No more 3X for gift cards: Rakuten (formerly Ebates) Visa with Membership Rewards. Everything you need to know.

146

UPDATE: The magical Rakuten Visa card will no longer earn 3X for gift cards purchased through the Rakuten portal.  As a result, I no longer recommend this product unless you frequently shop through the Rakuten portal.  Rakuten has been sending out the following email to cardmembers:

Dear Member,

Starting February 15, 2020, Rakuten Cash Back Visa® Credit Card purchases made through Rakuten on GiftCardMall.com, GiftCards.com and Raise.com will be eligible for 1% Cash Back instead of an extra 3% Cash Back.

Due to circumstances unique to the retail card business, Rakuten is no longer able to offer an extra 3% Cash Back for purchases from these stores.

All other benefits remain the same. You’ll continue to earn an extra 3% Cash Back on qualifying purchases made through Rakuten.com, In-Store Cash Back offers, Rakuten Hotels and Rakuten travel.

The Rakuten (formerly Ebates) portal suddenly became exciting when they introduced the ability to earn Amex Membership Rewards points instead of cash back.  The combination of the Rakuten portal with the Rakuten Visa credit card is arguably the most exciting event in the points & miles world since… um… Redbird maybe?  Regardless, it’s been a while since we’ve seen anything this interesting.  You can read all about it here: In one fell swoop, Ebates shakes up portal and credit card rewards.

OK, are you already back from reading the “Ebates shakes up portal and credit card rewards” post?  Great.  So now you know why you want the Rakuten Visa so that you can earn an 3X points on all of your Rakuten shopping in addition to the points offered by the portal itself.  But before you sign up, there are some things you need to know:

Follow these steps

  1. First, you need an Amex card that earns Membership Rewards.  There are lots of good ones (found here), but if you want one with no annual fee then go for either the Blue Business Plus or the Everyday CardPreviously it was necessary to have a consumer Amex card, but that requirement is no longer in place.
  2. Next, you need an Rakuten portal account.  If you don’t already have one, you can sign up here (this is not an affiliate link): www.rakuten.com/american-express.  At the time of this writing, there’s a signup offer of 1500 Membership Rewards points after making $25 or more in qualifying purchases through the portal.  If you already have a cash back version of the account, you can change it to a Membership Rewards account (see below for details).
  3. Next, make sure you apply for the Rakuten Visa with the same email address as the one linked to your Rakuten portal account.  Best bet is to log into the Rakuten portal first and click on the Rakuten Visa ad.  Yes, it is advertised as a cash back card, but as long as it is linked to a Rakuten account that earns Membership Rewards, it will earn Membership Rewards.  If you don’t see the ad when you log into your Rakuten account, you can find a current signup link here.

You can now change your cash back Rakuten account to a Membership Rewards account

To switch your Rakuten portal account to Amex Membership Rewards, log into the Rakuten portal, select Account Settings (found in the menu under your name), and change how you would like to get paid:

The Rakuten card is surprisingly hard to get approved for

My son (a college student) was denied.  A retiree that I know was also denied.  It’s not surprising that they were denied credit in general, but I expected that a portal branded credit card would be easy to get.  I was wrong.

A number of readers (see the comments in this post) have also been denied despite having high income and solid credit scores.

There is a trick for getting approved

Readers report success getting approved for the Rakuten Visa card after freezing Sagestream and ARS credit reporting.  You can find instructions for freezing your reports here:

A great resource for how to freeze both Sagestream and ARS can be found here: Two Credit Bureaus You Should Freeze Before You Apply For A U.S Bank Credit Card (even though the Rakuten Visa isn’t issued by US Bank, the instructions are relevant).

It is possible to go from nothing to earning points in a matter of minutes

Once you are approved for an Amex card that earns Membership Rewards, you should be able to sign up for Rakuten with Membership Rewards immediately.

Then, if you are instantly approved for the Rakuten Visa, you will be presented with a temporary card number instantly.  You can start shopping right away as long as your purchase is under $1,000.

