A great way to save money, and also earn some extra cash, is with Rakuten.
Haven’t you heard of Rakuten before? Well, you’re in luck!
In our Rakuten review, we are going to show you the pros and cons of using this cash back app, as well as how to use it to get the best results.
You can join for free, and get a $10 bonus for signing up today!
How Does Rakuten Work?
Rakuten is a cashback site, that allows you to earn money back on any purchases that you make online, with no extra effort from you.
All that you have to do is make sure you click on the website link through Rakuten first, and then continue your purchase as you normally would.
There are more than 2,500 stores on Rakuten that you can claim rebates with!
When you sign up, you are offered either a $10 Rakuten cash bonus, or a $10 Walmart gift card. If you like free gift cards, read our guide on how to earn them.
How Does Rakuten Make Money?
Rakuten makes money from the companies that they offer the cash back on.
When you click on a link for a store that you want to buy something from, this is an affiliate link and will earn Rakuten a commission from the retailer – this is how it works with affiliate links on blogs and other websites too.
Rakuten will give you back a portion of the money that they earn from you clicking on their affiliate link, in the form of cash back.
There is nothing dodgy or untoward about this model – this is a very common way for sites to make money, it’s just that they don’t typically give you a cut of their commission.
Popular Stores on Rakuten
There are a lot of stores (over 2,500!) on Rakuten that you can get cash back with, which is great news if you do a lot of online shopping (and perfect around Christmas time).
- Forever 21
- Kendra Scott
Rakuten Amazon is a great one to save you a lot of money on your regular shopping, as well as gifts.
Is There a Catch?
There isn’t a catch, but there is some fine print that you should be aware of – such as there is a maximum of $50 that you can get in cash back from a single purchase.
Meaning, if your cash back is due to be more than $50 based on your calculations, you won’t get any more than the $50 cap.
Is Rakuten a Scam?
Rakuten is absolutely not a scam. We personally use it to great success and know lots of friends and family who use it too.
Rakuten has been around since pretty much the beginning of the Internet – they were founded back in 1998, which is definitely enough time for users to figure out if they were a scam or not.
They have over 10 million customers, who have earned more than $800 million in cash back.
Rakuten BBB Review
Ever been a bit unsure about the legitimacy of a company? Head on over to the Better Business Bureau, where it will show you the rating of the company, and also the complaints.
Rakuten has a BBB rating of A+, which is the best that a company can get. They also have a 4.5-star rating out of 5 (taken from an average of 300+ reviews).
You are able to read through all of the reviews on the site as well, and you can also see that although there have been complaints, they have been resolved.
How to Join Rakuten?
You can join Rakuten for free by clicking through on this link.
You can sign up to Rakuten using your email address and password. Alternatively, you can sign up using either your Facebook or Google account.
Upon signing up, you will get a $10 bonus if you are a new member and place a qualifying order (minimum $25 total), within 90 days of joining. The 90 days is to make sure that you don’t return whatever you have bought.
How Do You Use Rakuten?
Rakuten can be used to get cash back on your purchases – so essentially free money, for something that you were going to buy anyway, just because you clicked on it through the Rakuten site.
You use the site by searching for the retailer that you want to purchase from, and then clicking through to their site, and continuing with your buying process as you would normally.
You can also get access to coupons with Rakuten, and if you download their browser extension, it will be even easier for you to get your cash back and it will let you know if there are any coupons available.
For the Rakuten login, click here.
The Rakuten App
To download the Rakuten app, head on over to the app store on your phone and download it.
When you have downloaded the app, you can activate an Rakuten Shopping Trip by clicking on an Rakuten link.
Once you have begun a Shopping Trip, a window will open up in the app which will let you know that the cash back has been activated for that trip – and it will also let you know if there will be no cash back available.
Comparison Shopping With Rakuten
Another great thing about shopping with Rakuten? You can easily do a comparison shop.
When you are looking for something in particular, check out what kind of cash back rewards the sites are offering on Rakuten, so you can see which one is worth buying from (if they are both the same price on the site, of course – you’ll have to compare this).
Rakuten Referral Program
Rakuten has a great referral program, where you are able to earn a commission for telling your friends about Rakuten and getting them to sign up.
There’s no need to do anything overly salesy to get your friends to sign up to Rakuten – if you are genuinely happy with how it works and are happy for your friends to sign up with them, give them your unique link to use to sign up with.
It’s handy having a link because you are able to send it to your friends via email, text, social media, etc – whichever way that is easiest for them to click on to and sign up.
