How to Eat Out for Free!

This one is pretty simple and straight forward. But it was a great way for our family to continually eat out every week FOR FREE!

Let’s jump in the way-back machine. Back in 2005-2010.  That’s a wicked-long time in the tech world.  This is when I was working as a Technical Services Specialist at a software company based out of Denver. 

I had earned hundreds of dollars in

restaurant gift cards, just by working.

I supported customers throughout the US, and even Jamaica.  Yes, I did an onsite training in Jamaica.  That is an interesting story for another time.

Anyway, at this time, I  was responsible to book my own travel, and reservations.  We also had a corporate travel agent that we could use if we wanted to. The kicker is we used all of our own, personal credit cards for flights, hotels, and meals. 

Photo by on

All of this could add up fast… I recall there were months that was carrying $6,000-$7,000 on my card, and paying that prior to getting reimbursed.  This was bogus, and highly suspect… but it was what it was.

It so happens that I was running with a Discover Card at the time. With this credit card,  I would get 5% or more cash back if I redeemed their rewards as restaurant gift cards. 

I would continually redeem my cash back in Applebee’s, Red Lobster, or Olive Garden gift cards. My family, two toddlers and wife at the time, would eat out at these restaurants every week for years.  I had earned hundreds of dollars in restaurant gift cards, just by working.

I traveled regularly for work, and therefore it was just part of the job. I’d charge my flight, my hotel stay, and any meals while traveling to the Discover Card. Also, I’d keep track if they added any special promotion for Fuel, or other purchases to earn additional cash back. It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.  It was easy and straight forward. There were, actually, times I’d max out the cash back.

If you are in a situation that allows you to leverage your personal rewards credit card, TAKE IT!  These rewards can add up.

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