Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Open Table - The Cashback Site for Your Favorite Restaurants

Open Table is a publicly traded company specializing in online restaurant reservations in major metropolitan cities throughout the country.  The website allows you to make reservations at your favorite restaurants online without having to pick up the phone.  They also have a mobile version for when you are out and about. It is a slick concept, and one which rewards its viewers for patronizing its restaurants.

  The rewards concept is a point based system, with 100 points being awarded every time that you make a reservation and then fulfill the reservation by dining at that time.  Once you get 2000 points, the company will send you a check for $20, good at any of the restaurants they feature.  In order to help you reach that goal faster, many of the restaurants have "1000 point" time slots.  By making and fulfilling a reservation during one of those time periods, you can accelerate your way to that $20 check.  

  The company also offers several other perks.  For example, you can specify certain seating or eating preferences (quiet location, gluten free etc.) when you make the reservations.  In addition, every week in many of their major markets, they showcase a particular restaurant, where Groupon like coupons can be purchased for a limited time, ie., $25 for $50 off.

All in all, it is definitely a site that I recommend. It's free to sign up and use, and you can download their app to your Iphone, Android or Blackberry device.  After all, if you are going to dine out anyways, you may as well be earning something for your patronage.

Oh, and did  I mention that when you pay your bill, don't forget to use your cash back  credit card.  The best for restaurants is the Chase Freedom Visa during the period that one gets 5% cash back (all other times 1%), or the American Express/Costco card, which offers 3% back all year long.

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