Great Deal: $20 Bonus For New Rakuten Members

Filed Under: Great Deals

Online shopping portals can be a great way to pick up additional 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.

Rakuten is my favorite online shopping portal, given that you can earn Amex Membership Rewards points with it. Rakuten is currently offering an excellent bonus for those who are referred by existing members, which is easy to take advantage of.

Rakuten offering $20 bonus for new members

Rakuten has a new refer-a-friend-bonus as of 2021. If you refer a friend to Rakuten and they spend $20, then both the person referring and the person being referred receive $20.

It’s possible that not all refer-a-friend links show this offer, so you’ll want to double check your account before referring others.

This is a very good deal:

  • Rakuten is giving out $40 total for a $20 purchase
  • For the person being referred, they’re essentially getting a $20 credit on a $20 purchase
  • You can then refer friends and family members, and earn an unlimited number of referral bonuses
  • Long term you can potentially get even more value with Rakuten, as rewards can be converted into Amex points
  • You can really easily make a purchase, including triggering this bonus with a simple $20 gift card purchase; see this post for the easiest ways to maximize this bonus

Convert Rakuten cash back into Amex points

The reason that Rakuten is my favorite shopping portal is because Rakuten rewards can be converted into Amex Membership Rewards points.

This can be done at the rate of one cent per point. Personally I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each. To me that increases the value of the rewards by 70%.

The ability to earn Amex points with Rakuten is a game changer for me when it comes to online shopping portals. See this post for everything you need to know about earning Amex points with Rakuten, as you just need to adjust one easy setting in your account.

Bottom line

Rakuten is my favorite online shopping portal, and at the moment the company is offering a $20 referral bonus to both the person referring and the person being referred.

Since only a $20 purchase is required, that’s like getting $20 worth of stuff more or less for free. Then long term you can even earn Amex Membership Rewards points in place of cash back, which I value significantly more.

If you don’t yet have a Rakuten account, this is the time to sign up. This is an incredible deal.

  1. Hey I never want to be a party-pooper, but Rakuten failed in transferring points to Amex. In short, they zeroed out my account and the points never appeared at Amex. Both Rakuten and Amex have denied responsibility. So, I don’t use Rakuten anymore. Anyone else had this issue?

  2. Dear Lucky, Topcashback (TCB) nearly ALWAYS offer better cashback
    Expedia offers 3.5% in Rakuten, but 6% in Topcashback
    Walgreens offers 3% in Rakuten, but also 6% in Topcashback
    Signup and you earn $15:
    You should post your TCB referral link as well instead

  3. Thanks so much Lucky for this! Just a few quick question:

    1. Do the purchases have to be made on rakuten itself? Or can you be transferred to another website (e.g. amazon) to make the purchases but still get the $30 credit?

    2. any other T&C’s about which purchases aren’t included (like gift cards)?

    3. does the person who is doing the referring need to have previously made purchases with rakuten or can this be a new account?

  4. Are you getting compensation for this?

    I’m sorry but you got to be pretty hard up to say “Amazing Deal” when it involves $30.

    Comparing this to credit card points, is anyone going to get excited if a sign up bonus is 3,000 points?

  5. @ rich — I posted about a refer a friend promotion, and I posted my link (just as anyone can post their link). I’m not sure why the comparison to a credit card bonus? There is no hard pull here, this is completely different. I do think it’s an amazing deal that you can spend $30 through a shopping portal and get $30 back. Sorry if you don’t agree.

  6. Let the link drop begin!!!!!!

    Let me know if anyone would pay me $28 dollars for me to use your link. Only for the first offer, duh.

  7. I’ve read through the rules and it appears they’re going to give you a $30 credit after spending $30, not a $30 credit on your first order of $30. But pay attention to the games that they are playing with your mind here. If you buy something for $30 and they give you credit for $30 to use on a future purchase, you are still out of pocket for that first $30. So if you buy something for $30 and then you use the second credit of $30 to buy something that costs exactly $30 then you have gotten a 50% discount off the sum of the two purchases. Half-off is not a bad deal but there’s nothing free here. By the way my referral offer says it’s $30 off a $25 purchase.

  8. Join Rakuten (Ebates) and receive $30 free + Earn highest cashback for shopping (Online and Instore).
    Sign Up here

    To earn this bonus, make qualifying purchases totaling $30 or more within 90 days of becoming a new member.
    You can get paid through Check, Paypal or American Express Membership Rewards. The value of Amex Reward points are much more worth when you use it for travel.

  9. why are there so many parasites here? Isn’t this lucky’s blog and therefore he has the right to earn the commission? What would be his motivation to post this sort of offer if you guys take this away from him?

  10. Hey Guys – Ben makes his living from this Blog. If you enjoy the blog then USE HIS LINK for gosh sake.

    In case you missed it, it is at the bottom of the BOTTOM LINE paragraph.

  11. Let the Rakuten backlink development begin…

    And now when anyone searches up “travel” on Google, perhaps Rakuten will show up because of this huge list of people trying to get a quick $30 on a travel site.

  12. There is an interesting morality argument underlining this thread.

    Lucky sourced the deal and so he should be rightly rewarded by using his link.

    Others then think that, somehow, they should have the right to ask others to use their link, even though they have done nothing to deserve this reward. What justification, other than greed, is there for doing that? Parasite was a an interesting description used by someone.

    Someone asked permission to post his link. The fact that he (or she) felt compelled to ask shows that they probably knew it wasn’t appropriate, but that by asking permission, they somehow absolved their avarice.

