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Rakuten Review 2021. Is Rakuten Legit? (Cashback Site)

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Rakuten Review

rakuten logo

Rakuten is an online rewards program that enables users to earn cashback on their purchases at affiliated merchants. The platform has a browser extension which members can install to get coupon codes and updates on the latest deals and offers when they are shopping online. Rakuten is ideal for people who already shop online frequently and want to get some rewards from the things they already do.

Rating

4.6

Safe & Legit

Fees

Saving Potential

Ease of Use

Pros

  • High cashback potential – earn up to 40% cash back when shopping at some affiliated stores. On average, cashback tends to be between 3% to 8%.
  • Over 2500 partner stores – get cashback whenever you shop at any of Rakuten’s over 2500 affiliated online stores, such as Best Buy and Target.
  • 6 different ways to earn cashback – get cashback by using the Rakuten mobile app, using the cash back button, using the Rakuten credit card, and more.
  • Sign up bonus – get $10 for free when you sign up for an account on Rakuten and spend at least $25 within the first 90 days of joining the platform.

Cons

  • Long waiting time for payouts – cashback earned is only paid out to members 4 times per year, or once every quarter, via check or PayPal payment.
  • Long waiting time for cashback to clear – some stores may take up to 30 days before confirming your purchase, which could delay your cashing out.

Best Cashback Sites

Swagbucks

Swagbucks logo

18 ways to earn money – surveys, coupons, cashbacks + $5 sign up bonus

Up to 10% cashback from stores – Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, JCPenney

Most members can earn an extra $50 – $200 a month using Swagbucks

MyPoints

MyPoints logo

Earn a $10 Amazon Card with your first purchase (spend $20 to qualify)

MyPoints members get up to 40% back with every purchase at 2,000 stores

Extra ways to earn money – surveys, games, emails, watching videos

TopCashback

TopCashback logo

20 million members earn on average $345 cash back a year (4400 retailers)

Generous cashback offers and deals – up to 65% from some of retailers

Get notifications of latest deals with mobile app or browser extension

What is Rakuten?


Rakuten (previously known as Ebates) is the largest online shopping marketplace helping you to earn cash-backs on your regular online purchases. Rakuten first appeared on the market in 1997 and is striving to shape the way people shop ever since.

Today, Rakuten is offering you cash-backs, deals and shopping rewards on the world’s largest selection of products and services.

The reason Rakuten offers you cash-backs is simple. When you shop through Rakuten, brands like Amazon pay them the commission for referring you to them. Rakuten then splits this commission and pays you so-called cash-back to thank you for helping them out.

Is Rakuten Legit?


Getting cash-backs on your regular purchases sounds too good to be true. However, Rakuten is legit and trusted by reputable brands like Amazon, Old Navy, Nike, Sephora, Ray-Ban and many more.

Rakuten is rated A+ with Better Business Bureau and has a 4.1 out of 5-star rating on TrustPilot.

The company also takes all the necessary measures to comply with the General Data Protection Regulations.

Rakuten Sign Up Bonus


Rakuten offers you a $10 sign up bonus as a cash or gift card to thank you for joining the company. To claim your bonus, first, you need to sign up on Rakuten.com or using a mobile app.

Once you spend at least $25 through Rakuten within 90 days, the $10 bonus will be applied to your account.

How Does Rakuten Work?


Step 1 – Start at Rakuten

Use the Rakuten website or Rakuten app (on iOS or Android) to choose the store you want to shop for.

Step 2 – Shop like usual

Once you place an order, Rakuten will automatically add a cash-back to your account.

Step 3 – Get paid

Rakuten will pay you either through PayPal or with a check, it’s your choice.

How Much Cashback You Can Get for Rakuten Purchases?


The amount of cash-backs you can get for your purchases with Rakuten varies from store to store. Let’s review some of the most popular brands and how much cash-back they offer you for Rakuten purchases below.

  1. Nike – you can get 8% cash-back on qualifying orders.
  2. Samsung – you can get 3% cash-back on categories like mobile phones & accessories, tablets, laptops, wearables and home appliances. And 2% cash-back on TVs & home theater and other categories.
  3. AT&T – currently offers cash-back of up to $150
  4. Sephora – you can shop most cosmetics brands on Sephora online with a 6% cash-back.
  5. Macy’s – shopping at Macy’s can get you a 1.5% cash-back on furniture and mattresses and 3% on all other categories.
  6. Ray-Ban – Rakuten offers 4% cash-back for purchases from Ray-Ban along with official discounts of up to 50%.
  7. Anker – along with discounts of up to 60%, you will get a 4% cash-back.
  8. Groupon – cash-back on Groupon is currently up to 6%.
  9. Canva –  you will get 40% cash-back when you sign up for Canva paid subscription
  10. Postmates – get $5 off your first 5 orders and additional cash-back of up to $7 from Rakuten.

