Ebates Visa with Membership Rewards. Everything you need to know.

The Ebates portal suddenly became exciting when they introduced the ability to earn Amex Membership Rewards points instead of cash back.  The combination of the Ebates portal with the Ebates Visa credit card is arguably the most exciting event in the points & miles world since… um… Redbird maybe?  Regardless, it’s been a while since we’ve seen anything this interesting.  You can read all about it here: In one fell swoop, Ebates shakes up portal and credit card rewards.

OK, are you already back from reading the “Ebates shakes up portal and credit card rewards” post?  Great.  So now you know why you want the Ebates Visa so that you can earn an 3X points on all of your Ebates shopping in addition to the points offered by the portal itself.  But before you sign up, there are some things you need to know:

You must follow the steps in order

  1. First, you need a consumer Amex card that earns Membership Rewards.  There are lots of good ones (found here), but if you want one with no annual fee then go for the Everyday Card.  Whichever one you pick, just make sure it is a consumer card rather than a business card.
  2. Next, you need an Ebates account that earns Membership Rewards.  You can sign up here (this is not an affiliate link): www.ebates.com/american-express
  3. Next, make sure you apply for the Ebates Visa with the same email address as you used in step 2, above.  Best bet is to log into the Ebates portal first and click on the Ebates Visa ad.  Yes, it is advertised as a cash back card, but as long as it is linked to an Ebates account that earns Membership Rewards, it should earn Membership Rewards.

You can’t change your cash back Ebates account to a Membership Rewards account

They don’t allow it.  At least, not yet.

You can’t change which Ebates account your Ebates Visa is tied to.

This is the worst part. If you already have an Ebates Visa tied to a cash back Ebates account you’re out of luck.  The only work around I can think of is to cancel your current Ebates Visa, establish a new Membership Rewards Ebates account, and then sign up again for the Ebates Visa.  I don’t even know for sure that this would work, but I expect so.

The Ebates card is surprisingly hard to get approved for

My son (a college student) was denied.  A retiree that I know was also denied.  It’s not surprising that they were denied credit in general, but I expected that a portal branded credit card would be easy to get.  I was wrong.

A number of readers (see the comments in this post) have also been denied despite having high income and solid credit scores.

It is possible to go from nothing to earning points in a matter of minutes

Once you are approved for a consumer Amex card that earns Membership Rewards, you should be able to sign up for Ebates with Membership Rewards immediately.

Then, if you are instantly approved for the Ebates Visa, you will be presented with a temporary card number instantly.  You can start shopping right away as long as your purchase is under $1,000.

The Ebates Visa’s 3X rewards are based on the entire purchase price

This may seem like a stupid statement.  After all, all credit cards reward you based on the entire purchase price, right?  Right, but I wasn’t sure in this case.  After all, the Ebates portal itself doesn’t usually reward the shipping and handling and sales tax portion of a purchase.  And remember that the Ebates Visa offers 3X rewards for purchases made through the Ebates portal and only 1X rewards for other purchases.  So, it seemed logical to me that the Ebates Visa may work in any one of these three ways:

  1. 1X rewards applies to the entire purchase amount, and the additional 2X rewards apply only to the purchase amount tracked by the portal.  Wrong answer #1.
  2. 3X rewards applies only to the amount tracked by the portal.  Wrong answer #2.
  3. 3X rewards applies to the entire purchase amount inclusive of shipping and handling and taxes.  This is the right answer.

Thanks go to members of the Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook Group for helping to answer this question definitively.

Regarding comments: Comments posted at the bottom of Frequent Miler pages and posts 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.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Dee
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Dee

Partial DP: I applied for the Ebates Visa and was denied because I forgot to thaw my credit reports. Duh! I called (the Ebates Visa CS line is 855-697-4555) to ask if I should wait to apply again. The rep said to unfreeze all three credit reports and try again right away. I set the thaw to last a couple of days and applied the day after my call. I still got “We’ll let you know by mail” response. I called again. I was denied, but they won’t tell me why. They said to wait for the email explaining, then apply again. I even asked to speak with a supervisor.