The Rakuten Visa’s 3X rewards are based on the entire purchase price

This may seem like a stupid statement.  After all, all credit cards reward you based on the entire purchase price, right?  Right, but I wasn’t sure in this case.  After all, the Rakuten portal itself doesn’t usually reward the shipping and handling and sales tax portion of a purchase.  And remember that the Rakuten Visa offers 3X rewards for purchases made through the Rakuten portal and only 1X rewards for other purchases.  So, it seemed logical to me that the Rakuten Visa may work in any one of these three ways:

  1. 1X rewards applies to the entire purchase amount, and the additional 2X rewards apply only to the purchase amount tracked by the portal.  Wrong answer #1.
  2. 3X rewards applies only to the amount tracked by the portal.  Wrong answer #2.
  3. 3X rewards applies to the entire purchase amount inclusive of shipping and handling and taxes.  This is the right answer.

Thanks go to members of the Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook Group for helping to answer this question definitively.

0 0 votes
Post Rating

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

146 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] As always, check cashbackmonitor.com to be sure you’re getting the best rate. That said, since Rakuten gives you the option to instead earn the same rates in Membership Rewards points rather than cash back, you may value these payouts more. If you’re not yet earning Membership Rewards points through Rakuten, remember that it is possible to change your earning preferences. Also see our guide to the Rakuten Visa with Membership Rewards. Everything you need to know. […]

[…] See also: Ebates Visa with Membership Rewards. Everything you need to know. […]

Byron

Anyone else having a problem with Synchrony not restoring your credit line after payment? I owed $7400 and paid after the month closing date. That was Feb 4. Payment was made from Wells Fargo. Synchrony has not restored my credit line and it has been 8 days. Anyone else had that problem with them?

I would at least like to get one more swing at the 4% back before the 15th.

Byron

I called and they released the funds. I will keep the Rakuten Visa, because it does provide 3x to some, but not all, things. I use my ATT More for Amazon in which I always get 3x for it there. It has been hit and miss at Amazon with Rakuten and the Visa. We are taking a big trip soon and Rakuten gives a pretty big cash back on tours, but i use the CSR for the actual booking due to 3x on travel things, plus the good insurance. Even with the demise of the 3x for GiftCardMall, there are other, not as lucrative, ways to earn points. I knew this one was going to be too good to be true. Too bad it got hit too hard. Kind alike the Marriott conference thing. My only regret is I did not have my wife doing this too.

Kevin

Bryon, that is typical of the card, especially early on. I think with my card it get released a little faster, but just plan it can really mess up timing unless you can cover the the float.

MSer

Truly rotten turn of events this past year for MS. This was the last ray of good cheer – will be sorely missed.

THEsocalledfan

Greg,

Betting your valuation of the Gold card just shot up. 🙂

Matt

Did not get the email yet either so thanks for the heads up. Just enough time to get in one final round

Gene

@ Greg — So, why don’t you recommend this product anymore? 3x MR points is awesome. What am I missing?

HChris

Opportunity costs. If you want to MS you will continue to get the 1x at the gift card shops and the other percentages for other stores. But now other cards will earn additional for that spend (2x Double Cash for example) and is the Ebates Visa now really worth a 5/24 slot? Not really, unless you purchase so much stuff through Rakuten were you’ll still get the additional 3x

Gene

I have zero interest in MS (too much work IMO since the death of the RedCard), but you make a good point regarding volume of purchases through Rakuten. I mainly use it for IHG reservations, and then I already pay with a 3x travel card.

Andrew

It’s only 3X points through the Rakuten portal or at stores where Rakuten is offering in store cash back offers. And that 3X now excludes gift card purchases at the aforementioned sites. The upside just isn’t really worth the credit card slot if it doesn’t include 3X for gift cards, since it’s now basically just 3X for online shopping (and only places where Rakuten gives cash back, at that)

Dan C

I’m also surprised with the strong no longer refer and don’t agree with it as the value is still very high for everyday purchases. . Using this card through Rakuten earns not only 3x MR but also the “cash back” percentage that Rakuten is offering and that is paid in MR. There is no annual fee on the card so good luck finding cards that pay out 7x to 10x in MR which I frequently get on this card. Plus if you value MRs at 1.5 cents each than even if Rakuten is not giving the most cash back this is better than straight cash back. I don’t MS so I never used it for that. But if you value MR then Rakuten and this card are amazing for clothing, concert tickets, some travel, meal delivery plans, etc…

duncan

How long has language excluding gift cards been in the terms of service?

https://www.rakuten.com/help/article/terms-conditions-360002101608

8. CASH BACK EXCLUSIONS

8.1 Cash Back is earned on your net purchase amount, which excludes taxes, fees, shipping, gift-wrapping, discounts or credits, returns or cancellations, and extended warranties. Purchases of gift cards do not qualify for Cash Back. Cash Back amounts vary by store and product category and may contain exclusions in the terms of the offer and/or the applicable store page. Please review these terms carefully.

