How do I make money with Rakuten?

(updated 11/22/2022)

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Click through Rakuten when shopping online and after you make a purchase, your Rakuten account will be credited. You will make a percentage of the total amount of your purchase price, depending on what percentage Rakuten is offering at the given time of purchase.

Do you use Rakuten (formerly called Ebates)? The popular cashback site and the app is a must-haves for people trying to save money and live frugally. In this post you will learn, more about how to use Rakuten and the following:

  • earn money shopping
  • what are the catches with Rakuten
  • pros and cons of Rakuten
  • how to make the most of Rakuten


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Don’t have time to read? Sing up for Rakuten here and start earning money back:

Keep reading to find out how to save and make money with Rakuten and earn a sign-up bonus.

As a frugal living blogger, I love finding ways for my readers to save or earn money. Rakuten is a site I have been using for around four years and it really helps put money back in my pocket when shopping online. It is one of my favorite cash-back apps. Check it out.

How Much Money Do You Make With Rakuten?

When learning how to make money with Rakuten, you should think about your online shopping habits. Although there are some opportunities to get cashback on in-store purchases, you will most likely be shopping online with Rakuten. According to Oberlo, 1.8 billion people shopped online in 2018 alone and projections show sales will be around $4.8 trillion in 2021. My guess is, you will probably be doing some online shopping this year, so why not earn money back?

If you shop online frequently, you can make a lot more money. And if you are in the market for big-ticket items such as a television, vacation, or computer, these items will earn you more cash back. Basically, the more you spend, the more you earn.

Yet, it also depends on the percentage back the store is offering at the given time of purchase and these percentages frequently increase during the holidays, being right before black Friday up until Christmas. Since most of us are buying gifts, December is a great month to earn using Rakuten. There are also double-cash back days and other sales where percentages go up for certain sales, so be on the lookout.

The first amount you earn will be your sign-up bonus. At times, this bonus is up to $30 and sometimes more during the Holiday season. Last year, people were able to score a $40 sign-up bonus during the month of December. The only catch with Rakuten sign-up bonus at that time is you had to make a $25 purchase to earn it. However, on average most of us spend WAY more than that during the holiday season or on our monthly online orders, especially since Covid online shopping hit.

What is Rakuten and How Does It Work?

Rakuten is a website that helps the consumer, earn money back while shopping online and in-store (for some stores). If you want to earn money back you can take the following steps:

  1. Sign up for Rakuten here
  2. Click through the Rakuten app, or website, or install the chrome extension before shopping.
  3. Shop your favorite stores as you would regularly
  4. Complete your purchase
  5. Wait for the money to show up in your account
  6. Get paid with Paypal or check quarterly

It is as simple as that. You can earn money by using Rakuten to shop and the list of stores is extremely large, so your favorite stores are sure to be on the Rakuten list.

How to Earn Money Using Rakuten

What Deos Rakuten Mean?

Rakuten is a Japanese word meaning “optimism” which is a great name for a company that gives you money back.

Why did Rakuten Change its Name? Are Rakuten and Ebates the Same

Yes, Rakuten, formerly named Ebates, is still the same great cashback site with a new name.

Ebates is one of the many companies under the Rakuten umbrella and it is now joined by Rakuten under the same name.

Rakuten Payment Methods

You can choose which way you would like to be paid by Rakuten. Currently, there are two methods: Paypay or a Big Fat Check in the mail.

Just go to your account settings to select how you would like to be paid.

I have been getting a “Big Fat Check” up until recently when I switched to Paypal.

It is literally a “Big Fat Check” in the mail every quarter. Look what just came:

How to get paid with Rakuten


Rakuten Big Fat Check Schedule

Rakuten pays quarterly, so you can expect a check or Paypal deposit four times per year if you meet the threshold of $5. This payment schedule is one downside to Rakuten, but I like to think of these payments are “fun” money or Christmas money. Here are the times you should expect to be paid out:

Jan. 1 – March 31 – Payment May 15

April 1 – June 30 – Payment August 15

July 1 – Sept. 30 – Payment November 15

Oct. 1 – Dec. 31 – February 15

Rakuten also sends you an email when you have been paid or your check has been mailed.

What’s the Catch With Rakuten

The only catch with Rakuten is if you want your sign-up bonus, you have to actually use the app or site on your desktop.

Many prefer to add the Rakuten browser extension, so they never forget to use it. I have forgotten to click through before and was so disappointed I missed out on cashback. That is why I ended up installing the Rakuten Chrome browser extension.

Also, Rakuten will send you emails from time to time. The emails do not necessarily bother me, because I like to see what different stores are offering. They will let you know if your favorite stores are in the “double cash back” sale or have a higher percentage back for a few days. It helps you decide if a purchase is worth it.


Is Rakuten a Rip-Off or a Scam?

In short, Rakuten is not a rip-off or a scam. It has been given a 5-star rating by the better business bureau and I have personally been using it for over four years with no problems.

What is the Downside to Rakuten?

