Rakuten Review: Easy Cash Back + Get A FREE $10 Gift Card


Is there such a thing as easy and free cash back? Well if you like finding amazing deals and getting free money for something you already do, then this Rakuten review (formerly known as ebates) is for you.

Already love and use Raukuten? You’ll love Mr. Rebates and his $5 free gift too!

As someone who loves saving money and finding deals, this statement is huge: Rakuten IS MY FAVORITE money-saving site. I started using Rakuten years ago, way before I had a personal finance blog. Although I have found other cash back programs that are ok, Ebates is by far my favorite (hence why I am writing this review and I have a tutorial as well).

In this Raukuten review, you will learn:

  • what is Rakuten and how does it work
  • is Rakuten legit or is it a scam
  • Rakuten pros and the biggest complaints
  • secret tips for maximizing your earnings

Let’s dive in:

WHAT IS RAKUTEN?

If you’re not familiar with it yet, you might be wonder what’s Rakuten? Rakuten is a free rewards program that gives shoppers 1-40% cashback on practically any purchase you make through your Rakuten account. There are over 2,500 stores that qualify, so there’s something for everyone. Ebates also has special discounts and promo codes for free shipping. To do this, you just click on a store icon first or if you have the Chrome browser extension for Ebates, you click the cashback button to “activate” your cash back earnings.

Ex. You order groceries or household goods online from Walmart through your Rakuten account. Rakuten will give you 7% of your purchase back in cold hard cash.

HOW RAKUTEN WORKS

Ebates review sign up for account

Of all the cashback and rebate programs I’ve tried, I chose to review Rakuten first because is the easiest. Here’s what you do:

  1. Sign up for an account with your email address.
  2. Log in and see what discounts are offered at your favorite stores. Browse by department, alphabetically, hottest deals, or use the search bar to look for your favorite stores.
  3. Click on a store and you are directed to that website. Shopping is exactly the same except you are earning cashback because you went through Ebates first.

If you use a Chrome browser, I cannot recommend enough that you add the Rakuten extension to be automatically notified whenever you visit a site that’s eligible for cashback. All you have to do is click the pop up to activate your cash back. This eliminates step 2 above so you don’t have to go to Rakuten.com before making a purchase, making saving money it easy as can be. Here’s what it looks like:

WHICH STORES ARE ELIGIBLE

Rakuten is partnering with new stores all the time. Currently, they have over 2,500 stores where you can get free money back.

ebates stores

Some of the stores include:

  • Household stores like Walmart, Kmart, Sam’s Club, Walgreens, Staples
  • Baby & Children’s stores like Carter’s, The Children’s Place, Hanna Anderson, The Honest Company, OshKosh B’gosh, Robeez, StrideRite
  • Clothing & Accessory stores like Nordstrom, J.Crew, Macy’s, Old Navy, Kohl’s, JCPenny, Forever 21, Lands’ End, LLBean, American Eagle, Banana Republic, Loft, Zulily
  • Health stores like Vitacost, Dr. Axe, Beachbody
  • Sporting Goods stores like Cabela’s, Ace Hardware, Columbia, Under Armour, Dick’s
  • Pet stores like Petco, PetCareRx, and Petplan
  • Electronics stores like Dell, Best Buy, and HP
  • Travel sites like Expedia and TripAdvisor
  • Toy stores like Fisher Price, Pillow Pets, and Step2
  • Custom gift sites like Shutterfly, Snapfish, Etsy,
  • Deal sites like Living Social, Groupon
  • Sites with everything like Amazon, eBay

HOW DO YOU GET CASHBACK

ebates cash back big fat check

Each quarter, Rakuten will send you your earnings in a “Big Fat Check.” You choose if you want a paper check sent in the mail or if you want money sent to your PayPal account. There is no minimum amount, so whether you’ve earned $2 or $200, you’ll get your money.

