Is Rakuten Legit? An Honest Rakuten Review!
If you are here then you most likely know what Rakuten is and in this Rakuten review we are going to answer the question, is Rakuten legit?
Most people know Rakuten as the cash-back app, which used to be called Ebates.
But, Rakuten is actually so much more! Rakuten is a large company that offers a cash-back service, travel service, call/messaging service, video streaming service, etc…
In this post, we are going to mostly talk about the Rakuten cash-back service (which I’m sure you want to read about) but I will also go over some of the other services to get an answer to the question, is Rakuten legit.
Listen, we all have to spend money. Even if you are the most frugal person, there still are things you need to buy.
Also, there are things you might just want that will make you happy and there is nothing wrong with that!
But, you should always look for ways to save money, right? And this is where Rakuten comes in with its cash-back service.
So, let’s jump right into this Rakuten review and answer the question “is Rakuten legit?”…
What Is Rakuten?
Before we get into all the details about using Rakuten to save money let’s dig a little deeper into Rakuten…
Rakuten is a global e-commerce company based in Japan that has been operational since 1997.
They operate in over 30 countries, run over 70 businesses/services, and have around 1.4 billion combined members.
Rakuten is partnered with 1,000’s of companies and they have great ratings from customers and partners!
In 2014, Rakuten acquired Ebates (the cash-back site) but Ebates wasn’t fully rebranded to Rakuten Rewards until 2019.
Rakuten is a large conglomerate that operates many different services and is seen as a trustworthy company by over a billion members!
Now to answer the question…
Is Rakuten Legit?
Rakuten is a completely legit company and their cash-back service has highly rated reviews and I recommend using it to save money when shopping.
They are a completely legitimate and trustworthy company that offers many different services!
Rakuten cash-back is definitely not a scam, I have been using this service for a few years and haven’t had any issues receiving my cash-back.
Plus, with a rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 on Trust Pilot, I’m definitely not the only one that thinks highly of Rakuten.
Super Money Tip: Sign up to Rakuten here and get $10 for free when you sign up with my link!
How To Use Rakuten
Sign up for your free Rakuten account here and get $10 just for signing up!
You can choose from a $10 Walmart gift card or $10 in Rakuten cash (which can be cashed out).
Sign up easily with your Google account, Facebook account, Apple account or you can create a Rakuten account manually.
You will only receive the $10 if you make purchases totaling at least $25 within 90 days of signing up.
If you use an ad-blocker you need to add Rakuten to the exception list so it doesn’t prevent you from getting cashback.
Locate the store you want to shop at and notice the cashback offers, and just select shop now.
Rakuten will redirect you to the site where you want to shop and then shop as you normally would.
Take note of the exclusions and also stores may have categories that don’t offer cash-back, for example, Macy’s:
When browsing offers on Rakuten you will notice that some offers have a coupon code that can be used at checkout.
Just copy and paste the code at checkout and you will save money while getting cash back!
There is an easier way to use these coupons and I will cover it next.
You can check your cash-back rewards in your account details but be mindful that it might take a few hours to a few days to get your cashback.
If there are any issues you can use the Rakuten cash-back tracker.
Simple as that, make money with Rakuten for items you would have bought anyway!
There is also the Rakuten app so you can shop from your phone or tablet.
Stay with me, we will go in-depth into the app soon…
Rakuten Browser Extension
Okay, I know what you’re thinking, “now when I want to shop I have to remember to go to Rakuten first?!”
Well if you are shopping from your computer there is a much easier way to use Rakuten.
Download the Rakuten browser extension, for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge, and sign in if you need to.
Make sure the extension is active and that’s It!
Now just go straight to the website you want to shop at and you will see a pop-up from Rakuten saying to activate cash-back.
If you don’t see the pop-up, cash-back may not be available for that store.
Click the activate button and then Rakuten will redirect you back to the shopping website.
You will then see your cash-back activated.
Now just shop for whatever you were going to shop for and you will get free money with Rakuten for doing so!
Also, let’s talk about their money-saving coupons!
If there is a coupon available you will see this Rakuten pop-up when you are checking out:
Just click Apply Coupons and watch the magic happen, you just saved money and got some cash-back!
It’s that easy!
Now, let’s check out how you can get cashback from Rakuten when shopping in stores…
This whole online shopping thing is cool but what if I feel like going to the mall or a store and shop?
Well, Rakuten thought of that also.
This option is called In-Store cash-back and you will get cash-back for shopping in stores.
Simple as that!