My credit scores are all over 800. My income is pretty substantial. I am at 6/24. Amex just gave me another Platinum last month. Other than that, I haven’t opened a new card since November of 2018. I really thought a Synchrony card would be a slap dunk. Apparently not.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Any idea how this will track for items that are excluded from the cash back? Like say i buy a kitchen aid from BBnB by clicking through the ebates cash back link, even though kitchenaid is an exempt from cash back brand, would i still get 3x?

Joe
Guest
Joe

I have been using the combo for a few weeks, and it does not. Any purchase that earns 0% through Ebates portal will only get you 1% on the Ebates credit card. However, ANY reward amount through the portal (ie. Raise is 1%) adds the 3% for using the card. So the total for a Raise purchase through the portal and with the credit card is 4x. It’s really great.

losingtrader
Guest
losingtrader

Greg, I must have missed the discussion of this but this earns 3x MR on everything?

James
Guest
James

Everything purchased through the portal

losingtrader
Guest
losingtrader

Thanks, so is it only online or don’t they have in-store stuff too?

Joe
Guest
Joe

They have ongoing in store offers that you tie to the card.

Hunter
Guest
Hunter

And this is in addition to any points that you get from Ebates? So, if a retailer gave 1 point per dollar spent (not including taxes and fees), I would get 4 points on the actual purchase?

Joe
Guest
Joe

That is correct.

rick I
Guest
rick I

Synchrony Bank is nuts.Denied too many inquiries. Sent info, including my healthy Schwab account statement. Never missed a payment in my life.About 750 score. Home free and clear .

Calls are routed to fraud for credit card application reconsideration which they DO NOT DO? You must apply again? Again, NO reconsideration

I consider anyone that gets this card lucky as can be.

THEsocalledfan
Guest
THEsocalledfan

Yep, sounds great, but almost impossible to get approved for. My income is north of $150K a year, and credit scores all over 800. I was 4/24 for cards; I hadn’t applied for card in a substantial amount of time. Not instant approval, then denied by letter. The reasoning in the letter was 100% hogwash:

“Date of issuance of applicant’s SSN does not match date of SSN of peers
Number of inquiries
Applicant associated with multiple phone changes
Limited history of consumer at application phone number”

So I called, and like the other person, they said nothing they can do by phone and that I am still denied. They said all I can do is write a letter and send it to the address on the denial. So, I did exactly that, and refuted each specific reasoning. They then sent me another letter in reply changing their reasoning for denial, but still denying me based on my credit score. I have then sent yet another letter disputing that finding giving direct data why that is incorrect, but yet to hear back again.

I also applied for my wife. FICO north of 800, only 1/24 for cards. Denied. Pretty much the same reasoning as above. I have no idea how you get approved for this card.

beachmouse
Guest
beachmouse

I had an old Ebates account with a zero balance, and here’s what I was told to do by their customer service to switch it over to MR earnings. I don’t know if it works with an Ebates account with a balance or if you lose the cash out balance if you do this:

” Welcome to Ebates! Please follow these steps to sign up for an AMEX Membership Rewards Points account.

Log out of your existing Ebates account

Visit Ebates.com/American Express

Create a new account using the same email address you used previously
Enroll using your existing American Express user id and password”

Lukas
Guest
Lukas

When I do that, it says “Thank you for being a Ebates member. Only new members can choose to receive Membership Rewards points at this time.” when I try to sign up with the same email address.

voyager
Guest
voyager

Greg, “all you need to know” would include how sensitive they are to buying GCM GC’s. Would prefer to not find out the hard way : ). Any thoughts?

Alex
Guest
Alex

I too, was told by ebates customer service that I couldn’t move my newly approved ebates credit card to my new membership rewards earning ebay account. I applied through the preapproval of my old (cashback) account (due to $100 sign-up bonus) but was also entered the email address of my MR earning account. So, just switching the email on the application will not do it (at least for these preapprovals with SUBs). The preapproval and SUB is attached the account on which it is received. May try beachmouse’s method.

