WebMiles Members Munch For Loyalty Points

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WebMiles has teamed with dining rewards company iDine, Miami, to offer WebMiles' members access to the dining program's restaurant network while accumulating airline miles.

WebMiles for the past two years has managed a loyalty program in which members can earn points toward miles on any U.S. airline by buying merchandise at roughly 100 merchants including Ralphs Club, a California grocery store chain; Cooking.com; Tupperware; Eddie Bauer; CarParts.com and WorldCom Inc. WebMiles buys the miles independently for its members.

Through the free dining program, members will receive five miles for each dollar spent. Miles can be recorded by using any registered credit card or WebMiles' proprietary credit card issued by Metris Cos.

"Having our members use a credit card is the easiest way to track the earnings," said Jeff Crapo, founder and vice president of business development at WebMiles Inc., Sandy, UT. "Also, by using a credit card our members can go out to eat, and the people they are eating with don't have to know they are using a points program."

WebMiles members can track their accounts on the company Web site, www.webmiles.com.

"We decided to launch the dining program based on feedback we collected from our members on possible ways to earn miles," Crapo said. He added that the program is well suited to the company's members because of travelers' propensity to dine out.

WebMiles primarily targets college-educated consumers with an annual income of at least $50,000, Crapo said.

The company is marketing its new offering through an alert in its June e-mail member newsletter, which is disseminated to its customer base. Also, WebMiles plans to run advertising in national newspapers, such as USA Today, Crapo said.

The company also plans to run online advertising, though details of any online campaigns have not been finalized.

Crapo said he expects 100,000 members will register for the dining program.

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