Revisiting MOGL and their Virgin America Elevate partnership

Last October I wrote about MOGL, a pretty innovative dining rewards program. There are lots of dining rewards programs out there that offer airline miles as rewards, though I don’t know of any others even nearly as rewarding as MOGL. Basically if you dine at a MOGL affiliate restaurant you get 10% cash back. You get paid monthly to your debit/credit card as long as your balance is at least $10. If your balance is below $10, the amount rolls over to the following month.

What’s unique is that a couple of months ago they started allowing members to accrue Virgin America Elevate points in place of cash. When companies offer miles in place of cash it almost always works in our favor. We usually value miles at a higher rate than their cost of buying them from the airlines. So it’s usually a win-win. Instead of 10% cash back MOGL lets you choose 30 Elevate points per dollar cash back. Since you usually get 10% cash back, that’s the equivalent of three Elevate points per dollar spent. I value Elevate points at two cents each, so that’s the equivalent of getting a return of 6%. Definitely not much of a deal, in my opinion, as I’ll take 10% cash back over that any day.

While MOGL so far only has restaurants in California, the good news is that if you are in California, they have more affiliate restaurants than any other dining rewards program I know of. They have 702(!!!) restaurants in San Diego, 365 restaurants in San Francisco, 244 restaurants in Los Angeles, 240 restaurants in Ventura, and 165 restaurants in Orange County. So if you live in any of those markets you really don’t even have to go out of your way to earn cash back. Just register your cards and surely you’ll have cash back post regardless of whether you intend it to or not.

MOGL even has a referral program. New members get $10 credit just for being referred to MOGL, and the person doing the referring gets $10 after the new member does their first dine. You can sign up through my link in order to earn the $10 referral bonus, though feel free to post your own link below as well so others can use it.

Sadly I don’t live in California so can’t take advantage of this as much as I’d like to, but this is one of the very best dining rewards programs out there, and sadly enough for our hobby, not for the miles you get.


  1. @ Lucky– This is off-topic but isn’t it time for another post about life in Seattle and how you feel about it (e.g. whether you’ve settled in and if you see yourself there for a while?) I’m recalling the great posts from when you first moved there. 😉 Keep up the good work!

  2. @ Peter — LOL, funny you should mention it, I was just thinking about that in the shower this morning. I’ll have one shortly!

  3. I’ve been watching this program (I live in SF and my go-to Chinese takeout place is a member). But I always worry what a new and untested company is doing with my data, so that is why I’ve held off joining for now. But since this doesn’t appear to be a fly-by-night at this point, I guess it is time to dive in. 10% cash back sure sounds good.

  4. Lucky, it does pay to register for this program if you live down here. I’m working on earning a free flight. Almost there! Please click this link to register – Thank you!

  5. @ Leslie – I have never had a problem with anything posting or being credited. I highly recommend it.

  6. You missed the intro bonus MOGL had in Jan/Feb where it was 60VX pts/ $.

    If any Bay Area folks want to join use my link to get $10 free or 300 elevate points FREE! No purchase necessary:

  7. Rewards Network offers 3 miles per dollar with any number of different airlines. After 10 dines you get VIP status and get 5 miles per dollar.

    What am I missing here?

  8. @ Erik — Not only are there no minimums here, but do you really value miles in any programs at more than two cents a piece, especially when the alternative is cash?

  9. Referral link –

    @khoa – yes, it’s separate from the iDine network so you could technically double-dip if you find a spot that does both. Though I’ve found that in SF Bay Area there isn’t much overlap. MOGL places tend to be ones that I (and just people in general) frequent far more regularly.

    Maybe it’s just me but it seems like the iDine network restaurants are usually somewhat out of the way/less popular/just the oddball places that not many people go to. MOGL, in downtown SF for example, has nearly every lunch spot that financial district workers go to. Lots of bars in the popular parts of town are also on MOGL

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