RAKUTEN PROS

Let’s review Rakuten benefits:

  • you get money back for something you already do
  • there are so many stores that qualify, you can benefit from Rakuten even if you’re on a tight budget
  • it is so easy to use, no frustrating surveys to complete or wasting a bunch of time to save $0.50
  • the reward is cold, hard cash, not points only good toward a single store
  • customer service has been super friendly when I’ve accidentally ordered and forgotten to click Rakuten first (within a couple of hours or completing an order)
  • there’s a $10 Free Gift Card to Walmart or $10 Cash Back Bonus for signing up
  • the Chrome browser extension for Rakuten tells me when I’m on a site that’s eligible for cashback
  • there are promo codes for free shipping and extra discounts in addition to the cash back you earn
  • the referral program where you can earn $5-$25 per person you refer

See why I love it? Now here are the cons of Rakuten…

RAKUTEN CONS

This Rakuten review is completely honest, so I’ll tell you upfront what the downsides are as well:

  • it’s hard to find eligible purchases on Amazon (for me anyway)
  • the payout is quarterly, not monthly
  • some stores have category exclusions like Target electronics or baby purchases do not qualify
  • you must use Rakuten to make a $25 purchase to get your $10 bonus within 90 days after signing up

MAXIMIZE YOUR EARNINGS WITH EBATES

There are a couple of ways to get the most out of your Ebates account:

  • use Ebates Cash Back Visa Credit Card to earn an extra 3% cash back
  • use the Ebates Chrome browser extension for notifications when you visit a website eligible for rewards
  • use coupons and promo codes (many inside Ebates) in addition to earning cash back to stack your savings
  • use the Ebates referral program and share it with your friends/family. You’ll earn a commission after their first purchase and they’ll get the $10 bonus too.

ebates reviews more cash back with credit card offer

Note: I only recommend using a credit card for people who have no problem paying off the balance in full every month. If you use a credit card but do not pay off the balance, the interest charges will likely void your cash back earnings

RAKUTEN FAQ

As I’ve used, shared, and researched for this Ebates review, there are some common questions I’ll answer for you right here:

Is RAKUTEN a Scam?

No. There’s no need to worry about Rakuten scams. According to the Better Business Bureau, Rakuten has been in business for 24+ years and has a B rating.

There are some Rakuten complaints from users, but the number is so low compared to the size of this company. Most complains were when customers felt entitled to money back that they did not receive. However, the vast majority of them have been resolved and Rakuten users continue to be extremely happy customers.

Is RAKUTEN safe?

Yes, it is safe and legal. Rakuten is basically the middle man between customer and the goods. They get a commission for your purchase, and they share some of that commission with you. I’ve safely used it for years.

Is RAKUTEN legit?

Yes. It is a legit money back program. Shop and buy things you normally would but click through Rakuten first, and you’ll get legit money back four times per year.

Is RAKUTEN free?

Yes. There are no fees to sign up for Rakuten. It only takes a minute or two to create an account and you can start earning cash back on your purchases today. There is nothing you have to pay for.

Is Rakuten Hard to Use?

No. It is so easy. I created a video when it was still called Ebates to show you just how easy it is to create an account, add the browser extension, and use it. Watch below to see how simple it is to use.

You’ll wonder why you waited so long to use it and wonder how much money you could have gotten back with all your online purchases!

RAKUTEN REVIEW – THE FINAL VERDICT

Using Rakuten is about as Common Cents as it gets. I’d give Ebates an A+ or 4.8 out of 5 stars.

As summarized in this Rakuten review, it is fantastic because:

  • you get cash back and more money in your wallet year round
  • you can save money on things you already buy, no need to spend extra money in order to “save”
  • it is EASY EASY EASY to use (none of us have time for anything complicated)
  • with the Chrome extension, you are notified when you’re on an eligible website, no need to remember to check
  • the rewards are in the form of cold hard cash, not points
  • there are over 2,500 stores, so everyone can find value in it
  • it finds promo codes for extra discounts and free shipping, in addition to cashback earnings
  • customer service is friendly and helpful
  • you get $10 bonus after making your first $25 purchase

True, there are a few excluded categories and you only get your rebate every three months, but I promise, once you start using Rakuten and see how fast the money adds up and how easy it is, you’ll wish you had started using it years ago.

Create Your Free Ebates Account And Get Your Free $10 Gift Card Today!

Related Money Tips on The Common Cents Club:

Cheers to smarter habits and loving life–without going broke,

Know someone who could use easy money from Ebates? Share it on your favorite social media platform. 

Val Breit

Val Briet helps women create a life they love with money hacks, productivity tips, unique gift ideas, and honest reviews to find products that are worth it!

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