The battle of the two giants: How to utilize the “point economic zone” (Rakuten vs. Yahoo!)
The Final Conclusion to the "Poi-Katsu" Warring Era Covering winning methods from EC sites, apps, credit cards to low-cost smartphones, which can be increased dozens of times by combining campaigns.
Beginning April 1, the rewards points that can be earned for services related to Yahoo! PayPay points” will be unified. Until now, users have been given both the common point “T Points” and “PayPay Bonus” at the same time, resulting in a complicated system. The aim is to deepen the linkage with PayPay, which is a leading smartphone payment application, and to build a “Yahoo economic zone” where users can accumulate points the more they use Yahoo services in their daily lives.
By combining various services such as online stores, credit cards, and payment applications, it is not a dream to earn points worth two digits million yen per year. The originator of such a point economic zone is the “Rakuten Economic Zone,” centered on “Rakuten Ichiba. In 2008, Rakuten’s annual points issued exceeded 470 billion, but there has been a series of “reforms” to the point system, and there is a lot of room for other companies to take market share. Financial planner Yoshio Akiyama said.
Since last February, when the maximum point redemption rate for the “Rakuten Pay” payment application was reduced from 2% to 1%, Rakuten has continued to revise its services. In addition, the point redemption rate for ‘Rakuten Securities’ has been reduced since April of this year, further changing the system. However, there are still significant benefits to be gained from the Rakuten economy, and it is too early to completely abandon it.
Both Rakuten and Yahoo have a myriad of services and applications used to increase points, and you may find that your smartphone home screen is filled with related applications ……. So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of the two, as seen in the scope of realistic use?
First, let’s take a look at Rakuten Ichiba and Yahoo Shopping, the source of all point services, and how to use both sites efficiently. Rakuten Market offers up to 15 times more points when using various group services.
The basis of the Rakuten Economic Circle is to create a “Rakuten Card,” which gives you 3.5x points just for using the no-annual-fee Rakuten Card and the Rakuten Ichiba application. In addition, if you shop on a day that is a multiple of 5, you will get 5 times more points. During the “Shopping Marathon” period, when the number of stores you shop at increases your points, you can get up to 10 times more points by shopping around. What we recommend is to use “Rakuten Hometown Tax” at this time. The point multiplier of the campaign also applies to Furusato tax payments,” says Harumi Maruyama, a consumer affairs advisor.
Realistic reduction rates are even.
Rakuten Ichiba also offers a campaign that can be calculated to be “up to 43x”, but there is a limit to the number of points that can be awarded during a single period, and aiming for the maximum multiplier does not guarantee that the points will be worth the amount of money spent on shopping. In the case of Rakuten, it is realistic to “poikatsu” with the stance of “basically 3.5x and aim for 10x in campaigns.
Yahoo Shopping, on the other hand, is attractive because of the high percentage of points awarded for a single campaign: on days with a 5, points are awarded 5x, and if you are a Softbank smartphone user, the percentage is 10% every Sunday. Furthermore, if you link up with PayPay and pay with that balance, the rate increases to 10.5%, or up to 18.5% depending on the conditions.
However, in order to increase the maximum multiplier, the user must clear a point increase condition called “PayPay Step” and there are some difficult conditions, such as the number of payments per month and the amount of payment. In addition, if you pay 508 yen per month to become a Yahoo! Premium member, you can receive a 2% point increase, but if the points you earn are less than the membership fee, there is no point in paying for it. For general use in the Yahoo economy, it is best to consider a 10.5% base.
In terms of realistic point redemption rates, there is not that much difference between Rakuten and Yahoo! The theory is to buy in bulk during the big point increase campaigns that both companies regularly hold. Note that such campaigns may require entry before purchase, so be careful not to forget about them. Note that Rakuten’s “limited time points” have a surprisingly short expiration date in some cases.
How about a comparison with credit cards? Rakuten Card, as mentioned above, has become indispensable for earning points in the Rakuten economy. It is also attractive in that it offers at least 5,000 points for new cardholders who join and use the card. On the other hand, Yahoo Japan started issuing “PayPay Card” in October 2009, offering 7,000 yen worth of points for three payments after enrollment. The campaign is currently underway. The PayPay card is also currently the only credit card that can be used to deposit funds into PayPay.
The PayPay card does not earn charge points even if it is linked to PayPay. It is likely that the company is conscious of wanting customers to use PayPay payments rather than the card. Currently, Rakuten Card is more convenient in terms of point linkage,” said Noriko Matsuzaki, a consumer economics journalist.
Points on your phone bill.
Playing an important role in the Yahoo economy is PayPay, which has also rapidly expanded its share of the smartphone payment app market. Takahito Kikuchi, president of Poi-Tan Co.
Before Poytan, PayPay can often be used in places where other cashless payment methods cannot be used, such as private stores and food stalls, making it superior to Rakuten Pay in terms of versatility. If the integration with financial services such as PayPay Bank is strengthened in the future, PayPay will become an even stronger payment application.
Mr. Maruyama, the aforementioned Mr. Maruyama, also says that in terms of usability of the payment application, PayPay has the upper hand.
In the “Cho-Pay-Pay Festival” being held until the end of March, major drugstore chains are offering a 5% point rebate and lottery winners are rewarded with up to full points when they pay their balance. The cap on the amount of redemption is a drawback, but if you don’t use online services much and shop in real life more often, you can use Yahoo Economic Circle with PayPay at its core.”
With Rakuten Pay, customers receive a total of 1.5% in points if they charge their balance from their Rakuten Card before paying. The Rakuten Pay app also has a loyalty card function, which means that users can earn up to 2.5% back at participating stores such as FamilyMart. Considering that PayPay’s basic redemption rate is 0.5%, it is more economical to pay with Rakuten Pay except during PayPay’s campaign periods.
Another highlight of Rakuten Pay is its linkage with Suica, a transportation system IC card. When you recharge your Suica card from your Rakuten Card via Rakuten Pay, you will receive a 0.5% reward. While the redemption rate is not high, it should be a significant point for those who frequently take the train to and from work.
One big difference between Rakuten and Yahoo is points related to smartphones. Softbank users will be able to accumulate “Softbank points” starting this April. For every 1,100 yen spent on monthly smartphone charges, 5 points will be accumulated and converted to PayPay points at the rate of 1 point = 1 yen. The system is designed to enable customers to use the same system as the one used by the company. Y-Mobile,” a low-cost smartphone, does not offer points tied to monthly usage fees, but it features many point campaigns that are awarded at the time of subscription.
On the other hand, “Rakuten Mobile” offers one Rakuten point for every 100 yen spent on monthly charges. In addition, points at Rakuten Ichiba are multiplied by 1. Rakuten Mobile is more attractive in terms of both the reduction rate and the point increase multiplier.
Finally, Rakuten’s “Rakuma”, Yahoo’s “PayPal Fashion”, and Yahoo! It is important to note that points can also be accumulated in each of these apps. Sachie Kawasaki, advisor for the flea market apps, describes the features of each as follows.
RakuMa frequently holds promotions where you can earn extra points if you shop with your Rakuten card on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. In the past, if you purchase three or more items, you get 10 times the points. On the other hand, PayPal Flea Market gives the impression that discount coupons are more often offered than point redemptions. Also, as part of the “Super PayPal Festival,” there is a campaign to win a raffle for point bonuses. It is better to choose a service after calculating which is more economical, points or price reduction.”
Both Rakuten and Yahoo are in the midst of service modification, but the “best time to aim” is during large-scale point-up campaigns. Whether you are shopping at a real store or through mail-order, make sure you don’t miss out.
Information as of March 28
From the April 15, 2022 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Kyodo News Service