Do you want to know how you can save money while shopping online? In this Rakuten review, you will learn how to save extra while having the time of your life shopping. You are combining the best of two worlds – shopping while saving money.
Online shopping is now more popular than ever.
With shopping online, you lessen the hassle of going to the mall or the shop. It allows you to shop 24/7 in the comfort of your home. There are many varieties and deals to choose from just by using your mobile phones and laptops.
No more long lines and you are safe from the dangers of the pandemic. Safety with the bonus of saving time and money. A very convenient way to do your shopping.
But do you want more? Then, let’s talk about Rakuten.
Rakuten does online shopping on a bigger and different scale. You can save money while purchasing online.
How? Through cashback while buying anything online! But, there is more! Yes. That’s just not it. Rakuten also has many promotions where you can get incentives, perks, and a lot more.
All of these are explained in this review. Let’s find how. Start shopping now and save money in the process!
What is Rakuten?
Rakuten, previously known as Ebates, was founded way back in 1997. Rakuten is an online retailing company based in Tokyo, Japan. Hiroshi Mikitani founded it.
While Rakuten first started as just a simple e-commerce platform that connected brands and customers, much like how the big platforms like eBay and Amazon do, the brand has since then evolved into something much more.
Instead of hosting products on their platform like other e-commerce sites do, Rakuten instead offers brands the ability to reach customers directly. At the same time, Rakuten incentivizes the customers with substantial cashback on every purchase they make. Rakuten is famous for its cashback rewards.
Now, that’s one excellent marketing scheme.
So, if you’re someone who shops online, you could end up saving a lot of money by using the platform the next time you make your purchase. And in this Rakuten review, we’re going to explain precisely how you can take advantage of this platform and what kind of returns you can expect from it.
How Does Rakuten Work?
Rakuten functions as an affiliate marketing service since each purchase made through Rakuten earns the company a commission. The company uses this commission to attract more shoppers to its platform.
Instead of keeping the commissions, Rakuten shares a significant portion of it with the customers. They do this by paying out cash rewards on almost all products or services you buy on their platform. Cashback depends on the products you purchased with them.
So, the more products you buy, the more cash rewards you can earn.
So, say if you bought a shirt online with your credit card (American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Amex, etc.). When you use the Rakuten app or store, you will get a percentage of the money you spent as cashback redeemed after the purchase. This is an excellent way to save money while shopping.
You end up paying less for the product, and as they say: money saved is money earned!
However, keep in mind that it isn’t the same as getting a discount on the product when you get cashback. A discount is a reduction in the retail price of a product applicable at the time of purchase. In the case of a cashback, the total amount is paid up-front, and the agreed percentage is then paid back to you at a later date.
The company essentially offers you rebates on all your purchases, which is free money. That is why I love cashback shopping, the payout is legit, and you can pay your other purchases with that.
Sign up here to get your $30 bonus
How and When Can I Redeem my Cashback?
Most cashback programs make payments per month or even with every purchase you make. However, Rakuten doesn’t follow this per month or per purchase strategy.
Instead, Rakuten pays out all customers ’ earned cash quarterly, making four big payments to you in a year instead of 12 smaller amounts if they were to pay monthly. And with this, you will be able to save you cashback.
This is the basic payment schedule that Rakuten follows when making payments to its members:
|Quarter||Purchases Made Between||Date Paid|
|1||Jan 1st – March 3rd||May 15th|
|2||April 1st – June 30th||August 15th|
|3||July 1st – September 30th||November 15th|
|4||October 1st – December 31st||February 15th|
It makes these payouts directly to your PayPal account that you linked at sign up, or by sending you a paycheck in the mail, which you can deposit in your bank account yourself to redeem it.
You can immediately spend the free cash you have earned or cash out your check and save it for when you need it.
Is Using Rakuten a Good Part-Time Side Hustle for Earning Passive Income?
While Rakuten is a great way to save money whenever you shop at online stores for products or services, we would like to clear any misconceptions about it being a good way to earn extra cash from a passive income gig. It only lets you save additional money from buying products on the platform through cashback. Cashback is a way to save money but cannot be misinterpreted to earn more money.
Strictly speaking, Rakuten is not suitable for a part-time money-making gig.
The biggest reason for this is that you have to shop online and spend money on products to earn cashback. So, while you didn’t have to work to earn money, you’re still suffering a net loss if all you wanted from Rakuten was extra cash.
That’s not what Rakuten is good for. It is strictly a service that lets you save money every time you shop online, not a service that makes you money with every buck you spend. So, if you love online shopping, using Rakuten would definitely save you a lot of money.
How Does Rakuten Make Money?
Of course, you might be wondering how Rakuten can even afford to pay its customers the generous payouts that it makes.
Well, Rakuten works much like an affiliate marketing company. A business that earns a commission from brands on every product it refers a customer to. So, every time you purchase a product, Rakuten makes a profit from the stores on their platform.
They function much like advertisers. Except that instead of being paid a salary for promoting a product, they’re paid a portion of customer’s purchases. So, how much they earn depends on how much you as a customer shop online using Rakuten.
In Rakuten’s case, the unique twist is that it offers customers a share of that commission it earns from brands. Instead of keeping everything they earn for themselves, they split profits with customers. It costs them in the short run since they lose money with every referral they make.
