Last Updated on March 5, 2023

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When shopping online, don’t look for just any website that promises to pay you a percentage back on your purchases.

Instead, search for the best cash back apps that will save you the most money. And one great app that is well worth your time is  Rakuten.

Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is a legitimate company that saves you money when you shop online. The company has partnered with over 2000 stores to give you better deals and discounts.

This detailed Rakuten review should help you understand the site better, how it works, and why you should be using it every time you shop online.

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase. Please, read our affiliate disclaimer or privacy policy for more information.

What is Rakuten?Rakuten cash back app

Rakuten is a cash back website that’s partnered with over 2,000 online stores to give you up to 40% cash back on most of your online purchases.

You can get cash back on electronics, cars, fashion, collectibles, hotels, vacations, you name it! They have amazing discounts on daily deals, coupons, and promo codes.

In 2017, Rakuten paid out over $19 million to its 1.5 million members worldwide. The members did not come out of space. They’re ordinary online shoppers just like you and me.

Don’t be left out. Get a piece of this pie!

Sign up for FREE  to get a Rakuten sign up bonus of $10!

The cash rebates you earn will be sent to your PayPal account. If you prefer to receive a check, that will be emailed to you, as well.

How Does Rakuten Cash Back Work?how rakuten works

The way Rakuten work is quite simple, really. Just sign up for a Rakuten account using your email address or Facebook account. Once you are logged in, search for your favorite stores then start shopping like you normally do.

After shopping, you will earn points that will be added to your Rakuten account. In addition to the points, you get a $10 sign up bonus that comes in the form of a Rakuten cash bonus or a gift card. You can claim this $10 bonus after you complete a purchase of $25.

Another way to make your Rakuten shopping experience better is to use the Rakuten Chrome extension. With the browser extention installed, you won’t have to visit Rakuten every time you want to shop.

You will see a popup whenever you visit a store or a website that can earn you cash back and is affiliated with Rakuten. Don’t ignore that alert. Click on the pop-up and start earning cash back immediately.

You can also check out these real money making apps that pay cash.

Which Stores Does Rakuten Work With?

There are so many. Rakuten has partnerships with over 2000 online stores.

But my favorites are:

  • Walmart
  • Amazon
  • Groupon
  • Macy’s
  • JCPenney
  •  Old Navy
  • Kohl’s
  • Starbucks
  • Nordstrom
  • Bed Bath & Beyond

  Rakuten Pros

To me, Rakuten is the best cash back website out there and for good reasons. But, don’t just take my word for it. Let me show you why it’s the best!

  • Sign up for a free account and get $10 sign up bonus
  • Refer your friends and get $25 for every qualifying referral
  • Buy best-selling brands at your favorite stores and save money
  • It’s easy to use. No technical skills required and won’t ask for your social security number
  • You save money on almost everything you buy. Whether you are buying clothes for a special event, dining at your favorite restaurant, or thinking of going on a vacation, Rakuten will get you the cash back.

Rakuten Cons

  • Rakuten has had over 200 complaints on Better Business Bureau but they were all resolved. A lot of them had to do with customers not getting their payouts that they were supposed to get. But, these issues were handled well and customers were satisfied with the answers they got.
  • Some product categories are excluded and do not offer cash back in stores. Like if you shop on Amazon, some items will get you cash back and some won’t.

Related: More Websites that Offer a Sign up Bonus Instant Withdraw

How Does Rakuten Make Money?

rakuten virginia

Rakuten makes money through affiliate marketing. If you are not familiar with this concept, it is where you promote products or services for another person, and that person pays you a commission when people buy through your affiliate links.

Basically, Rakuten makes money when they refer you to the online stores and you buy from those stores. When Rakuten refers you or your friends using their online portal to access products and services from those affiliated websites, the websites pay them a commission every time you make purchases.

So, Rakuten is the middleman between you ‘the shopper’ and the online stores. It’s not easy for stores to get a word out quickly about their daily deals, discounts, or great offers.

They need a strong online portal like Rakuten to do the heavy-lifting, and they don’t mind paying a fee to get instant access to a sea of buying customers with wallets or credit cards in their hands ready to buy. It’s just a win-win for everybody.

Sign up for a FREE Rakuten account and receive a $10 sign up bonus! 

Is Rakuten Legit or a Scam?

Yes,  Rakuten is legit, 100%

Like I said earlier, Rakuten is a legitimate company trusted by over 2,000 stores.  These are not just ordinary stores. We are talking about brands and big merchants like Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Hilton, Expedia, Lord & Taylor, Nike, Levi’s, Groupon and many more.

It has the largest audience ever! Whether you are looking for electronics, beauty products, hotels, or clothing, Rakuten is the place to be.

Ever heard of the online saying “People buy from people they know, like and trust?” Stores love Rakuten! And we do too.

Furthermore, Rakuten is a registered company accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating, not to mention that Rakuten bought it for $1 billion. Yes, you heard that right! Rakuten is that expensive! Scammy sites don’t even come close.

Apart from the A+ rating and the $1 billion under their belt, Rakuten has a user rating of 9.5 out of 10 given by 600+ satisfied members. Those are 600 Rakuten reviews. All of them! Oh, and did I mention the 21,000 reviews on the Appstore? If this doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

Join Rakuten and claim your $10 welcome bonus today!

