Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
That’s always good advice, but especially so Monday, as Rakuten is awarding up to 10 American Express Membership Rewards points per dollar (or 10% cash back) at select merchants — perfect timing if you still need a Valentine’s Day gift.
As a refresher, Rakuten is an online shopping portal that allows you to earn either cash back or Amex Membership Rewards points at more than 3,500 popular retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot, Saks, shopDisney and thousands more.
To use the portal, begin your online shopping trip on the Rakuten website and search for the store at which you plan to shop. You’ll be redirected to the actual merchant website. After you make your purchase, Rakuten will dump bonus rewards into your online account.
Better yet, you can also earn a $30 bonus when you spend $30 through Rakuten if you’re a new Rakuten shopper.
Here’s what you need to know about this deal.
Increased cash back with Rakuten
The ability to earn up to 10% (or more) cash back is certainly newsworthy, but earning up to 10 Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar can be even better for those who like to travel using their Amex Membership Rewards points.
TPG values Amex points at 2 cents each when used toward travel. That means you’ll get up to a 20% return on spending when making purchases during this promotion. So if you’re getting your credit cards ready for Valentine’s Day, spring break or upcoming summer holidays, this is the deal for you.
Stores that are participating in this promotion of 10% cash back/10 points or more per dollar (note that a handful of these merchants are offering up to 15% back) include:
- Best Buy.
- Best Western Hotels.
- The North Face.
And several flower shops have even better deals for last-minute shoppers:
- Blooms Today: 12% back.
- FTD: 15% back.
- Teleflora: 15% back.
- From You Flowers: 15% back.
- ProFlowers: 20% back.
Note that this offer of 10 points per dollar (or 10% cash back) can stack with these current deals on Rakuten:
- Save 25% or more on a spring getaway with Expedia.
- Stay two nights and get 8,000 bonus points with Best Western.
- Find $30 massages for you and your valentine with Groupon.
Make sure to pay with a credit card that earns bonus points on everyday purchases. Some good options include the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, which earns 2 Capital One miles per dollar on all purchases, and the Citi® Double Cash Card, which earns 2 ThankYou points per dollar on all purchases — 1 point when you buy and 1 point when you pay your bill.
Stack your Saks Fifth Avenue credit
On top of all that bonus cash back or extra points, remember that The Platinum Card® from American Express offers a ton of different perks, including a statement credit of up to $100 per year at Saks Fifth Avenue.
The credit is divided into two $50 statement credits: one valid from January through June and the other from July through December. Enrollment is required in advance.
If you haven’t used your $50 credit for this half of the year yet, this presents a wonderful opportunity to do so. This allows you to double or triple dip because you can use your $50 statement credit and also earn bonus rewards for the purchase. Saks Fifth Avenue is currently only offering 1% cash back but it’s worth periodically checking as we have seen that return go to 10% or higher.
Stack with annual Dell credits
While the Saks Fifth Avenue return isn’t especially high, another retailer that is available for annual credit card statement credits via The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, Dell, is sitting at 10% back.
That card provides cardholders with $400 in annual statement credits per year toward U.S. purchases with Dell in the form of $200 back in January-June and the second $200 from July-December. Enrollment is required in advance.
Know that in addition to computers, Dell sells projectors, laptop bags, headphones, monitors, video games and more.
Stack with your monthly Gopuff credits
Note that Gopuff is offering 10% back (or 10 points per dollar) on Monday. You could stack this with your monthly Gopuff credits available on multiple Chase credit cards, coming away with free or nearly-free food plus a stash of points on your order.
On Monday only, Rakuten is allowing members to earn up to 10% cash back — or even better, up to 10 Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.
Between this excellent earning rate and the $30 refer-a-friend bonus, you could conceivably earn enough points for free flights to your next vacation spot with surprisingly little effort.
Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh, Ehsan Haque, Summer Hull, Kyle Olsen and Ryan Smith.