However, on a closer review of Rakuten, you learn that offering customers perks like cashback is the reason why the company has been so successful over the years. It’s only logical that any person would love it when they receive something back from their purchase items. This strategy will surely attract more people to use your platform. And this will surely persuade people to use your service again and again.
Because it’s a service that ultimately saves customers money when they shop online, it has a much larger user base than other affiliate platforms. So, while they make less money on each purchase, Rakuten makes up for that deficit by receiving more customers than the average affiliate marketing company.
How Do I Start Using Rakuten?
You may be wondering how you start using Rakuten. To start using Rakuten, you first need to create an account on their platform. You can do this by signing up on their website or installing the Rakuten app on your phone.
During sign-up, you’ll need to register yourself with an email address and set up a password. You can also join the platform by simply using your Facebook, Google, or Apple ID login. It is straightforward. Everyone can do it and can start shopping right away.
If you’ve been referred to the platform by a friend or relative, then enter their referral code when signing up to the site. You can get a welcome bonus when you spend $30 after you sign up. Then, every referral will earn you $30.
Referrals help you get perks and benefits, including a welcome bonus, so if you like using Rakuten, be sure to spread the word and your referral code so you can benefit when someone you know joins Rakuten.
Sign up here to get your $30 bonus
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll have the option of viewing available products and services right there on the Rakuten app or webpage. You can search for brands, promotions, or even products that you’re looking for, and Rakuten will show you all the available items, along with their price and the cashback you’d receive on buying them.
On clicking a product, you’ll be directed to the brand’s specific e-commerce or Amazon page, using which you can make your purchase and claim your cashback. It is very easy, just follow the steps and start saving money from your purchase.
Once you’ve bought and paid for a product, the cash you’ve earned is visible on your Rakuten Dashboard, which you can check and manage to specify how you would like to be paid (PayPal with a linked credit card or bank account, or paycheck in the mail).
Using the Rakuten app or website isn’t the only way to shop. On sign up, Rakuten recommends you install an extension on your browser that automatically shows you a deal (if any) while you’re buying on other sites. Because you never know what deals you might be missing out on. We highly recommend you download the extension when the prompt is shown.
Sign up here to get your $30 bonus
What Stores Partner with Rakuten?
Rakuten partners with a vast number of stores to provide you with the products you want, from cosmetic and beauty products at Sephora to groceries from Walmart to clothes from Andrew Mark, to even services like Disney+. Now, Rakuten has almost 2,500 stores to cater for your shopping needs.
There’s a wide variety of brands you can choose from.
Some of the biggest brands partnered with Rakuten are:
- Best Buy
Is Rakuten Free?
While Rakuten could potentially have made quite a lot of money by incorporating a subscription fee, they’ve opted instead to keep signing up and using the platform absolutely free. You don’t have to pay to sign up or use Rakuten, so you keep any extra cash you earn.
For all the cash-back rewards Rakuten offers, it’d suck if you had to pay first to join the platform. So, don’t worry, Rakuten is free. No strings attached. All you need to pay is the item you wish to purchase from their app or website. No other process is involved, and you can easily earn your cashback rewards.
Is Rakuten Safe?
One of the biggest concerns we came across when writing this Rakuten review was whether Rakuten was a scam and safe to use. With online scams and other attacks growing more elaborate by the day, it’s hard not to see why people would be apprehensive whenever a service claims to earn them some extra cash.
Rest assured, however, that Rakuten is not a scam and that any offers you avail to earn cashback are legitimate and do end up with money eventually reaching your hands. Rakuten does take longer than others with their payouts, but you always do get the cash.
Pros & Cons in Using Rakuten
Here are the pros and cons of using Rakuten.
Pros of Rakuten
- Easy to use app, website, and browser extension
- You can earn $30 as a sign-up bonus
- Earn $30 per referral
- Coupling with Rakuten Visa credit card gets you even more of a cashback reward.
- Stores offer cashback of up to 20%
Cons of Rakuten
- Cashbacks only released quarterly
- Platform structure may encourage overspending and impulse buying
- Stores can have “exempt” items, ones that don’t have cash back on them. Watch out for that when making a purchase.
Multiple platforms offer a similar service to Rakuten. Some of the best cash-back services are:
So, if after reading this Rakuten Review, you feel like this platform isn’t for you, then we highly recommend you check out these alternatives to see if they’d be any good instead.
Summary: Rakuten Review – Is it Worth Signing Up For?
After using Rakuten for a couple of months, the platform has proven itself. It’s a great way to save money on a daily basis.
When you want to save money, pay off your debt, or want to invest more money? A little casback can go a long way and Rakuten is the perfect platform for you.
Online shopping has a lot of perks and benefits. Online shopping platforms offer a lot of features to attract potential customers.
Rakuten is definitely one of them. It is one of the more famous platforms due to its cashback every time you purchase using the Rakuten platform. This means you save money every time you click on the button and shop. This is a real winning formula for any customer browsing the web.
Try Rakuten now! And experience for yourself these cashbacks for your every shopping need. You know you want to, right?
Want To Save With Rakuten?
Sign up here to get your $30 bonus & start saving money shopping online.
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
- Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
- Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
- Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.