Did you know you can actually get paid to shop online and in stores? Just by doing your online shopping through Rakuten.com (formerly Ebates), you can get discounts on your shopping, earn rewards, and even earn money when you refer a friend or family member to do their shopping through Rakuten too! As of this writing, I've earned over $600 with Rakuten, and I have another Big Fat Check arriving any day now!
In today's Rakuten review, I'll show you how to make as much as a few hundred dollars a month shopping and earning refer-a-friend bonuses. You'll get $10 free when you sign up with Rakuten.com to start, then it gets better from there!
Ebates is Now Rakuten!
Recently, Ebates changed its name to Rakuten. However, nothing has changed but the name. You still get all the cash back and discounts that have always been available with Ebates. The name change is simply a reflection of the company that has owned the Ebates brand since 2014.
Rakuten Pays You to Shop
Who doesn’t want to get money back just for doing their regular online shopping?
In this post I’ll show you:
- What Rakuten is all about
- How to save money on your online purchases with Rakuten.com
- How to also get free cash back on every online purchase you make
- Why it's not a scam
- Tips for using Rakuten.com to get discounts + cash back on your online purchases
In fact, in comparison to other cash back websites, I believe this is the best cash back website you can use!
What is Rakuten.com?
The first thing most people ask is “what is Rakuten and why should I use it?”
Rakuten.com is an online company that partners with online retailers to give you cash back for shopping each time you make a purchase from one of their partners.
Here’s what it says on their site:
“You get Cash Back at over 2,000 stores every time you start your shopping trip at Rakuten. There are no points to redeem, no forms to mail in and no fees. Stores pay Rakuten a commission for sending you their way, and Rakuten shares the commission with you as Cash Back.”
Rakuten Gives You Free Money For Shopping Online
Every store negotiates a different deal with Rakuten, so when you go to the app and find the store you want to purchase from, you’ll see a percentage telling you how much cash back you’ll receive in your Rakuten.com account when you make a purchase.
Once you set up your account, all you have to do is log in to your account and choose the store where you want to shop.
You can earn cash back at over 2,000 different stores, so wherever you shop online, you’ll likely be able to get cash back using Rakuten to shop at that store!
I’m talking about household brand names like:
- JC Penney
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Under Armour
- And thousands of others!
The cool thing about Rakuten.com is that it rewards you with cash back for the online shopping you’re already doing! That includes grocery shopping, clothing, cosmetics, school supplies, office supplies- anything you normally buy online!
You’ll earn a Big Fat Check that will be sent to you in the mail or via PayPal. You only have to earn $5.01 to get your first Big Fat Check!
It's Completely Free- No Fees, No Gotchas
Pretty much everybody shops online these days, so if you can get discounts and cash back for every online purchase you make, why wouldn’t you do it?
Also, using Rakuten is completely free! There are no monthly fees or hidden gotchas. You don’t have to enter any credit card numbers or other highly sensitive information.
What you see is what you get- automatic discounts and cash back for all your purchases!
Get Discounts Plus Cash Back
Another interesting feature that sets Rakuten.com apart is that you can still use discounts, coupon codes, and promo codes when you shop at your favorite store through the Rakuten cash back website.
In fact, when you go to Rakuten to shop, you’ll see featured items and sales that each retailer is offering that day.
You’ll get a discount on your shopping, plus cash back on your purchase!
That’s a double whammy that saves you a ton of money just by shopping through Rakuten.com instead of going straight to the retailer’s website!
How to Use Rakuten.com to Get Cash Back on Your Online Shopping
The best way to use Rakuten for your online shopping is to get into the habit of logging into your Rakuten account first whenever you shop online. Here’s what the home page looks like:
Once you log in, then proceed to the retailer you want to purchase from. If you don’t see your favorite retailer listed on the home page, just use the search bar at the top to search for the retailer you want.
In this example, I clicked on the “Amazon” tab in the picture above, which took me to Rakuten's Amazon page which lists Amazon’s cash back categories:
Then when you click the orange “shop now” button on the left, you’ll see a page like the one below. This page shows how much cash back you’ll receive on certain items or categories at Amazon.com:
Then you’ll be automatically directed to Amazon’s official home page where you can shop as usual. Rakuten.com keeps up with what you purchase and credits cash back to your Rakuten account after you check out.
Use the Rakuten App on Your Phone or Tablet
Rakuten also has a convenient app you can use on your tablet or phone. To download the app, just go to the home page and scroll all the way to the bottom like you see in the picture below. In the dark grey area at the bottom of the page, look under Apps, Tools, and Services and click on Rakuten Mobile Apps which takes you to the page where you will download the app to your device.
Doesn't get much easier than that!
Get Cash Back on In-Store Purchases Too!
Rakuten works for in-store purchases too! Just link your debit or credit card to your account, and you can get cash back + discounts whenever you make a purchase at a brick and mortar store. Go here and watch the short video to see how it works.
Rakuten.com Refer a Friend Program
One of the best ways you can earn money with Rakuten is through their Refer-a-Friend program. When you sign up, you get your own special referral link you can send to friends and family so they can sign up and get paid to shop too.
When someone joins using your link and spends $25 doing their online shopping through Rakuten, you get $5. Refer a second friend and you get $20 for each one in addition for a total of $50. Refer more friends and the money really starts adding up!
Here's how they explain it on their site:
It's easy! We give you a $5 bonus for each friend you refer to Rakuten who makes a qualifying purchase (order(s) must total a minimum of $25). In addition to the $5 bonus, we will give you an extra bonus for the 2nd friend.
- First friend: $5×1 = $5
- Second friend: $5×2 + $40 = $50
Here's a link to Rakuten's refer a friend page which explains the program even more.
Rakuten Adds Up to a Lot of Cash Back
Just think of all the money you spend at Walmart, Target, Amazon, and all those other online retailers you buy from all year long.
You will earn cash back for every single thing you purchase!
That adds up to a lot of cash over time!
Is Rakuten a Scam?
Nope, Ebates is not a scam at all! It’s actually a well-respected business that’s been around since 1998 and has built a reputation as THE go to website for coupons and cash back on your online purchases.
So How Do They Make Money?
Rakuten.com makes money by being an affiliate for all of the stores it lists on its site. Here’s how their business model works:
- You log into your Rakuten.com account and start shopping.
- Each time you make a purchase, the store pays Rakuten a small fee for sending you their way.
- Rakuten.com then shares part of that small fee with you in the form of cash back into your account!
The reason this works so well is because it’s a classic win-win-win situation.
- The store wins because they get more customers.
- Rakuten wins because they get paid for sending stores more customers.
- You win because Rakuten shares the money they make with you!
When everybody wins, that’s the formula for a successful business model that makes everybody happy (and richer too)!
So whether you shop online occasionally or do all of your shopping online, signing up and using Rakuten to get paid to shop is simply a no-brainer!
When you sign up for Ebates Rakuten, you can earn cash back just for doing the online shopping you normally do! It’s completely free to join- Plus when you sign up through my special link, you’ll get a $10 cash welcome bonus when you spend your first $25 online!
Question: Have you used Rakuten before to get paid to shop? How much cash back have you made so far? What great discounts have you gotten? Leave a comment and let me know!