Byron

Hmmmm, I never got an email from them about killing the 3% back. What is strange is that I had a $7K bill and paid it prior to the due date. That was 10 days ago and CL sits at $75. I called and they some crap about payments over a certain amount they held for awhile. Citi, Amex, and Chase do not do that to me. I paid this off my Wells Fargo account, and that account has been void of that amount for 10 days. Synchrony sells credit cards to all those folks wanting a discount at the clothing store. They know they can just jerk them around. I would guess they got hit pretty hard since last October. I just want my CL restored for one more go at it for 3%. Every year the cash cow rolls around. One year it was the IHG elevator thing, then Iberia did the crazy thing for 90K in points, now this. There will be something else. I just want one more go of it. Makes me wonder if Rakuten cried foul, or did Synchrony cry foul.

Aloha808

Any rakuten/synchrony knowledgeable folks out there? Need help fixing a rakuten visa denial. Well i had Froze TU and EX cuz i saw a DP somewhere of someone getting approved when they froze those and they said synchrony pulled EQ instead. So I did that and synchrony tried TU and EX and both blocked as expected but synchrony never pulled EQ. Then i unfroze EX and called synchrony, and they wouldn’t tell me why i was denied, but they said they would try again if i unfroze EX. Boom this time HP EX (still nothing on EQ) and still denied, this time for too many new accounts or applications for credit…. but that’s BS cuz no new accounts since July 2018 and only 3 HPs in 12 mos. To top it off i was pre-approved (email). #irritated

P.s. didn’t know to freeze sagestream and ARS… if i freeze them how long should i wait to reapply?

Ed Dee

I just applied yesterday and instantly approved. I had unfroze all 3 bureaus when applying. I applied last August and denied because not all 3 were unfroze. Unfortunately, i used a different email than my MR Rakuten acct. I guess some people had success fixing email in Rakuten Visa acct so hopefully that works for me too.

Ed Dee

Got my Rakuten cc today. So, I don’t actually have to update my email. My email for my card and Rakuten website are different. Cash back from cc purchase via Rakuten.com shows up in Rakuten site.

Adam

Did you freeze ARS or Sagestream?

Ed Dee

No, I did not. Just unfroze the 3 credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, and Transunion..

Adam

Applied 30 days after initial denial and froze only Sagestream and got approved! Not too bummed about MSing.

Aloha808

Well, looks like I dodged a bullet getting denied!

duncan

Any other reports of gift cards from giftcardmall and giftcards.com only giving 1x bonus instead of 3x? I have seen different reports on reddit stating such.

Byron

My latest purchase from giftcardmall, today, did not show the normal 3% message if using Rakuten Visa, and while the 1x points show from Rakuten, there is nothing showing under the section for the Rakuten Visa.

Just wondering if anything has changed.

duncan

Any update on whether you received your 3x points?

Byron

Yes, I get the 3x points. You have to be patient. Do not order a big load of gift cards at one time, or the order will not go through. Stay smaller and don’t get noticed. I have learned just order $1500, and no shipping fee from giftcardmall and the orders goes through without a hitch. I mix plenty of other spend. This is a good deal and no one needs to be milking it for all it is worth.

I am still amazed that I can spend on a Visa card and get Amex points. That is a very sweet deal.

Yo Yo

subscribe

Byron

Greg, or anyone, know if there have been any shutdowns by Synchrony or Rakuten on just buying gift cards with the Rakuten Visa? How many $’s per month is anyone doing on the Rakuten Visa.

I just don’t know how aggressive I can be. Looking for data points.

