How to Up Your Cashback Game with Rakuten

Last Updated on March 19, 2024 by CreditFred

[referral link] – $40 bonus after first qualifying purchase!

In my earlier post, I mentioned how you can earn additional rewards on top of your credit card rewards with cashback portals like Shop Through Chase, United MileagePlus Shopping, Rakuten etc. Today’s topic will be a more in-depth look at what Rakuten is and how to use it.

What is Rakuten, and why should I use it?

Rakuten is a website/app that rewards you for shopping at Rakuten’s retail partners such as Macy’s, Grubhub, Dyson, Apple, etc. This is in addition to any rewards you earn from your credit card.

Does it Earn Cashback or Points/Miles?

By default, rewards are in cash. For example, a 5x reward of a $100 purchase will reward you $5 in cashback. However, if you hold an American Express Membership Reward (MR) earning card like the Amex Gold, then you have the ability to link your accounts and your rewards will now be converted to MR points. For example, a 5x reward on a $100 purchase will now give you 500 MR points, which can be much more valuable than cash if eventually redeemed for travel.

Choose to be paid out in Amex Membership Rewards or Cashback

Every quarter, Rakuten will either send you a check (for cashback) or transfer your rewards into your Amex MR account (for points). You can see that I’ve earned almost 20,000 MR points through Rakuten alone!

My Rakuten Rewards History


Below are some examples of the returns you can get at some popular retailers:

Example of Merchants on Rakuten

How do I know this is the best rate?

The reward percentages tend to fluctuate from time to time and also vary between competitors’ portals such as those operated by airlines, hotels, or banks. The best way to check is to head over to and compare before making a purchase! You can also sign up for newsletters that will alert you when a retailer you have bookmarked is seeing elevated rewards.

Always check before buying to get the best rates!

Great, I’m in! How do I get started?

1. Sign up for Rakuten using my referral link here. After your first eligible purchase of $20+ $40+, you will get $20 $40 in cashback or 2000 4000 MR points!

2. If on computer, make sure to temporarily disable any Adblock extensions first; then head over to, find the retailer you want and click on it. If on your phone, open the app and click on the retailer, then make your purchase!

3. Once on the retailer’s page, load up your shopping cart. Make sure to not close the window or open a new session or else your purchase might not be tracked.

4. Make your purchase! Doesn’t matter which card you use as long as you went through the website/app.

5. Done! You can check the status of your cashback in the app or website – it should show up within a few days.

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