How to Increase Your Rakuten Earnings

#Tip 1:  The Rakuten Referal Program

Rakuten referral program

The Rakuten refer-a-friend program is a game-changer. You simply refer people to the website and earn FREE money, and there is no limit. You can invite as many people as you like.

Read on to see the blogger dashboard with enticing referral cash back bonuses!

You earn $25 for every qualified referral you send their way. They normally pay $5 per referral but they are currently running a special promotional offer till June 30, 2018.

Who is a qualified referral?

This is a new person who joins Rakuten for the first time using your referral link and makes purchases worth $25.

Take a look at the image below and see how much you can earn depending on the following you have. The more referrals you get the more money you will make!

Rakuten referral cashback bonuses

Got friends and family who want cash back? Click here to join Rakuten for free, get your $10 welcome bonus plus $25 for each referral you get.

The ’big fat checks’ as they call them usually go out on a quarterly basis, and you can receive funds as high as $2,000 referral bonuses per quarter!

Once funds accrue in your Rakuten account they can send you a check or prefer to withdraw to your PayPal account. I highly encourage those living outside the US to use PayPal for easy access to the funds.

And that’s not all!

Rakuten has huge bonuses. As a Rakuten ambassador, you stand a chance to win $50,0000 or a trip to Disney.

#Tip 2:  Install Rakuten Firefox Extension (Rakuten button)

Rakuten chrome extension

We now have the Rakuten Firefox extension that alerts you whenever you visit or shop on a site that’s eligible for cashback.  This really makes shopping through Rakuten really easy. You don’t have to log into the account to find deals, discounts, or coupons. The button will allow you to see this at a glance on all stores.

How do you get the button?

When you sign up and log into your account, the Rakuten Firefox extension will just pop up on its own. If it doesn’t, scroll down to the footer of the Rakuten website under apps, tools, and services. You should be able to access it there.

Click on ‘add to Firefox’. It’s a 2-step process that takes less than a minute to do. From now on, the Rakuten button will show up at the top right-hand side of your browser.

Whenever new coupons are available on the websites you are visiting or shopping from, the button will alert you immediately just as can be seen in the image above.

#Tip 3:  Shop at Double Cash Back Stores


There is a section where brands and stores promote their products by giving double cash back on the purchases. These are seasonal offers. You can target Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Mother’s Day or the Holiday Season. For example, if a company was offering a 2% cash back, they’ll increase it to 4%.

mother's day double cash back at Rakuten

Right now, we have Mother’s Day coming up and companies are targeting more sales during this time. As you can see in the image above, Bed Bath & Beyond was offering a 2.0% cash back now they are at 4.0%, same thing with Sam’s Club and ProFlowers and many more!

 #Tip 4:  In-store Cash Back Offers

Rakuten in-store cash back

Rakuten just launched the in-store cash back and you can get back your money on purchases you make in stores too! How cool is that?

All you need to do is add your credit card to your Rakuten then go shopping as you normally do.

When you find a product or service you like, connect it to your credit card by clicking the “Link Offer” button as can be seen in the image below. Purchase the items in-store and get your cash back. As simple as that!

Rakuten link offers

#Tip 5: The Rakuten Cash Back Visa Card

Rakuten cash_back_visa_card

Thinking of getting the Rakuten Cash Back Visa Card? Great! I totally support you. I know, you may have fears about owning multiple credit cards because lots of cards can lead you into debt if you don’t manage them well. I’m hoping that’s not you.

Anyway, let’s focus on the positives here coz I’ve got some more great news!

When you have the Rakuten Cash Back Credit Card, you get a 3% extra cash back. What this means is, you get cash back on all your purchases, and then Rakuten adds you an extra 3% on top just for using the card. That’s more cash in your pocket!

#Tip 6:  Get the Rakuten SmartPhone App

Last but not least, is the Rakuten SmartPhone app. The Rakuten app allows you to buy stuff on the go and receive cash anytime, anywhere. It comes in handy when you are away from your computer but want to buy something online or in-stores. You have lots to gain and nothing to lose.

Click here to install the app.

Final Thoughts

As you have seen in this Rakuten review, it’s possible to make and save money using Rakuten. We show you many ways that you can use it to bring in extra cash while shopping. If you were asking if Rakuten is a scam, I believe that your doubts have been erased from your mind now.

Additionally, if you are a new blogger who wants to give affiliate marketing a go, you can take advantage of the Rakuten Referral Program and make money blogging. You can’t believe just how fast those $5 referrals add up. You will be earning $1,000 or even $2,000 before you know it.

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About the Author

Virginia Nakitari is a full-time blogger and a work from home expert. Join Virginia and 200,000 monthly readers on EarnSmartOnlineClass to learn how to make money online, even as a beginner. Before starting this blog, Virginia worked as a freelancer, specializing in general transcription and virtual assistance. Her wide clientele comprised of business coaches, podcasters, bloggers, and other online entrepreneurs. It's through these interactions that Virginia developed a knack for writing and showing people how to work from home, make money online and attain financial freedom.

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