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Last week TopCashback was offering 9% back on IHG bookings and now Rakuten has gone one better (quite literally) by launching a one-week sale in which it’s offering 10 Amex Membership Rewards Points (or 10% cashback) on IHG and Best Western bookings as well as on shopping at a variety of retailers.
Rakuten IHG 10% Cash Back Terms
These are the full terms and conditions per Rakuten:
- Exclusions: Cash Back is only available on United States hotels and for commissionable IHG rates. Specialty negotiated rates such as IHG friends & Family are not eligible for Cash Back. Cash Back is not available on the purchase of reward Club Points or the Ambassador Certificate program. Rooms booked and paid for by IHG reward Club Points are not eligible for Cash Back incentives.
- Special Terms: Changes made to the reservation at the hotel will void Cash Back.
- Posting Time: Cash Back will be added to your Rakuten account within 3 months after travel has been completed.
Sometimes, we usually see a number of IHG brands specifically excluded from these Rakuten cashback promotions but I can’t see any such limitations this time around. The only big limitation in place is that the cashback is only being offered on bookings at IHG properties in the United States.
The full terms and conditions as published by Rakuten (and reproduced above) would appear to suggest that even bookings at brands such as Kimpton and Voco will trigger the 10% cashback.
Why This Is A Good Deal
Not only will clicking through the Rakuten portal earn you 10% cashback on eligible IHG bookings, but you’ll also continue to earn IHG Rewards points and credit towards IHG elite status as well as enjoying any elite status benefits that you may be entitled to (TopCashback’s links take you directly to the IHG website so all stays booked in this way are treated like any other booking made directly with IHG).
Earn Membership Rewards Points
If you’d like to earn Membership Rewards points instead of cashback (1 point per 1% cashback) make sure you change your Rakuten account settings appropriately (click here to see how to do this).
Earn bonus IHG Rewards Points
IHG is currently running a promotion in which it’s offering up to 3x bonus points on stays through 31 August 2021 so make sure you register for this deal before you book.
Use the best credit card for IHG bookings
The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (review) will help you earn at least 25 IHG Rewards Points per dollar on most IHG bookings or you could choose to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card (review) which will earn you 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on all travel
Other 10 Points/Dollar or 10% Cashback Opportunities
Some of the more popular retailers on which you can earn 10% cashback or 10 Membership Rewards points/dollar include the following:
- Best Western Hotels & Resorts
- Calvin Klein
- Finish Line
- Groupon (up to 17%)
- IHG Hotels & Resorts
- Kate Spade New York
- Michael Kors
- Rakuten Gift Card Shop (up to 10%)
- Sunglass Hut
- Under Armour
Note: The Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales are a little over a month away so if you have no immediate need to do any shopping, it may be a good idea to hold off making any purchases until you see what those sales have to offer.
There’s no trick to earning the cashback or Membership Rewards points on offer (you just click through to the retailers using the links on Rakuten), but there are two things you should keep in mind:
Firstly, before making any purchases, make sure you check what Amex offers are available in your American Express account – a number of retailers participating in the Rakuten promotion also frequently appear among the Amex offers I’ve been seeing this year (e.g. Macy’s, Nike, etc…). Load your Amex card with any relevant offers and then use that card to pay when you’ve clicked through to the retailer(s) and finished your shopping.
Secondly, if you don’t have any relevant Amex offers to use, make sure you use a credit card that will reward you well. Most miles and points credit cards will only offer 1 point or mile per dollar at a lot of the participating retailers so this would be a good opportunity to use a good cash back card like the refreshed Chase Freedom Unlimited Card (1.5% cashback on all spending) or the Blue Cash EveryDay® Card (2% cashback at select department stores – terms apply)…
…or to use a card on which you’re currently working towards a strong welcome offer (e.g. if you recently signed up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card).
Most importantly, don’t forget that the 10% cashback deals are only available this week and that if you’re new to Rakuten, you can sign up using this referral link and earn a bonus of $30 cashback or 3,000 Membership Rewards Points (on top of any other cashback/points you may earn).
For the rest of this week, Rakuten is offering 10% cashback or 10 Membership Rewards Points per dollar for stays booked with IHG and Best Western. In addition, the site is also offering the same deal for spending at 100+ retailers so if you were planning on doing some shopping before the Thanksgiving Holiday, this could be a good chance to save some cash or to top up an Amex Membership Rewards balance.