It isn’t as simple as just signing up to earn your reward – your friend will have to have signed up using your unique link, and make a minimum purchase (that qualifies for the cash back) within a year of joining.
The referral bonus will be paid to you within 60 days (this is to allow time to return and refund the item purchased) of the person you referred makes their first qualifying buy.
You can check if your friends have signed up using your link by heading to the Refer-a-Friend page and heading to the section called “Your Referral Activity”.
How Does Rakuten Pay You?
You need to make a qualifying purchase to get cash back from Rakuten – you will be told if you can get cash back when clicking on it.
Make sure that you go to a website through a link on Rakuten, as then your purchase will be tracked and you can get your part of the commission fee.
You will get paid either via check, which they refer to as a Big Fat Check or by Paypal, every 3 months.
The minimum qualifying amount to receive a payment is $5 – you will need to have more than that in your Rakuten account, or it will roll over into the next payment period.
Events and Double Cash Back Rewards
Throughout the year, Rakuten has Extra Cash Back Events, where they get the merchants that are on the site, to increase their commissions.
The reason that the merchants are happy to go along with this, is because Rakuten will give them a lot of eyeballs on their site through their targeted marketing strategies.
When Rakuten get a bigger commission, they are kind enough to pass the extra commission on to their customers as well, meaning that you will get more cash back during these events.
Every day, Rakuten picks at least one store on their network and doubles the amount of cash back available for 24 hours.
This is a brilliant way to earn some extra money, but only if you were going to be buying from it anyway, of course.
You can check the Daily Deals page to find out which store has been picked on that day or sign up for their emails to be alerted.
Tips For Maximizing Your Earnings
Turn Off Ad Blockers
In order to get the best rewards available, you’ll need to turn off your ad blockers for Rakuten specifically.
Don’t Disable Cookies On Your Browser
Make sure that you don’t have cookies disabled on your browser, as you will need to have them enabled so that Rakuten is able to track you going from their site to the site that you are purchasing from.
Sign Up For The Browser Extension
Signing up for the Rakuten browser extension means that you’ll never miss a cash-back opportunity. Even if you have forgotten to go onto Rakuten before going on to the website that you want to buy from, it will give you a small pop-up to remind you to activate your cash back.
Download The App
The Rakuten app is free to download and use, and is handy if you are on the go.
You can use in-store coupons and scan products, as well as check the new deals that are available.
Use Your Military Discount
If you are eligible for a military discount, you can access the special deals and discounts on Rakuten that are for military members.
Rakuten Cash Back Visa Credit Card
If you use credit cards sensibly – to get rewards, and not to use it as a backup and collect the debt, this can be a smart way of earning some extra cash.
With the Rakuten Cash Back Visa credit card, you can earn unlimited additional cash back rewards, and not incur any additional fees.
To activate the cash back on this credit card, you just need to use it online or places where Visa is accepted.
If you order something online via Rakuten, you will be able to get an additional 3% cash back on the card, with all other purchases receiving 1% cash back.
Rakuten Cash Back Button
The Cash Back Button is a browser extension which you can download by heading to your browser store, and searching for ‘Rakuten Cash Back Button’.
Once you’ve downloaded it, it should show up in your browser bar. When you go onto a website, it will let you know if there are any cash back or coupons available for you to use, if you make a purchase.
This is very similar to the Honey Extension, which you may remember from our comprehensive review.
In-Store Cash Back
Amazingly, it’s not only online that you are able to get cash back on your purchases, but you are able to get it in-store as well.
This will require a little bit more forward planning, but hopefully, you are going to pre-plan your purchases anyway before heading to the stores with your card in hand.
Pros Vs. Cons of Using Rakuten?
As with anything, there are always pros and cons to doing it. It’s up to you to decide what will work best for you, but from our experience using Rakuten, here is what we think:
- It’s free to download and use – no hidden fees
- It’s easy to use
- You can get money from referring your friends
- There are a huge amount of retailers on there, so it’s likely that you will be able to get cash back with them
- You can get money back on purchases that you were going to make anyway
- Low payment threshold ($5)
- If you return the item that you purchased, you won’t get any cash back for it
- No longer available to countries in the EU
Rakuten Review: Is It Right For You?
If you like saving money, Rakuten is for you. It’s simple, easy to use and can get your money back on things that you were going to buy anyway.
Don’t forget to sign up today to get easy, free money, and $10 just for signing up!