How to use Rakuten
(It's literally like getting paid to shop)

Learning how to use Rakuten will change the way you shop forever.

If you’re like me and find yourself shopping online much more often nowadays, using Rakuten every time before you shop is essential to getting the best deal and putting cash back in your pocket.

As if the pandemic wasn’t enough, driving to a store, finding parking, finding the product, and waiting in line to pay are additional reasons keeping me away from physical stores.  And I know I’m not alone with statistics showing that most products are seeing an approximate 15-30% growth in online sales. 

Retailers know these facts and are doing everything they can to redirect their physical customers to their online stores.

So how can you take advantage of the shift to online shopping and put some of that money back in your pocket?

Well what if I told you…

…that you can earn cash back for shopping online,

…be sent a check for your earnings every three months,

…and all you have to do was click a few buttons,

would you do it?

It’s literally like having a cash back button on your keyboard.

Read on for more details on how to use Rakuten including…

What is Rakuten?

Rakuten is an online shopping portal that will pay you cash back on purchases you make when you start your shopping trip at its site. 

How does it work?

Simply find the merchant you want to shop at (or the app), click the link to be redirected to the store’s site, and shop as usual.

If you make a purchase, Rakuten gets paid a commission for sending you to the store, and it shares a portion of that commission with you.

How much does it cost to sign up?

Nothing. It’s completely free.

How and when will I get paid?

Rakuten adds up all of the cash back you’ve earned each quarter and will mail you a check every three months.  

Note: You will only receive a check if your total earnings are over $5.  If this happens, don’t worry. Your earnings will roll over to the next period and don’t expire.

Here is the distribution schedule:

Purchases posted between:

Payment sent by:

Jan. 1 and March 31

May 15

April 1 and June 30

August 15

July 1 and Sept. 30

November 15

Oct. 1 and Dec. 31

February 15

You can also elect to earn American Express Membership Rewards points instead of cash, but let’s be honest: most of us would rather take the cold, hard cash any day of the week.

Is it too good to be true?

It’s not a scam.  I have literally earned hundreds of dollars in cash back after learning how to use Rakuten and you can too.

How to sign up for Rakuten

Start by visiting  Create an account directly with Rakuten by entering your email address, or sign up using your Google, Facebook or Apple accounts.

Complete the registration process by following the on-screen prompts. 

Once your account is active, spend at least $25 on qualifying purchases within the first 90 days of signing up to earn a $10 welcome bonus.

That’s right. $10 mailed to you just for clicking on Rakuten before buying something you were probably going to buy anyway.

How to use Rakuten to earn cash back

Remember, in order for this to work, you must begin your shopping trip at and use the links on their site to get to the store you want to shop.

Use the search box on the home page to find the retailer you’re interested in shopping.

 As soon as you start typing, the search box will give you a few suggestions.  Let’s see what Macy’s has to offer.

Click Macy’s to be redirected to the Rakuten page on Macy’s. This page contains the percentage cash back you can receive, current sales, and some of the available coupon codes.

As you can see, we’re set to earn 8% cash back, we can take an extra 25% off using the code “FALL”, and we will even score free shipping on orders over $25.

Click the red “Shop Now” button to be redirected to and shop like normal.

It really is that easy to start earning cash back. It only took a few extra clicks.

The ultimate earnings strategy

Now that you’ve learned how to use Rakuten to earn cash back online, use these additional strategies to maximize your earnings:

Stack earnings with your credit card

If you’ve read some of our other content, you know that we don’t just want to help you find a good deal: we want you to find the best deal!

Once you’ve found a good sale, used a coupon, and activated Rakuten, pay attention to which credit card you’re going to use to pay so that you can stack additional earnings on top of your Rakuten cash back.

For example, let’s say I’m earning 8% cash back through Rakuten for shopping at Macy’s and my Chase Freedom Visa card is offering 5% cash back at department stores, I would be earning a whopping 13% cash back for my purchase!

That is a match made in shopping heaven!

Always pay using the credit card that will earn you the most points / cash back on top of your Rakuten earnings.

