How Does Rakuten Work? And How to Make Money With It?

Are you wondering: How does Rakuten work? And How you can make money with it? Well, you came to the right place! Today, I want to share with you how Rakuten, one of my favorite money-saving tools, helps me save and make extra money with minimum effort.

As a stay-at-home mom who manages the household finances, I’m always interested in finding different ways to save money or make extra cash. That is why I’m publishing this Rakuten review and guide.

I have been using Rakuten for a while now, and I can say that it is not a scam at all! In fact, it is one of the best and easiest to use cash back programs out there. With Rakuten, I’ve learned how to save money at home and some ways to make extra income.

This guide will show you in simple terms how you can make money with Rakuten.

(This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you purchase an item through these links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Please read the full disclosure policy for more info.)

What is Rakuten?

Even if you haven’t heard of Rakuten, I’m sure you’ve heard of Ebates. Ebates changed its name to Rakuten, but the company still offers the same program with even more opportunities to make and save money.

In a nutshell, Rakuten is a shopping site that allows you to earn cash back for purchases you make online and in-store. It works with thousands of stores nationwide, and you can get up to 40% cash back from your shopping.

The company was founded since 1998 and it has paid its members over $1 billion in cash back! You can be part of Rakuten by joining for free and enjoy some serious savings and cash back for your online shopping!

How Does Rakuten Work?

Rakuten is super easy to use. In this guide, I’ll show you how Rakuten works and the different ways you can start using it and earning cash back.

First, you’ll need to visit and sign up for a FREE account. The process is very easy and takes less than a minute. Register for a free Rakuten account and get a $10 sign-up bonus with this link.

Here is what you’ll see once you visit Rakuten to sign up for your free account:

You will get a $10 welcome bonus for registering with Rakuten with the link above. You can choose to get either a $10 Walmart gift card or a $10 Rakuten cash bonus. I recommend choosing the $10 Rakuten cash bonus because you are not limited to using it only at Walmart.

You can use this money at any store within Rakuten’s program.

You will receive the $10 credit once you spend your first $25 online. This credit is FREE money that you can use anytime!

Once you set up your free Rakuten account, you’ll have different options for using it to start saving and earning money. Basically, when you want to make an online purchase, log in to your Rakuten account and search for the store you would like to buy from.

You will see tons of offers and promotions from every store that works with Rakuten. When you find the store you’re looking for, click the link, and Rakuten will take you to the retailer’s site, where you can finalize your online purchase.

After that, you will earn cash back for your purchase, and it will be added to your Rakuten account.

You will have the opportunity to choose how to redeem your cash back credits. Rakuten offers three options for payment: PayPal, check (Big Fat check), or American Express points. I have mine set up for PayPal because I believe it is the most practical way to get paid.

How Do You Make Money With Rakuten?

Making money with Rakuten is easy. Below are my two favorite and painless ways to earn cash back and snag some big savings. I suggest starting with these two options ASAP because they will help you maximize your earnings and savings.

Rakuten Mobile App

The Rakuten app helps you earn cash back anytime, anywhere. The app works on both iOS and Android devices. Install it on your smartphone and use it every time you make a purchase.

Once you have the app installed on your mobile device, search the app for the retailer you want to purchase from, click the link, and see the available offers. After you click the retailer’s link, you will be taken to the store’s site, where you will make your purchases like you normally do.

After your purchase is completed, Rakuten will automatically add you earned cash back to your account. It is a super easy process!

Remember, every store is different, and you can get up to 40% cash back for your entire purchase.

Rakuten Cash Back Button (Desktop):

The Rakuten Cash Back Button is the easiest way to earn cash back on autopilot. It works like an extension for your browser. You’ll need to install it only once, and then it will do the work for you by notifying you how much cash back you can earn from the website you visit.

For instance, let’s say that you have already downloaded and installed the Rakuten Cash Back Button extension on your browser. When you decide to make an online purchase, you do not need to go to and shop through its stores to get cash back.

