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. Existing users can link here.
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.”)
- 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.
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.
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.]
Hat tip to reader S.