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New Rakuten Dining program: Earn 5% back (or 5x Amex MR) at restaurants

Oct. 04, 2019
4 min read
New Rakuten Dining program: Earn 5% back (or 5x Amex MR) at restaurants
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If you like to eat out as much as I do, you may want to pay attention because Rakuten and Rewards Network have created a new program targeted to foodies.

Called Rakuten Dining, the new program offers an introductory 5% cash back on dining at more than 10,000 restaurants nationwide and is available on the Rakuten app. Even better, the 5% cash back is applied to your entire bill when you dine at a participating restaurant. You can link your credit card (more on that below) and pay at the restaurant.

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Some of the thousands of restaurants include Buca di Beppo, Umami Burger, Fogo de Chao, Johnny Rockets, Gordon Biersch Brewery and Midici Pizza.

“This collaboration will drive more visits to restaurants and create immediate scale for Rakuten Dining and our everyday rewards program,” said Rakuten CEO Amit Patel in a statement.

Here's how to link your card.

You will need to install the Rakuten App and sign in, or sign up if you don't have an account. Go to "My Account" and tap “Add Credit Card,” then tap “Enable.” If you already have a credit card added to your account, skip those steps and tap “Enable.” Note that you won't see the option to add restaurants if you don't follow these steps. Also keep in mind that the app is currently only available for the iOS app.

If you don't want cash back, you should know that new Rakuten (formerly Ebates) members can earn Amex Membership Rewards points. However, this points option is only available to new members who enrolled after the option to earn MR points was introduced earlier this year. If you want to earn Membership Rewards points (worth 2 cents each, according to TPG's most recent valuations) you or someone in your household will need to create a new account through this link. Even better, if you're signing up for the first time, you'll earn 1,500 MR points after spending $25 within 90 days of becoming a member, worth $30.

The best thing about this deal is you'll still earn points, miles or cash back from your linked travel rewards credit card in addition to the cash back or Membership Rewards points from Rakuten. Your best bet is using one of the best credit cards for dining, which include the American Express® Gold Card (4x on dining at restaurants), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on dining) and Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card (4% back on dining). The information for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

For instance, the Amex Gold Card comes offers 4x points on dining at restaurants, which is an 8% return based on our valuation of Amex Membership Rewards points. You can easily link your Amex Gold card to your Rakuten Dining account and double dip rewards.

Featured image by Getty Images/Image Source
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