How To Use Rakuten to Earn Cash Back on Purchases

Published December 18, 2016, Category: Cash back, Passive Earning


How it works: Rakuten is currently the most popular cashback website out there. Signing up with Rakuten allows you to get cashback from thousands of stores.


Payment: Rakuten currently offers up to 10% cashback at Amazon, 5% at ebay, 2% and walmart. Browse through their store selection to see how much they are offer at different stores.

What is Rakuten?

Rakuten Rakuten is a website that automatically gives you cash back for shopping online at stores you probably already shop at such as Amazon, Bestbuy, Macy’s, just to name a few. Rakuten is able to do this because Rakuten has a partnership with these stores and many other stores. The stores give Rakuten cash for referring shoppers (you and me) through Rakuten’s website, and Rakuten then gives some of the cash it receives from the stores back to the shoppers it referred.

How much money can I save with Rakuten ?

Rakuten has partnerships with over 1800 stores, so the cash back you can earn will vary with each store. With that being said, most well known stores like Walmart, Amazon, Target, etc. seem to offer 1% to 6% cash back. I have noticed that many travel sites like Travelocity, Expedia, etc. offer higher cash back rates usually between 8% to 10%.

How to sign up for Rakuten

Signing up for Rakuten is easy and only requires an email address.

  1. Make an account for free on Rakuten. You can either login through an existing facebook or google account, or create an account on Rakuten by providing an email and password.
  2. Once logged in, at the top right of the Rakuten page, you will see your account name. Click on your account name.
  3. Click on account settings and enter in either your paypal information, or name and address. Depending on what you prefer, Rakuten will send you cash back checks to your address or deposit them directly to your paypal account.

How do I use Rakuten ?

The simple answer is that you have to start on the Rakuten website and allow Rakuten to redirect you to the website of the business you want to shop at like Amazon. Then, certain purchases you make from the store Rakuten redirected you to will net you cash back in the form of a check or paypal deposit from Rakuten . To break it down, just follow these steps:   

  1. If you haven’t already, sign up at Rakuten.
  2. On the front page, you will see a list of business you can earn cash back from like Amazon, Sephora, Bestbuy, etc. If you don’t see the store you are looking for, you can search for that store at the top of the page. For each store, Rakuten tells you how much cash back you can earn.
  3. Once you find the store you want to shop at on Rakuten, click on the button from the Rakuten page.
  4. Rakuten will then take you to a page where it gives you details about the cashback you can get at that store. For example, I clicked on Amazon, and Rakuten took me to the following page which shows how much I can earn in cash back from Amazon.
  5. amazon-cashbackOnce you are on Rakuten’s page of the store you want shop at, click on the “Shop Now” button on the page, and Rakuten will redirect you to the store.
  6. Now that you are redirected to the store, just shop as you normally would and you will earn cash back. However, in order to earn the cash back, you need to make sure you are shopping at the link that Rakuten redirected you to. If you open up another tab and go directly to the website of the store, you will not get the cash back.

How to get Rakuten discounts at your favorite stores while shopping in real life

Rakuten initially started offering cash back on online purchases only but now Rakuten offers cash back in store as well by linking your credit card to Rakuten. For example, you get automatic 6.0% cash back on your purchases at JCpenny, or 8.0% a Sephora, without having to use any coupons.

  1. Simply login to Rakuten .
  2. Click on the “In-Store Cash Back” link in the Rakuten header.
  3. Rakuten will then show you the cash back opportunities at various stores like below:
  4. Click on the “Link Offer” button and include the credit card details for the credit card you intend to use at the store.
  5. That is it. Next time you make a purchase at store you will automatically get cash back when you make a purchase with your linked credit card. No need to say or do anything when you make the purchase. Rakuten will simply email you let you know that you received cash back.

How to use the Rakuten’s Browser Extension to Earn Cash Back

The catch to using Rakuten is that you have to remember to start on the Rakuten before shopping at the store you want. It is easy to forget to use the Rakuten site before shopping. Other times you might be just be lazy. However, you can avoid these issues by installing the Rakuten extension to your browser. The Rakuten extension does not interfere with your browsing, but it will automatically give you a notification once you when a site you are on is eligible for cash back and allow you to switch to the cash back version of the site with one click. Below of an example of how it looks when I visited Expedia –


As you can see on the top right hand corner of the image, without the extension, I could have missed an 8% cash back opportunity without even realizing it.

How to make money using Rakuten’s referral program

You can make money and help your friends by taking advantage of Rakuten’s referral program. Rakuten tends to change their referral program every so often, but at presently you can earn $25 for each referral. Additionally, Rakuten will give your referee $10. It is a win-win for everybody.

  1. Once you make an Rakuten account, at the top right hand of the page header you will see a button that says “Refer & Earn $25+” – click on the button.
  2. Once you click on the referral page, Rakuten will give you a special referral link unique to your account. For example, mine is
  3. Copy your referral link and share with your friends. Your link will simply redirect users to Rakuten .com so that they can sign up.
  4. Rakuten will send you a check of $25 for each friend who signs up through your link and is (1) a new member to Rakuten; (2) signs up during the “referral period”; (3) makes a qualifying purchase totaling $25 or more during within a year of signing up.

Pros of using Rakuten

  1. Save money shopping at places you would have shopped at anyways
  2. No points or minimum earnings to earn cash back
  3. You can use Rakuten to combine with other discounts or coupons.

Cons of using Rakuten

  1. To earn cash back, you need to remember to start on Rakuten site, then navigate from Rakuten to the store you wish to shop at. However, as mentioned above, you can avoid this issue by installing the Rakuten extension to your browser so you are automatically notified.
  2. Cash back offerings can change from time to time.


Rakuten is a great way to earn cash back with minimal effort while shopping online. It is especially helpful to use the Rakuten extension so you are automatically notified of cash back option before you make a purchase.  

Category: Cash back, Passive Earning

What is MoolaKing?

We made this site to show people the best ways to make and save money online. We review money making websites and mobile apps.

Recommended Money Makers