woman with curly brunette hair and headphones around her neck. She's smiling and holding a cell phone in front of a light orange background.

How to Make Money with Rakuten: A Beginner’s Guide to Cash Back Rewards

If you’re looking for an easy tutorial that will show you how to make money with Rakuten, look no further. 

This article is going to show you the simple steps of getting started with Rakuten and maximizing this free tool so that you can make money every time you shop.

{{ Our blog posts contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here. }}


Simply put, it’s a platform that allows you to earn cash back when you shop.

Need to get some groceries? Use Rakuten and get cash back from that grocery trip. Need some new shoes? Use Rakuten and get paid to buy those new sneakers. Wanna go on vacation? Rakuten will send you cash back for that too.

No sign up fees. No forms to fill out. 

Just free cash back for buying the stuff you were already going to buy (like groceries and school clothes).

For real, for real… I couldn’t believe it when I first started using it either!

In this simple tutorial, I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know about using and making money with the Rakuten app. 

TL;DR: Sign up for the Rakuten app for free. Shop at any of the 2500 stores on the app and get cash back each time you shop. You also get a $10 credit just for signing up and using the app.


Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) is a cash-back platform. They have a website so you can shop from your laptop and an app that you can use on your phone.

Rakuten’s goal is to help you save money on the things you’re already buying. 

Here’s how it works:

  • Stores pay Rakuten a small commission to direct people to their shop from the Rakuten platform.
  • Rakuten shares that commission with consumers by offering cash back anytime you use their app to shop!
  • They sent your cash back via check or Paypal according to the payout schedule listed on their site.

That’s it.

Rakuten has 4 out of 5 stars from customer reviews and a B rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). They have been in business for over 20 years and changed their name from Ebates to Rakuten in 2014.


Ready to start making money with Rakuten?

All you have to do is sign-up for Rakuten right here (it’s 100% free). 

Sign up through desktop or mobile app and start browsing through stores to find your favorites.

At the time of publishing this article, Rakuten is offering a free $10 gift when you sign up and spend your first $25 through the app (check their site for the details). 

They also share other deals that your favorite stores are offering.

So, for example. Let’s say you want to have some groceries delivered from Albertsons. You’d go to the app and type in Albertsons in the search bar.

You’ll see a few categories listed under the search results: Store, Products, and Coupons. Click on Store, and then click the purple ‘Shop Now’ button to start shopping.

Important note: be sure to read the Conditions for your purchase. This is usually a short note or small paragraph letting you know about any potential exclusions for earning cash back.

After you make your purchase, the store communicates this to Rakuten and Rakuten adds your cash back to the balance within your account (it can sometimes take a few days).

That’s it. Easy peasy.


To make money with Rakuten on desktop, your best option is to install the Chrome Browser Extension. 

It’s called the ‘Cash Back Button’ and you can find it on the Rakuten homepage when you login on your desktop. 

This FREE browser extension will help you find coupons, deals, and cash back offers at all of the 2500+ stores on the Rakuten platform. 

When you visit a website that does have cash back options, Rakuten will show you a little pop-up notification in the corner of your screen.

And if you’re visiting a store that doesn’t have any cash back options, they’ll try to direct you to a similar store that does.


The Rakuten app is available for both iPhone and Android users. 

Many of us are doing our online shopping through our phones, so download the Rakuten app right here and be sure to check the app before you do your online shopping.

You can find coupons, BOGO deals, and cash back for many of your favorite stores. Here are just a few categories that make up the list:

  • Clothing & Accessories
  • Travel & Vacations
  • Health & Beauty
  • Shoes & Handbags
  • Electronics & Office
  • Home, Auto & Pets
  • Baby, Kids & Toys
  • Sports & Outdoors
  • Food & Entertainment
  • Books & Media
  • Gifts, Flowers & Occasions
  • Subscription Boxes & Services

There are some deals that are ONLY available on the app, which is why I encourage everyone to download it and check the app before spending any money online.


Rakuten is way more than a basic cash back app. Yes, earning Check out some of these features that make it a little extra special.

Triple Cash Back Stores

Click the ‘Triple Cash Back’ category to see which stores have tripled their cash back offers right now. 

