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Last week I wrote about Seated, which is an app that gives you $15-20 in gift cards (with your choice of Amazon, Starbucks, or Uber) every time you dine out at a participating restaurant. You might say “what’s the catch?” and the truth is that there aren’t many catches:
- Obviously only a limited number of restaurants are participating (as of now 2,000+), and most of them are fairly high end
- At least two people need to dine to be eligible
- Not all participating restaurants accept reservations through Seated at all times, so sometimes they’ll only let you book during off-peak times, when they value the business most
Unlike some dining programs, there are a lot of really popular, great restaurants on the list, so getting a $15 gift card for dining at them is awesome. Well, I had the chance to test out Seated over the weekend while I was in Los Angeles, and wanted to report back on my experience, and how I double dipped (or maybe even triple dipped, depending on how you look at it).
My experience using Seated
There are tons of restaurants in Los Angeles participating in Seated, though for a Sunday lunner (lunch/dinner combo, since I go to bed early), Ford and I went to Momed, which is a modern Mediterranean restaurant. We booked a table for 2:30PM for two people, and making the booking was super easy. It’s even easier than OpenTable, since all your info is saved through the app and there’s no need to log-in.
You don’t need to give a credit card or anything, though do note that you can be banned from Seated if you miss your reservation and/or don’t cancel at least 10 minutes in advance (I doubt they’d do that if you just do it once, but rather I suspect it’s for repeat offenders).
Momed was awesome, and we had a great meal.
The check came out to ~$55 including drinks, food, etc., so with tip it was ~$70.
We paid at the restaurant just as we usually would, and just under 24 hours later I received both an email and my app was updated to reflect that I had received a $15 Amazon code. On top of that, I got an additional $5 for being referred by an existing member, so I got a total of $20 in credits. It seems to me like you get the credit as long as the restaurant doesn’t mark you as a no-show, rather than them actually having to mark you as having been there. I say that because when we checked in I got the sense that the host didn’t even look to confirm our reservation, since it wasn’t very full.
But wait, there’s more…!
Previously I did everything I could to use airline and hotel dining programs, where you can earn bonus points for dining at select restaurants. While Seated restaurants actually seem to largely be hotspots, a lot of the restaurants belonging to Rewards Network dining programs are ones that especially need extra business, to put it mildly. There are some good restaurants on Seated, though in general the selection isn’t as good with Rewards Network, in my opinion.
My goal with this meal was to go somewhere that belonged to both Rewards Network and Seated. That’s how I arrived at Momed, which was one of several restaurants belonging to both.
We used the AAdvantage dining portal, and actually signed Ford up for it, so he’d earn 1,000 bonus AAdvantage miles after his first dine.
The cool thing is that you can double dip both of these programs — AAdvantage dining is linked to your credit card, while Seated is linked to making your booking through them. So a day later he had 210 miles post, and in the next few weeks he should have an additional 1,000 miles post.
On top of that, he paid with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, meaning we earned 3x points there as well.
Adding it all up
So for our very nice $70 meal we earned:
- $20 in Amazon gift cards
- 1,210 American AAdvantage miles
- 210 Chase Ultimate Rewards points
When you add it all up, that’s a return of about $40 on our $70 meal. That’s pretty darn good, if you ask me!
Get an additional $5 on your first Seated meal
As mentioned above, Seated has a referral program, where both the person referring and person being referred can receive an extra $5 in rewards after their first dine. If you haven’t yet signed up, you can do so using code BEN242, and you’ll receive an extra $5 after your first dine, and I’ll get the same.
To enter this code, first sign-up for the app, and then click on the “wheel” at the top left of your account, and click on the “Redeem Promo Code” button. There you can enter the code, and it’ll automatically be applied to your first dine.
I really like Seated. While the major dining portals are worth keeping an eye on, many of the restaurants are places that aren’t worth eating at for the miles, since there are better restaurants out there. However, Seated has some truly great restaurants, so getting a $15-20 gift card for those meals is a heck of a deal.
If you can find a restaurant that participates in both a dining program and Seated, you can do even better.