K-MAN

Approved, $1000.00. That’s it I am done, no more applying for cc for 6 months or so. In recent, I have been trying to get a credit card with price protection! Would not get approved for USA Bank or Citi AA because of too many inquires, over 5/24. Now that I have got this. I am going to garden. Came to this post through the Points Guys and was able to get more info from all comments. I do have relationship already with Synchrony Bank, Paypal Card 25K if that helps. I might try to call and increase the limit once I get it.

K-man

Oh that’s even better news! I guess will wait to see when I get the card. Thank you

John

My hopes are go get a 5K credit line and do 5K per month on gift cards. That would be 240,000 MR in a year. That plus other normal spending would be plenty of points for a nice trip somewhere.

John

Just got approved for only a $1000 credit line. I put a freeze on the two credit places and waited a few weeks. I picked up the Green Card and Double Cash since placing the hold on credit reports.

Just did a $1000 giftmall order and it went through. Just wondering if Amex will squawk, when this is one bank removed from Amex dishing out the points.

Anyone with any data points on this?

Anyone got the credit limit increased?

Anyone having any issues buying gift cards with this card?

K-man

Are you over 5/24? Just curious

John

Will not know until the actual card arrives what the credit line will be. And for K-Man, I am about 8/24 right now. Too many good deals coming through on cards right now. However, if this 3x + 1x works out like I hope, this could be the sweetest deal in a long long time. I do not plan to hit it hard so as to screw up a good thing.

Lastly, than you very much for what you and Nick do to help all of us. Sometimes things work out and sometimes they do not. But that is OK.

JoeJ

Hey John. How do you plan to liquidate the GC you bought from giftcardmall?

Thanks 🙂

Byron

Just bought 5K today from giftcardmall. I pay an extra $2 to get them shipped UPS. Our post office screws our mail up enough, that it is worth having it on my front porch. I have a WM 5 miles from my house. I go there 3-4 times per week for grocery runs. Since my credit line is 7.5K on this card, I will not milk it for all it is worth. I will just do slightly less than $1000 each time to keep from handing over my license and hopefully stay under the radar. I will leave a few cents on the card to stay under the 1K. Then I go 2 miles further to WF and do a ATM deposit. I once did the rabbit run and got shutdown at a couple of places. This time I will be the rabbit. Hope everyone else is too. If you watch pointchaser, you will see she spreads her MS across alot of cards.

Just wondering a bit how a Visa card is giving Amex points. Not wondering long if the points keep flowing.

Joe

Hey Byron. You’re doing MOs at WM, right?

(Not sure if you’re using loadable cards or something else)
Thank you.!

Byron

No reloadables. Strictly Metabank Visa Debit cards from gift card mall. I never say the words “gift card” at WM. I tell them I have two ea. $500 debit cards and I want one $999.00 money order.

By the way, when I order $5K I always pay a little more to get these delivered to my front door. We don’t have porch pirates here.

[…] Cancel my wife’s Amex Gold card unless she is offered a retention bonus.  Keep in mind that I get 4X Membership Rewards from my Rakuten card, so I value the Gold card’s 4X grocery less than many others do.  See: Rakuten (formerly Ebates) Visa with Membership Rewards. Everything you need to know. […]

toomanybooks

50 times I have tried to link my Amex account. Every time:

Oops! Something went wrong. Please try again.

Joke.

Theresa

I heard the sign-up fails when you use Safari. Chrome worked for me!

Marriott Marty

Is it possible to product change a different card with The same bank (Sync) say a Total rewards card to avoid denial for lol/24

KonMarie

Switched my account to MR and applied for the visa.
It’s my first Synchrony card. It was approved instantly.
It seemed to pull Transunion report. My score was at 810.
2 Hard Pulls on account.

Just opened an Amex Green last week.
I figured that hasn’t hit the credit report, so I went for it.

Matthew

Hi! I’m a bit confused at these changes. So I’ve had a Rakuten card for a few years now – I called Rakuten and they merged my accounts, so I have both the Rakuten Card on there and my AMEX – does this mean I can earn the 3-4x points?

I can’t post the screen shot here, but in my Wallet on the Rakuten page, I show both AMEX and Rakuten…any insight?

