Shopping portals are a great way to earn more miles and points. Most airlines have them, as well as Chase Ultimate Rewards. Rakuten is similar to an airline shopping portal, but instead of earning airline miles, you can either earn cash back or you can opt to earn American Express Membership Rewards points. This is great since American Express does not have a shopping portal.
There are over 2,500 retailers on Rakuten, including Amazon!
How to earn cash or American Express Membership Rewards points with Rakuten
1. Create an account with Rakuten. If you use this link, you will receive a $10 bonus after spending $25. You can choose to earn cash via check or PayPal, or you can choose to earn Amex MR points. If you choose Amex, you will need to link your American Express account.
2. Anytime you’re making an online purchase, log in to your Rakuten account and click the retailer. Another option is to install the Rakuten plug-in for Safari or Chrome.
3. Complete your purchase as you normally would.
How much will I earn?
Like shopping portal earn rates, Rakuten earn rates vary. Most are anywhere between .5%-25%, but sometimes even more. If you choose to earn American Express points, each cent of cash back is equivalent to one American Express Membership Rewards point.
Sephora’s earn rate is currently 4%. If I spend $50, this is what I would earn:
Cash back: $2 (50 x 0.04)
Amex points: 200 (50 x 4)
This may not seem like a lot, but it adds up. Remember, you will also earn points or miles with the credit card you use to pay.
Cash or American Express Membership Rewards?
It really just depends on personal preference, but I would rather earn Amex Membership Rewards. I am usually able to get at least 2 cents per point when I use transfer partners to redeem Amex points. So if you look at the example above in terms of redemption, 200 Amex points are worth $4 if you’re able to redeem at 2 cents per point.
This means my return on my Rakuten earnings when I choose to earn Amex points is at least double the value of cash.
You can find more info on Amex MR here: How to Earn and Redeem American Express Membership Rewards
When will I get paid/receive the points?
Payouts are made every 3 months. You’ll need a balance of $5 if you’re earning cash or 500 points if you’re earning Membership Rewards.
One extra step/click will help you earn more Amex Membership Rewards (or cash back) when you’re shopping online. Cash back/points add up quicker than you think.
Earn your first 75,000 American Express Membership Rewards points
If you’re looking for a premium travel credit card, The Platinum Card from American Express is a great choice.
Current offer: Current offer: Earn 75,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 6 months. Also, new cardmembers receive 10 points per dollar on purchases at US gas stations and US supermarkets on a combined total of up to $15,000 in the first 6 months. That is 9 points in addition to the 1 point you would normally earn on these points.
Note: if you’re a beginner, you should start with Chase cards first due to the 5/24 rule.
The annual fee is $550, but there are lots of benefits and credits that may help offset that fee. The current welcome offer of 75,000 American Express Membership Rewards points also helps offset that annual fee.
75,000 Membership Rewards points is enough for a roundtrip ticket to Japan if you learn to utilize transfer partners!
Additional benefits and details: Receive up to $200 of reimbursement on airline incidentals per calendar year, receive $200 total in Uber credits annually, receive $100 reimbursement for TSA precheck or Global Entry enrollment, and 100$ total in statement credit for purchases at Saks Fifth avenue annually.
With this card, you’ll receive access to the amazing Centurion lounges (where available). These lounges have complimentary food and drinks, plus some locations even have spa services! You’ll also get lounge access to other airport lounges around the world.
If you’re a frequent flyer, this card has one of the highest earn rates on flight purchases. Earn 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly through airlines or through amextravel.com on up to $500,000 per calendar year. Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
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