The main downside to Rakuten is when you forget to use it. Sometimes it is annoying when you are shopping around and adding things to your cart, and then you remember you should have clicked through Rakuten. It is a little annoying on your phone, but you can still click through Rakuten and your cart will remain intact until you check out. This is the only downside I have noticed.

One time I did not see my cashback right away so I contacted support. They promptly put the money in my Rakuten account and let me know that sometimes the store does not report your purchase and it can take a few days.

They didn’t want me to wait so they just gave me the credit. I was glad because I specifically used them during the Holidays during a multiplier day and got $18 back for that one shopping trip to buy my Christmas presents.

What Do You Use Rakuten For The Most?

I personally use Rakuten the most for buying clothing. Yet, we learned after using it for a while that you can also use it on travel sites like Priceline or Hotwire. When booking a trip, it really pays to use Rakuten because you are usually spending more than average; therefore you will earn more back. Here are a few other ways we use Rakuten:

  • buying clothing
  • buying food online
  • planning trips
  • rental cars
  • hotel rooms
  • electronics

Can I Use Rakuten at Walmart?

Yes, you can use Rakuten at Walmart. In fact, Walmart and Rakuten have a partnership. You can buy it through and pick it up in-store to earn cashback. So if you do your grocery shopping at Walmart, that is free money for buying groceries.

Don’t forget to double-dip cashback and use Ibotta to earn even more moeny back.

Rakuten Pros and Cons

As with any site or business, Rakuten has its pros and cons. Fortunately, there are more pros than cons and although there is a downside to Rakuten, it is still one of my favorite cashback sites

Rakuten Pros

  • Sign-up bonus
  • money back
  • free money for something you do anyway
  • great customer service
  • referral bonuses
  • easy to use
  • no coupon clipping

Rakuten Cons

  • emails
  • percents change
  • $5 minimum payment threshold
  • only pays quarterly

Is Rakuten Safe?

Yes, Rakuten is safe to use. I have been using it for over four years with no issues. Rakuten uses your information to set up your account and also collects data when you make a purchase and tracks online shopping trips so you can get paid. I have never had an issue with Rakuten being a safe online company.

Rakuten is a company that started in Japan in 1997 as an e-commerce site. It started with only six employees but has not expanded and has over 1.2 billion members worldwide.

Rakuten App – Another Way to Earn Money

If you want another way to earn money with Rakuten, besides clicking through your account or installing the chrome extension, you can also download the app to your phone. Often people are buying on mobile and you definitely do not want to forget to use Rakuten. So before you shop download and click through the Rakuten app to ensure you get your cashback.

Can I Use Rakuten on Amazon?

Unfortunately, Amazon does not offer cashback at this time. If this changes, I will update the post. Check out the other best stores listed below.

What are the best stores in Rakuten?

There are over 2500 stores in Rakuten. Some stores offer more money back than others. Target is my favorite store, yet it typically does not have a high percentage back. Yet, Walmart and Macy’s frequently offer 6% back on purchases.

If you are buying a high-ticket item, make sure to check if the store is listed on Rakuten. This could help you determine where to buy your high-ticket items because different stores offer different percentages back. For example, if you buy something from Best Buy and they are currently offering 6% back, and your item costs $1000, you will earn $60 back on your purchase. Keep in mind that can be stacked with other coupon codes and sales. Yet, our percent back will be determined by the amount you paid at checkout.

Other Saving Money Posts

What is Rakuten Gift Care Store?

If you are like me and often buy gift cards for gifts, this is your one-stop shop. Why? Because you can actually earn money back by buying gift cards. Some of the feature gift cards with current percents back (subject to change) are as follows:

  • Bath and Body 5%
  • Petco 10%
  • Ulta 5%
  • Lowe’s 3%
  • Michaels 7%
  • REI 7%
  • Crate and Barrel 5%

These are just a few, but double-check before you buy a gift card and earn cashback. You can also buy gift cards for yourself if you shop at a certain store frequently. For example, if you buy your make-up at Ulta or craft supplies at Michaels, you can buy the gift card, earn money back, and still use your store coupons when you make your purchase.

At this time, these are only offered as e-gift cards so you will need an email address.

Can I Earn Money Back On Rakuten in Restaurants?

You can earn money back at Restaurants by buying restaurant gift cards through Rakuten. There are several gift cards for popular restaurants including the following:

  • Dominos
  • TGI Fridays
  • Buffalo Wildwings
  • Door Dash
  • Chilis

Keep in mind, if you are trying to save on eating out, you can pair these gift cards with coupons to make them last longer.

Sign up and Start Saving With Rakuten Today

How to Make Money With Rakuten in 2023 Final Thoughts…

As we have walked you through, you now know how to make money with Rakuten. Your best bet is to sign up, make your purchase, and earn a signup bonus. Then add the chrome extension and app to your phone, so you don’t forget to use it for future purchases. Check your account to watch your “Big Fat Check” grow and wait for your money in the mail. It’s that easy. Don’t forget to sign up today.

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