Great Deal: Earn Amex Points With Rakuten Shopping Portal

Filed Under: Great Deals

Online shopping portals can be a great way to pick up additional miles & points for purchases you’d make anyway. Just for following a specific link you can earn bonus points or cash back in addition to the rewards you’d earn for credit card spending.

Whenever I make an online purchase I always check to see which shopping portal has the best bonus.

Well, one of the world’s biggest shopping portals has just gotten a whole lot better for those looking to earn Amex points.

Rakuten Now Lets You Earn Amex Points

Rakuten, which is formerly known as Ebates, is one of the largest online shopping portals out there. Historically they’ve offered cash back, though they’ve been rolling out the functionality to earn Amex Membership Rewards points rather than cash for your online purchases.

They initially rolled this out at the beginning of the year, but only for new members. That’s to say that existing members didn’t have the option to earn Amex points, while those signing up for a new account could earn Amex points.

Well, Rakuten has now rolled out that functionality to all members, so now everyone can earn Membership Rewards points for their online purchases, which is really exciting.

Why Earning Amex Points With Rakuten Is A Great Deal

The way it works, you earn one Amex Membership Rewards point for each cent of cash back. In other words, if a retailer is offering 10% cash back, you’d instead earn 10 Membership Rewards points per dollar, which is incredible.

Personally I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that increases the value of the rewards by 70%, since I can get a lot more value with one Amex point than with one cent.

How To Register To Earn Amex Points With Rakuten

Assuming you’re an existing member, the process of converting your account to earning Amex points rather than cash back is easy. Log into your account, and click on the “Account Settings” section.

You’ll then see a section asking how you want to be paid, and select the third option, which is “American Express.”

You’ll then get to a screen confirming this is what you want to do.

You’ll then be asked to log into the Amex account with which you want to earn Membership Rewards points (this has to be a US account that is enrolled to earn Membership Rewards points).

And that’s it! You should then see that your account reflects that you’re earning Amex points.

Note that:

  • Even after making the switch the rewards you see with retailers will continue to show cash back, but will automatically be converted
  • Existing rewards earned won’t be converted into Amex points, but rather this preference will just be applied to purchases going forward
  • With Rakuten you get “paid” once every three months, assuming your balance is at least $5 (or 500 Membership Rewards points with this new option)

Bottom Line

While Rakuten has been offering this functionality for new members for several months now, it’s great to see them expand this for those of us who were existing members.

Rakuten is already one of the best online shopping portals, so earning one Amex point in place of one cent is a phenomenal value, since you’re increasing the value of your rewards by 70%, by my valuation.

Are you excited to earn Amex points while using Rakuten?

(Tip of the hat to Doctor Of Credit)

  1. This has been a great addition for building Amex MR points. Robust marketplace and frequent promotions offering 10% cash back at a number of stores. Helps that you can use other cards outside of Amex to make the purchase and earn points through both. Really benefited from it this quarter using Chase freedom for a few department store purchases.

    Word of caution with Rakuten – as a general rule don’t use their shopping links to purchase gift cards. They will claw back or potentially lock your account.

  2. I’ve been getting an outsized value on extra points for amex with rakuten. Need to be careful though, sometimes it seems you will get a certain amount of “cash back”, but in reality is 0 or less. Need to read the fine print as to what or what category will get the “cash back”.

  3. This has been a great source of value for me. I travel weekly for work, and when a 10x promotion for Marriott stays came out, I booked out several months of hotels. Brought in an extra 50k MRs for me

  4. Rakuten rejects my attempts to link to my MR account…could it be because I only have an old AMEX Blue card and no longer carry any premium MR cards?

  5. The Rakuten plug-in for Chrome is key. Then whenever you are on a rewards-eligible site, you will get a drop down to start the session. So you don’t have to go to the portal to do your shopping. Just browse as usual.

  6. Hmmm when I try to do this it says it has to be a NEW Rakuten account. 🙁 I have an existing account so there is no option to opt in for Amex points.

  7. I figured it out. I first had to opt in to get paid to PayPal, and then after that was done, the link appeared to “switch” to Amex points. A bit convoluted, but seems to work.

  8. @Ari Try a different browser from Chrome. Would error out registration, Safari worked.
    @RobertD option should be there. My account is 10 y/o and it offered it.

  9. Rakuten won’t let me add my AmEx Delta Gold card saying this card is not eligible.
    Not all the cards are accepted, I guess?

  10. @ McSteamy — It needs to be a card earning Amex Membership Rewards points. The Delta Amex Gold earns SkyMiles, not Amex points. 🙂

  11. It only has the option of Paypal and Big Fat Check for me.
    How can I add the MR option to the list?

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