Thanks!

Russ

You also need to make sure your Rakuten account is set to earn MR points not cash back.

Tommy

Has anyone experienced issues getting the transfers into your MR?

I had one transfer back in September but it still hasn’t shown in my AMEX portal. Contacted AMEX and they are looking into it but haven’t heard anything.

Daniel

Does the +3% for the Rakuten Visa compound with the 5% for restaurants, or is it just online? Could be a good to have that as well as Sapphire Reserve as options for +3 MR/UR (yes the Amex Gold gets 4 MR, I know..)

Daniel

Exactly my thoughts. Thanks Greg, great summary!

Byron

Greg, how do you link the CSR or Amex Gold to my Rakuten account. Explain the 5x in better detail. I must be missing something here.

Theresa

I haven’t seen a 3% reward for using my Rakuten Visa for restaurants. I don’t think it works.

[…] For online purchases, it’s hard to beat the Rakuten (formerly Ebates) Visa.  All purchases made through the Rakuten online portal earn 3X when paid with this card (that’s in addition to the rewards earned from the portal).  Plus, if you setup your accounts correctly, you’ll earn Membership Rewards points rather than cash back.  See this post for details: Rakuten (formerly Ebates) Visa with Membership Rewards. Everything you need to know. […]

[…] If you have a special Membership Rewards Rakuten account, then you’ll earn Amex Membership Rewards rather than cash back.  And if you sign up for the Rakuten credit card after establishing this Membership Rewards account, that credit card will also earn Membership Rewards.  This means that you’ll earn 4X Membership Rewards when buying Visa gift cards online!  Please see this post for full details before getting started: Ebates Visa with Membership Rewards. Everything you need to know. […]

Unclesam

I have been trying to reach Sage Stream to freeze my credit report for over a month but with no luck. I have faxed the paperwork 2 times, Called and left voice mail messages 4 times and even sent a postal letter with certified acknowledgement due (received signed acknowledgment card back) but there is pin drop silence from their side.Not sure what else I can do. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Dont want to apply for the ebates card second time without confirmation of freeze being complete on their side.

R G

So you can get MR on Rakuten Visa? I tried to shut down and merge my accounts but was told there was an issue because of the visa attached to the old account. They told me due to their contract with Amex this action was prohibited… that the Rakuten credit card is NOT allowed to be linked to an MR earning account.

Joe

DP: Denied for card. Froze credit reports as recommended. Applied again with instant approval. Thx Greg!

Aloha808

Congrats! How long did you wait to reapply?

Robert Becker

I just got the card (what a process)…and I have an account earning membership rewards…I linked the card in that account and the email address is the same on the card registration as it is on rakuten. Will it matter if I am not the main card holder? I had too many cards. If so, in order to fix that will I need to
1. sign up the main card holder for a rakuten account,
2. link that card and then
3. change the email in the account at Synchrony to match the main card holder?

Alan

When does the 3% extra post? I made a purchase though the portal with this card. In Ebates app, I’m seeing 5% before tax and 1% after tax. The latter is categorized as “credit card rewards”.

Am I missing something?

Yuri

I noticed that it first posts as 1%, then after few days it posts as 3%.

Yuri

DP: I applied for Ebates Visa yesterday, and was instantly approved. I have ARS and SageStream frozen. I’m at LOL/24, but my credit score is above 800.

Corey

Denied. Pulled from TU, 789 score with 5 inquiries. Reason given was: “Number of recent credit requests.” Not a new customer either – have had the BR card for 9 yrs – thought that might help.

USB

Which credit bureau are they pulling from ?

Corey

Mine was transunion, I’m in NC.

[…] Another standout is the Ebates Visa card when tied to an Ebates account that earns Membership Rewards points.  With this Visa card, you’ll earn 3X Membership Rewards in addition to portal rewards anytime you shop through Ebates, earn portal rewards, and pay with your Ebates Visa card.  Complete details can be found here: Ebates Visa with Membership Rewards. Everything you need to know. […]

sam

Which Credit Bureau are they pulling from? Thanks!