Sethon
Guest
Sethon

I got denied because I had too many cc inquiries recently. I knew something was up when I got “We’ll let you know by mail” response after the application. LOL/24 here though

Teo
Guest
Teo

I was able to sign up for a MR Ebates account although I only have business cards earning MR. The eligible cards link takes you to this page which lists all Amex cards that earn MR https://rewards.americanexpress.com/myca/loyalty/us/catalog/tandc?mrlinknav=footer-tandc

Is it possible Synchrony uses consumer reports from Sagestream and ARS like US bank? Freezing those might help getting approved if that’s the case.

Aloha808
Guest
Aloha808

Same here, I was able to make a new Ebates MR account and I only have Amex biz cards.

Carter
Guest
Carter

I opened a new Ebates account a few weeks ago using an alternate email address so that I could earn MR (had an older account under another email that I rarely used). Applied for Ebates card today and was auto-approved and got the temporary number. Credit score is around 780 and I am about 7/24 at the moment (only 2 apps in past 12 months though).

Craig at Middle Age Miles
Guest
Craig at Middle Age Miles

Hi Greg – Great article. Thanks for the interesting and positive DP about 3x earning. I was trying mightily to experiment with MR earning with an Ebates Visa to provide DPs to the community. But alas, like some others here, I was unceremoniously denied by Synchrony. I wrote about the app process and denial a couple of weeks ago (“Experiment Foiled! Denied for the Ebates Visa Card”). I took it all the way to the “Chairman’s Office” but received no sympathetic ear and no shot at manual recon. Congrats to all who can get approved – this is an awesome opportunity!

Kalboz
Guest
Kalboz

Thank you for being a Ebates member. Only new members can choose to receive Membership Rewards points at this time.

Dave
Guest
Dave

I got the same message, then closed my Ebates account and got confirmation it was deactivated. Then still got the same message. Opened a different browser and created a new Ebates account linked to MR using a different email address. Success! Then applied and got instant approval for Ebates Visa with an instant temporary account number to use immediately.

Kalboz
Guest
Kalboz

How did you deactivate your first account?

Dave
Guest
Dave

While logged in to Ebates, I went to Help, Contact Us, and filled out the form. None of the pull-down topics fit, but I selected Email address/profile change. Then in the details box I put I want to close my Ebates account. They replied in less than an hour saying it was deactivated.

Kalboz
Guest
Kalboz

Excellent, you are awesome! Thank you

trackback

[…] applied for Ebates store card. In typical Synchrony fashion I was approved $5000ish credit limit. Frequent Miler mentions that that it is, for a store card, it is relatively difficult to get, but if I can get […]

Christian
Guest
Christian

Just approved. 5/24 but nothing in the last 6 months. Credit score in the high 700’s.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Greg, I was able to set up an MR-linked Ebates account and subsequently got instant approval for the Ebates Visa. When I went to open the Ebates account, it had me log in to Amex and then said I was verified for MR and switched right back to Ebates. I have several MR earning Amex cards (gold and platinum personal and blue business plus) bit it did not ask me to choose a card to link. Do you think that will be a problem?

Mike
Guest
Mike

Greg, or anyone that can chime in — Would the card only earn 3% on purchases already ‘eligible’ for the normal cashback/MR back rate? Example: TicketMaster is limited to 5 purchases per month that are eligible for cashback through ebates. If I were to use the ebates CC on my 6th+ order on Ticketmaster through ebates portal, am curious if I’d receive the 3x MR on that purchase, even though I’d be ineligible for the standard cashback/MR rate of return for using the portal. Thank you.

Bill
Guest
Bill

So if I buy a GC thru their site offering 1%, will I earn another 3% when using their cc?

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[…] Ebates Visa with Membership Rewards. Everything you need to know. […]

Kent
Guest
Kent

Looking into this card for booking overseas accommodation when traveling, as Ebates offers 5% back (5x MR points) on Booking.com, which I often use, and with the card that could get bumped to 8%. However, I realized that the card has a 3% foreign transaction fee, and I imagine that would apply to any booking at a non-US hotel, which would negate the gain.

I’d love to hear I’m wrong if anyone who has been approved for the card can speak from experience.