What Are Other Ways to Earn with Rakuten?


Rakuten Cash-Back Visa card

Rakuten offers you a free Visa card so you can earn even more cash-backs every day. You will get a $10 bonus for your first purchase with a Rakuten Visa card. 

You will earn an additional $1 cash-back everywhere, where payments with Visa are accepted. 

The card also gives you an opportunity to get back an additional 3% on qualifying orders through Rakuten.com, In-store, Rakuten Travel and Rakuten Hotels.

In-store cash-back

Rakuten allows you to earn cash-backs even when you shop in physical stores. Cash-back of up to 6% is available in 77 shops, including H&M, Guess, Intimissimi, Gap, BareMinerals and many more.

You can check out the full list of available stores as well the amount of cash-back each one offers here. To claim in-store cash-backs, you need to link the offer to your debit card using the Rakuten app.

Hot deals

Hot Deals feature special discounts, including the following:

  • Buy Online, Pick Up in Store – lets you purchase something online and pick it up in store to eliminate the time needed to ship the item.
  • Free Gifts – shows you which shops are offering free gifts with qualifying purchases.
  • Free Shipping – shows you how to qualify for free shipping for certain stores.
  • Gift Cards – allows you to earn cash-backs on gift card purchases.
  • Buy One, Get One (BOGO) – shows you where to find BOGO deals with popular brands.

Events and Double Cash Back

Rakuten offers double cash-backs on certain stores. This means you will get what you could have earned in these stores doubled. This is a great option for when you want to shop, but don’t have a certain store in mind. You can check out which shops Rakuten features for Double Cash-Back promotion.

Refer Friends

When you refer a friend to Rakuten, both you and your friend will get paid. Use this link to refer Rakuten to a friend. Your friend will get $10 when he/she joins Rakuten with your referral link. And you will get $25 once your friend spends at least $25 using Rakuten.

When Does Rakuten Pay Out?


Rakuten will release the funds from your account to your PayPal or mail you a check quarterly, according to the schedule below. 

QUARTERPAYMENT SENT
Jan 1 – Mar 31May 15
Apr 1 – Jun 30Aug 15
Jul 1 – Sep 30Nov 15
Oct 1 – Dec 31Feb 15

Rakuten Pros & Cons


Pros

  • Easy to use. Whether you’re using the Rakuten website, mobile app or chrome extension, shopping with Rakuten is extremely easy.
  • Cash-back on your regular purchases. Rakuten has cash-back offers from thousands of stores. This allows you to get cash-backs when purchasing the products that you had planned to buy anyway.
  • Great variety of shops to choose from. Rakuten offers you cash-back deals in more than 2,500 stores.

Cons

  • Quarterly payout. Rakuten releases your cash-backs only according to its schedule. This means it might take months before you can access your money.
  • May encourage impulse buying. Getting a cash-back is intimidating. It might encourage people to spend more than they wanted to and buy stuff they didn’t need.

Rakuten Alternatives


Rakuten vs Ibotta

Ibotta Summary

  • 2 ways to earn – app or browser extension
  • Earn up to 30% cash back on purchases
  • Get a $5 bonus by referring friends
  • Over 1500 stores you can earn cash back at

Ibotta mainly helps you save on your grocery purchases. Ibotta shows you the coupons and offers that you can download to your Ibotta app. After you finish shopping, you need to scan the receipt in order to redeem any eligible offers. 

Unlike Ibotta, Rakuten is much more diversified offering you coupons and promotions on various shopping categories.

Rakuten vs Honey

Both Rakuten and Honey offer many of the same features, but your choice depends on what you want to buy and which company offers you a better deal for your needs.

Rakuten vs BeFrugal

BeFrugal Summary

  • Guaranteed to have the highest cashback
  • More than 5000 stores to get cashback
  • Over 5 different ways to get rewards
  • 6 different ways to cash out your earnings

BeFrugal is another alternative to Rakuten. However, in the debates between Rakuten vs BeFrugal, Rakuten is a clear winner. Compared to BeFrugal, Rakuten offers more deals that are profitable for you and is more reputable.

Rakuten vs TopCashBack

Just like Rakuten, TopCashBack offers you discount codes, special sales and cash-backs when you shop with different retailers. However, Rakuten is more robust and reputable among shoppers.

Is it Worth Signing up with Rakuten?


If you are a frequent shopper and would like to earn rewards on your purchases, Rakuten is definitely worth joining.

However, I recommend using Rakuten to purchase only the products you had planned to buy anyway. Don’t shop just because of a cash-back offer.

Make sure you read the cash-back terms as they usually contain important exclusions of getting the advertised cash-back.

Rakuten

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