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  • Post category:Money
  • Post last modified:December 29, 2020
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Sign up with Rakuten and Earn a $20 Bonus if you sign up NOW!

You’re going to spend money somewhere, right? Somehow, anyway – why not make money back from those purchases? This is why I decided on Rakuten as part 5 of my 12 Ways to Make Extra Money in 2020 series.

Edited 12/28/20 to update Rakuten Signup Bonus.

Today’s post will explain the cash back program, Rakuten (formerly Ebates) and will answer questions like:

Rakuten is formerly known as Ebates

What is Rakuten?

Rakuten (formerly known as eBates) is a program for shoppers to be able to earn a percentage of cash back on their regular purchases. Rakuten partners with select retailers to offer you deals when you shop through their website.

They are able to track your purchases when you launch the retailer’s website through your visit to the Rakuten website using cookies. Basically, they follow and track your shopping trip – they don’t see or record any payment information, but with the use of these cookies they can see that you shopped with that retailer from their site, and can credit your shopping trip within a few days. This tracking helps the retailers with giving them information about shoppers’ habits, what is most looked at, what times and days people prefer to shop, and more.

How do I sign up?

Click this link to go to the Rakuten page to sign up.

This link is my special referral link which makes sure you get the $10 bonus mentioned below. Fill out your profile, choose your cash back method and you’re ready to start earning money back!

unsplash-logoVictoria Heath

How do I use it?

You have three options in regards to your online shopping experience:

  • The Website
    • If using your computer to shop and use Rakuten: log on to your account, the main page will load and show you the featured stores/deals. You can either go right to the store you want to shop at by clicking on their link through the Rakuten site, or use the search option and search for the specific item you are looking for. The search window will then let you know what stores you can possibly find that item at and the percentages back that are available on purchases through that retailer.
    • Whichever route you take to choose a retailer, once you select that retailer, you’re brought to a page with information about what percent you get back, cash back terms, deals, and the “shop now” button. Once you select this you’ll be taken to the retailer’s website where you can browse products and make purchases as you normally would. This information will be followed by Rakuten and your shopping trip will be recorded. Upon approval the cash back amount will be added to your account for payout later.
  • The App
    • The Rakuten app is available for Android and iOS. It is great for those who do a lot of in store shopping, you can check offers while in the store. Occasionally you might find the online price is better, or sometimes you just want to see the item in person before ordering it. You can select to shop on the retailer’s website through your phone from anywhere! The same process then applies for approval and payout.
  • The Browser Button
    • To use the browser button, you will need to install the extension in your web browser and allow it whatever permissions it needs. This will alert you to deals you might not have seen; or if you forgot to go through the Rakuten website to visit the retailer of your choice, the extension will catch the percentage cash back deal for you.

Keep reading for more information on payouts.

What kinds of purchases can I get money back on?

Pretty much anything you can think of.

No, really, you can earn cash back on purchases made at retailers like Best Buy, Pier1, Pro Flowers, Adidas; even Bark Box, The Wall Street Journal, and Travelocity. That’s right, you can can earn money back on hotels, rental cars, and airfare.

You can also get up to 6% back on purchases made through Groupon! So, you can save with Groupon and earn cash back on your Groupon purchase. That’s a pretty sweet deal.

When/How will I get paid?

Payments arrive quarterly. You can choose to receive your payment either via PayPal or through what they refer to as your “BIG FAT CHECK”. The payment schedule is as follows:

  • January 1 – March 31 Shopping, Payment sent: May 15
  • April 1 – June 30 Shopping, Payment sent: August 15
  • July 1 – September 30 Shopping, Payment sent: November 15
  • October 1 – December 31 Shopping, Payment sent: February 15

unsplash-logoMaya Maceka

Get $20 back when you sign up!

Anyone who signs up for a Rakuten account will get $10 back on their first purchase of $25 or more if made within the first 90 days.


If you sign up with our referral link and then make a purchase of at least $20 (before tax and shipping) through one of their retailers within the first 90 days after signing up, you’ll get $20 back as a welcome bonus in your account. That means that your first $20 in purchases through Rakuten are actually FREE when you sign up via our link! We get a little bit back from Rakuten as well as a thank you. 

Rakuten: Final Thoughts

As you regularly use Rakuten (or at least browse the site to check on your favorite retailers), you’ll get a sense of what their usual cash back percentages are. When one of your favorite retailers has a higher than normal percent back, this may be the time to buy, especially if you’re combining that with store sales or a gift card you may have.

How you make use of your account is ultimately up to you. If you do most of your shopping from home, the combination of the website and the browser button may be best for you. If you don’t use a computer much, then the app may be your best bet. Regardless of HOW you access your account, what matters is that you access it and make sure to get that money BACK!

Even a casual shopper can benefit from Rakuten. If it takes you a while to build up a cash back bonus, then it takes a while – this isn’t a big deal, because you can still cash out when you hit the cash out amount. Give it a try and see what you can earn – especially with the $10 back when you spend $25 sign up bonus. Who doesn’t love a discount?

Sign up today and start getting cash back!

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