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How To Change Rakuten Earning To Membership Rewards & Why I Waited So Long To Do It

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How To Change Rakuten Earning to Membership Rewards

How To Change Rakuten Earning To Membership Rewards

This is old news, for many of you at least.  But the Rakuten shopping portal (formerly Ebates) allows you to earn cashback or Membership Rewards points.  At first they only offered the option to new accounts. About a year later Rakuten opened up the option to all accounts. Most miles & points people made the switch right away because Membership Rewards are worth more than a penny.  I resisted the switch because it was essentially buying Membership Rewards at 1 cent a piece.  That is more than I am willing to pay for them since they are fairly easy for me to earn, and at a rate well below 1 cent a piece.  So what changed? And how do you change Rakuten earning to Membership Rewards? Let’s take a look at both of those things.

How To Change Rakuten Earning to Membership Rewards

Step By Step Instructions For Switching To Membership Rewards

Here is the step by step process of switching over your account, it is really this simple!

  1. Log into your Rakuten Account
  2. Select Account Settings from the drop down menu in the upper right portion of the screen. Where your name is and it shows your current cashback balance.
  3. Scroll down to the How Would You Like To Get Paid section and select Membership Rewards.

And that is it.  Anything you earn going forward will be paid out in Membership Rewards.  Anything pending as cashback (something you already earned but haven’t been paid on) will still get paid out the old way, either by a check or PayPal.  Only things earned after the switch will give you Membership Rewards points.

So Why Did I Change To Membership Rewards Now?

So why now? What changed? The points still cost 1 cent a piece to acquire, that isn’t changing. The Charles Schwab Platinum happened. Once I signed up for the Schwab card it became a no brainer to switch over.  That is because the Charles Schwab Platinum lets you cash out your Membership Rewards points at 1.25 cents a piece.  That means every Membership Rewards point is worth 25% more in cash for me versus the 1 cent cash back I was earning.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that 25% more of something is quite a bit better.

Will I change back to cash back if I close my Schwab Platinum? That is a possibility and I haven’t decided if I want the card long term yet.  I already did my massive points purge so I am now in rebuild mode.  And by the time the rebuild is complete I should be traveling frequently again so cashing out my points may not be as appealing any longer.  We shall see how it all plays out though. If I have learned one thing over the last year it is that nothing is guaranteed in life.

Earning Membership Rewards With Rakuten – Final Thoughts

Hopefully I showed you how easy it is to change Rakuten earning to Membership Rewards. I also tried to give you some reasons to consider making the switch, as well as, why it may not make sense for you.  If you have the Charles Schwab Platinum, or plan on getting on in the future, then it makes a ton of sense to change over.  If you have enough Membership Rewards and wouldn’t buy them at 1 cent a piece then it could make sense to keep it as a cashback earning account. Your situation will dictate what makes the most sense for you, as it always does.

Are you team cash back or team Membership Rewards? Let me know in the comments.

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. I’m a fan of Membership Rewards. My travel is largely business class to Asia and coach to Europe and I find better value that way, including the occasional cheap business class fare where I get a 35% rebate for having the platinum business card. Since I don’t ms, I just find that this provides the best bang for my buck.

  2. I fail to see the logic of buying MR at 1 penny. if you bought through portal enough to earn 100K MR or $1,000, then surely you’d pick the MR right?

    • Depends on how many a person already has I would imagine etc. It isn’t really a decision if you have the Schwab Platinum.


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