Instead, go directly to the site you are interested in buying from, such as You will get a notification from the Cash Back Button reminding you to activate your available cash back! You just need to click the red Activate button, and you’ll get cash back for your whole purchase.

Here is what it will look like:


More Ways To Earn Extra Money With Rakuten

Rakuten offers its members more ways to earn cash back on purchases. Here are a few ways you can maximize your earnings.

In-Store Cash Back

With the in-store cash back option, you are not limited to online purchases. You can still enjoy some savings and earnings while purchasing at a brick-and-mortar store.

The in-store cash back option works along with the Rakuten mobile app. First, download and install the app on your mobile device. Then, open the app, sign in to your account, and scroll through In-Store the section.

Select the offer you want and then link a credit card that you will use for that offer. When you go to the store, use that linked card to earned cash back in your Rakuten account.

The only thing to be aware of is that your cash back needs to be confirmed by the store, which can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple weeks. Once the store confirms your purchase, your cash back will be deposited in your account.

Rakuten will send you an email letting you know that your cash back is on its way!

Double Cash Back Stores

Double Cash Back is another great Rakuten tool. Every day, Rakuten chooses a few stores and doubles their cash back for a limited time (usually 24 hours). I keep my app notifications turned on for Rakuten so that I don’t miss any offer from a store I’m interested in purchasing from.

Rakuten Cash Back Visa Card

The Rakuten Cash Back Visa® credit card makes saving even easier. You will earn an extra 3% cash back on qualifying purchases when you shop through Rakuten and use the Rakuten Cash Back Visa® credit card.

You can stack your cash back on top of any savings a particular store is offering. For example, if Kohl’s offers 6% cash back, you will get an additional 3% cash back when you use your Rakuten Visa credit card, making it a total of 9% cash back!

The card does not have an annual fee, its APR is a variable rate (currently at 26.49%), and it works with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Hot Deals

The Hot Deals section is where you can find coupons, promo codes, and daily deals. Rakuten offers this feature exclusively to its members. You can score some great deals such as free shipping, buy one get one free or BOGO’s, gift cards, free gifts, and much more!

Travel and Vacations

Rakuten works with a great variety of travel companies, so you can easily earn cash back. You can find places like Orbitz and Expedia and get cash back by booking your next trip. This includes earning cash back for hotels and lodging, flights, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages, and even airport parking reservations!

Refer and Earn Money

Accumulating some savings with Rakuten and earning cash back is great, but another great feature is that you can earn money by referring friends and family to the program. Rakuten will pay you $25 per referral! Not only that, but your referral will also earn a $10 welcome bonus after they make their first purchase. It is a win-win!

How to Save Money With Rakuten?

I have explained above the different tools you can use to make money with Rakuten. But the big advantage of joining Rakuten and using it is that its features can also help you save money and grab some great deals.

Follow some of the methods described in the previous section, and you will be on your way to some amazing savings. Features like Hot Deals are a great way to start saving money. Just go to and start your shopping experience!

Also, if you haven’t done it yet, I suggest downloading the app and installing the Cash Back Button extension, which I have found to be the most effective ways to start your savings.

After that, start searching for your favorite stores and explore all the advantages of using Rakuten to save money.

What Stores Are on Rakuten?

Rakuten works with over 2,500 stores nationwide that you can choose from to make your shopping easier.

Here are some of my favorite  partnered stores:

  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Amazon
  • Macy’s
  • Kohl’s
  • Best Buy
  • Sephora
  • Belk
  • Expedia
  • Old Navy
  • Walgreens
  • Overstock

This list is a tiny portion of all stores you can find at Rakuten, meaning that the possibility of earning cash back on different things is endless. I always suggest that if you are shopping for something, start by using Rakuten and see if you can earn cash back.

Is Rakuten a Scam?

Rakuten is not a scam. In fact, it is one of the most legit cash back sites out there—no gimmicks!

