DEAL: Rakuten Refer A Friend Now Earns You & Them $40/4,000 Amex Points


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Rakuten is one of my favorite cash back sites because it allows users to choose between earning pure cash back or Amex Membership Rewards in place of cash back. Now and through 7 December, the site is offering the best bonus we ever see it offering to two groups of people – new users and those who refer new users to Rakuten.

Rakuten Friend Referral Program

The program and the current promotion couldn’t be simpler:

  • Refer friends to Rakuten (link)
  •  Only new members are eligible for the Referral Sign Up Bonus.
  • Qualify for a $40 Referral Sign Up Bonus when you:
    • sign up to become a new member using your referrer’s referral link or other method supplied by Rakuten during the period beginning 12:01AM ET November 16, 2021 and ending 11:59PM ET December 7, 2021 (“Offer Period”) and
    • make Qualifying Purchase(s) totaling at least $40 within 90 days of signing up.
  • One Referral Sign up Bonus per eligible new member.
  • You and your referrer must reside and be located in the 50 United States, District of Columbia, or Canada and comply with the Refer-A-Friend Program Terms.
  • Referral Sign Up Bonus will be added to your next Cash Back payment, provided that you are a Qualified Referral according to the Refer-A-Friend Program Terms.

Full terms and conditions are on the Rakuten site

Collecting American Express Membership Rewards

Follow this link to see how to choose to earn Amex Membership Rewards in place of cash back.

Rakuten offers 1 Membership Reward point in place of every 1 cent of cash back earned through the portal and that fact brings with it three pieces of good news:

  1. As I value Membership Rewards points at 1.5 cents each, every cent of cash back earned can be said to be worth 1.5 cents if you choose to earn Membership Rewards points.
  2. If you choose to earn Membership Rewards points, this promotion will see you earn 4,000 points for every friend you successfully refer (as long as they go on to spend $40 during the promotion period).
  3. Every person who is referred to Rakuten and who chooses to earn Membership Rewards points can earn 4,000 bonus Membership Rewards points from the referral, and those points will come on top of whatever other points are offered for the purchases being made.

Be Careful How You Pay

There’s more on offer here than just the great cash bonus or the Membership Rewards Points – this is an opportunity to make the most of all the other deals that will stack with this promotion. For example:

Check the Amex offers that your American Express cards have been targeted for as a number of retailers that appear on the Rakuten portal often have Amex deals going as well (e.g Levis, Sunglass Hut, etc…). Cards like the no annual fee Blue Cash EveryDay® Card from American Express (2% cash back at select department stores – terms apply) and the Blue Business Plus® Card from American Express (2 points/dollar on up to $50,000 of spending – terms apply) can be very useful cards to use with Amex offers that stack with the cash back on offer through a lot of the retailers you’ll find on the Rakuten site.

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 Chase Freedom Unlimited Card (review) 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 offer on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card).

Bottom Line

This is a very nice promotion for all sides from Rakuten as the referrer and the person being referred can both do very well out of this, just don’t forget that the person being referred must spend at least $40 through the Rakuten portal for everyone to walk away from this as a winner.

Click here to be referred to Rakuten by TFM and to qualify to earn $40 cash back or 4,000 Membership Rewards points (or to access the latest offer).

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