How you (and a friend) can earn an easy $30 for online shopping

Jul 24, 2020

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

If you’re planning some online purchases in the next few weeks, one of our favorite online shopping portals here at TPG has just announced an enhanced bonus for new members — and a chance for existing members to take home some cash as well. If you join Rakuten (formerly Ebates) by Aug. 6 and spend at least $30 within 90 days, you’ll take home a one-time bonus of $30. This may be the easiest $30 you’ll earn this quarantine.

And if you’re an existing Rakuten member, you can get in on the action too. All you have to do is refer a friend, and when said friend joins by Aug. 6 and spends $30 within 90 days, you both get a $30 bonus.

Photo courtesy of Rakuten
Photo courtesy of Rakuten

Typically, Rakuten offers $25 for each referral and referee with no limit to how much you can earn, so long as both parties meet the spending requirements. And if you join without a referral, you’re typically limited to a one-time bonus of just $10.

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Rakuten is an online shopping portal that used to go under the name Ebates. It partners with over 2,500 online retailers, from well-known brands like Target and Home Depot to smaller merchants like By starting your purchase at Rakuten and clicking through to the merchant from there, you’ll take home a bonus on every eligible purchase you make — in addition to earnings on the credit card you use for the purchase.

Or, to make things even easier, you can download the Rakuten Google Chrome plug-in and then go directly to the merchant’s site. The plug-in will then notify you if there’s a rebate available:

Photo courtesy of Rakuten

You may be wondering how this is possible. Well, Rakuten inks marketing agreements with individual retailers, which then pay the site commissions on purchases that begin there. Rakuten (in turn) then passes a portion of those commissions on to you, the customer. The retailer gets additional business and both you and Rakuten enjoy a cut of those purchases, essentially a win-win-win for all parties.

While Rakuten is advertised as a cash-back portal, you can take your rewards to the next level by switching your earning preference to American Express Membership Rewards points. In the above example, that means you’d take home 1 Amex point for every dollar you spend at Since we value Amex points at 2 cents apiece thanks to the array of valuable redemption options, that could offer an even higher return for your online purchases.

Note that going through Rakuten for your online purchases may mean that you’re sacrificing higher rewards through an airline shopping portals — especially with several of them currently offering their own bonuses. However, given the elevated offer now available, Rakuten could be a good option.

Which credit card should I use?

If you’re making purchases online, be sure to pay close attention to any potential bonus categories. However, your best bet may be to use a card that offers solid value for everyday purchases, including the following:

The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Remember that any cash back or Amex points you’d take home through Rakuten are in addition to the earnings on your credit card. You may even be able to stack an Amex Offer or Chase Offer at select merchants, so be sure to check those now to avoid leaving money on the table.

This new offer is a simple one that anyone can utilize, so don’t miss out on an easy $30 for all the online shopping you and your loved ones are doing right now. Sign-up for Rakuten today — or begin referring your friends and family members to reap the rewards of their online purchases.

Further reading

Featured photo courtesy of filadendron/Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.