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Old Is New – Why I Now Have a Different Favorite Online Shopping Portal

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Top Cash Back

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.

Superior Rates

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.

Top Cash Back

Fewer Exclusions

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.

Top Cash Back
Maybe not this much extra, but it adds up.

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

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?

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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Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. A few years ago, I had soo-o many issues with TCB tracking. I finally had to file a Better Business complaint to receive my funds.


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