Earn cash back in-store

Pro Tip: Download the Rakuten app

Earn cash back when shopping in person

Now that you know how to use Rakuten for online shopping, did you know that you can also use Rakuten when shopping in-store?

Really? How do I earn additional cash back when shopping in person?

Easy. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Start by downloading the Rakuten app  
  2. Log in to your Rakuten account
  3. Click “Account” on the bottom right
  4. Click “Credit Cards”
  5. Add your credit card
  6. Enable it for in-store cash back
  7. Click “In-Store” on the menu bar to see the list of stores offering in-store cash back
  8. Find the store where you’re shopping and click the “Link” button
  9. Shop in-store and pay using the credit card that you linked
  10. Enjoy your purchase and your cash back!

It’s really that simple.

Not every store offers in-store cash back, but checking the app next time you’re out shopping could put some of that money back in your pocket.

Let’s say you’re at the mall shopping at H&M, open the Rakuten app before you pay to see if there is any cash back available.

As you can see from this example, H&M was offering 4.5% cash back on in-store purchases.  

So not only do I walk out of there with a new outfit, I will also be getting cash back in the mail on top of points I earned by using my credit card.

That is mastering the financial jungle!

Shop during bonus offerings

Rakuten occasionally offers increased earnings for a limited time at select stores.  Shopping when these bonuses are active will tremendously boost the cash back you earn.

You can usually find some of these promotions on the home page, or by clicking the link in the navigation bar (“Triple Cash Back Stores” in the case below).

Speaking of a tremendous earnings boost, did you see the cash back on Norton in the screenshot above? 

60%! Are you kidding me?

Now imagine paying full price for the exact same thing when you could have gotten 60% back by clicking a few buttons on Rakuten before buying…

Don’t be that guy. 

Always check Rakuten first.

Install the Rakuten browser extension

Pro Tip: Install the Rakuten browser extension

Never miss a chance to earn cash back again!

Years ago when I first started using Rakuten (formerly Ebates), I would sometimes forget to visit Rakuten first and miss out on earning cash back.

Nowadays, I’m using the Rakuten browser extension so that I never leave money on the table again.  

Whenever I load a webpage that is offering cash back, a little window will pop up in the upper right-hand corner asking me to activate the cash back.

After clicking the button I’m ready to shop and earn cash back.

To get your browser extension, download the Google Chrome web browser (if you’re not already using it), and then Google “Rakuten Browser Extension”.  It should be the top link in the search results.

It will add a small icon to the to the top right of your web browser and activate automatically whenever you visit a page offering cash back. 

This makes learning how to use Rakuten easy. Its free, convenient, and helps you get paid!

Get paid for referring friends and family

Once you start using Rakuten and see how easy it is to get cash back every time you shop, you’ll probably want to tell your family and friends about it.

But instead of sending them to the site directly, send them your referral link so that you can both get paid.

Your referral link is tied to your account, so whenever someone signs up using your link, Rakuten knows that you sent them and gives you a bonus as well. This is a way to get paid without doing any shopping! 

Whenever someone signs up using your referral link, you will get $30 after they make their first purchase of $25+ within 90 days of signing up, and they will earn a welcome bonus of $30! Typically, the welcome bonus is $10, but Rakuten is currently bumping that to $30 as of October 2020 and is subject to change at any time. 

To find your referral link, click “Refer & Earn $30+” on the navigation bar of the Rakuten home page.

Then, you can send your link directly to the emails of your friends and family, share it using your Facebook or Twitter accounts, or simply copy and paste your link wherever you like (send via text message, paste on your blog, etc.).


As we spend more time at home these days and take more of our purchases online, using an online shopping portal like Rakuten makes it easy to put some of that money you spend back in your pocket.

It costs you nothing to sign up, it’s 100% legit, and it makes saving money quick and easy.

Join Rakuten today to earn a $10 bonus and start get paid to shop.

Share your thoughts on how to use Rakuten

I hope this walkthrough helped you learn the basics on how to use Rakuten.  

Is there any additional Rakuten information that our review should cover?

Do you have any additional strategies to share on how to use Rakuten to get the most cash back?

Share your knowledge and help our community grow.

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