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Credit cards are frequently used to pay restaurant bills, so it makes sense for card issuers to treat their customers to dining discounts and benefits. Your card can unlock a range of savings when you eat out: from money off your bill, to 1-for-1 main meals or bonus rewards simply by swiping your dining credit card.
A dining credit card is a type of credit card that offers various benefits if you enjoy dining out (or order in) regularly. You can look forward to more than just discounts. The dining perks on some cards include preferential bookings or special events at exclusive restaurants. What’s more, you could get rewarded with bonus cashback, air miles or loyalty points when you charge restaurant meals or bar drinks to your card.
A dining credit card is different from other types of credit cards because the card issuer pays special attention to negotiating offers that are exclusive to individuals who hold the card. Your dining credit card can have other benefits outside of dining, but it tends to offer something exclusive when eating out.
Dining benefits are usually part of a wider group of benefits on your credit card, known as rewards. However, some credit cards are focused exclusively on dining. Typically, your dining credit card will entitle you to discounts at a range of restaurants, with these discounts exclusive to individuals who hold a specific credit card. To enjoy your dining benefit, you’ll typically have to pay with your dining credit card when you visit the restaurant.
Restaurants are often enthusiastic about signing up with credit card providers to offer discounts to cardholders, especially when these are premium credit cards that are held by high earners. Dining benefits vary. For example, your dining credit card could offer a substantially accelerated reward earnings rate when you pay at restaurants.
When comparing credit cards, check to see if a provider is not simply repeating offers you can find elsewhere. It’s also a good idea to look at the restrictions and conditions around the dining benefits, because sometimes they are structured in a way that minimises the opportunity to save money. Don’t apply for a dining credit card if other cards offer more rounded benefits that you can take advantage of more often.
Will my dining benefit automatically be applied to my bill?
In many cases, your dining benefit will automatically be applied to your bill at the restaurant, but may also appear later, on your credit card statement. Some dining benefits are given as cashback, which will only appear on your statement at the end of the month, or reward earnings, which you can redeem for goods or coupons at a later point.
Do I need to tell the restaurant I’m visiting that I have a credit card with a dining benefit?
When making your reservation, in order to avoid any need to query your bill at a later point, it’s always wise to tell the restaurant which card you are planning on paying with and what benefit you are expecting. Restaurant staff are not always aware of the full range of offers, and it gives you an opportunity to become aware of any booking restrictions or exclusions.
Are the annual fees on dining cards expensive?
Dining benefits are often part of a wider credit card benefits package, which can come with substantial annual fees in the case of some cards. However, credit card annual fees are occasionally waived and you could save a lot more with your dining benefits than the total annual fee.
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