Earn 12,750 Amex points by depositing $1 in a checking account that’s great for travelers

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We love quick and easy wins at MMS, and this deal that should net you huge value in a relatively short amount of time. After a few easy steps, you can earn $127 in cash or more than $200 worth of travel.

Amex points are great for all kinds of travel. You can transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to Delta SkyMiles (Image by EQRoy/Shutterstock)

Betterment Rakuten Bonus

This opportunity allows you to earn 12,750 Amex Membership Rewards points (or $127.50) after opening a checking account and depositing just $1. To earn this bonus, you’ll have to click through the Rakuten shopping portal and open a checking account with Betterment.

For those unfamiliar with Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates), it’s a shopping portal that allows you to earn cash back when shopping online. But if you have a Membership-Rewards-earning Amex card, you can link your Rakuten account to your Amex account and earn Amex points instead of cash back. We recommend earning points if possible since they’re worth more towards travel than just earning straight cash back.

To complete this deal, head over to the Rakuten Betterment page and click “Shop Now” (make sure you’re logged in first).

Once you’ve landed at Betterment you’ll have a few different options of accounts to open.

You can apply for a Betterment checking account, a cash reserve (high-yield savings) account or investing account.

  • If you open a Betterment checking account you’ll only have to deposit $1 in your account to be eligible for the Rakuten bonus.
  • If you decide to open an investing or cash reserve account, you’ll need to deposit at least $10 to qualify for the bonus.

The Rakuten terms say points or cash back will be deposited in your account the next day, but data points from Frequent Miler and Doctor of Credit indicate it may take a bit longer.

Why this deal is great

This deal stands out for a few reasons:

  • You don’t have to spend any money
  • You don’t have to complete any direct deposit or transaction requirements that are typical of most bank account bonuses
  • The number of points/cash back earned for the amount of effort is high — we value 12,750 Amex points at $230 when they’re redeemed for travel
  • Opening a checking account does not trigger a hard credit pull
  • Normally bank account bonuses are taxed since they count as income — but earning cash back or points through a shopping portal qualifies as a rebate for tax purposes, so this bonus should not be taxed

Aside from scoring a quick five figures of Amex points, Betterment appears to be a great option for a checking account. It has no maintenance fees, no overdraft fees, no minimum balance, no foreign transaction fees and ATM fees are reimbursed. The last two features make it a great option for travelers.

If you do decide to open a Betterment account, I’d recommend doing it this weekend as this appears to be an elevated President’s Day bonus through Rakuten.

And for those who don’t have an American Express card that earns Membership Rewards points, the following products are great if you want to jump into the Amex ecosystem:

The information for the Amex Green card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bottom line

This is a great deal that I plan on taking advantage of myself and it appears to be a no-lose situation. I’ll earn nearly 13,000 Amex points without spending a penny and get a checking account that’s seemingly great for international travel.

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Brendan Dorsey is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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