Make sure you’re earning easy Amex points through Rakuten

Rakuten is a shopping portal that offers its members cash back when they use its links to click through to various retailers and service providers. It is a free platform that allows users to earn cash back or Membership Rewards points, depending on their preference. In this article, we will explore how to set up your Rakuten account to earn Membership Rewards points, and why this partnership with American Express can be beneficial for your miles and points strategy.

By default, Rakuten offers cash back to its members, but if you prefer to earn Membership Rewards points instead, you can easily set up your account to do so. To get started, you need to go to the Rakuten homepage and sign in to your account. If you don’t have an account, you can sign up for one. Once signed in, hover your mouse cursor over your name/Rakuten account balance in the top right corner of the page to reveal a drop-down menu. Click on “Account Settings” in the drop-down menu.

On the account settings page, you will see your current preferred payout method and other available payout options. If you have been earning cash back, you can change your preference to Membership Rewards points. If you are new to Rakuten and haven’t set up a payment option, you will need to select PayPal or a Big Fat Check before choosing to earn Membership Rewards points. Clicking the “switch to Membership Rewards points” link will open a pop-up window asking you to confirm your preference. Click “continue” in this pop-up window.

A new pop-up window will appear, asking you to enter your American Express Membership Rewards account login details. This will link your Rakuten and Amex accounts. After entering your details, click on “log in.” Rakuten will then send an email to the email address associated with your Rakuten account with a 6-digit confirmation code. Enter this code in the pop-up box to verify your account.

Once your Rakuten and Amex accounts are linked and your details are confirmed, you will be taken back to your Rakuten account page. You will notice two changes: your preferred payment method will show as American Express Membership Rewards points, and your account balance will show zero points. Any outstanding cashback balance will still be paid out in cash, but future transactions will earn you Membership Rewards points.

It is important to note that all the deals on Rakuten will still show as cashback deals, even if you have chosen to earn Membership Rewards points. For every 1% of cashback earned, you will now earn 1 Membership Rewards point. This means that when there is a great cashback deal, such as 10% – 15% back on IHG bookings, you will earn 10-15 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent through the Rakuten link. Considering that Membership Rewards points can be valued at 1.5 cents each, this is essentially a 1.5% rebate, making it easy money.

What makes this partnership even better is that when you click through Rakuten to make a hotel booking, you will be making a booking directly with the hotelier. This means you can also earn hotel loyalty points for booking directly and take advantage of any status benefits you may have. Additionally, you can earn miles or points from the credit card you use to make the booking. If you have a hotel co-branded credit card, it is recommended to use that for hotel bookings. For regular shopping, a good cashback card or a card that earns Membership Rewards points can be used.

In conclusion, while cashback can be useful, earning versatile transferable currencies like Membership Rewards points can be even more valuable in the miles and points world. Rakuten’s partnership with American Express allows users to earn Membership Rewards points instead of cash back when making purchases through the platform. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily set up your Rakuten account to earn Membership Rewards points and maximize your rewards strategy.

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