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Easy way to earn tons of Amex Points! Everything you need to know about earning Amex points via Rakuten

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Rakuten, formerly Ebates, created a new program in 2019 whereby you can choose to earn American Express Membership Rewards in lieu of Cash Back. This was exclusively reserved for new Rakuten members up until 11/19. Since then, the program has evolved, and you’ll be able to change your account settings to Membership Rewards. The earn rate would be 1% cash back = 1 Membership Reward point. I’ve earned well over a million Amex points since the program began.

Personally, Rakuten is now my go-to portal since I value Membership Rewards over 1% meaning that for every 1% you see in cashback I apply a 2x multiple.  One way to think about this mentally is if you see 10% Cash Back listed you’ll be earning 10x Membership Rewards. Spend $100 get 1000 Amex points which I value at roughly $20.

Join Rakuten – spend $30 get $30  

You can use our referral link here – however I want to point out that Rakuten bonuses in the past have been as high as spend $40 get $40 which means if you’re planning on spending more than $400 you’d get more cashback with this 10% offer; however, if you aren’t, it could be worth waiting ( though the increased portal offers may offset that – worth crunching the numbers ).

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Rakuten is a shopping portal and this is how shopping portals work:

When you login to your portal you’ll see something like this below…

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When you click on any of those offers, you’ll be directed to the site you wish to buy from. If that were Finish Line, you’d arrive at the very same Finish Line that you’d see if you didn’t first go to Rakuten. The only thing the portal does is code your purchase as being routed via Rakuten, and as a result you earn the cashback advertised in the Rakuten portal.

This cashback, or Amex Points, is then paid to you every 3 months on the 15th.

  • Feb
  • May
  • August
  • November

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Why should you select Amex Points instead of Cashback

The main reason I do it is because I love travel, and value Amex points at roughly 2 cents. This means instead of earning 8% cashback on every dollar I spend via the portal, I’d be earning 8x Amex Points.  If I spend a $100 and earn 800 Amex Points, I’m earning points worth $16 or double the cashback rate.

Not everyone values points like I do, but I almost always redeem my points for a higher than 2 cent valuation. On the low side, I can redeem my points for flights in Amex Travel for 1.55 cents ( I have an Amex Biz Plat ) – so regardless, I feel comfortable I will extract value in excess of a penny.

I use Amex points to fly in Lufthansa First Class. This was an easy, and instantaneous, transfer of 70k Amex points to Aeroplan. Took all of 15 mins to execute and will ultimately be less than 50% of the points I earn from Rakuten this year.

Here’s a step by step guide to Earning Amex Points  First go to My Account

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Go to My Wallet

Make sure you have an Amex added that earns Membership Rewards. If you have a Delta, Hilton, Marriott, etc this won’t work.

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Then account settings where you’ll find this:

If you don’t have a Rakuten account, you’ll need to select either PayPal or Big Fat Check to get going. You may need to sign out and back in for the Amex account to actually populate. If it doesn’t go here for Help which has a chat function to see why your Amex isn’t populating.

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Then select Membership Rewards

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And Voila…you’ll be earning Amex vs Cash Back

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Once you start earning Membership Rewards, how quickly do they populate?

Long and short of it….you accumulate points over a 3 month period, and then 6 weeks after the close of that period, on the 15th of month, you’ll be credited. My period from January to March closed, and I was due to be credited May 15th, roughly 6 weeks later, and as you can see below….it hit same day. That is fantastic.

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Don’t have a Rakuten account? You can use our referral to get an extra 10% back

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How to quickly earn the referral bonus – the Rakuten Gift Card portal

The Rakuten Gift Card shop is a great way to quickly get your points: buy a gift card for $40+ and get your bonus immediately.

Rakuten compared to other shopping portals

This is a big consideration. I have almost exclusively used Rakuten because I factor in the underlying value of Amex Points into the equation. However…if you’re looking for cashback I’d recommend that you check out cashbackmonitor which gives you the best rates across all of the shopping portals.

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Rakuten has captured my business and will continue to do so as long as it offers Amex points as an earn option. Rarely do I see another portal offering double the cashback which is about the only circumstance I’d consider another portal based on value.

Hope this helps and as always, please ask any questions you may have.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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Affiliate LInk

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services for takeout & dining out
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
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    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is my favorite
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  • $95 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex®  and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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