Once you see your desired store just click on Link Offer and then you will see the “Add a New Card” screen.
You will need to add a debit card or credit card to be used to get the in-store cash-back (you can add multiple cards).
I recommend using a debit card first.
Once you know how to use credit cards efficiently then you can add a credit card, which can have some added benefits.
I will go over this soon stick with me.
Rakuten supports most AMEX, Visa, and Mastercards. They don’t support Discover cards at this time.
It’s important to note that when using a debit card with In-Store cash-back, you need to shop by selecting credit not debit so the cash-back can be tracked.
If you select debit you will not get the cash-back. Keep this in mind!
An alternate way to add your card to Rakuten is to go to My Account and then go to My Wallet and add a new card.
It is important to note that some stores do not offer In-Store cash-back.
Once you have your store, all you have to do is click “Link” and the cash-back will be linked to your card.
Just shop and pay with the linked credit or debit card and you will earn cashback!
Rakuten Dining Cashback
Another great feature Rakuten offers is cashback for eating out!
You will need to get the Rakuten app to use this feature because Rakuten will need access to your location for this to work.
All you need to do is activate the offer for a restaurant you want to eat at and then shop with a linked card.
You will then get the cashback deposited into your Rakuten account.
Rakuten Travel & Vacations
Along with getting cashback on clothes, electronics, furniture, food, etc… you can also get cash back on hotels, flights, and entire vacation packages!
You can get cash back on big travel sites like Priceline, Travelocity, Expedia, etc…
I love to travel and with Rakuten, I can get cash back easily on my flights, hotels, and car rentals!
Now if you still wondering, is Rakuten legit? It definitely is! With Rakuten, you can get cashback on pretty much anything!
If you haven’t done so already sign up for your Rakuten account here and get $10 free!
Then download the Rakuten app either for your iOS or Android device.
Login to the Rakuten app with your account info or sign up here if you need to.
You will then be at the Rakuten home screen where you will see different stores and deals.
As you scroll down you will see the different categories such as Double Cash Back Stores, Favorites & Recently Visited, Trending Stores, etc…
If you know what store you are looking for just search for it using the search bar at the bottom of the app.
For in-store and dining cashback click on the search bar and then click on the map picture and this will launch a screen with options on the top for the in-store and dining menus.
If you are looking for in-store offers just click on the in-store menu option and then you’ll see all the options. Link the store you want to shop at and that’s it!
For cashback on dining, you will need to grant the Rakuten app access to your location, once you do this you will see all the restaurants nearby that offer cashback for dining with them.
Just link a restaurant to your card and then after you dine with them you will get cashback automatically!
To access the different categories in Rakuten and your account settings click on the profile image on the top left.
Now how does online shopping work within the app?
Let’s run through a quick example:
Say I needed some work clothes, I will go to the Rakuten app and look under the Double Cash Back Stores to see some of the best deals.
Okay, I selected Macy’s to shop at. Rakuten will load Macy’s website directly in the Rakuten app so you can shop.
In some cases, Rakuten will redirect you to your web browser but it will not open the store’s app if you have it installed.
Now just shop like you normally would and you will get free money for shopping!
Also, I’m sure you see the options for deals on the bottom right.
When you click on deals you will see all the deals the store currently has and all the available coupons.
For coupons, all you have to do is select copy code and then paste the coupon code at checkout and you just saved money while getting cash back!
If you are choosing a deal then it will say shop now, when you click on it you will be redirected to the page for whatever deal you selected.
It’s that easy! That’s it. You will get cashback for simply shopping, simple as that!
Check your cash-back amount by going to My Account in the Rakuten menu.
You also have the option to track your cashback there.
Super Money Tip: If you haven’t signed up for Rakuten as yet what are you waiting for?!
With Rakuten you will get $10 for free and you will get cash back easily on your purchases!
Let’s check out a way you can make money on Rakuten…
Rakuten Referral Program
Now that we answered the question “is Rakuten legit” and we now know that Rakuten is an awesome cashback service, it’s time to share it with friends and family!
Rakuten has a great referral program that will give you $25 for each person you refer!
The person you refer must spend at least $25 using Rakuten’s cashback service within 90 days to receive the referral bonus.
It’s definitely not hard to do this since Rakuten gives cash back for pretty much anything, so make sure they complete these terms.
Plus, there is no limit to how many people you can refer to Rakuten and there is no payment threshold!
So, sign up to Rakuten here to get your $10 signup bonus and then start sharing your referral link to friends and family to make $100’s!
