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Americas Cardroom - Combat Points or Rakeback, Which Pays More?

Winning Poker Network, ACR, BCP, True, Ya skins logos.

Please note that the information on this page is applicable to the network-managed and network-owned Winning Poker Network sites such as America's Cardroom, Black Chip Poker, True Poker, and Ya Poker. This article does not necessarily apply to 3rd party network partners such as PokerHost or PokerKing who use proprietary systems.

In this article Professional Rakeback will attempt to explain the intricacies of the available rewards programs at the Winning Poker Network. This involves a lot of complex calculations, but we have already done the math for you and produced a pretty sweet chart with all the hard data if you're into that sort of thing. Otherwise, keep reading and we will explain about the various options available, what type of player should choose what option, and do our best to help you make the most profitable and +EV decision in choosing what type of poker account to create.


The Winning Poker Network is composed of many sites: Americas Cardroom, BlackChip Poker, True Poker, and Ya Poker to name just a few. What they all have in common is that they permit players to choose from between two rewards schemes. Those who opt for flat WPN rakeback get 27% of the rake and fees they pay posted back to their account balances regularly. Individuals who select the VIP program, called Elite Benefits on Americas Cardroom, instead receive frequent cash payments, points conversion options and other perks depending on how much they play.

Which is Better: Elite Benefits or Rakeback?

Question Mark: Red

The type of account that’s best for you will depend upon the particular games you like and how often you play them. If you sit at micro-stakes tables or play tournaments with small buyins, then straight rakeback is probably what you’re looking for. This is also true if you only play sporadically even if you do head to the higher stakes when you do decide to fire up a few tables. The advantages of the Elite Benefits program get better and better the more rake you generate and the more consistently you do so. Therefore, EB isn’t worth much if you can’t keep putting in solid volume at the tables month after month.

If, on the other hand, you’re a dedicated pro or a diligent amateur, then Elite Benefits was created with you in mind. As long as you play regularly enough at stakes that are sizable enough, you’ll see returns that put 27% rakeback to shame. In fact, it’s possible for the top rakers to achieve effective rates of cashback of greater than 60%. This doesn’t even include the effects of the profit-enhancing weekly The Beast and Sit & Crush leaderboards, which are designed for cash game and SNG players respectively.

The first player to surmount the Elite Benefits system and attain the top level, 5 Star General, was “VegetablesArentYummy” who achieved this feat in October 2015. Between the store cash, milestone payments, bonuses, leaderboards, and the other perks associated with the EB system, he collected nearly $200,000 in rewards. Others have since equaled or surpassed his results and scored themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars in rewards.

We've performed a lot of tedious calculations on this topic and have come to the conclusion that rakeback is better for anyone who doesn't expect to reach General status in the Elite Benefits program. This rank corresponds to $18,181.82 in rake and tourney fees paid over an entire year. This works out to $1,515.15 per month. If you don't think you can rake this much or you can't do so consistently, then straight 27% rakeback is the right program for you. If, on the other hand, you can put in the time consistently each month to reach this lofty tier, then by all means choose Elite Benefits rewards.

After attaining General or 5 Star General rank in one year, the perks for the player get even more remunerative in the second and subsequent years as long as the status can be continuously maintained. Because their level is retained as long as they keep putting in enough time at the tables, Generals and 5 Star Generals don't have to start again from the ground up. Bypassing the lower, less profitable ranks, Generals see their effective rate of return jump to about 37% cash back. This represents over 36% more free money than the standard 27% rakeback deal. 5 Stars fare even better with their annualized effective rakeback percentage leaping to 71% in their second year and beyond.

You can only switch from Elite Benefits to rakeback or vice versa ONE SINGLE TIME during the life of your account. This means that it behooves you to choose wisely when signing up at any WPN site because you won’t be able to flip back and forth later on. This is especially true for rakeback accounts because, as you grow as a player, you might find that Elite Benefits has more to offer you at some point in your online poker career. If you screw up at first and then have to use your one time to correct your error, then you’ll be denying yourself the possibility of transferring over to the more profitable option at some future date.

If you're ready to sign up to the WPN site of your choice and begin collecting the rewards you deserve today, then click on any of the icons below to go straight to the poker room and create your account. If you'd rather learn more about how the rakeback and Elite Benefits systems work, then keep reading below.


Or read our reviews of the sites in question for further details about them: ACR review, BCP review, True Poker review, Ya Poker (non-US) review.

