When signing up for a new shopping portal it’s often worth using someone’s referral link as that can get you a higher bonus.
Rakuten is bucking that trend right now because you can – potentially – earn a higher bonus by joining directly. In a couple of circumstances though you might still do better using someone’s referral link.
- Earn 10% bonus cashback or 10x bonus Membership Rewards for your first 7 days as a new Rakuten member.
- Direct link to terms.
- Only new members are eligible.
- Not combinable with other offers including the Referral Sign Up Bonus.
- Qualify for the Rakuten Boost Bonus when you sign up to become a new Rakuten Rewards member where the Boost Bonus was offered, and make Qualifying Purchase(s) within seven (7) days of signing up (your “Boost Bonus Period”).
- A “Qualifying Purchase” means a purchase that earns Cash Back through Rakuten.com , the Rakuten App or the Rakuten browser extension.
- The Boost Bonus will add 10% Cash Back to the effective standard Cash Back rate for your Qualifying Purchases made during your Boost Bonus Period.
- The Boost Bonus shall be subject to a total overall cap of $50.00 for all of your Qualifying Purchases made during the Boost Bonus Period (“Boost Cap”).
- The standard Cash Back rate shall not be subject to the Boost Cap, though may be subject to other applicable merchant terms and exclusions.
- Boost Bonus will be added to your next Cash Back payment.
Rakuten normally offers a bonus of $30-$40 (or 3,000-4,000 Membership Rewards if you set up your earning preference that way) when you sign up as a new member using someone’s referral link. With a cap of $50 cashback (or 5,000 bonus Membership Rewards), there’s the potential to earn even more by joining Rakuten direct.
Another nice feature of the 10%/10x rate is that it’s earned on top of whatever your base earnings are for any given retailer. If Rakuten is giving 8%/8x for a retailer, you’d earn 18%/18x.
There’s a couple of things to consider when doing this though. The first is that you’d need to spend $500 through Rakuten within your first week in order to max out those earnings. The other is that if your partner already has a Rakuten account, you’d do better having them refer you. That’s because the current referral joining bonus is $30 cashback or 3,000 Membership Rewards for both parties. You could therefore earn $60 or 6,000 Membership Rewards between you without needing to spend as much as $500.