Posted by Chuck on February 15, 2019
Credit Cards

Published on February 15th, 2019 | by Chuck

89

Ebates Partners with American Express to Allow Converting Ebates Cashback into Membership Rewards Points (1:1)

Ebates has partnered with American Express to allow you to earn your Ebates cashback in the form of Membership Rewards points instead. For example, if you earn $5 of cashback on Ebates, it’ll be converted to 500 points deposited to your Membership Rewards account. A lot of people value Membership Rewards points at much more than 1 cent per point, making this a terrific deal.

Ebates Amex Partnership

Direct Link to offer (only shows when you aren’t logged into your Ebates account – try incognito)

I don’t yet see any sort of press release on this, it’s probably a new thing they just began sending out on a small scale, but it’s publicly available for anyone who signs up for Ebates at this link (non-referral). 

Note: This option is currently only available for new Ebates members who sign up at the dedicated link. It’s not available currently for existing members, hopefully that will come eventually. (“Thank you for being an Rakuten member. Only new members can choose to receive Membership Rewards points at this time.”)

Details

  • Points will be transferred to your Ebates account on the typical Ebates quarterly schedule.
  • Minimum $5 Ebates balance (500 points) for the transfer.
  • Initially, it was only possible to signup if you have a personal Amex Membership Rewards card. However, they’ve since updated this to allow even Amex business Membership Rewards cardholders to signup for this new kind of Ebates account.
  • Some have noted the language in the terms: “Card Members must use an Eligible Card Account at checkout to earn Membership Rewards points in their Ebates account” which sounds like you need to pay with an Amex card. However, users report receiving points regardless of which payment method was used. Most likely, the idea being conveyed there is that you need to have a Membership Rewards eligible card account in order to be able to link with your Ebates account. Just poor wording.

Learn more at these links: Amex, Ebates, Ebates

Ebates Signup Bonus

Those who signup for this special program also get an increased signup bonus: instead of the standard $10 bonus, you’ll get 1,500 Membership Rewards points. That should be worth at least $15, and for some people closer to $30.

All signup offers require making a $25 purchase within 90 days to be eligible.

Final Thoughts

This is a real shakeup to the portal comparison industry: Ebates doesn’t always have the best rates, but someone who values Membership Rewards points significantly higher than cash will begin using them a lot more often. At a minimum, a lot of people have the Schwab Amex Platinum card which allows redeeming points for 1.25 cents per point.

Also note, things like Ebates referrals or Ebates in-store cashback will likely also be converted to points, so something like a $25 Ebates referral bonus might become closer to a $50 value for some.

The Ebates credit card offers 3% back when using it in conjunction with Ebates. We wrote a separate post on how The Ebates Credit Card just got a lot more Valuable – Earn 3x Membership Rewards for Most Online Purchases.

Honestly, I’m surprised that Amex would associate with Ebates in this way. Maybe they make money from the breakage of points that don’t get used. Or it’s a shift to the thrifty consumer.

If someone wants to change to the new Ebates system, it might be possible close your existing Ebates account and open a new one at the new signup link. You may not be eligible for the signup offer, but it could work to get yourself into the new system. We’ll try to see if we can verify with Ebates.

[Note to Ebates staff: sorry, I refuse to call you Rakuten (which I still can’t pronounce, despite your Super Bowl video), you’re still Ebates to me.]

Check this post for information on how to refer friends to the new Ebates-MR account and earn referral credit.

Hat tip to reader S.



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Jacob Hurley
Jacob Hurley

Well, Ebates wins all ties now.

Jeremy
Jeremy

Ebates is one of the better portals in terms of tracking and paying correctly.

5150d
5150d

[Note to Ebates staff: sorry, I refuse to call you Rakuten (which I still can’t pronounce, despite your Super Bowl video), you’re still Ebates to me.

+1

H
H

Rakuten does not take any effort to pronounce correctly, it’s literally three syllables of basic consonants and vowels. I think you’re just being lazy here and some people will accuse you of worse.

Ray
Ray

Dude. Chill out

Dovidb
Dovidb

Still buy.com to me

JMR0303
JMR0303

I’ll start calling them Rakuten when they allow transfers to/from their Japanese point program.

ElJayDubya
ElJayDubya

The pronunciation is obvious – “Rake It In”

Andrew
Andrew

That also makes the ebates card more interesting. 3x MR points. Sadly it has a terrible sign up.