More Info on Rakeback

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Rakeback at the Winning Poker Network is calculated using the weighted contributed methodology, so the more you actively participate in pots, the more you’ll get back. You can redeem your rakeback every day right from within the poker client – no more waiting for a week or longer to access the cash you’ve earned. Whenever you’re clearing a bonus, your progress toward fulfilling its requirements will be slowed down by 27%, but overall, you’ll wind up better off with both rakeback + bonus than bonus alone. For bonuses that grant you 20% cash back, like the 100% up to $1,000 welcome bonus, your rakeback and bonus will combine to reward you with approximately 41.6% of the rake and fees you pay.

Elite Benefits Overview


As a member of the Elite Benefits club, you’ll get 5.5 Rank Points for every dollar you contribute to the rake and a variable number of Combat Points at the same time depending on your level in the program. Your CPs can be exchanged for goodies, but your RPs are only used to determine your progress towards your goals and cannot be spent on anything. There are four levels that have monthly RP requirements and two that you can qualify for based on your annual Rank Points accumulation. The tiers, associated point totals needed, and Combat Point multipliers are:

  • Lieutenant: No requirements, 1x multiplier
  • Captain: 750 RPs per month, 1.5x multiplier
  • Major: 3,000 RPs per month, 2x multiplier
  • Colonel: 7,500 RPs per month, 2.5x multiplier
  • General: 100,000 RPs per year, 3.5x multiplier
  • 5-Star General: 1,000,000 RPs per year, 5x multiplier

You can trade in your Combat Points for cash prizes, and as you reach certain Rank Point milestones each year, you’ll unlock special Medals of Achievement and/or Levels of Distinction that hand you extra money with no playthrough requirements demanded.

Before proceeding any further, we should note that the various elements of the VIP program are referred to by different names at the various Winning Poker Network sites. Almost all of these differences are cosmetic in nature, having no impact on the actual details of the compensation available in each tier. Nevertheless, to avoid confusion, we’ve compiled a list of the aliases by which the various components of Elite Benefits are labeled at each room. We’ll continue using the terminology employed by Americas Cardroom because it’s the leading site on the network, and you can just translate this to whatever nomenclature your room uses.

ItemAmericas CardroomBlackChip Poker
& True poker
Ya Poker
VIP SchemeElite BenefitsElite BenefitsElite Benefits
Rake PointsRank PointsBenefit PointsBenefit Points
Store PointsCombat PointsPlayer PointsPlayer Points
1st levelLieutenantPlayerBronze
2nd levelCaptainRounderSilver
3rd levelMajorGrinderGold
4th levelColonelVeteranPlatinum
5th levelGeneralLegendDiamond
6th level5-Star GeneralIconBlack Diamond
Low MilestoneMedals of AchievementAchievement RewardsAchievement Rewards
High MilestoneLevels of DistinctionLegendary BonusesDiamond Bonuses

Achieving and Maintaining Elite Benefits Status

Man Running

Once you earn enough Rank Points to qualify for a given level, you’ll increase in rank immediately, and the new Combat Points multiplier will take effect. A rank you earn during a given month will continue throughout the next month as well. Only if you fail to maintain the required level of play during the next month will you drop down to a lower level.

When it comes to the annual EB statuses (General and 5 Star General), as long as you achieve one of these ranks during a year, you’ll be essentially grandfathered into them again the next year through February. During February, you’ll have to earn 7,000 RPs if a General and 45,000 RPs if a 5-Star General to keep your position in the program in March. This requirement will continue through the rest of the year, and if you fail to meet your quota of points during any month, you’ll be demoted to the appropriate monthly status unless, of course, you’ve accrued enough annual points to earn your level again.

Elite Benefits Rewards

The Elite Benefits program doesn’t contain just a single type of promotional payout. Rather, the different facets of the plan combine together to deliver value in a number of different ways. The most prominent of these perks are:

Medals of Achievement


As you cross certain RP thresholds during the year, you’ll get cash rewards added to your account. The first $10 Medal of Achievement is paid out when you reach 750 Rank Points ($136.37 rake), and the final $200 medal will be credited once you earn 100,000 points ($18,181.82 rake).

