Rakuten: 4K / $40 referral bonus for both sides

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If you know someone who does not yet use shopping portal Rakuten, both you and they can receive $40 each (or 4,000 Membership Rewards points) when they sign up and spend at least $40 through the portal. That should be very easy to do this week, so I definitely recommend taking advantage of this if you can. Note that the $40 bonus can obviously be triggered when the person you refer shops online, but it can also be triggered by spending $40 with in-store offers.

The Deal

  • Shopping portal Rakuten is currently offering a referral bonus of $40 (or 4,000 Membership Rewards points) when you refer someone by December 7th and that person spends $40 or more within 90 days of signing up
  • Direct link to this offer

Key Terms

  • Offer may be modified or cancelled anytime.

  • Qualify for a $40 Referral Bonus when anyone whom you refer (a “Referee”) signs up to become a new member using your referral link or other method supplied by Rakuten during the period beginning 12:01AM ET November 16, 2021 and ending 11:59PM ET December 7, 2021 (“Offer Period”) and makes Qualifying Purchase(s) totaling at least $40 within 90 days of signing up.

  • Qualify for a $40 Referral Sign Up Bonus when you sign up to become a new member using your referrer’s referral link or other method supplied by Rakuten during the period beginning 12:01AM ET November 16, 2021 and ending 11:59PM ET December 7, 2021 (“Offer Period”) and make Qualifying Purchase(s) totaling at least $40 within 90 days of signing up.
  • You may qualify for a Referral Bonus more than one time.

  • You and your Referee(s) must reside and be located in the 50 United States, District of Columbia, or Canada and comply with the Refer-A-Friend Program Terms.

  • Referral Bonus(es) will be added to your next Cash Back payment, provided that your Referee(s) are Qualified Referral(s) according to the Refer-A-Friend Program Terms.

  • A Referee will not be a Qualified Referral if they cancel, return, or exchange their Qualifying Purchase, if their Qualifying Purchase hasn’t earned Cash Back, or if their purchase is found to be fraudulent, abusive, unethical, suspicious, or otherwise inconsistent with our Refer-A-Friend Program Terms.

  • See promotion page for full terms

If you’re new to Rakuten

If you’re new to Rakuten and you’d like to sign up, feel free to use our referral link with our thanks:

Quick Thoughts

This can be a great bonus as it means the person you refer can essentially get a $40 item for net free after cash back and you get $40 or 4,000 points for helping them do it.

Earlier this year, I had convinced my mother-in-law, who doesn’t travel and is accustomed to paying cash rather than using credit cards, to open the Platinum card with the temporary 10x gas and US Supermarket bonus (that offer ended in May). My mother-in-law doesn’t typically shop online, so I hadn’t thought to get her signed up with Rakuten until she and my wife were going shopping for the holidays earlier this week. Realizing that she would probably benefit from some of the in-store offers since I knew she would be buying stuff in-store, I referred her to set up a Rakuten account.

When you sign up for Rakuten, your account preference is set to earn cash back by default. I immediately helped my mother-in-law switch her earning preference to Membership Rewards points. Rakuten insisted that she enter name and address for Big Fat Check payments before setting a Membership Rewards earning preference even though she hadn’t yet earned anything through Rakuten. So she entered her name and address for check payments (she doesn’t have PayPal) and then immediately switched her earning preference to Membership Rewards points.

Sure enough, that same day she spent more than $40 in-store and earned in-store shopping points. I then received the 4,000 bonus points for referring her.

However, it’s been a few days and she hadn’t received her 4,000 points. Then I realized that it says in her account that she will receive a “Big Fat Check” for $40 because she “earned this Cash Back before making the switch to a Membership Rewards account”.

The date and time it shows for when she made the switch to Membership Rewards is before she went shopping in-store, but I’m guessing that the referral offer counts as triggered the moment you open the account. She can’t be unhappy about getting $40 without even trying really (and I’m happy to have gotten 4,000 points!) but now she has to watch out for the check and make sure not to throw it away assuming it is junk mail. That’s still a great deal overall and good to know that this works whether you shop online or in-store with Rakuten in-store offers. That would make this easy to trigger for other family members as well.

Just make sure your referees sign up by December 7th. Then they have 90 days to make $40 in purchases through Rakuten, which should be very easy at this time of year. Given portal rates that typically become very generous over the next 8 days (over the Thanksgiving / Black Friday period through Cyber Monday), it’s a good deal for them as well.

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