[…] The biggest downside of this new feature is that there is currently no way to convert a cash back Ebates account to a Membership Rewards Ebates account.  Instead, members have to cancel their cash back account and sign up for the Membership Rewards version.  Again, details can be found here.  For some members, cancelling and setting up new is not an option.  For example, if you have an Ebates Visa card (which earns 3% on purchases that track through the Ebates portal), cancelling your current Ebates account would be a disaster.  There’s no way to change which account it is linked to.  See: Ebates Visa with Membership Rewards. Everything you need to know. […]

Traveltheworld

I had to open a new MR earning Ebates but opened my Ebates Visa with my old email account. Is this not going to work? How do I fix it?

Yuri

You need to change your email address on a synchrony website, in a profile section. I also gave an email from cashback account (which I closed before that), but then it asked me to change it, when I was setting up online access on Synchrony.

Yuri

Do I need to close Ebates cashback account first, before applying for this card? I have 2 Ebates accounts right now (cashback and MR), and no Ebates visa so far.
I have Citi AT&T Access More, which earns 3x TYP for most of online shopping, through any portal, so I’m not in a rush to get this card, but it’s good to have.

Yuri

I ended up cancelling my cashback account, then applying for ebates visa. It worked.

Ryan

Just approved. 804 FICO, 13/24, last app Feb ’19, 3 hard inquiries last 2 years.

Odelia

Is it possible to change the Amex card to which the MR earning account is linked? Mine is currently linked to my platinum card, but I am thinking of canceling it when the fee comes around. This is currently my only Amex card. Will I be able to get another Amex card and maintain the MR ebates account with its link to the Ebates CC etc?

Odelia

Wonderful, thank you!

Gmoney

Denied, 750 score, 200k income – too many recent inquiries

Cambio

Not sure if credit is even a big factor, I’m around 650 with $110k/year income (poor past decisions). Credit not run in past 6-8 months and got approved for $3k.

[…] eight days after he applied for it.  He had applied for this card after being turned down for the Ebates Visa Card.  When the Chase application went pending, I figured that he most likely would be denied.  And, […]

Kent

Looking into this card for booking overseas accommodation when traveling, as Ebates offers 5% back (5x MR points) on Booking.com, which I often use, and with the card that could get bumped to 8%. However, I realized that the card has a 3% foreign transaction fee, and I imagine that would apply to any booking at a non-US hotel, which would negate the gain.

I’d love to hear I’m wrong if anyone who has been approved for the card can speak from experience.

Meja Beck

Also I’ve consistently found going thru the portal is more expensive than going straight to booking.com/Agoda.comfor the exact same hostel and dates. More expensive than the points are worth.

[…] Ebates Visa with Membership Rewards. Everything you need to know. […]

Bill

So if I buy a GC thru their site offering 1%, will I earn another 3% when using their cc?

Mike

Greg, or anyone that can chime in — Would the card only earn 3% on purchases already ‘eligible’ for the normal cashback/MR back rate? Example: TicketMaster is limited to 5 purchases per month that are eligible for cashback through ebates. If I were to use the ebates CC on my 6th+ order on Ticketmaster through ebates portal, am curious if I’d receive the 3x MR on that purchase, even though I’d be ineligible for the standard cashback/MR rate of return for using the portal. Thank you.

Dave

Greg, I was able to set up an MR-linked Ebates account and subsequently got instant approval for the Ebates Visa. When I went to open the Ebates account, it had me log in to Amex and then said I was verified for MR and switched right back to Ebates. I have several MR earning Amex cards (gold and platinum personal and blue business plus) bit it did not ask me to choose a card to link. Do you think that will be a problem?

Christian

Just approved. 5/24 but nothing in the last 6 months. Credit score in the high 700’s.

[…] applied for Ebates store card. In typical Synchrony fashion I was approved $5000ish credit limit. Frequent Miler mentions that that it is, for a store card, it is relatively difficult to get, but if I can get […]

Kalboz

Thank you for being a Ebates member. Only new members can choose to receive Membership Rewards points at this time.

Dave

I got the same message, then closed my Ebates account and got confirmation it was deactivated. Then still got the same message. Opened a different browser and created a new Ebates account linked to MR using a different email address. Success! Then applied and got instant approval for Ebates Visa with an instant temporary account number to use immediately.