Let’s get into cashing out from Rakuten…
Getting Money From Rakuten
Now I think we can all agree that this is the most important part of the process and the one you have been waiting for.
How do I get my money?
Okay so let’s get on with it.
First off you need to know that you can only cash out when you have a minimum of $5.00 in your Rakuten account.
The only two options are to get a physical check or through PayPal.
You will only get paid quarterly (every three months), you will receive a check or PayPal transfer if you have $5.00 or greater in your Rakuten account, if not then the balance will roll over to the next quarter.
For the pay schedule and more information click here.
Other Rakuten Services
In this post, we talked about Rakuten’s cashback service which is an amazing service but Rakuten also offers a few other great services.
Let’s quickly list out some of Rakuten’s other services that can help you save money easily…
- Rakuten Ichiba
This is a large e-commerce site developed in Japan but is open to the global market.
- Rakuten Shop
Along with Ichiba, Rakuten also has a U.S based e-commerce that lists some great products for some good deals.
- Rakuten Viki
This is a media streaming service for Asian TV shows and movies, sort of like Netflix or Hulu.
- Rakuten Viber
Rakuten also has an app that gives you access to free calls and messaging.
Now, these are just a few of Rakuten’s services. They have many more services in many different countries!
Now, remember when I said that using credit cards can be beneficial to you if used carefully?
There are cash-back and reward-based credit cards that you can use when purchasing items with Rakuten.
This means you get cash back from Rakuten and the credit card!
Rakuten has its own credit card that gives an extra 3% cashback on all Rakuten purchases and a 1% cashback on all other purchases, not too bad.
There is no annual fee for the credit card and it’s a Visa card which means it will be accepted pretty much anywhere.
See here for further information on the Rakuten credit card.
Now I know this is like playing with fire, which is why I recommend doing this only if you are very comfortable and have control over your spending.
You will need to pay off the credit card balance in full each month before it accrues interest.
Once interest starts to build, kiss those cashback rewards goodbye!
If interest builds then you will most likely have to pay much more in interest than the cash-back you received.
I recommend starting your purchases with a debit card or PayPal at first.
Once you feel like you can control your spending with a credit card then you should think about using one.
Here are a few frequently asked questions about Rakuten Rewards…
Rakuten can be trusted since they are a legit company that operates in over 30 countries and has over 1 billion members.
There is no catch with Rakuten. You can use Rakuten for free and get cashback from 1,000’s of stores. Just make sure you shop through the Rakuten Rewards app or website to get your cashback.
Joining Rakuten Rewards is completely free and there is no fee to join and use Rakuten.
Rakuten Rewards works with Amazon but as of right now Rakuten only offers coupons for Amazon not cashback.
Rakuten does not sell identifiable information or payment information but they may sell/share unidentifiable information with third-party companies to further grow and make their company better.
Rakuten is definitely worth it since it’s free to use and you get cashback for items you are purchasing anyway.
Rakuten pays out every three months and you can see the exact payment dates on their payment calendar.
Now you know how to use Rakuten and you can start earning and saving some extra cash!
You can make $100’s to $1,000’s a year with Rakuten alone.
Make sure to sign up for Rakuten here and get your free $10!
With Rakuten you will get cash back for items you were already going to purchase anyway!
Remember to use the Rakuten browser extension and Rakuten app for easier ways to get cash back for shopping.
I advise that you only buy items you need or absolutely want.
By not spending money on unnecessary items you will save 100% of that money.
Set up your Rakuten account today and start earning cashback today!
Also, check out my in-depth Swagbucks guide here you can make money from surveys and get cash back from shopping.
I recommend checking out my post on apps that pay you to do nothing!
So, is Rakuten legit? What do you think about Rakuten? Let me know in the comments below!
One question that I thought of: When you go to the Rakuten web site and launch a store’s web site within Rakuten (say, Macy’s, as in your example), has anyone checked to see if the prices are exactly the same as if you went to the Macy’s website without using Rakuten? That is, it is possible that the prices are higher when shopping via Rakuten to cover the expense of giving cash back. Has anyone actually checked this?
This is a great question John! I have never seen this happen and haven’t heard this happen to anyone else. I usually browse the store’s website before activating Rakuten, and after activating Rakuten, the prices remained the same. I am very curious if anyone has experienced this, but I’m pretty sure this doesn’t happen. Rakuten makes its money because they get a commission when you shop at participating stores and pass a piece of the earnings to you. I’m sure this would have been widely known if they were marking up prices.