Does Rakuten work?
I’ll admit, the first time I saw an ad for it, I thought it was a scam.
You likely know what commercials I’m talking about — the “real Rakuten members” who spend the whole time gushing about how much money they have made through this program that “pays you to shop.”
Sure thing, Susan. Like I’m buying that.
And you know, truthfully? Some days, it still does seem to good to be true.
But it isn’t.
Rakuten, it turns out, is totally legit.
Disclaimer: Not sponsored. I’m not being compensated for this post. These are my thoughts based on my personal experience with Rakuten. Post does contain a referral link. If you sign up using this link, I will receive a bonus. It won’t cost you anything.
What is Rakuten and how does it work?
Rakuten — formerly known as Ebates — is an online shopping platform where you earn cash back for shopping.
As for how it works, it’s simple: sign up for Rakuten for free, shop at your favourite stores the same way you would if you weren’t using Rakuten, earn cash back on your purchases.
How does Rakuten work? The site receives a commission from the stores included on its site when someone makes a purchase. This is a common practice for online shopping sites. What makes Rakuten different is that instead of keeping the money, Rakuten shares it with its members.
What does this look like for you as a shopper? Depends on where you shop.
Cash back percentages vary from retailer to retailer. A lot of stores tend to fall into the 2.5-3 per cent range, but there are some sites that offer significantly more cash back on your purchase.
Does Rakuten work?
Yes. It does.
Since joining Rakuten in November 2017, I have made more than $250.
That’s not money that has shown up on a site with a promise to deliver, either — that is money I actually received.
All my Rakuten earnings have come to me in the form of a cheque, delivered in January, May, August and November. Cheques have ranged from $7.57 to $69.78. And each one has been cashed, no problem.
Cheque is only one of the options you have for receiving your earnings from Rakuten. You can also opt to have the money deposited via PayPal or, if you want, you can send your earnings to a charity, organization or a family member. I like the cheque option, personally, but it’s really up to you.
Whatever option you go with, you’re getting paid to do something you were already planning to do anyway.
Rakuten: My best tips to help you earn more money
There are a few things you can do that will help you make the most out of your Rakuten experience. They’re all simple, but they make a big difference when it comes to earning money.
- Install the cash back button!
This is the single most effective way to increase your earnings through Rakuten.
Adding the cash back button to your toolbar enables Rakuten to notify you when you’re on a site that is offering a rebate. A little alert will show up on the corner of your screen inviting you to activate the offer. All you have to do is click it and you’re good to go. Installing the button means you never miss an opportunity for cash back.
- Watch for special offers at the places you shop frequently
Rakuten will occasionally do double cash back options for different stores.
For example, most of the time, cash back at Sephora ranges somewhere from 2.5 to four per cent…but occasionally, it goes up to eight per cent. When that happens, I like to stock up on things I know I’ll need, like Devacurl products.
Rakuten also has an extensive list of coupons for the various retailers on the site and lets you know when offers are available for the stores where you are shopping.
- Check out in-store cash back
Rakuten has an option where you can link your credit card to your account and take advantage of cash back options in store.
The process is simple: add a credit card to your account then, when you shop in store, simply find the offer you want to you and click “link offer” to add it to your card.
- Download the app!
This is handy for finding offers when you’re shopping in-store. It’s also great if you make purchases online using your phone.
(Wondering about other apps that will make or save you money? Check out this post)
- Refer your friends
Once you sign up (it’s totally free), you can start telling your friends about Rakuten – and earn bonuses doing it.
In my experience, the bonus amount can change but it’s usually around $5-$10 for a referral. This doesn’t cost those who use your link a cent and the bonus is credited to your account when your friends make a qualifying purchase.
This is my referral link. If you’re reading and thinking man, I’m in, I’d love for you to use it but no pressure. Honestly, I just think people need to know about this program.
You really have nothing to lose.
I love Rakuten. That’s likely obvious by now.
If you’re skeptical like I was, well, I can’t blame you. It really does sound too good to be true, but it’s legit. If you do any online shopping at all, it’s totally worth it to sign up for Rakuten. You’re unlike to get rich, but hey, might as well get a few dollars back if you can, right?
Do you use Rakuten? What other cash back sites do you like to use?