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Earn up to 15X Membership Rewards points (or 15% cash back) at hundreds of stores this week

May 09, 2022
4 min read
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If you’re not registered with Rakuten, you ignore one of the easiest (and most effective) tools for earning bonus rewards on everyday purchases.

Rakuten is an online shopping portal that gives you the option to earn either Amex points or cash back. More than 3,500 merchants offer bonus rewards through Rakuten; just begin your online shopping trip on the Rakuten website, search for the store at which you plan to shop, and you’ll be redirected to the actual merchant website. After you make your purchase, Rakuten will dump bonus rewards into your online account.

From May 9-16, Rakuten is running its annual “Big Give Week” promotion, offering up to 15% cash back or 15 American Express Membership Rewards points per dollar at hundreds of popular stores. There’s even an increased bonus for new members.

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Better yet, you can also earn a $40 (or 4,000 Membership Rewards) bonus when you spend $40 through Rakuten if you're a new member.

Here’s what you need to know about this deal.

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Earn 15X on everyday purchases with Rakuten

Earn bonus Amex points or cash back with Rakuten. (Photo by Westend61/Getty Images)

The ability to earn 15% cash back is certainly newsworthy. Online shopping portals are rarely so generous.

But the ability to earn 15 Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar is the real story. TPG valuations peg Amex points at 2 cents each, on average, when used toward travel. That means you’ll get an effective return of 30% toward travel when making purchases during this promotion. If you’re buffing and polishing your credit cards in preparation for summer purchases, this is the deal for you.

Related: How to use Rakuten to earn bonus cash back or Amex points on your purchases

Hundreds of stores are participating in this promotion, including:

  • Blue Apron.
  • Boll & Branch.
  • Crocs.
  • Finish Line.
  • Forever 21.
  • PetSmart.
  • Purple.
  • Ray-Ban.
  • The Container Store.
  • Vivid Seats.
  • Vrbo.

If you’ve got any big purchases on the horizon, these bonus rewards could single-handedly fund your next vacation. After all, with Amex points you can do things like:

Related: How to redeem American Express Membership Rewards for maximum value

And consider this — because travel brands like Vrbo qualify for this deal, you can pay for your upcoming vacation and earn tens of thousands of points toward a later vacation.

Also, Rakuten has increased its referral bonus during this promotion. The normal bonus is $30, but both you and your friends will now get $40 (or 4,000 Amex points). So if you don't have a Rakuten account yet, now is the perfect time to sign up.

Related: Best credit cards for online shopping

Bottom line

Rakuten’s Big Give Week is back, and it’s allowing members to earn up to 15% cash back — or even better, 15 Amex points per dollar.

Between this excellent earning rate and the increased $40 (4,000-Amex point) refer-a-friend bonus, you could conceivably earn enough points for free flights to your next vacation spot with surprisingly little effort.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases