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How I Use Viator To Earn Triple Travel Rewards on Discounted Experiences

Christine Krzyszton's image
Christine Krzyszton
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Christine Krzyszton

Senior Finance Contributor

318 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 98U.S. States Visited: 45

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, deta...
Edited by: Jessica Merritt
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Jessica Merritt

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A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little ca...
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Stella Shon

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With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...

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Booking organized experiences has become my new normal. As many of my travels are solo and short duration, I’ve gradually added organized experiences to my itinerary to maximize my destination time.

I like knowing I won’t miss any key sights or activities, and I can look forward to meeting other travelers.

These priorities led me to discover the experience booking site Viator, which has become my go-to for booking excursions wherever I travel.

Finding and booking an experience is just the beginning, though. I must find a way to earn rewards for my purchase. Fortunately, this is an easy objective.

These are the steps I follow to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards points, and Viator Rewards simultaneously on the same transaction.

1. Visit the Rakuten Site

Rakuten is a shopping portal that gives you cash-back or Membership Rewards points for purchases with participating merchants. The amount you receive varies by merchant and date.

Rakuten Viator
I use the Rakuten browser extension or visit the Rakuten site before purchasing to ensure I receive rewards. Image Credit: Rakuten

I have the Rakuten browser extension on my desktop and it pops up whenever I visit a site participating in the rewards program. Alternatively, I can visit the Rakuten site and click on the merchant link (as depicted above).

I’ve been a member for years (it’s free) and have received hundreds of dollars in cash-back and Membership Rewards points.

When I’m ready to visit the Viator site from Rakuten, I can click the Shop Now icon and be directed to the Viator site. I can then select and book my preferred experience. The transaction is registered with Rakuten and confirmed once the purchase is completed.

Earning Membership Rewards

When I signed up for Rakuten years ago, only cash-back was available. Fortunately, now I can select which type of rewards I prefer, cash-back or Amex Membership Rewards points. I prefer Membership Rewards points as we value these at ~2.2 cents each due to their flexibility at redemption time.

Rewards default in the form of cash-back. I must actively select to receive my rewards as Membership Rewards points, calculated based on 1 point for each cent of cash-back. For example, $12 in cash-back equals 1,200 Membership Rewards points.

Rewards stay pending until the booked activity is completed, then move to earned status. Once a quarter, the Membership Rewards points are forwarded to my Membership Rewards account on file.

2. Book and Pay for the Experience

Viator is not a tour company but a site consolidating tour/activity/transport options for local service providers. Pricing has been consistent with the tour operators I’ve compared — Viator has never been more than $5 higher. I find it’s worth booking through Viator to avoid dealing with multiple providers, potential language barriers, and different communication methods.

Viator Experience
Viator offers experience options for nearly every destination. Image Credit: Viator

After selecting an experience, I book and pay for the purchase. Of course, I pay with a card that earns well on travel purchases. Upon making a booking, I can message the tour operator, receive notifications, and access my digital tickets.

Use a Rewards-Earning Credit Card

I use my Chase Sapphire Reserve® to pay for Viator purchases as the card earns 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel.

It’s my favorite card for traveling abroad. I use it for all my transit and dining expenses to earn bonus points, as the card does not charge foreign transaction fees.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
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A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
60,000 points
22.49%-29.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.

The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options.  Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.

Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!

  • 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually
  • 10x points on Lyft purchases March 31, 2025
  • 10x points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $250 through March 31, 2025
  • $550 annual fee
  • Does not offer any sort of hotel elite status
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Travel℠. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 22.49%-29.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

I can also confirm that Viator codes as a travel purchase for Chase and American Express.

Chase Viator Purchase
Viator purchases count as travel purchases for both Chase and American Express. Image Credit: Chase

Once I’ve paid for my purchase, I receive an email from Rakuten confirming my rewards are in progress.

Rakuten Cash Back
Rakuten will confirm the transaction by email. Image Credit: Rakuten

Additionally, I can confirm the transaction was recorded by checking the activity in my Rakuten account.

Hot Tip:

You can use the Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s $300 annual travel credit for your Viator purchase, as it qualifies as travel. However, purchases eligible for the credit do not earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Learn more about how to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s $300 travel credit.

3. Earn Viator Rewards for Future Experiences

Viator Rewards
My Viator Rewards portal shows the previous earnings I’ve used this year and the current available rewards. Image Credit: Viator

Viator has a rewards program that earns 5% on purchases. I apply rewards to purchases at checkout when I book my next Viator experience. Then, I pay the balance using my rewards credit card.

How Much Did I Earn in Rewards?

I’ve used the Rakuten shopping portal to earn Membership Rewards points, paid for the purchase with my Chase Sapphire Reserve card to earn Ultimate Rewards points, and earned Viator Rewards for future purchases.

Let’s review the stats and see how I did on my TranzAlpine day trip purchase with Viator.

Because I used the Rakuten portal when the cash-back offer was just 5%, I received 1,200 Membership Rewards points worth ~$26.40 (1,200 x 2.2 cents each based on our valuations).

Using my Chase Sapphire Reserve card for the purchase, I earned 720 Ultimate Rewards points worth ~$14.40 in value ($240 x 3x points = 720 Ultimate Rewards points x 2 cents each based on our valuations).

Plus, I earned $12 in Rakuten Rewards which I can use toward my next experience.

That’s a total of $52.80 in value on a $240 purchase (22%). I could have had greater earnings had I utilized Viator during a Rakuten promotion, but I’m happy with the results.

Final Thoughts

I’ve found many ways to double dip, even triple dip, when making travel purchases, and so have our team members. Next up, check out this informative article on double-dipping rewards on the same purchase using Chase Offers, shopping portals, bonus earning categories, and Rakuten.

It’s worth noting that I used Viator as an example because it’s a site I use often. There are many ways to book experiences using rewards-earning cards. You’ll want to check out our article on the best credit cards for booking experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is booking with Viator more expensive?

In my experience, booking with Viator isn’t significantly more expensive. I’ve booked dozens of excursions with Viator. When I’ve compared pricing, I’ve found no greater than a $5 difference (higher) when booking via Viator.

Does Viator code as a travel purchase for Chase and American Express?

Based on the transactions I’ve made with Chase and American Express cards, Viator has always coded as a travel purchase.

How long does it take to receive the Membership Rewards points earned on Rakuten?

The Membership Rewards points earned with Rakuten are disbursed quarterly but it can take several weeks after the quarter ends to see the points in your account.

How do Viator Rewards work?

Viator Rewards are earned when booking activities on the Viator site. Rewards stay pending until your activity has been completed and are available after 24 hours to use as payment for future bookings.

Christine Krzyszton's image

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.

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