Earn 4,000 Easy Amex Points (or $40) With Rakuten
Let’s be honest – most of us aren’t really traveling these days. Just because you aren’t flying doesn’t mean you have to stop earning points though. One of our favorite ways to earn miles from home has been through shopping portals. Our favorite shopping portal, Rakuten, is currently offering their best sign-up offer ever for new members with little downside.
What are online shopping portals?
While they’re often overlooked, online shopping portals are an easy way to earn points for things that you’re already doing. If you’re buying something online, you should be earning bonus points. Chances are, you’ve been doing a little extra online shopping the past eight months anyway.
To use a shopping portal, you just start out at the portal site. Most of your favorite mileage programs, such as Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, and United have their own portals. Instead of going directly to the online retailer, you’d just click through a link on the portal to the retailer’s site. Once you’ve done that, you’d shop just like you normally would. That’s it. Your purchases are tracked and typically within a few days, you’ll see the points appear in your account.
If you use Google Chrome, some portals even have browser extension. With the extension, you’d shop online like you normally would. Once you’re on the retailer’s site, a notification will pop up telling you that you’re eligible to earn points. You just click a button and go about your shopping as usual. It really doesn’t get much easier than that.
The bottom line is this: if you’re buying something online without using a shopping portal, you’re leaving points on the table.
What about Rakuten?
Hands down, my favorite shopping portal is Rakuten. Formerly known as Ebates, Rakuten works similarly to airline shopping portals. What makes Rakuten different is their earning options.
Think of them as the “flexible points currency” of shopping portals. With Rakuten, you have the option to redeem points as cash back or as Amex Membership Rewards points. Each point is equal to $0.01 or one Amex point. Of course, you have to have a Membership Rewards earning card from Amex to earn Membership Rewards points through Rakuten. However, if you have one, using Rakuten is kind of a no-brainer. Plus, they have a Google Chrome extension which makes earning effortless.
While we’d recommend Rakuten regardless, their new sign-up bonus makes it even more lucrative to join. Currently, Rakuten is offering their highest ever 4,000 point sign-up bonus for new members. The previous all time high was 3,000 points, so this is a welcomed increase.
How to earn the bonus
If you don’t have a Rakuten account, you can get started here. Once you sign-up for an account, you’ll have 90 days to spend $40 through Rakuten. Once you’ve done that, you’ll earn 4,000 points, in addition to any other points earned through spending. Just make sure you’re using a referral link. Otherwise, you won’t get the 4,000-point bonus. Unfortunately, this bonus is only available for new members.
Think of it this way. At worst, you could get a free $40 purchase by using this. You spend $40, you get $40 in cash back. Personally, we value Amex points at more than one cent, but there’s really no downside here for you. Almost all of us are doing significant amounts of online shopping already. With the holiday season coming up, this should be the easiest points you’ll earn all year.
The potential to earn even more
Cool, you’ve got your 4,000 points. Does that mean you’re tapped out on bonuses? Absolutely not! Referrals are the name of the game here. For every friend you refer, you can earn an additional 4,000 points. They’ll also earn 4,000 points. The same rules apply – they’ll have to spend $40 through Rakuten within 90 days of signing up. Once they do, you’ll both earn 4,000 points. When you combine that with your initial sign-up, that’s 8,000 Amex points of $80 for minimal effort. Everyone wins!
Shopping portals are one of the best ways to earn points from your couch. You’re already shopping online, so you might as well earn extra points while you do it. The Rakuten 4,000-point sign-up bonus is a no-brainer.
Of course, we’d appreciate if you used our referral link. You’ll get 4,000 points by using it and we’ll get a referral bonus as well. If you have a friend or family member that already has Rakuten, feel free to use their link instead. As long as you end up with more points than before reading this article, we’re happy.