Kalboz

How did you deactivate your first account?

Dave

While logged in to Ebates, I went to Help, Contact Us, and filled out the form. None of the pull-down topics fit, but I selected Email address/profile change. Then in the details box I put I want to close my Ebates account. They replied in less than an hour saying it was deactivated.

Kalboz

Excellent, you are awesome! Thank you

Craig at Middle Age Miles

Hi Greg – Great article. Thanks for the interesting and positive DP about 3x earning. I was trying mightily to experiment with MR earning with an Ebates Visa to provide DPs to the community. But alas, like some others here, I was unceremoniously denied by Synchrony. I wrote about the app process and denial a couple of weeks ago (“Experiment Foiled! Denied for the Ebates Visa Card”). I took it all the way to the “Chairman’s Office” but received no sympathetic ear and no shot at manual recon. Congrats to all who can get approved – this is an awesome opportunity!

Carter

I opened a new Ebates account a few weeks ago using an alternate email address so that I could earn MR (had an older account under another email that I rarely used). Applied for Ebates card today and was auto-approved and got the temporary number. Credit score is around 780 and I am about 7/24 at the moment (only 2 apps in past 12 months though).

Teo

I was able to sign up for a MR Ebates account although I only have business cards earning MR. The eligible cards link takes you to this page which lists all Amex cards that earn MR https://rewards.americanexpress.com/myca/loyalty/us/catalog/tandc?mrlinknav=footer-tandc

Is it possible Synchrony uses consumer reports from Sagestream and ARS like US bank? Freezing those might help getting approved if that’s the case.

Teo

Platinum, Gold and BluePlus

MK

I was able to link the MR Ebates account to a Blue Business Plus Card.

THEsocalledfan

Greg,

I blocked Sagestream and ARS, waited, and reapplied. Instant approval. They had pulled from Sagestream last time. Pulled from Experian.

J L

Hi Greg, do you have any theories on why Sagestream and ARS causes rejects? Any particular data elements that these 2 collect vs. the big 3 bureaus?

THEsocalledfan

Based on my back and forth the first time, it appears to me sagestream clearly provides more info than the other bureaus. What that is, I do not know, but I feel there is a reason Doctor of Credit wrote his post about it for US Bank…..

trvl4fs

Thanks for your info. How long after your initial denial did you reapply?

THEsocalledfan

about 90 days

trvl4fs

Thanks. Wish luck!

Aloha808

Deleted

Aloha808

Same here, I was able to make a new Ebates MR account and I only have Amex biz cards.

Sethon

I got denied because I had too many cc inquiries recently. I knew something was up when I got “We’ll let you know by mail” response after the application. LOL/24 here though

Alex

I too, was told by ebates customer service that I couldn’t move my newly approved ebates credit card to my new membership rewards earning ebay account. I applied through the preapproval of my old (cashback) account (due to $100 sign-up bonus) but was also entered the email address of my MR earning account. So, just switching the email on the application will not do it (at least for these preapprovals with SUBs). The preapproval and SUB is attached the account on which it is received. May try beachmouse’s method.

voyager

Greg, “all you need to know” would include how sensitive they are to buying GCM GC’s. Would prefer to not find out the hard way : ). Any thoughts?

voyager

thanks for sharing that !

Tom

So if you buy a Visa GC at sites with 1% rebate, then w/the 3X feature of this card you could earn 4x?

beachmouse

I had an old Ebates account with a zero balance, and here’s what I was told to do by their customer service to switch it over to MR earnings. I don’t know if it works with an Ebates account with a balance or if you lose the cash out balance if you do this:

” Welcome to Ebates! Please follow these steps to sign up for an AMEX Membership Rewards Points account.

Log out of your existing Ebates account

Visit Ebates.com/American Express

Create a new account using the same email address you used previously
Enroll using your existing American Express user id and password”

Lukas

When I do that, it says “Thank you for being a Ebates member. Only new members can choose to receive Membership Rewards points at this time.” when I try to sign up with the same email address.

