(EXPIRED) Rakuten: Earn 5%/5x When Booking Marriott Stays

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Rakuten has increased the rate it’s offering for stays booked with Marriott to 5% cashback or 5x Membership Rewards.

Rakuten Marriott 5% cashback 5x Membership Rewards

The Deal

  • Earn 5% cashback or 5x Membership Rewards per dollar when booking Marriott stays after clicking through from the Rakuten shopping portal.
  • Direct link to offer.

Key Terms

  • Expiry date unknown.

Quick Thoughts

Pre-pandemic we sometimes saw rates of 10% for Marriott on Rakuten (or Ebates as it used to be known), even going as high as 12%.

5% obviously isn’t as good as that, but it’s about as good as it’s gotten since the beginning of 2020 other than a few days in early 2020 when the Mr Rebates portal offered 6%.

Marriott Cashback Monitor best rate history

Even so, this 5% rate could be better than that 6% high we’ve seen in the last 15 months. No, this isn’t another ‘Good is better than perfect‘ moment – this could actually be true. That’s because Rakuten now allows you to earn American Express Membership Rewards rather than cashback. If you value Membership Rewards at greater than 1.2cpp which many of us do, earning 5x Membership Rewards will likely be preferable to a 6% standard cashback rate.

Rakuten hasn’t listed an date for when the 5%/5x rate will come to an end, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s a one day deal and so would expire today (April 7). If you have any Marriott reservations to make, it could be worth making those today while the rate is so (relatively) high, provided you’d be booking a refundable rate if there’s any doubt that you’d end up completing the stay. If the stay is in the next few days, don’t forget that there’s a Marriott Amex Offer which you might have been targeted for but which itself expires on April 10.

h/t Brant in Frequent Miler Insiders

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Buyer beware! I’ve many times used cashback portals for hotel stays. Marriott is the only brand I’ve experienced that will offer a promotion, then refuse to pay. I’ve ended up contacting the portal site and they consistently blame Marriott for refusing to honor the offered deal. I might have written it off if it had only happened once, maybe twice, but after three times, I got their number – and it’s a big fat zero. No more.