John
John

Excellent point here

Ray
Ray

That 3x MR stacks on top of current Ebates promos as well

Ryan Hecker
Ryan Hecker

How does this pair with the Ebates credit card? Effectively, Amex MR card now, right?

Dan
Dan

Is there a maximum amount of ebates that can be converted to Amex?

Drivesabrowntruck
Drivesabrowntruck

Time to talk to Chuck, Shwab that is.

Ebates $1=100MR=$1.25 Charles Shwab Platinum cashout.

Ray
Ray

I came here to say this!
25% CB bonus for all Ebates payouts

Sevillada
Sevillada

Same here,.dinner dinner chicken winner…or how it goes? Lol

Treesha
Treesha

Lol you mean winner winner chicken dinner

yeet_69
yeet_69

I don’t have the Schwab Platinum yet. Wonder how long that will last… Uh-oh.

Stephen
Stephen

I think it’s quite straight forward what Amex is getting, spend data. So now amex can collect spend habits of their customers as well as V/MC. that way they can more specifically target v/mc consumers with more Amex products or services.

Edit: clarity

G
G

Is it even legal to share the information of customers using a non-AMEX card, or beyond what AMEX already has for AMEX cards?

Eric
Eric

Doesn’t have share information of the customer.

Lex
Lex

Ebates can share the purchase receipts that generated the cash back without giving any credit card details technically.

Stephen
Stephen

I’m not a lawyer or anything, but we have such lax privacy laws I can’t imagine providing aggregate data wouldn’t be allowed…? Ebates doesn’t need to share any PII as amex already knows who you are since you log into your amex account during sign up to link them.

Even just the amount in aggregate per industry is powerful information (e.g. $1000 retail and $800 in travel over 3 months) for Amex to build a much more cohesive profile on you. They can see immediately see what industries your non-amex spend is going. This can help them target advertising or come up with new card products to attract more spend.

Bif
Bif

This can allow them to finer tune Amex offers as well. More targeted. Better redemption accuracy, etc.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Awesome, good news out of Amex for once in a long time.

Wes
Wes

Any idea why I would be getting this message?

Sorry, this American Express Card account is not eligible.

I have multiple amex cards that are earning MR. Only biz cards though.

James
James

Got the same message Wes, I only have biz cards.

sugarbear
sugarbear

i got the same message

JM
JM

Same. Only biz cards

Aloha808
Aloha808

I’ve only got biz cards and I was able to sign up for a new account. I’ve still got an old cashback account also, so we’ll see how this goes…

az
az

Does that mean MR is going to devalue?

Ray
Ray

Nah

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

No, one partnership with Ebates does not mean MR will devalue.

W
W

Why would that mean that? Honestly how are they connected

Fork
Fork

wow this is really quite bonkers for those who hit the gift card sites and value MR high

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

They removed Simon Mall

Fork
Fork

Still got GCs.com, good enough for me

Matt
Matt

This is insane. Unless they suddenly devalue their rates even more, I can’t imagine a better opportunity.

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown

FYI, from the FAQ, once you go MR you never go back:
What’s unique about this new program?
Ebates customers who have a Membership Rewards-enrolled American Express Card and who become a new Ebates member can now choose to earn Membership Rewards points in that new Ebates account instead of Cash Back. That new Ebates account would then only be eligible to earn points.

EDIT:
Ok, then there’s this if you dig around in the in-store offers card settings if you want to change how you’re paid out:
You can choose to get Cash Back instead of Membership Rewards points. If you opt out of points, you won’t be able to opt in again.

jt0wn
jt0wn

Yes, but perhaps you could keep your existing cash back account and create a new separate account (different email address) for MR earning.

Josh
Josh

From what I can tell ebates wants you to keep with only one account per person.

Stephen
Stephen

There’s a lot in the various T&C’s that I think might be helpful.
For example, there is a payout schedule, and you must have 500 points to be paid out (it seems you have no control of the transfer). The transfer will also take 8-12 weeks.

https://www.ebates.com/help/article/getting-your-american-express-membership-rewards-points-360017610233

https://www.ebates.com/help/article/earning-american-express-membership-rewards-points-on-ebates-360017451754

https://www.ebates.com/help/article/american-express-terms-360017452434

As someone else mentioned, these are only for new accounts because the account is permanently MR.

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