Rakuten Review (FREE $10): The Ultimate Guide to Saving Money with Rakuten

If you’re here to get $30 with Rakuten, sign up with my Rakuten referral link. All you have to do is sign-up and spend at least $30, and you’ll get $30! I’ll also get a small welcome bonus.

Ebates Review

I don’t know about you, but I’m obsessed with finding easy ways to save money. At this point, I’ve got the big saving money topics covered like housing and transportation. Now I am on a mission to save money on all my spending on things like food, gas, clothes, gifts, etc.

I’ve already been able to lower my grocery spending by about $200 a month thanks to a few small saving money habits: meal prepping, reducing food waste, and sticking to a strict limit on house improvements.

I started tracking my spending again, and I’ve already seen some small improvements! My saving money mindset is constantly being on the lookout for ways to improve my finances by 1%.

Over time, those 1% gains start to add up big time. They begin to compound and build on each other. The gold standard is when you can do this without any extra effort.

If you want to save money with almost zero effort, you’re in for a treat today. I used to think cashback cards and cashback apps to save money were scams. But I’ve totally changed my mind.

Getting cashback percentages on everything you buy is probably the easiest way to save money. It literally takes zero effort, and you save money. If you’re looking for a way to get cashback on everything you buy, then you’re in the right place.

I’ve been meaning to write a Rakuten review for a while now, and I’m excited to share how it’s saving money with every shopping trip.

If you’re here to get a quick $30, go ahead and use my Rakuten referral link and join right now! Then come back to the guide so you can figure out all of my saving money tips, tricks, and favorite ways to save money with Rakuten. 

Rakuten Ebates Review: The Ultimate Guide to Saving Money & Making Money with Rakuten

Rakuten is a company that has partnered with thousands of businesses to form affiliate relationships. This means that whenever they “send” buyers to websites, they get a small commission on the sale. Rather than keep all that to themselves, they split it with you, the buyer!

Rakuten is legit and incredibly simple.

Rakuten is partners with popular brands, and when you shop through the site, shop in store, or use the Chrome extension (the best way to use Rakuten), you get cashback percentages for your spending. The cashback percentages typically range from 1-10% cashback but can sometimes be higher.

They’ve helped over 10 million people earn over $1,000,000,000 in store cash back. YES! That’s $1 billion with a B. Rakuten is about helping the average person save money on regular spending. I’m all about that and am a big user myself.

How Does Rakuten Work?

Step 1. Join: download the Rakuten app, use my Rakuten sign up link

The first step to saving money and earning cashback from Rakuten is to sign up and join! I’d totally appreciate it if you used my Rakuten referral link to sign-up. You’ll get a free $30 once you shop online and spend $30 through their platform!

As soon as you’re signed up, you can shop online just like you normally would, but now you’ll be earning cashback on everything you buy! The great thing about Rakuten is that you actually get straight cash back. Not gift cards or store credit or other forms of payment.

You get more dollars back in your bank or Rakuten account.

Step 2. Shop

Now that you’re signed up, you’re ready to shop online! Thankfully the Rakuten app makes it super easy.

There are 3 ways you can use their platform.

1. Through Rakuten.com

You can go to Rakuten.com and search for whatever store you need to buy something from. You’ll then see how much cashback they’re offering, and you can click through to go to their site!

ebates cashback

Click the “Shop now” button, and you’ll be directed to the website you’re online shopping from, and then you’ll get a notification saying that you’re on your way to getting cashback!

ebates cashback

2.Rakuten Chrome Extension

The easiest way to use Rakuten to get cashback is to download their chrome extension. This way, you don’t have to go through the Rakuten website each time; whenever you’re online, they’ll notify you when cashback is available!

This is definitely the best way to use Rakuten because you’ll never miss a deal!

ebates cashback

When you have the chrome extension installed, it will also show the cashback rates available whenever you search in google. This way, you can instantly see where the best deal is!

ebates deals

3. Shop in store

I’ve been using Rakuten for a while now, and I actually didn’t know that you could shop in-store! In some cases, the in-store cash-back rate is actually higher than online. I’m guessing that could be because they save money by not having to do free shipping.

To shop in-store, you simply link a credit card to your Rakuten account and when you find a shop in-store offer, link that specific offer to your credit card.

Rakuten will automatically give you the cashback into your account when you make the purchase in-store.

Online Shoppping Companies partnered with Rakuten

With Christmas shopping, home renovation, and buying gifts for my nieces and nephews, I’ve been able to really maximize my cash-back.

Here’s a quick snapshot of some online shopping stores that pay Rakuten.

  • Big box retailers like Walmart, Target, Lowes (sometimes)
  • Pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS
  • Clothing stores: Anthropologie, Banana Republic, JCPenney
  • Outdoors: Academy, Cables, Dicks Sporting Goods
  • Home: Overstock, Kohls, Macys, Sears, Bed Bath and Beyond
  • Beauty & Wellness: Sephora, Ulta
  • Specialty stores like Ancestry.com, Petco, BuyBuyBaby

Almost every chain or popular online shopping store I could think of is partnered with Rakuten!

