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Remember Ebates? It’s now Rakuten and still offers cash back on purchases at 3,500 stores PLUS a sign up bonus of $30 back when you sign up for your FREE account through my link! We shop through Rakuten for every purchase online and get money back every quarter! Here’s how!
Rakuten Sounds Too Good to be True!
Right?! That’s what I thought too. The awesome thing though, is it isn’t to good to be true!! It really works and it’s really free!!
Rakuten works with over 3,500 stores including clothing, electronics, travel, vacations, shoes, health and beauty, food/restaurants, home and garden, accessories, office supplies, baby and toddler supplies, etc. Stores such as Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Lowes, Instacart, ebay, and soooo many more are part of the Rakuten family!
Here is how Rakuten works:
- Click my affiliate link to sign up for your free account: www.rakuten.com/r/NICOLE110562
- On the Rakuten website or in the Rakuten App, click the store where you want to shop.
- Shop Like Always: Place an order and we’ll automatically add Cash Back to your account.
- Choose How to Get Paid: We’ll send your Cash Back via PayPal or check.
They pay out every 3 months. This really works, a friend of mine just did this and we both got a $30 bonus!! (Which really helps my small business AND she got $30 cash back too!!) Below I’ll share the total amount of cash back I’ve gotten over the past 12 years.
Rakuten is completely free, you never enter any credit card information to them. You just click through their site before purchasing at a partner site such as Target, Walmart, Old Navy, Temu, and thousands more! This means you can get money back from Rakuten, the Rakuten $30 bonus, AND credit card rewards or cash back from your own credit card. Then, if you want to earn your own referral reward you can refer your friends and you’ll each earn $30 as well!
We’ve been using Ebates and now Rakuten for over 10 years and have gotten payouts from them often. It’s the real deal!! They partner with companies so they get paid from the company to offer us the cash back. It’s a win/win!!
Earn Cash Back with a Click
If you want to make earning cash back even easier, install the Rakuten browser extension on your Google Chrome browser. This is what we have done and it lets us know that we’re on a site that participates with Rakuten cash back and lets us activate the cash back with the click of a button.
It’s so easy and awesome!!
Keep in mind that if you’ve been on a page for a while, like maybe you got distracted by your kids, work, or whatever else, then come back to check out, make sure that the cash back is still enabled before you make your purchase. Sometimes it times out so I just don’t want you to miss out!
Otherwise, you can always go to the Rakuten website and click the retailer you want to shop at then shop that way as well to get cash back.
Add the Chrome Extension after signing up through the link above in order to get the $30 back bonus.
How Does Rakuten Make Money?
Rakuten is very up front on how they make money, they have text on every page with the little info icon that you can click on to see a pop up that explains how they’re compensated and can offer us cash back.
To put it simply, the stores that partner with Rakuten pay Rakuten commission every time you click through Rakuten to purchase from an online store.
For example, if I want to purchase shoes for my son on Target, I head over to the Target website, the Rakuten pop up on the right of my screen shows that I can get up to 1% back on purchases in certain categories. Then I have the option to press the button to activate the 1% cash back, as shown in the screenshot I took below.
Once I click that button, I get sent to a rather blank page showing it’s activating the cash back, similar to this.
Then I’m back to the page that I was on to begin with and ready to shop and complete my purchase, earning cash back on my order!
Once I place my order, this comes up (this particular order was for Vitacost which was offering 3% cash back. Now I’m done and later I can check to see how much I got back. I also can refer friends from this page, and just like how I’m referring you, both of us would earn $30 when a purchase over $30 is made by the new account holder. Pretty slick!
How You Actually Get Cash Back
You may be thinking, ok, that sounds great and all but how do I actually get money from Rakuten into my bank account? How does this all work?
Your cash back balance can be checked anytime by clicking on the Rakuten extension in your browser or by going to Rakuten.com and signing in. You can go into Cash Back Balance which will show you where you got cash back on purchases and if you have refer-a-friend bonuses.
Rakuten will pay out every 3 months. A was paid for a transaction in November in February. I currently have two transactions, one from April and one from May which will be paid out in August. This account is just my business account that is mainly referrals. My personal account I get payouts every three months because we use Rakuten for every purchase we can.
My Account Payouts
Not to brag but to show that this actually works, I’ll share that my husband and I have a shared account and since 2011 we’ve earned and received $478.63 cash back! My business account I just opened last year and I’ve made one purchase plus had two referrals which equals $199 cash back so far. We’ve gotten checks or PayPal deposits for amounts between $2.28 and $110.26 so far. Any amount is exciting because it’s free money since we got cash back on things we already would have purchased.
I can choose to get paid via mailed check (hence why they say Big Fat Check since that’s the only way they used to do it) or via PayPal, which is how I choose to get paid.
In-Store Cash Back
Don’t shop online much? That’s alright! Rakuten also can be used in store and even at restaurants!!
One thing to note with using Rakuten in store is it does appear you need to link a credit or debit card to your account before making your purchase with the same card that is on your account. If you shop online, you never need to enter your credit card info. Just something to keep in mind.
Download the Rakuten app, log in, and select the offer you’re interested in. You can do this by browsing or entering the store that you’re shopping at.
Click ‘link offer’ and link the offer to your credit card that you have on your Rakuten account and that you will be using for your purchase.
Pay with your linked card to earn cash back.
To maximize your cash back you can have notifications turned on so you’ll be alerted to exclusive In-Store cash back deals near you. If you find this to be distracting, you can always turn off notifications.
Below are some screenshots from my phone as I was working through this.
Bonus Cash Back Events
Quite often, at least once a month, especially around ANY holiday, Rakuten will offer additional cash back for your everyday purchases. As I write this there are hundreds of stores which are offering up to 10% cash back whereas typically they offer up to 3% cash back.
These bonuses happen even more around the holiday season. I was able to get $34 cash back last year when I purchased a $69 Ancestry.com subscription that was half off. I got so much back because they didn’t use the sale price, they used the original price. I am still stunned and very happy about this!
Here are several of the stores that are offering 10% cash back right now instead of the typical 1-3% they typically offer. Right now there are hundreds of stores offering this offer. This will likely not the case when you sign up but these great bonuses happen all the time.
The Way it Really Is
Honestly, I love Rakuten.
It’s free and yet I get cash back on almost all my purchases and get bonuses when people sign up and make a qualifying purchase. Did I mention it’s all FREE?! There really is no downside here.
Remember that to get the $30 bonus cash back you have to sign up through my link and make a qualifying purchase (basically $30 or more purchase from a participating shop after activating the Rakuten plugin or going through their site, or shopping in store.)
Also keep in mind that once you have a Rakuten account you can get additional $30 back whenever someone you refer to Rakuten signs up and uses it (and they get $30 back too!)! Honestly, I’ve gotten 3 referrals in the past several months and two of them were from actual people I know on Facebook when I posted the info on my wall. You don’t have to have a blog to get even more cash back.
As a mom of identical twins and a son two years older, I have gained invaluable experience in the realm, and chaos, of parenting. With a Master's Degree and Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology, I spent years as a school psychologist, helping children navigate through their educational and emotional challenges. Now as a stay at home mom and professional blogger, I combine my areas of expertise to help you in your parenting journey.