Top Cash Back
Online shopping portals are fun. With a few extra seconds and clicks, we can earn more rewards on purchases we were going to make, anyway. Or, perhaps better, some can substantially scale their earnings with limited time options. Regardless, we must watch out for the allure of portals which may encourage some to unnecessarily spend. But recently, I’ve found myself shifting away from my years-long favorite portal: the Membership Rewards-earning version of Rakuten. Oddly enough, I’m gravitating back to an old friend – Top Cash Back. Here’s why.
Rakuten often touts flashy offers at eye-popping rates. As I dig in there, I see a few obscure retailers at that top rate but the more useful stores at lower ones. Meanwhile, without much fanfare, Top Cash Back quietly offers higher rates at many of our preferred stores.
Rakuten has a wide-ranging selection of retailers, but many of them only provide rewards for specific items or categories. But on Top Cash Back, these same retailers provide rewards on all purchases. Sure, the rate may be lower on Top Cash Back than Rakuten, but earning a bit of something on everything is better than nothing.
Practical Bonus Offers
Some portals, especially from the airlines, offer buckets of miles which unfortunately require similar buckets of spending. But Top Cash Back periodically offers simple, solid bonuses which don’t require blowing a huge amount. A few days ago, Top Cash Back offered a $2.50 bonus by simply spending $15 through the portal, on top of normal portal rewards. That’s not grabbing many headlines, but it’s an almost 17% bonus on the minimum spend. Top Cash Back routinely offers retailer-specific bonuses at higher levels, also.
An Extra Kiss
Perhaps the easiest option for payout is Top Cash Back transferring rewards to a connected bank account. But users can also opt for a variety of gift cards with bonus rewards, often in the extra 5-10% neighborhood.
Of course, individuals can buy discounted third party gift cards thanks to a variety of other options. But some just want simplicity. For what it’s worth, I opt for a Visa Prepaid Card redemption, which currently offers a 5% bonus.
Top Cash Back Reliably Tracks
Simply being competent shouldn’t be a highlight, but I’ve had zero issues with portal rewards tracking since my return to Top Cash Back. I can’t say the same for Rakuten. To be clear, Rakuten does resolve most discrepancies, but needing to report each time is a higher-maintenance process.
Top Cash Back – Conclusion
I left Top Cash Back for the Membership Rewards-earning Rakuten portal years ago, but I’m glad the former has given me reason to sometimes pause on the latter. And, like many of you, American Airlines’ implementation of the Loyalty Points program has given me reason to pursue their portal when I sought AA status. Undoubtedly, I end up at Rakuten periodically, but I’m glad other portals are making the decision tougher. Revalidate your goals and check the various portals to assess your best moves for holiday shopping.
What portals are you currently using most and why?
Capital One Venture X Business earns 2X miles on everyday purchases plus up to 10X in bonus categories. You also get access to Capital One lounges plus an annual travel credit & anniversary bonus. Right now you earn bonus_miles_full.
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