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Just recently, Rakuten (formerly eBates) opened up the option for all members to earn Amex Membership Rewards points in place of cashback (this had previously been restricted to new members only) and now the online shopping portal is running a promotion offering up to 11% cash back or 11 Membership Points per dollar.
- The offer is running today (11 November) only
- 250+ Rakuten partners are participating
- Earn up to 11% cash back or 11 membership Rewards points/$ if you have chosen to earn points instead of cashback (here’s how to do that).
- The 11%/11 Points deal is available at IHG properties (including InterContinental)
11% cash back or 11 Membership Rewards Points per dollar can be earned with the following Rakuten Partners:
- JC Penny
- Neiman Marcus
- Nordstrom Rack
- Saks 5th Avenue
- Under Armour
For most readers the most interesting offer here will be the 11% cash back (or 11 Membership Rewards Points/$) available for IHG bookings.
Here’s what you need to know about this deal:
- Exclusions: Cash Back is only available for commissionable IHG rates. Specially negotiated rates such as IHG Friends & Family are not eligible for Cash Back. 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 a few days after travel has been completed.
The terms and conditions of the Rakuten offer look to be pretty simple and do not appear to exclude any of the IHG brands (which is unusual). So, with 11% cash back or 11 points per dollar on offer and with IHG currently offering up to 4x IHG Rewards points on bookings made by 15 December, this could be a very good time to book a stay.
Note: Don’t forget that IHG bookings made after clicking through the Rakuten link will be made directly with IHG and will therefore be eligible for all the usual IHG Rewards benefits.
Be Careful How You Pay
There’s more on offer there than just the 11% cash back or the Membership Rewards Points that Rakuten is offering – this is an opportunity to make the most of all the other deals that will stack with this promotion.
- Check the Amex offers that your American Express cards have been targeted for as a number of retailers participating in the Rakuten promotion often have Amex deals going as well (e.g Levis, Sunglass Hut, eBags etc…)
- Department stores feature as a Chase Freedom 4th Quarter bonus category so Freedom Card holders can combine the Rakuten cash back (or points) with the bonus earnings from the Freedom card when shopping with the likes of Bloomingdales and Macy’s.
- If you’re shopping with a retailer in a category that won’t earn any credit card bonus points (e.g. Under Armour) make sure you use a credit card that will earn you the points you value most or with a good cash back credit card.
I value Membership Rewards points at 1.5 cents each so Rakuten is currently offering me an effective rebate of up to 16.5% on shopping at over 250+ retailers. On its own that’s a great deal, but when you consider the fact that I’ll earn more miles/points/cash back by using the correct credit card to make my purchases this deal suddenly looks fantastic…just don’t forget that we only have today to make the most of it.