusive to us...

    The "behavior" they refer to are things I said about iDine in restaurant reviews, which the restaurants and possibly customers may be able to see. In the review questionaires, they clearly want me to rate their promotions or program as a reason for my patronizing participating restaurants. But if they don't like what I might say, then why did they ask me? Is iDine really that chicken-$#!T, or what?  You know what?
     Just #U@< them!

    Pirate Paul 
     
    #10
    Sfreader
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    RE: Rewards Network/iDine Restaurants = Roadfood? 2011/04/15 11:16:19 (permalink)
    A couple of years ago, they did not publish a negative review of a restuarant which I posted on their site.  Overall, the reviews on their site are much too positive. 5 stars given for average food. It is to their advantage to get people to go to their restaurants, even if they have a bad experience.
    #11
    The Travelin Man
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    RE: Rewards Network/iDine Restaurants = Roadfood? 2011/04/16 21:23:51 (permalink)
    I got some random miles posted from my visit to Junior's in the Grand Central Terminal.  Not bad - some of the best cheesecake around - and about 100 United miles!  I'll take it.
    #12
    MilwFoodlovers
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    RE: Rewards Network/iDine Restaurants = Roadfood? 2011/04/17 10:33:51 (permalink)
    They switched my account last year from cash back to rewards miles; something I'll be very unlikely to ever use. Because of that, I no longer seek out iDine restaurants. If I get a "reward" it is pure blind luck. Too bad, as I used to take a chance on a new dining experience I was unsure of, as the cash back eased the pain if the meal wasn't up to snuff. Now, a new place has to hook me in some other way. Progress, I guess.
    #13
    chewingthefat
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    RE: Rewards Network/iDine Restaurants = Roadfood? 2011/04/17 17:46:20 (permalink)
    Frpm an owners standpoint,I HATE THE PROGRAM, I signed up, and quickly cancelled, they get 20% of the tab, and they have access to my checking account. My weekly statements kept getting bigger and bigger and I had to go back over every credit card slip, many I simply couldn't find, frankly I don't trust them. My last statement said I had 2 different people from Alaska on 2 consecutive dayI find that a stretch. Bernie Madoff is probably behind it!
    post edited by chewingthefat - 2011/04/17 17:47:38
    #14
    mr chips
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    RE: Rewards Network/iDine Restaurants = Roadfood? 2011/04/17 22:30:47 (permalink)
    The only thing this program did foe me was make my occasional forays for sodas and coffee at the burger king next to my group home worth airline miles.
    #15
    Sfreader
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    RE: Rewards Network/iDine Restaurants = Roadfood? 2011/04/18 14:10:34 (permalink)
    I am much more likely to visit a Rewards restaurant when they are doing double miles or some other bonus. The nice thing about using them, is even when the meal is disapointing, at least I get the miles.
     
    The miles go to my AA acount, which I save for international travel when I get the best return for the miles used. When I eat out in the program, I think of it as eating my way across the Atlantic.
    #16
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