Is Rakuten Legit? An Honest Rakuten Review!

If you are here, you most likely know what Rakuten is, and in this Rakuten review, we will 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 mainly 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 this question.

Listen, we all have to spend money. Even if you are the most frugal person, you still need to buy things.

Also, there are things you might 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…

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    What Is Rakuten?

    Learn What Rakuten Is

    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 thousands of companies, and they have excellent 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 Safe?

    Rakuten is a completely legit company, and its cash-back service has highly rated reviews. 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 who thinks highly of Rakuten.

    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 quickly with your Google account, Facebook account, or Apple account, or you can create a Rakuten account manually.

    Rakuten Signup Screen

    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.

    Take of Ad Blocker for Rakuten to Work

    Locate the store you want to shop at, notice the cashback offers, and select Shop Now.

    Rakuten stores to shop at to get cash back

    Rakuten will redirect you to the site where you want to shop and then shop as usual.

    Take note of the exclusions, and stores may have categories that don’t offer cash-back, for example, Macy’s:

    Rakuten Cash Back Terms Example

    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!

    Rakuten Coupon Code Example

    There is an easier way to use these coupons; 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.

    Rakuten Cash Back Tracker

    Simple as that, make money with Rakuten for items you would have bought anyway!

    There is also the Rakuten app to shop from your phone or tablet.

    Stay with me; we will go in-depth into the app soon…

    Using The 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 needed.

    Rakuten Browser Extension

    Make sure the extension is active, and that’s It!

    Now, 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.

    Activate Rakuten Cash Back From Browser Extension

    Click the activate button, and Rakuten will redirect you to the shopping website.

    You will then see your cash-back activated.

    Rakuten Browser Extension 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:

    Rakuten Coupon Pop Up

    Just click Apply Coupons and watch the magic happen; you saved money and got some cash back!

    It’s that easy!

    Rakuten Cash Back Example

    Now, let’s check out how to get cash back from Rakuten when shopping in stores…

    In-Store Cash-Back

    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!

    Rakuten In-Store Cash Back

    Once you see your desired store, click on Link Offer, and you will see the “Add a New Card” screen.

    You will need to add a debit or credit card to get the in-store cash-back (you can add multiple cards).

    Add A Card To Rakuten For In-Store Shopping

    I recommend using a debit card first.

    Once you know how to use credit cards efficiently, you can add a credit card with 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 must shop by selecting credit, not debit, so that the cash-back can be tracked.

    If you select debit, you will not get the cashback. Keep this in mind!

    An alternate way to add your card to Rakuten is to go to My Account and then to My Wallet to add a new card.

    My Wallet Menu In Rakuten

    It is important to note that some stores do not offer In-Store cash-back.

    Once you have your store, you must 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!

    Getting Cashback On Dining

    Earn Cash Back From Rakuten From Dining

    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.

    You only need to activate the offer for a restaurant you want to eat at and then shop with a linked card.

    That’s it!

    You will then get the cashback deposited into your Rakuten account.

    Travel & Vacations Cashback

    Get Cash Back On Vacations With Rakuten

    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 quickly on my flights, hotels, and car rentals!

    Now, if you are still wondering if Rakuten is legit? It definitely is! With Rakuten, you can get cashback on pretty much anything!

    Using The Rakuten App

    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.

    Download The Rakuten App

    Login to the Rakuten app with your account info, or sign up here if you need to.

    Rakuten App Sign Up Screen

    You will then be on the Rakuten home screen to see different stores and deals.

    You will see categories such as Double Cash Back Stores, Favorites & Recently Visited, Trending Stores, etc…

    Rakuten App Home Screen

    If you know what store you are looking for, 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.

    Rakuten App Search

    If you are looking for in-store offers, click on the in-store menu option to 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 nearby restaurants offering cashback for dining with them.

    Just link a restaurant to your card, and then you will get cashback automatically after you dine with them!

    To access the different categories in Rakuten and your account settings, click on the profile image on the top left.

    Rakuten App Menu Options

    Now, how does online shopping work within the app?

    Let’s run through a quick example:

    Say I need some work clothes; I will go to the Rakuten app and look under the Double Cash Back Stores for 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.

    Example Of Shopping In Rakuten App

    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 shop like you usually would, and you will get free money for shopping!

    Also, I’m sure you see the deal options 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 paste the coupon code at checkout, and you just saved money while getting cash back!

    Rakuten App Coupon Code

    If you choose a deal, 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.

    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…

    Referral Program

    Rakuten Referral Program

    Now that you know that Rakuten is safe to use and we know that Rakuten is an excellent cashback service, it’s time to share it with friends and family!

    Rakuten has a superb 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 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 Your Money

    Now, I think we can all agree that this is the most crucial 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) and receive a check or PayPal transfer if you have $5.00 or greater in your Rakuten account; if not, 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 fantastic, but Rakuten also offers a few other excellent services.

    Let’s quickly list out some of Rakuten’s other services that can help you save money easily…

    • Rakuten Ichiba

    This large e-commerce site developed in Japan is open to the global market.

    • Rakuten Shop

    Along with Ichiba, Rakuten also has a U.S.-based e-commerce that lists excellent products for 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!


    Remember when I said that using credit cards can benefit 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 a credit card that gives an extra 3% cashback on all Rakuten purchases and 1% cashback on all other purchases, which is not too bad.

    Rakuten Credit Card

    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.

    I know this is like playing with fire, so I recommend doing this only if you are very comfortable and have control over your spending.

    You must 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, you will most likely have to pay much more 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, you should consider using one.


    Rakuten FAQ

    Here are a few frequently asked questions about Rakuten Rewards…

    Can Rakuten Be Trusted?

    Rakuten can be trusted since they are a legit company that operates in over 30 countries and has over 1 billion members.

    What Is The Catch With Rakuten?

    There is no catch with Rakuten. You can use Rakuten for free and get cashback from thousands of stores. Just make sure you shop through the Rakuten Rewards app or website to get your cashback.

    Is There A Fee To Join Rakuten?

    Joining Rakuten Rewards is completely free, and there is no fee to join and use Rakuten.

    Does Rakuten Work With Amazon?

    Rakuten Rewards works with Amazon, but as of right now, Rakuten only offers coupons for Amazon, not cashback.

    Does Rakuten Sell Your Information?

    Rakuten does not sell identifiable information or payment information, but it may sell/share unidentifiable information with third-party companies to further grow and improve their company.

    Is Rakuten Worth It?

    Rakuten is worth it since it’s free to use, and you get cashback for items you purchase anyway.

    When Does Rakuten Pay Out?

    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 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.

    Not spending money on unnecessary items 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, have you used Rakuten before? What do you think about Rakuten? Let me know in the comments below!

    Are you ready to take control of your money? Check out these awesome money resources which will help you to make and save $1,000’s!

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      1. 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?

        1. 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.

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