    If somebody then chooses to use another member’s link rather than Lucky’s, what is their reasoning? Perhaps they don’t like Lucky? So, why be on his site at all?

    Perhaps they resent his success or that this should not be a business site? Lucky may be charitable but he is certainly not a charity, so why should he not be rewarded for what he does?

    Then some people are blurring the issue, through taking advantage of behavioural economics, by offering to share the $30 reward to use somebody’s link. Does that somehow make the morality of doing the right thing, by rewarding the originator of the information, less of an obligation?

    Is $10 really worth compromising your morals for? If so, what are you doing on a site aimed at business travel?

    I have found this thread to be a fascinating insight into human behaviour.

  13. While I think posting a Rakuten link here isn’t looks good, I would like to note that Topcashback (TCB) always have a better cashback rate.
    DELL offers 13% on TCB while 2% on Rakuten, not to mention Expedia, Orbitz or Airlines
    You can use my link to TCB here and you earn $15 for signing up:
    However, I would like to emphasize that I am posting this SIMPLY because Lucky isn’t posting any from TCB, I will delete if he does anytime.

  14. Sometimes I use the Google Identity Platform to sign up for new website accounts. WARNING! Rakuten requires that you allow them access to read and search all of your emails if you use the Google Identity Platform. Like I am going to give Rakuten access to 16 years of my emails… That is insane, and I bet plenty of people click allow without reading what they are agreeing to. I have no interest in having a relationship with a company that asks for that level of data access out of the blue.

  15. Be careful with this one. Your referral has to make a purchase through the portal from a shop that offers a cashback discount. If your referral buys through the portal from a shop that has no such discount (such as Amazon), it doesn’t count. This happened to me.

  16. Hi,
    I am from Singapore, and I signed up via one of the inks here. Saw that buying from qualify for cashback. However, the gift card transaction cannot go through because the website do not allow the use of non-USA issued credit card.

    I think checks against the card’s billing address?
    Anyone here has any idea how can a non-US person buy from the site?

  17. If you use a Chrome browser, I’d recommend adding the Rakuten extension – I like the helpful pop-up reminders to activate the Membership Rewards points/cash-back for any given website and it also prompts me and automatically applies applicable discount codes to my cart – 2 thumbs up! Please use my link and sign up with 30k points –
    Thanks for your support!

  18. Free money is free money but I wouldn’t call $30 “Amazing”. Probably “Great”. $100 up could be “Amazing”.

  19. A bit skeptical at first on these “free bonus” so went to do a bit more research on Rakuten, read reviews, before sharing with my friends.
    Glad to find out it actually works with us getting $60!

    If anyone is interested here is my link:

    After you sign up should also be able to see my contact. Happy to guide you through if you have any questions.


  20. Unbelievable how many s*ckers suddenly crawl out. As one commenter mentioned a study of human behavior. (Which most of the time is disgusting anyway).
    Just wow

  21. Guys, please let the readers use Ben’s link and send your links to friends and family. He is providing us amazing reviews and travel news for FREE. Using his links is the least we can do.

  22. I still don’t have this offer – mine is just $25 for me and $10 for the person that signs up 🙁

  23. Biggest issue with Top Cash Back is that its a CONSTANT fight to get paid. 7 emails to get paid a whole $13 that should have been paid out 7 months before. Minimally with Ebates / Rakutan – I see the tracking – and every 90 days I see the points transfer to my Amex account. I am more than happy to give up 2% on an Expedia purchase – Mostly because everything with them on TCB has to be fought for and Expedia are bastards – Whilst with Ebates – its there in my account within 2 days

  24. Offer is back.

    Join Rakuten to receive $30 free.

    Sign Up here

    To earn this bonus, make qualifying purchases totaling $30 or more within 90 days of becoming a new member.

    You can get paid through Check, Paypal or American Express Membership Rewards. The value of Amex Reward points are much more worth when you use it for travel.

    Thank You

  25. An update to my above post – If you see $10 bonus, then close and reopen the referral link in a new browser or incognito window to see $30 sign up bonus. Weird browser issues with Rakuten.

  26. Thanks for the tip, Lucky! I finally broke down and set up an account with Tony’s link. Hoping that some kind reader might do the same for me with my link:

    However, I cannot figure out how to select ‘get paid with MRs’. I’m given only two options – the Big Fat Check, or PayPal. If anyone knows what I’m missing, I hope you’ll mention it. Thanks!

  27. Join Rakuten (Ebates) and receive $40 free + Earn highest cashback for shopping (Online and Instore). If you see $10 bonus, then close and reopen the link in a new browser or incognito window to see $40 sign up bonus.

    Sign Up Here

    To earn this bonus, make qualifying purchases totaling $40 or more within 90 days of becoming a new member.

    You can get paid through Check, Paypal or American Express Membership Rewards.

  28. Hi Ben,

    I used your link to sign up, made a purchase but did not see any bonus credited. When I inquired about it, they said there was no referral link attached to my account even though I received an email saying I would qualify upon making a purchase. Will you please provide your referral link again so I can give it to them. (I saw your embedded link but I can’t copy and paste it to their inquiry request).

    Thank you!

  29. Hi! I am a little confused about how the $40 welcome bonus is paid out. I wish I could post a screenshot. At the top of the MY Account section in Rakuten, there is a blue box with Amex Logo (?) and it it says “$40 Earn your bonus….Your bons will be added to your account in dollars and paid via check.”

    So is the $40 bonus paid in dollars via check, or is it converted to Amex points?

    My account is already set up to receive Amex points.


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