Earn 3,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points by Signing up for Rakuten

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It just got a lot more rewarding to sign-up for Rakuten. American Express cardholders now have the option to earn 3,000 bonus points when creating a new Rakuten account and switching their earning preference to receive Membership Rewards points. That's double the typical sign-up bonus.

Last month, Rakuten had the offer to both gift and receive $30 or 3,000 bonus points to a linked American Express account when referring a friend. Now, this deal is available even if you weren't referred.

Steps to Redeem Offer

Rakuten 3000 Points Info

  • Open a new Rakuten account
  • Link your American Express Membership Rewards (MR) earning card
  • Switch your account to receive Membership Rewards points
  • Spend $25 within 90 days of opening your account to earn 3,000 bonus points

How Rakuten Works

Founded in the late 1990s, Rakuten is one of the first—and largest—online shopping portals. Like any shopping portal, Rakuten earns a commission for referring customers to its affiliated merchants. This commission is then shared—in part—with its members in the form of “Cash Back”.

To earn Cash Back, start by navigating to Rakuten.com. After confirming that you're logged into your account, search for your desired store.

Screenshot of Rakuten website showing elevated payouts at 16 stores

If the store is eligible for Cash Back, you'll see the percentage displayed with its name. Simply use Rakuten's link to navigate to the store and complete your purchase as usual. Once the store has notified Rakuten of your purchase, you'll see the Cash Back appear in your account.

Earning Membership Rewards Points Instead of Cash Back

Starting last year, Rakuten began a partnership with American Express, giving Amex customers with a Membership Rewards earning card—such as The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express or American Express® Gold Card—the ability to earn Membership Rewards points instead of cashback.

Screenshot of Rakuten website showing the option to earn Membership Rewards points

Effectively, the “Cash Back” percentages listed for a vendor are the equivalent to how many Membership Rewards you'll earn for every dollar spent. This means that if a vendor lists 15% Cash Back, you can opt in to receive 15X Membership Rewards points from your purchase.

How To Earn Membership Rewards

If you'd like to change your payment option from cashback to Membership Rewards, first make sure that you've added a qualifying MR-earning card to the ‘My Wallet‘ section in your account settings.

The Membership Rewards option will appear in the main section of your account settings, under the ‘How would you like to get paid?' heading. You can toggle between any of the payment methods. Note that your selected payment method will apply to all future purchases, not to purchases you already made.

Screenshot of the payout screen for Rakuten showing the option to get Membership Rewards, PayPal or a Big Fat Check

Final Thoughts

If you value Membership Rewards points at more than 1¢ each, then you should switch your Rakuten earning preference to earning points instead of cashback.

The Rakuten shopping portal has hundreds of stores to shop, such as Macy's, Kohl's, Amazon, and Overstock. Receiving up to 20x bonus American Express points on these purchases is a sweet deal.

With so much time being spent at home these days and online purchases at an all-time high, you should definitely be using an online shopping portal to receive the best discounts and earn membership reward points. If you're an American Express MR-earning cardholder, Rakuten is a great option.

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  • Mary Jo Pfleger says:

    Why are my American Express cards not eligible?

    • This is for American Express holders ? – Is that what you meant ?

    • Hi
      Is your card the AmEx Gold Card or the Blue Business Plus Card? If it’s not one of those two AmEx cards that might be the issue? I know there’s an AmEx Green Card, AmEx Everyday card I think AmEx has 15+ different types of Credit Cards and likely not all of them will work for this program.

  • I updated my earnings preference last week in preparation to place an order at Dell. The order has since processed, and the MR points are scheduled to post to my account in August. Would I still be eligible to receive the 3,000 bonus MR points? My purchase amount was greater than $25.

    • Hey Anup, if you opened a new Rakuten account before making the Dell purchase, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to reach out to see if you can get credit. If you already had a Rakuten account before (and only switched your earning preference recently), I don’t think you’d be eligible for this one.

  • Are they MR earning cards?

  • Does this work when one buys gift cards via merchants on Rakuten?

  • Muy interesante y conveniente la propuesta. El único defecto que observo es que para poder comenzar a utilizarla hay que desembolsar una suma muy alta, teniendo en cuenta que es la primera experiencia con esta modalidad para ganar puntos.

  • Liam Maloney says:

    I have had more trouble with Rakuten than with the old ebates. FYI, Rakuten will not always honor reward points on purchases made using promo codes, even if made through their link.

  • Francisco Laski says:

    This is a very good opportunity to boost your American Express Membership Rewards. If you need those extra points because you are about to redeem them to purchase a flight ticket, as in my case, this is a chance to reach the required points while you spend some money in Rakuten – where you can buy a lot of things. You don´t need to spend much.

  • Maria Lorena Lo Faro says:

    This is really good news! I needed some extra American Express Reward points to be able to redeem them for a special occation. Thxs for the info

  • Be sure to check Rakuten daily (if purchase not immediately needed) because the rebate rate can double or triple depending on the day. It can make a difference if you are making a big purchase (like hotel room etc).

  • Love Rakuten! I was shocked to see how much I got back = shocked by how much I spent. Haha! Definitely going to look into this.

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