Rakuten offer: $40 or 4k Amex points for new members and referrals

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New Members get $40 after $40 purchase

First off, $40 is the best deal we have EVER seen from Rakuten on both sides, the normal referral offer is just $10, and prior to this we had seen a $30 referrals as well. This new deal is very straight forward and matches the best we’ve ever seen: Spend $40 and you will get $40 cashback, or if you’ve chosen to Amex points, 4k Membership Rewards. The latter is my preference btw.

*The biggest caveats here – you must be in the USA or Canada and spend $40 within the first 90 days.

I’ve written extensively about Rakuten and using how using the Rakuten shopping portal is an easy way to rack up serious amounts of Amex points. I’ve earned nearly 250k Amex Points from Rakuten alone.  One of the best ways to earns loads of Rakuten points is to refer your friends and family.

Well, Rakuten has stepped it up, and is currently matching its highest new member bonus AND Rakuten referral bonus. If you use our Rakuten referral, as long as you spend $40, you can get either $40 cashback, or 4k American Express Membership Rewards. Let me explain.

One thing to note – in order to get the $40 rebate ( or 4k Amex points ), you need to spend $40 within 90 days of signing up AND  THIS IS USA ONLY

Choosing between 4k Membership Rewards or $40 after spending $40 in 90 days with Rakuten.

I would highly recommend you read our guide to using Rakuten, but essentially, Rakuten works like any other shopping portal except it gives you the option to earn your savings in the form of cashback or Amex Points. In my opinion, this is a massive leg up on competition because I value Amex Points at roughly 2 cents, meaning I’m getting double the value by choosing Amex points vs cashback.  Now, you should take into consideration I also travel a lot, and I’m quite adept at using Amex points, but at the very minimum Amex points are worth 1.5 cents.

Does Rakuten work like any other portal?

Yep. After you sign up via Rakuten, you’ll be taken to their portal. The portal is filled with various retailers and when you click on one, you will generate a link to your desired merchant, and the rest is all behind the scenes. In fact, I just used Rakuten last week to make some amazing purchases at J. Crew. It looks like my deal of 50% off already reduced prices is now 40%, but I was able to get many items at 70-80% off retail. J Crew’s debt has dropped to junk and who knows what the future holds with retailers being closed for such a long time, but the deals are insane. I got a few t-shirts for $8 a piece. Nuts.



What’s a quick way to take advantage of Rakuten?

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.

Additionally, I think it’s pretty hard to beat stacking a Rakuten referral, or new member bonus with the Amex Platinum Saks 5th Avenue $100 credit statement credit which is split into 2, $50 statement credits, January through June, and July through December.


That means if you buy anything with those cards ( don’t forget you can split payment ) you’ll earn those statement credits alongside the Rakuten new member bonus AND you’ll also earn your normal Rakuten cashback.

Leaving Referrals in the comments section

Obviously, we’d love it if you’d use our referral since there is no limit to how many you can earn, but we also like to share the love. Earning points this way is how we are able keep in the air, but it’s also how you can take the trips of your dreams. So leave them below if you’d like.

How we use Referrals…

Affiliate link via CardRatings


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. 

Welcome Offer

60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months

80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

Super solid welcome offer.

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.

  • 3x on dining
    •  including eligible delivery services for takeout
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
  • $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 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 Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Primary rental car coverage is my favorite

There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.

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

Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. 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. 


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