Levels of Distinction


The Levels of Distinction carry on rewarding those who have already claimed every Medal of Achievement for a given year. Starting at 200,000 Rank Points ($36,363.64 rake), the first of these gifts is worth $2,600. At the 1,000,000 points mark ($181,818.18 rake), a special $20,000 reward is available, the highest amount of straight cash awarded in the entire Elite Benefits program. These Levels continue until a player has collected 3,000,000 Rank Points ($545,454.55 rake) in a year.

Store Cash

Bill and Coins

The Combat Points you earn as you climb through the ranks can be traded in for cash awards in the Points Exchange Store. To access it, go to the Rewards section of the poker lobby, and tab over to Points Exchange. Some of the redemption options are limited to those who have achieved a specified rank, and you'll only see those redemption options that are available to your level. The higher your tier in the program, the better the points exchange rate is. Here's a list of all the points-to-cash possibilities:

  • Level - Lieutenant+: $1 for 100 CPs
  • Level - Lieutenant+: $10 for 1,000 CPs
  • Level - Captain+: $50 for 4,500 CPs
  • Level - Major+: $300 for 25,000 CPs
  • Level - Colonel+: $600 for 50,000 CPs
  • Level - General+: $1,500 for 100,000 CPs
  • Level - General+: $4,000 for 250,000 CPs
  • Level - 5 Star General: $10,000 for 625,000 CPs

The Nitty-Gritty on Elite Benefits vs Rakeback

Magnifying Lens

We've compiled a thorough, detailed, exhaustive chart showing the effective rakeback percentage at various levels of Elite Benefits and comparing it to straight 27% rakeback. If you want to view the raw data for yourself before making a decision, then you'll find our chart very helpful. Down the left side of the table are the various ranks of Elite Benefits, and we've examined how they stack up once you earn different numbers of Rank Points. Each row shows Rank Points earned, rake paid, combat points collected, total cash milestones collected, and store credits redeemed. These numbers are added up and divided to arrive at an effective rakeback percentage. You can therefore compare your two account options according to the amount you personally expect to rake. Without further ado, here's our comprehensive chart of Elite Benefits versus Rakeback at the Winning Poker Network (click to open in a new tab):

Ultimate Rakeback versus Elite Benefits VIP chart

Sign up and Play Today

No matter which of the WPN poker rooms you select and regardless of your preference for rakeback or Elite Benefits, there's a 100% up to $2,000 first deposit bonus awaiting you. There are also no-deposit bonuses available, so you may wish to read about our America's Cardroom promo codes bonus article also. It adds on top of EB or RB to give you more value for your play. In addition to this, you can compete in The Beast leaderboard if you're a cash game grinder or Sit & Crush if you're a SNG enthusiast. These contests pay out tens of thousands of dollars weekly along with complimentary satellite tourney entries. Click through our links to sign up now, and type in the bonus code PROFRBVIP for Elite Benefits or PROFRB27 for 27% rakeback:

Banner for FAQ RB vs EB

WPN Elite Benefits and Rakeback FAQ

How do I determine how many Rank Points I've earned?
Just log into your WPN software and click the “Rewards” tab. Your rank is displayed along with RP's/CP's you have earned, and more. There are actually two RP counters: monthly and yearly. This is because most of the status levels associated with Elite Benefits go by monthly point accumulation, but the top highest tiers are based on yearly play.

How do I see my pending rakeback amount?
You can view your rakeback status by opening up the poker client and clicking on “Rewards.” Then go over to “Rakeback.” You'll see the total ring game rake and tournament fees you've paid, any deductions, and the rakeback that you're due. You can click a single button to claim your outstanding rakeback amount and have it instantly added to your account balance.

Will my Combat Point balance ever expire?
The expiration of your CPs is easily avoided. As long as you earn one combat point in a calendar year, your CP balance will not expire.

Will cashing in my Combat/Player Points cause me to fall into a lower multiplier tier?
Absolutely not! Your CP/PP's are accumulated as you earn higher tier status. You can continue to climb the tier system based on your amount of play as you accumulate CP/PP's - or you can cash them in at your leisure using the methods above. Either way, this won't affect your multiplier tier because it's based on your position within the levels, which is in turn determined by your Rank Points/Benefit Points, not your Combat/Player Points.

I heard that converting my CP/PP's into Tourney Bucks will yield me a higher amount. Is this true?
Well, it's partially true. It used to be the case that the best value could be had by trading in your CPs/PPs for tournament dollars. However, this feature was removed from the Winning Poker Network sites some time ago. At present, the only points exchange option is converting your points into real cash money.