Like I mentioned before, I have been using it for a while and have made money without putting too much effort into it. Here is a screenshot from my account. You can see my lifetime cash back amount of $690.71 and my current cash back balance of $50. That’s almost $700 that I have accumulated just for using Rakuten for my purchases.

Not too bad considering I didn’t put in much effort! But truth be told, this is a nice amount of money to use for my next Christmas or holiday shopping!

With this in mind, I can confirm that Rakuten is not a scam. It is 100% legitimate. The company has been in the market for years, and it has been rewarding thousands of users every day for their purchases.

How Much Can You Make With Rakuten

The amount of money you can make with Rakuten is totally up to you. Remember, you have lots of opportunities to earn cash back; Rakuten works with over 2,500 retailers, including restaurants, pharmacies, and more!

You will also earn $25 every time you refer to a friend who wants to save money by using the site! Plus, they will get a $10 welcome bonus after they spend their first $25. If you add this to the savings you accumulate every time you shop online, then you’ll find that you have the potential to make good money with Rakuten!

Does Rakuten Cash Back Expire?

Personally, the cash back I have earned has never expired. Rakuten is always on time when sending payments.

I highly recommend setting your payments via PayPal, which is secure and free. That way, you do not have to track any checks in the mail. However, if you still prefer to get your “Big Fat check,” then I suggest checking your account and email often. Rakuten will let you know when your payment is on its way!

If your check gets lost, goes missing, is destroyed, or expires, you can always contact Rakuten Member Service, and they will replace it.

How Often Does Rakuten Send Money?

Rakuten pays its members on a regular basis, usually every quarter. It advises its members to complete the following steps to assure the payments on time:

  1. Complete your profile by adding a mailing address to your account and including a PayPal address. This can be done in your account settings on the Rakuten website or in the Rakuten app in the “Choose How to Get Paid” section.
  2. Earn over $5 in cash back so you can get paid in the next payment period. If the amount accumulated in your account is less than $5, it will roll over to the next payment period.

Here is a timetable of when to expect your next payment:

Purchase DatesPayment Date
Jan 1 – Mar 31May 15
Apr 1 – June 30Aug 15
July 1 – Sept 30Nov 15
Oct 1 – Dec 31Feb 15

How to Use Rakuten on Amazon?

These days, almost everyone makes at least one purchase per month on Amazon. The good news is that Rakuten has partnered with Amazon to help you earn cash back.

The only drawback is that not all Amazon categories qualify for cash back, and if they do, the cash back percentage varies according to the category. For instance, at the time of writing this post, the cash back amounts you can earn in some categories are as follow:

  • 3% on Pet & Food Supplies
  • 5% on Jewelry
  • 4% on Furniture
  • 4% on Home Improvement
  • 5% on Exclusive Apparel

Saving money and earning cash back while shopping and Amazon and using Rakuten is easy. First, visit or open your Rakuten mobile app and search for Amazon. You will find all the available coupons with the amount of cash back you can earn per category.

Then, click on the Amazon category you are interested in and shop as you would normally. Rakuten will apply any valid coupons to your purchase, and you will get your cash back the following day.

Conclusion: Rakuten Review

Rakuten has helped me save and make extra money since the day I created my account. As I mentioned before, Rakuten is not a scam, and it is totally worth it! You can use it to make extra money every single month.

The best part is that joining Rakuten is FREE, helping you save money and earn cash back by spending as you normally would. It doesn’t get any easier than that! Plus, you earn money for referring your friends and family to a program that will help them save money and earn cash back.

The sign-up process for Rakuten is easy and takes less than a minute to do it!

I highly recommend the program to anyone who wants to save money on purchases and make extra money every month. I hope this Rakuten review was helpful to you and that you’ve found the answers to most (if not all) of your questions.

Do you use Rakuten often? If so, which sites do you use the most to save money, and how much have you saved using Rakuten? I’d love to read your comments!

You can try Rakuten for free here and receive a $10 signup bonus, too!

Related Make Extra Money Articles:

How Does Rakuten Work? And How to Make Money with Rakuten (Ebates)

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