Rakuten 101: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Earn Money on Almost Every Purchase

Is Rakuten worth it? This Rakuten review weighs all the pros and cons to see if you can really make money while you shop.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Why didn't I know about Ebates sooner? I can literally get paid to shop!! I wasn't even sure this was legit until I read the post and saw how much this blogger made in the past three years. She does an awesome job of explaining how to use Ebates {which is super simple, by the way} and shares three note-worthy hacks to maximize your earnings. I'm never buying anything again without checking Ebates first! #ebates #ebates101 #moneysavingtips #howtosavemoney #onlineshopping

I’ve mentioned before how much I LOVE Rakuten, and yet, I stumble across people all the time who have no idea what it is, how it works, or even if it’s worth signing up for.

If that’s you, there’s no shame here. I’m just happy you found this Rakuten review! Because after you read it you are going to wonder where this site has been all your life.

After all, just last year, I finally convinced my mom to sign up. I had raved about Rakuten to her for a while, but it was just another something new for her to learn and life is busy.

You know how that is.

But now? She’s a total convert. In fact, the first time she used Rakuten, she received $20 back on a $60 JCPenney purchase, and she hasn’t looked back since.

So…What is Rakuten? My Honest Rakuten Review

Rakuten is a free-to-you website that pays you to shop online. And no, that’s not a gimmick. I’ve personally earned over $2,000 dollars in cash back since 2013, and all I’m doing is buying things online that I normally would anyway!

Here’s a peek at the last check I received:

Rakuten offers cash back for pretty much every store, plus they’re always running specials like double cash back promotions so you get even more bang for your buck.

I’ve earned cash back from stores like:

  • JCPenney
  • Kohl’s
  • Target
  • Groupon
  • Best Buy
  • Etsy

….just to name a few. Rakuten also partners with Orbitz, which I use every time I book a flight to visit my family in New York.

Note: Rakuten Cash Back percentages change often, so a 2% offer today could be a 6% offer next week or next month! Don’t be discouraged when the rate is low where you’re shopping. Be sure to check Rakuten EVERY time you shop online.

How Rakuten Works:

1. Sign up for a FREE account.

2. Take 30 seconds to log in to Rakuten every time you make a purchase online. Shave 25 seconds off of that by using the Chrome browser and installing the Rakuten cash back button. This automatically pop ups when you’re shopping online, which makes saving money super easy to remember.

3. Earn cash. Your cash back percentage will show up in your account within 7 days.

If you’re a visual learner, here’s a step-by-step video on how to do this:

Still don’t believe me?

Despite my Rakuten review, are you not yet convinced? How about an example?

Let’s say you found a cute bag at Kohl’s for $21.00 and decided to buy it. Kohl’s is currently offering 6% cash back through Rakuten, which means you automatically get $1.26 cash back after you purchase.

No, it’s not a ton of money, but as you use it consistently while shopping online, it adds up!

Ebates Review - How to use Ebates.

How do I get my cash back?

Once a quarter, Rakuten sends you your earnings via check or Paypal, whichever option you select. It’s that easy!

There have only been a couple of times when Rakuten hasn’t credited my purchase, but when I emailed them through this page, along with my purchase receipt, they credited my account within two days.

SPECIAL OFFER: If you register for Rakuten through my link, and make a purchase of $25 at one of 2,000+ qualifying stores, you’ll receive a $10 bonus. Sweet!

Rakuten Hacks to Mazimize Earnings

Now that you’re a total convert, you’re ready try some Rakuten hacks—tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years to help me save {and make} even more money.

1. Install the Rakuten Cash Back Button

If you don’t want to miss out on FREE money, you absolutely must install the Rakuten Cash Back Button I mentioned above. Psst…you can also reference my video for a quick tutorial on how to do this part.

This button is a little icon that will flash whenever you’re on a site that Rakuten partners with. All you have to do is click the red “Activate Cash Back” button, and Rakuten will open up a ‘shopping trip’ in order to track your purchase. It also shows you all the available deals and coupons you can add for additional savings!

My cash back earnings actually doubled when I installed this tool in my browser because I didn’t have to remember to login to my account anymore.

2. Buy Online & Pick Up in Store

So many websites have a “pick up in store” option, which means you can avoid shipping fees, while still getting cash back rewards. All you have to do is buy what you normally would online, than pick it up in the store later that day.

Here’s an example: When Joseph and I needed to buy a new modem and router, we checked Best Buy online first. Rakuten was currently offering 2% cash back with this store, so we ordered through them, earned $7.00 in cash back, then drove to pick up our purchases at the local store.

Why didn't I know about Ebates sooner? I can literally get paid to shop!! I wasn't even sure this was legit until I read the post and saw how much this blogger made in the past three years. She does an awesome job of explaining how to use Ebates {which is super simple, by the way} and shares three note-worthy hacks to maximize your earnings. I'm never buying anything again without checking Ebates first!You can do this with practically anything you buy, but I find it works best on more expensive purchases—like a new computer, appliance, or small electronics.

You’ll not only save money, you’ll also save time wandering around a store—double win!

3. Link Your Credit or Debit Card to Earn Cash Back In-Store (There’s an app for that!)

In addition to cash back online, you can also earn cash back when you’re physically shopping in the store.

All you have to do is link your credit or debit card to your Rakuten account, add the specific offer, and use the card to make the purchase.

You can even add offers on-the-go with the Rakuten app. And yes, this is on top of any other credit card rewards you already receive!

Are there any downsides to Rakuten?

Only one.

If you do the majority of your shopping on Amazon, you’ll be disappointed to find Rakuten offers cash back only on certain categories, and even then, it doesn’t seem to “trip” the cash back button every time.

But for everything else, Rakuten is clearly a winner. In fact, the limitation on Amazon is really my only frustration with them!

So now that you’ve read this Rakuten review, what are you waiting for?

Don’t add another thing to your online shopping cart until you sign up for Rakuten first. Remember, it takes just 30 seconds or less to activate that cash back button. Then you can sit back and wait for your first check to arrive!

Have you ever tried Rakuten before?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Rest assured, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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  1. I’ve been doing ebates for about a year..the checks aren’t huge yet.. but it’s money I didn’t have before so I LOVE it..
    I believe I found out about them from you in an earlier post…Thank you for your tips

  2. I use Ebates for Amazon purchases, Best Buy purchases, and pretty much anything else! I cut down on clothes spending, but I’d definitely use Ebates if I were going to do any online shopping.

    1. Ebates really is the best! We used Ebates on Best Buy too when we had to buy a new cell phone for my husband!

  3. Ebates rocks! I still can’t believe they give people $10 just for signing up with your first purchase. I’ve already earned enough to cash out a check, and I hardly ever even shop online, so I was surprised to earn it so fast!

    1. I know! Get a free $10 reward for signing up to earn more money with no catch…seems like a no-brainer! πŸ™‚

  4. I’ve been using Ebates for almost a year now and I LOVE it! We do most of our shopping online so it’s great to earn a little extra cash.

    1. That’s great! It’s so easy so I don’t understand when people say they don’t want the hassle. It’s free money! πŸ™‚

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