Stacking big payouts: Rakuten + Dosh + Amex Offer edition

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Many shopping portals have increased payout rates for Black Friday. I’d bet that we will likely see increased rates continue through at least Cyber Monday, though you’ll need to check individual stores as some may change rates on any given day. We often see some of the best portal rates of the year this weekend, so don’t forget to stack your purchases with a good portal rate. This post provides one example to illustrate what can be done.

The Deal

  • Many shopping portals like Rakuten, TopCashBack, and more are offering some of the best portal rates of the year this weekend
  • Use a tool like CashBackMonitor to compare rates from many portals, but remember to also check portals like Retaimenot and UPromise and apps like Dosh for additional options

An example stack

It makes sense to look for these increased payouts as they relate to the shopping you’ll be doing. The nice thing is that in most cases, the rates will stack on top of Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions. When you can additionally stack an Amex Offer or Chase Offer with an increased portal rate and already-discounted merchandise, your money might go a bit further.

Keep in mind also other card-linked opportunities such as the Dosh app, which is offering as much as 15% back at some retailers. In cases where the Dosh payout is linked to your card, it may be possible to do quite well.

For instance, Adidas is featuring increased portal payouts today. TopCashBack is offering 20% cash back. Those who are earning Membership Rewards points through Rakuten may alternatively prefer 15x there.

Either payout would stack reasonably well with Adidas Black Friday sales.

However, it could get a bit better. The Dosh app is offering 15% cash back on Adidas purchases today.

While the app suggests that you need to click through the Dosh link and pay with your Dosh-connected card, I figured that the Dosh offer is card-linked, so I could probably click through Rakuten and trigger the Dosh cash back as long as I used a card connected to my Dosh app.

I can confirm that this did indeed work. I clicked through Rakuten for 15x Membership Rewards points. Then I joined the Adidas Creators Club for “unlimited free shipping”.

Then I found the cheapest thing I could (I was just ordering for the purpose of writing this post). I landed on a $5 youth t-shirt.

I then went to check out. Since the shirt was $5 and I had just signed up for “unlimited free shipping”, I didn’t understand why my order total was $7.56. Then I noticed the “seasonal surcharge below” — which adds $2 due to “an increase in carrier and handling costs during the busy holiday season”. Let me translate that: two bucks for shipping.

I had to laugh. Ordinarily, I’d have probably walked away from the order, but at this point I was what a poker player would call “pot committed”. I wanted to know how the cash back panned out and so I went ahead and paid the additional 40% fee that they tacked on. LOL — I get it, shipping isn’t free. Just say that it isn’t free or charge seven bucks for the shirt. Ok, end rant there. That part isn’t really relevant.

Within moments of checking out, I had a notification from Dosh to deposit my cash back.

I expect my 15x from Rakuten (which I obviously value more than 20% cash back). I expect I’ll probably only get 15x on the $5 merchandise value and not on the BS $2 seasonal surcharge, but it doesn’t show up yet.

Furthermore, there is an Amex Offer for an additional 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar. Depending on which card you have that offer loaded to, you could get a fantastic return. For instance, if you have that offer loaded on a card from which you referred a new cardmember during the +3 promo, you could be earning 8x points on your card plus 15x from Rakuten for a total of 23 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent. Combined with 15% back from Dosh and Black Friday prices, that could make for a pretty significant total discount here. Here are the totals:

  • 15x from Rakuten
  • 1x (minimum return on an Amex card that earns Membership Rewards points)
  • +4x Amex Offer
  • +3x Amex (if you have the three-for-all referral promo going)
  • 15% back from Adidas
  • Total = 23x points per dollar + 15% cash back

Even if you only value Membership Rewards points at 1.25c each (the rate at which you can cash them out via the Schwab card), that’s like getting 43.75% cash back. On already-discounted prices, that could be a steal (obviously not on a single $5 shirt with a $2 seasonal surcharge).

In the coming days, those are the kinds of opportunities I’ll be looking to stack with discounted products that I actually want/need and/or things that I can use to substitute stuff I’d ordinarily buy when it comes out cheaper. This post is meant to remind you to look for wins like this.

What has been your favorite stack so far of the holiday shopping season?

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