Hot Deals

Click the ‘Hot Deals’ tab to see featured daily deals from various stores. For these special deals, you’re usually gonna get a discount AND cash back on your purchase!

In-Store Cash Back

Click this tab to find special in-store deals. 

To redeem your cash back, you’ll go into the ‘In-Store Cash Back’ tab in the Rakuten app to select the deal you want to use. Then link whatever payment card you plan on using in store. 

After paying with that linked card in that store, the store reports the purchase to Rakuten, and your cash back will be deposited into your Rakuten account. 

Boom baby! Cash back for the things you were already gonna buy!

Rakuten Gift Card Shop: The new Rakuten Gift Card Shop rewards you with cash back every time you buy someone a gift card!

There are other cool features on the platform too. Check out the Travel & Vacations tab to find the best coupons, deals, and cash back offers for your travels.

Scroll through the Rakuten homepage to find Hot Daily Deals and more. 


Another great way to make money with Rakuten is through their refer & earn program. 

Refer friends to Rakuten and earn $30 per person that signs up.

Here’s how it works:

  • Go into the Rakuten app/website and hit the ‘Refer & Earn $30+’ tab. You’ll find a clickable link on that page (this is your referral link).
  • Share that link with friends, family, Instagram followers, blog readers: whoever you choose!
  • When they sign up and spend their first 30 bucks, you get 30 bucks for the referral.

If you consider yourself an influencer, you can also sign up for their ambassador program via the link at the bottom of the refer and earn page.

‘Refer to earn’ programs are a great way to make money online.


Supercharge your cash back rewards with the Rakuten Cash-Back Visa® Card.

You’ll get an extra 3% cash back on anything you buy through Rakuten with this credit card. You’ll get 1% cach back on other purchases you make with the card outside of Rakuten.

And you will also get a $10 bonus with your first purchase using the card. 

All you have to do is sign up for Rakuten here and then apply for the credit card on their site.


Rakuten has a lot of positives and very few negatives, but let’s address them both anyway.


On the plus side, it’s a FREE app that anyone with a phone and internet access can use to earn cash back.


Cash back options are available in over 2,500 stores that you’re probably already shopping at anyway. If you need school supplies, shoes, or a hotel room ANYWAY, you might as well get rewarded for making that purchase!


Annnnd, most importantly. The website and the app are super easy to use and earn cash back. Share it with your mama, your neighbor, your Grandma… Anyone can use thise app to earn cash back and find great deals!


There is a downside to using Rakuten to earn cash back. It’s nothing worth holding you back from using this free tool, but it is important to be aware of both sides. 


Whether you sign up for payment via check or Paypal, your cashback is only sent out on a quarterly basis. 

If you earn cash back between January and March 31st, you’ll be getting your payout on May 15th.

Because of this quarterly payout system, it is important not to expect or rely on the payouts from Rakuten (outside of the quarterly schedule). Keep on shopping, referring, and earning… but pay attention to the payment dates so that you aren’t depending on that money before it’s scheduled to arrive!


Each store does have occasional exclusions or conditions to certain cash back rewards. 

It’s important to read the terms and conditions before assuming you can buy anything you want and receive a cash reward for it. Sometimes, conditions do apply.

Once you get familiar with the app and start earning cash back, you won’t need to read into the ‘fine print’ as much, because you’ll already understand the ropes for the most part. 

But in the beginning, spend a few minutes going over the Terms & Conditions before making a purchase.


Cash back apps aren’t anything new and they aren’t going away anytime soon. 

Companies love to reward their loyal members with perks and incentives.

Rakuten is definitely one of my favorites, but there are some great alternatives out there too.


Similar to Rakuten, earn cash back on purchases in store and online. Get it for iPhone here or Android here


Another cash back option that provides cash back for your online purchases. Get it for Android here (not available for iPhone at this time).


A third alternative with a lot of great reviews. Get it for iPhone here and Android here.


I hope his tutorial was a helpful guide as you learn to make money with Rakuten and other cash back apps!

The important thing to remember with Rakuten is that you can find almost any kind of store or product right there within the app. 

Always check the app for deals or triple cash back offers before buying anything online. And use the Rakuten Credit Card to earn even more cash back on every qualifying purchase. 

Is it worth using Rakuten?

100% YES.

Get started with Rakuten right here.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top