Special deals

Getting cashback isn’t the only thing Rakuten can do for you.

Most of the companies that they are partnered with, have additional deals and clearance sales that help YOU save money.

When I’m writing this, they have a deal with Bed Bath and Beyond where you can get $70 off a Nest thermostat in addition to the 2% cashback!

ebates cashback

Big savings + cashback = Winning  

Step 3. Get paid

Over time, the cashback will collect in your Rakuten account. You’ll get paid if you’ve earned more than $5. The money will stack up over time as you continue to earn cashback.

So, how does Rakuten pay you? They pay every 3 months, and you can opt for a physical check or set up a PayPal account with them! I recommend setting up a PayPal account, so you don’t have to worry about checking the mail. Just monitor the PayPal account.

ebates cashback

Here’s the payout schedule:

Ebates payoff schedule

Rakuten Review: Pros and Cons

With any product or tool, it’s good to really dive in deep to know the pros and cons. Rakuten is a legit tool for getting free money, but it isn’t perfect.

Let’s look at the pros first.

Rakuten Pros

  • The Rakuten app is entirely free to use. All it takes is an email address or Facebook account to sign up!
  • The Rakuten app is EASY to use. It takes genuinely zero effort if you have the chrome extension installed! Other cashback apps take effort, like scrolling through and looking for applicable deals. With the Rakuten chrome extension, it’s as easy as clicking one button whenever they notify you of a deal.
  • If you refer Rakuten to friends or family, you can earn some money! As soon as you sign-up, you can get your Rakuten referral link to share with people.
  • Partnered with thousands of companies, Rakuten has a vast network of affiliate relationships that you get to benefit from.

Now, time for the cons.

Rakuten Cons

  • Their partnerships don’t last forever. About a week ago, I got 4% cashback when i bought a bathtub from Lowes, but it seems like they are no longer partnered with the company. No idea why!
  • It does take quite a while to receive cashback. Four payouts a year is pretty infrequent, but hey! That means the checks are more extensive whenever they do come in.
  • Resisting the temptation to buy the stuff you don’t need is one of the common challenges with any cashback app. My father-in-law often jokes that he will go broke from “saving money.” A 5% discount on something you need is fantastic! But keep in mind that it is still 95% on.

Two Advanced Strategies to Saving Money with Rakuten

1. Cashback stacking: Rakuten, Honey, giftcards

My friend Olivia from BirdsofaFire gave me the idea to start “cashback stacking” whenever I buy anything online. Getting cashback from Rakuten is fantastic on its own. But you can really rev up your savings by combining it with some other deals out there.

Here’s how it works…

  1. You use Rakuten to buy a discounted gift card (2-10% off) through a site like Gift Card Granny or Giftcards.com!
  2. Buy the gift card using a cashback credit card (1.5-2% cashback).
  3. Then go to the site you want to buy something from and activate the Rakuten cashback (1-10% off).
  4. Before you check out, use the Honey app (another discount app with a browser extension) to get another 5-10% off!

When you stack up all the cashback and discounts, you get almost 20% off the full price. It may not be worth the effort on the small stuff, but I dropped over a grand last week on supplies for house renovation and got $200 store cashback with about 5 minutes of effort.

2. Workplace spending

The only thing better than getting cashback on your spending is to earn cashback back after using someone else’s money!

If you do a decent amount of spending for your employer, then make sure to go through Rakuten to make all of your online purchases!

Related Questions

Is Rakuten Worth It?

So, is Rakuten worth it? The thing you have to realize about Rakuten is this… It won’t make you rich.

No one will build up their retirement savings or save money for coupon codes or a downpayment from Rakuten cashback. If you want to make those kinds of savings, you’ll need to find a way to boost your income and really build up your savings gap.

If you’re still considering: is Rakuten worth it? Know this: the great thing about cashback is that it feels like free money. 

I use the cashback to buy furniture, decorate my house, go out to eat, or even invest back into this blog!

Is Rakuten Legit?

At this point, you know my answer to the question, “Is Rakuten legit?” YES.

They’ve been around since the internet was in its baby stage and they’ve given out over a billion dollars in cashback to millions of users. Rakuten is absolutely legit.

Conclusion / Big Fat Takeaway

Sign up with Rakuten today to earn cashback on your regular spending! Receiving cashback is one of the easiest ways to save money repeatedly without extra effort.

Install the extension, receive cashback, and you’ll save money next time you buy anything! 

Jared Bauman is the owner and editor of PFGeeks.com. He has started and sold several companies, along with owning several investment properties. His interest in personal finance started as a young kid, developed through his entrepreneurial ventures and real estate investments, and continue through his conversations with friends and colleagues.

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