THEsocalledfan

Yep, sounds great, but almost impossible to get approved for. My income is north of $150K a year, and credit scores all over 800. I was 4/24 for cards; I hadn’t applied for card in a substantial amount of time. Not instant approval, then denied by letter. The reasoning in the letter was 100% hogwash:

“Date of issuance of applicant’s SSN does not match date of SSN of peers
Number of inquiries
Applicant associated with multiple phone changes
Limited history of consumer at application phone number”

So I called, and like the other person, they said nothing they can do by phone and that I am still denied. They said all I can do is write a letter and send it to the address on the denial. So, I did exactly that, and refuted each specific reasoning. They then sent me another letter in reply changing their reasoning for denial, but still denying me based on my credit score. I have then sent yet another letter disputing that finding giving direct data why that is incorrect, but yet to hear back again.

I also applied for my wife. FICO north of 800, only 1/24 for cards. Denied. Pretty much the same reasoning as above. I have no idea how you get approved for this card.

rick I

Synchrony Bank is nuts.Denied too many inquiries. Sent info, including my healthy Schwab account statement. Never missed a payment in my life.About 750 score. Home free and clear .

Calls are routed to fraud for credit card application reconsideration which they DO NOT DO? You must apply again? Again, NO reconsideration

I consider anyone that gets this card lucky as can be.

Hunter

And this is in addition to any points that you get from Ebates? So, if a retailer gave 1 point per dollar spent (not including taxes and fees), I would get 4 points on the actual purchase?

Joe

That is correct.

losingtrader

Greg, I must have missed the discussion of this but this earns 3x MR on everything?

James

Everything purchased through the portal

losingtrader

Thanks, so is it only online or don’t they have in-store stuff too?

Joe

They have ongoing in store offers that you tie to the card.

Matt

Any idea how this will track for items that are excluded from the cash back? Like say i buy a kitchen aid from BBnB by clicking through the ebates cash back link, even though kitchenaid is an exempt from cash back brand, would i still get 3x?

Geo@YQB

This is a key point that needs to be tested. 3x on everything that usually gives 0% at amazon, gift cards, etc, would be huge.

Larry

This seems like a very significant piece of the puzzle. I find it to be very confusing when cashback sites offer cashback only on selected categories on websites. I’m never sure whether my purchase is qualifying and there doesn’t seem to be any way to confirm at the time of purchase other than maybe by doing some very cumbersome checking to see where each item comes from. The vast majority of my online purchasing happens through Amazon. I’d love 3x on amazon purchases. But the chore of figuring out when to charge to the ebates card and when to charge to my amex blue business 2x (which is my regular amazon go to) seems like a burden unless there is a way to figure it all out more easily at the time of purchase.

Joe

I am in the same spot, but went with it anyway. The ebates card adds too much proposed value to ignore. Amazon has been the hardest so far because they do it by category, although in my experience the categories are pretty straightforward at least.

Joe

I have been using the combo for a few weeks, and it does not. Any purchase that earns 0% through Ebates portal will only get you 1% on the Ebates credit card. However, ANY reward amount through the portal (ie. Raise is 1%) adds the 3% for using the card. So the total for a Raise purchase through the portal and with the credit card is 4x. It’s really great.

Dee

Partial DP: I applied for the Ebates Visa and was denied because I forgot to thaw my credit reports. Duh! I called (the Ebates Visa CS line is 855-697-4555) to ask if I should wait to apply again. The rep said to unfreeze all three credit reports and try again right away. I set the thaw to last a couple of days and applied the day after my call. I still got “We’ll let you know by mail” response. I called again. I was denied, but they won’t tell me why. They said to wait for the email explaining, then apply again. I even asked to speak with a supervisor.

My credit scores are all over 800. My income is pretty substantial. I am at 6/24. Amex just gave me another Platinum last month. Other than that, I haven’t opened a new card since November of 2018. I really thought a Synchrony card would be a slap dunk. Apparently not.

Dee

Update Feb 11 2020: I applied again in November and was approved. I think I got approved after I started using the portal a lot.

I use the card when shopping online and another card doesn’t get a bonus spend or I don’t want to run out to buy a gift card – e.g. Ulta, Shoes.com, Michaels. I only bought one Gift Card Mall Visa GC anyway (as a housewarming for my son with a picture of his house on it). It won’t change my use much anyway that they are taking away 3X on gift cards.